Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Dr Lars Berger discusses the implications of al-Qaeda establishing a franchise in India

12 September 2014 |

In light of the Islamic State's advance in Iraq and Syria, Dr Berger discusses the future of al-Qaeda.

Dr Berger's article entitled "Al-Zawahiri hopes an Indian franchise will revive al-Qaeda", comments on the recent change in behaviour of al-Qaeda in response to IS's advancement in Iraq and Syria.

Al-Qadea leader, Ayman al-Zawahri released a 55-minute video announcing a new al-Qaeda franchise: al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. What this means for the future of al-Qaeda and the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh remains unclear. What is obvious, is that this is a clear attempt to save the reputation of the once-mighty organisation’s beleaguered head.

"Zawahiri has had a shaky tenure at the al-Qaeda helm", and at the time of Osma Bin Laden's death counterterrorism efforts by the West has taken it's toll. The al-Qaeda he inherited was weak and fragmented.

In the western world al-Qaeda has never regained the capacity needed to orchestrate a major '9/11 type' attack.

Dr Berger highlights that Zawahiri has been the subject of scepticism amongst former affiliates over the mismatch between his undeniable skill as a public figure and his rather disastrous track record as the leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad."

In an attempt to overcome these problems he has tried to maintain al-Qaeda's profile and also accelerate its expansion as this new franchise demonstrates. "The formation of al-Qaeda on the Indian Subcontinent shows how confident in this model (or dependent on it) al-Qaeda’s leadership has become."

Read the full article online.

© Copyright Leeds 2016