The question the author poses in this article is an important and constantly evaluated concept that must be analyzed in the field of U.S security and conflict studies: is Al-Qaeda still a threat to United States national security? He begins by providing the answers that the president and the runner-up of the upcoming elections gave in their foreign policy debates. These are fairly contradicting answers to an important question. He then broaches that the ideological power of the organization has dimmed down and that the new arising groups that claim similar objectives as Al-Qaeda are actually more concerned with local crusades for theocracies than American-targeted terrorism. The author ends the article, however, with a quote from a Princeton university professor who disclaims the end of the movement despite the U.S’ success in weakening the leadership. The answer to the question is indeed very ambiguous because motives of the jihadists can always alter and the “mystique” factor that Al-Qaeda holds as the small group that succeeded in somewhat destabilizing an empire state is an appealing notion for global recognition. The author corroborates the appeal of this factor, therefore insinuating the threat that even these groups can pose to the U.S despite their said local agendas and his own analysis of their distaste for such a cause. Is the United States really ready to back down from its Al-Qaeda influenced counterterrorist fighting stance?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/world/middleeast/al-qaeda-inspired-groups-minus-goal-of-striking-us.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&ref=africa

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