November 19, 2013

Al Qaeda’s Grand Strategy in Its War With the World

Mary Habeck, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Dr. Mary Habeck presents on Al Qaeda and their progressing grand strategy. Habeck emphasizes that the objectives and ideologies of Al Qaeda are not well understood and look at as a cult. However, Al Qaeda believes that it understands itself. Its own vision of itself can potentially give us a better idea of what they are. Habeck then goes into discussing the tiny group of Salafi Jihadists and how their influence has grown since 9/11. She simplifies five principles that are important to Al Qaeda’s grand strategy and defines the meanings of the terms to extremists versus typical Muslims.  Salafi Jihadists believe that any Muslims that do not join their extremist group are not real Muslims, this in turn takes away the guilt of killing them during terrorist attacks. Even though their aims are more directed toward other Muslims rather at the US or non-Muslims, they believe that they are winning the war.