JD:Week4:Assignment

Application: Al Qaeda’s Terrorist Activities

While many terrorist activities may appear to be irrational and counter-productive, most are methodical and well-planned. To prevent terrorism, it is important to understand the philosophical foundations and worldviews from which terrorists and terrorist groups operate and engage in terrorist activities. Every terrorist group’s activities are tied directly to their political, social, ideological, and religious worldviews. One of the most notorious examples of this alignment is Adolf Hitler during World War II. Adolf Hitler believed that Jewish people were a race inferior to the Germans. This belief drove the actions of the Nazi regime to kill millions of Jewish people in the Holocaust. For this Application, you continue your study of Al Qaeda by examining the group’s political objectives, ideology, and worldview as well as the group’s terrorist activities.

To prepare for this assignment:

Review Chapter 2 of the online resource The 9/11 Commission Report. Consider Bin Laden and Al Qaeda’s political objectives, ideology, and worldview.
Review the article “Countering Global Insurgency.” Consider the influence of Jihad’s beliefs on Al Qaeda’s terrorist activities.
Review Chapter 6 of the online resource Global Strategic Assessment. Think about how the views and beliefs of Al Qaeda influence their activities and movements.

Reflect on Al Qaeda’s political objectives, ideology, and worldview.
Think about the degree to which Al Qaeda’s political objectives, ideology, and worldview drive their terrorist activities.
Consider the extent to which Al Qaeda’s terrorist activities are strategic and purposeful.

The assignment (2 pages):

Briefly summarize Al Qaeda’s political objectives, ideology, and worldview.
Explain the degree to which Al Qaeda’s political objectives, ideology, and worldview drive their terrorist activities. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your explanation.
Explain the extent to which you think Al Qaeda’s terrorist activities are strategic and purposeful. Again, be specific and use examples to illustrate your explanation.

Readings

Article: Hoffman, B. (2007). The global terrorist threat: Is Al-Qaeda on the run or on the march? Middle East Policy, 14(2), 44–58.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Article: Hoffman, B. (2008). The myth of grass-roots terrorism. Foreign Affairs, 87(3), 133–138.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Book Excerpt:Stout, M. E. (Ed.) (2009). Transnational movements and terrorism. In Cronin, P.M. (Ed.), Global Strategic Assessment 2009: America’s Security Role in a Changing World (pp. 119–144). Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press. Retrieved from http://www.ndu.edu/inss/docUploaded/10-GSA2009_Chpt%206.pdf

Article: Kilcullen, D. J. (2005). Countering global insurgency. The Journal of Strategic Studies, 28(4), 597–617.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Article: Sageman, M. (2008). The next generation of terror. Foreign Policy, 165, 36-42.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Article: Sageman, M. (2008). The reality of grass-roots terrorism. Foreign Affairs, 87(4), 165–166.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Article: National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the U.S. (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report. Retrieved from http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/

Chapter 2, “The Foundation of the New Terrorism”

Media

Web Video: Bergman, L. (Writer), & Docherty, N. (Writer & Director). (2005, January 25). Al Quaeda’s new front [Television series episode]. In N. Docherty (Producer), Frontline. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/front/

Chapter 1, “The Madrid Bombings”

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