The Rise of Al-Qaeda 2.0

A Pakistani Taliban militant firing a machine gun in Waziristan

Ishtiaq Mahsud/AP

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A Pakistani Taliban militant firing a machine gun in Waziristan

The terrorism network is now diffuse and lacks a coherent center, but it is still just as deadly. By Frud Bezhan

Early on, Al-Qaeda was a close-knit band of extremists with common cause, a centralized leadership, and a base from which to launch global operations.

With the death of Osama bin Laden, the loss of a host of top commanders, and its retreat from Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda has become a diffuse group with no coherent center. But the emerging network of Al-Qaeda offshoots, with operations around the world, is no less dangerous.

Call it Al-Qaeda 2.0 — the evolution of a group whose directives once came from the top into a network of affiliates who are essentially on their own to export a fundamentalist brand of Islam and upstage secular governments in the Muslim world.

Read more at The Atlantic.

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