Attrition: Office Politics in Al Qaeda

Archives

February 27, 2006: Al Qaeda is having increasing problems with ethnic frictions. There was always a problem with the Arabs, who founded, and largely run, al Qaeda, being disdainful of non-Arab recruits, and non-Arab members. The Arabs tend to have an attitude problem. Not only do they feel that Arabs are superior, in general, to everyone else, but they also project a "more-Islamic-than-thou" vibe that really irritates non-Arabs. This has always been a problem, even though the senior al Qaeda Arabs tried to make every recruit feel welcome. 

 

The current problem comes from the fact  that all of the original al Qaeda senior leadership is either dead, arrested or in hiding. Dealing with new recruits is left to middle management. These fellows are nearly all Arabs, and often recent replacements for more experienced operators who are dead or arrested. The people dealing with new recruits often have to do it under stressful conditions, and this does not make the experience very welcoming for the new guys. It quickly becomes obvious that new Arab, particularly Saudi, recruits are seen as more promising than the others, especially the non-Arab others. The recruits are usually young men, and the Arab recruits take the cue and begin razzing the non-Arabs. Often, this induces the non-Arabs to just leave. The misbehaving Arab recruits are rarely punished, although the most abusive of them may be encouraged to undertake a "martyrdom" (suicide) mission. Office politics in al Qaeda can get rough.

 

 

 


X

ad Help Keep Us Online!
 

Help Keep Us Afloat! Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close