The al-Qaeda Franchise: The Expansion of al-Qaeda and Its Consequences

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 11:30am - 12:30pm
FPRI Library, 1528 Walnut St, Suite 610, Philadelphia
United States

Over the past decade and a half, al-Qaeda has adopted a branching-out strategy, introducing seven franchises spread over the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

Although the introduction of these new branches helped al-Qaeda create a frightening image far beyond its actual capabilities, ultimately this strategy neither increased the al-Qaeda threat, nor enhanced the organization's political objectives. In fact, this strategy may have undermined one of al-Qaeda's primary achievements: the creation of a transnational entity based on religious, not national, affiliation. Was al-Qaeda's branching out strategy a sign of strength or a response to its decline in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks? Why has al-Qaeda formed branches in some arenas but not others? How has the rise of ISIS from an al-Qaeda branch to the dominant actor in the jihadi camp affected the parent organization’s ambitions?

Barak Mendelsohn is a senior fellow at FPRI and associate professor of political science at Haverford College. He formerly served as a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Mendelsohn has written extensively on radical Islam and jihadism, including his books Combating Jihadism (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and The Al Qaeda Franchise (Oxford University Press, 2016). He served in the IDF for 5 years and received his Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. 

**Books will be on sale at the event**

Live attendance at the meeting is open to FPRI Members at the Friends Level ($100)
Attendance via the Web is open to all FPRI Members
Luncheon immediately following the program is open to FPRI Members (and spouses) at the $1000 level (must be reserved at least two business days in advance)
Reservations are required. RSVP: [email protected] or (215) 732-3774 x 200

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