Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

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Rights Information

© 2011 Benjamin Forster


This thesis examines how the international terrorist group known as Al Qaeda has expanded its operations globally since 9/11. Case studies of Al Qaeda’s operations in the Arabian Peninsula, the United Kingdom, and the United States illustrate how the organization has exploited diverse environmental conditions to achieve either a limited or fully integrated local presence. This thesis argues that Al Qaeda has evolved into a highly diffuse and decentralized franchise that exercises little command and control over its organizational arms.