Al Qaeda's Franchising Strategy
Al Qaeda (Critical Concepts in Political Science)
In recent years al Qaeda established franchises throughout the Middle East. The establishment of formal branches, often through merger with jihadist groups, represents a political statement and, as such, goes beyond merely enhancing the group's operational capabilities. And yet, while its organizational expansion creates an image of success, this is hardly a true reflection of al Qaeda's reality. In fact, it reflects weakness and can be attributed to internal tension in the group's strategic thinking, conflict between its strategic objectives and organizational interests, the negative effects of its leadership's hubris, and an aggressive American campaign that puts severe constraints on al Qaeda's ability to operate. Thus, although al Qaeda still presents a severe threat, it is not as grave as the expansion of its brand name would suggest. Moreover, al Qaeda's franchising creates opportunities for more creative counterterrorism less reliant on military force. --author-supplied description
Mendelsohn, Barak. “Al Qaeda’s Franchising Strategy.” Survival 53:3 (May/June 2011), 29-50.