Breaking Al-Qaeda

Breaking Al-Qaeda: Psychological and Operational Techniques, Second Edition

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Features

    • Reports on developments related to the Arab Spring
    • Describes the message and ideology of al-Qaeda since the death of Osama bin Laden
    • Examines how, why, and where the al-Qaeda network is expanding
    • Outlines al-Qaeda recruitment and attack planning tactics and explains how to counter them
    • Details psychological and operational techniques for countering network groups and fracturing relationships between groups

    Summary

    Breaking Al-Qaeda: Psychological and Operational Techniques, Second Edition explores the background and history of al-Qaeda, covers recent developments, and explains how, why, and where the al-Qaeda network is expanding. The author examines the current state of the terrorist network and describes what groups in the network are doing to recruit, plan, and carry out attacks worldwide.

    The book reports on intelligence and counterterror methods being used to garner information on al-Qaeda. It describes how the destabilization of Arab countries has led to opportunities for terrorists to capitalize on that instability and gain a foothold in countries such as Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria.

    • Addresses information collection and analysis
    • Provides an overview of the business of informational influence
    • Explains how psychology can be used to understand and exploit individuals in terrorist networks
    • Explores the relationships between the core of al-Qaeda and other groups

    Illustrating the message and ideology of al-Qaeda since the death of Usama bin Laden, the text explains the steps being taken to counter this threat. It also details psychological and operational techniques that can be used to counter network groups and fracture relationships between groups.

    Table of Contents

    The Road to Breaking Al-Qaeda
    Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the Resilient Network
    The Arab Spring and the Al-Qaeda Foothold
    Combating Terrorism: U.S. Counterterrorism Initiatives
    Bureaucratic Solutions: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
    The PATRIOT Act and Expansion of Government Power
    The National Security Agency (NS A) and Domestic Spying Fears
    Government Detention and Guantanamo
    Beware of the Buzzing Drones
    The Nature of International Cooperation
    Intelligence Leaks
    Ceding Ground to Terrorists
    Challenging the Bureaucracy
    Informational Strategies
    Informational Influence
    Chapter Outline

    The Origination and Continuation of the Threat
    The Failure of Bureaucracy
    Unwinding the Puzzle: The Afghan–Soviet War
    From Saudi Arabia to Somalia: The Mujahedeen Expands
    World Trade Center One and Bojinka
    Return to Afghanistan and the Fatwas
    Joining Forces against the Jews and Crusaders, and Global Jihad
    Pre–9/11 Attacks
    9/11: The Justification
    9/11: The Immediate Response 
    Continuation of the Threat
         Post–9/11 Attacks
    Vilification, Degradation, and Iraq
    Post-Iraq Implications
    The Homegrown Threat
    Learning Strategies
    Concerns about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
    The Terrorism–Criminal Nexus

    The Mentality of the Threat
    Are Terrorists Crazy?
    Understanding Complex Motivation
    Demographic Profiling
    Vast Network of Propaganda
    Uses of Propaganda
    The Propaganda Message
    The Enemy Defined
    Tailored Propaganda
    Information Dissemination
    Swear Allegiance to Al-Qaeda
    Magazine Jihad
    Network Books
    Video Productions
    Edicts and Fatwas
    Singing the Songs of Jihad
    Point and Shoot: Killing the Kuffar
    Propaganda Dissemination

    The Business of Influence
    Intelligence Collection
    Psychological Influence Techniques
    Operational Influence Techniques
    Source Credibility and Delivery

    Breaking Individuals
    The Leadership Framework
         Personal Characteristics 
         Operating Environment 
         Advisory System 
         Information Environment
    The Case of Ayman Al-Zawahiri 
         Some Background and Early Traits 
         Quest for Relevance and Power 
         Influencing Al-Zawahiri

    Breaking Groups
    The Nature of Groups
    Group Fissures
    Fissure: Personal Conflict and Mistrust
    Fissure: Substantive and Procedural Disagreement
    Fissure: Deviants

    Breaking Relationships between Groups
    Relationships between Groups
    Fissure Points
    Diverging Goals and Ethnic Differences
    Security Risks
    Leadership and Authority
    Competition over Resources
    Other Exploitable Situations

    The Final Break
    The Learning Process
    The Final Piece
    Hindering Change

    Index

    Each chapter includes a conclusion and notes.


    Author Bio(s)

    Elena Mastors, Ph.D., is the vice president and dean of Applied Research at the American Public University System (APUS). She is the former vice president and dean of the School of Security and Global Studies and program director of the Graduate Intelligence Studies and National Security programs.

    Previous to her work with APUS, she was an associate professor in the National Decision Making Department of the Naval War College, and also held various senior intelligence and policy positions in the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

    Dr. Mastors is an expert on political psychology as it pertains to conflict, terrorism, and political leadership. She writes frequently on understanding leaders and group dynamics from a political–psychological perspective. She is also a frequent lecturer on the important role of individuals and group dynamics in armed groups.

    Dr. Mastors is on the Board of Directors at the Institute for the Study of Intercommunal Conflict at Washington State University. Her professional affiliations include the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), the International Studies Association (ISA), the International Society for Political Psychology (ISPP), and Women in Security (WIS).

    Dr. Mastors has published on the subjects of conflict and armed groups. Her coauthored books include Introduction to Political Psychology (Psychology Press, 2010) and The Lesser Jihad: Recruits and the Al-Qaida Network (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).

    Editorial Reviews

    ... there is a need for a very hands-on, up-close, and personal engagement to dislodge the radical Islamist ideology once it takes root. Dr. Mastors’ work fills this gap between the psychological and tactical approaches to defeat Al-Qaeda. Her experiences, as an intelligence operator and conducting field research to interview those who were compelled to turn away from political terrorism, well position her to offer insight and practical guidance to defeat the radical ideology. This book serves to educate those on the front line, as well as strategic planners and thinkers on the subject of Breaking Al-Qaeda.
    —Colonel Jennifer L. Hesterman, United States Air Force (retired) and author of The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus: An Alliance of International Drug Cartels, Organized Crime, and Terror Groups

     
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