|INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF AL-QAEDA|
|Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:34|
To unpack the likely impact of changes in information technology on al-Qaeda, I think that it is important to break out two very different types of things al-Qaeda tries to do: terrorism and outreach. IT will affect these two domains very differently. Trends in IT might well strengthen its ability to care out acts of terrorism - whether by AQ Central or by Marc Sageman-style small groups of self-motivated radicals - but at the same time diminish its ability to spread its ideology, frame public discourse in the Islamic world, or assert claims to leadership of Islamist movements. This is particularly the case because the same IT trends which empower al-Qaeda in the "war of ideas" realm are equally available to its main rivals - the Muslim Brotherhood, Arab regimes, traditional Islamic trends, non-jihadist salafis.... and us. Please continue.