Required Reading

Thomas Joscelyn’s “Know Your Enemy: al Qaeda’s Grand Strategy.”

This is simply the best thing I’ve read on the subject in a long time. A preview:


Terrorizing the United States and its Western allies was always a tactic, a step toward achieving al Qaeda’s real goal—power for its leaders and their ideology in the heart of the Islamic world. Al Qaeda’s jihadists are not just terrorists; they are political revolutionaries. They have sought, since al Qaeda’s founding in 1988, to overturn the existing political order in various Muslim-ruled countries.

Al Qaeda’s ideologues believed that the status quo before the 2011 Arab uprisings was heretical. They believed that Muslim rulers had abandoned true Islam by neglecting to implement sharia law as defined by al Qaeda. They also believed, and continue to believe, that an imaginary Zionist-Crusader conspiracy has prevented the real believers from achieving success. Therefore, al Qaeda deduced, the conspirators must be confronted.

By striking America, al Qaeda’s most senior leaders believed, they could cause the U.S. government eventually to withdraw its support for various Muslim rulers and Israel. According to bin Laden and other al Qaeda thinkers, American support was the main reason why early jihadist efforts to overthrow Muslim dictatorships ended in bloody fiascos.

Think of our actions and inactions regarding Egypt these last few years, then wonder just what it is Professor Wiggleroom might be up to.


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