My latest article, "Missionaries of Jihad: Inside Al-Qaeda's Charismatic Jihadi Vanguard," was published at Foreign Policy magazine's AFPAK Channel on Friday. The introductory paragraph reads:
"In the aftermath of the U.S. military's killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last month, analysts and presumably Al-Qaeda Central (AQC) are heavily engaged in discussions about possible successors to the Saudi militant as the new public face of the transnational jihadi trend, with sources reporting recently that Egyptian Saif al-Adel had been named the group's "interim" leader. Yet the intense focus on who will be the "new bin Laden" glosses over the important fact that al-Qaeda has over the past several years developed a charismatic and influential cadre of scholar-ideologues who play a major role in legitimating the group's campaign of violence and calling on Muslims to join or support it, a role made more important by the confusion that has resulted in jihadi circles from bin Laden's death."
Read the rest HERE.
The four charismatic ideologues profiled in the piece are: Abu Yahya al-Libi (pictured above), Khalid bin 'Abd al-Rahman al-Husaynan, 'Atiyyatullah al-Libi, and Anwar al-'Awlaqi. See the article for more details on all four.