Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden and Destiny of Jihadism

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2011-12-31-48

G. Mirskii, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The emergence of the major transnational terrorist movement called Al Qaeda became possible first and foremost because of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. A local peasant rebellion against the radical left wing regime in a faraway country was immediately transformed into jihad, a real crusade against the invading “infidels”. What followed was the gradual evolution of an insignificant group of young volunteers from the Arab countries who soon became the nucleus of a powerful global movement challenging the Western world. Bin Laden’s motto was: “After overcoming one superpower we will deal with another one”. The large scale terrorist campaign culminated in the 9/11 terrorist action called “the Manhatten operation” by its perpetrators. Summing up the results of the jihadists’ activities, the author comes to the conclusion that the terrorist network is probably in the initial stage of decline due not only to the leaders’ death but also to its failure to mobilize the world of Islam under its banner.

Keywords: Islamism, Jihadism, bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, transnational terrorism, counter-terrorist operations

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For citation:
Mirskii G. Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden and Destiny of Jihadism. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2011, no. 12, pp. 31-48.

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