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Strategically Speaking With Smita Sharma: Journalist Jason Burke On How Al-Qaeda Managed to Survive?

India Ahead’s Smita Sharma discusses ‘20 Years of 9/11 & Global War on Terror’, in an exclusive chat with Jason Burke (Author & Africa Correspondent, The Guardian).

September 11, marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the deadliest attack in the history of the United States. It left nearly 3,000 people dead & injured. The attack plunged the west into a war against Afghanistan. The Al-Qaeda plane hijackings were the first foreign attack on the US mainland in nearly two centuries.

It was a military operation. The Taliban has once again taken over Afghanistan, the most haunted dreams of afghans have once again turned into reality. Afghanistan is back to square one, with women & children struggling in pain, some are hiding, and some are just stuck. The horrific images are flowing all over social media. The evacuation process was horribly bad, people were desperately struggling and wanting to catch the chock-a-block aircraft.  

Twenty years of the September 11 twin tower attacks that, took away the lives of many. The attack redefined the way people look at international terrorism. After the attack when the world was just forming safe-havens, the Taliban happened once again. The international terror still remains. 

Author & International Correspondent, Jason Burke talks about the affiliates under Al-Qaeda and describes the reasons or the survival of the militant organization. “Primarily, Al-Qaeda survived because it has been able to adapt and exploit local conditions. They were able to bring in people from outside for support so, there was a lot of networking, affiliations, franchises, and ideology.”

He further said that Al-Qaeda has moved from targeting mainstream media using major big spectacular one-off attacks, to using social media very effectively, to building low-level alliances with affiliates on the ground, to exploiting local conditions. According to Burke, the continual process of adapting to changing circumstances and changing conditions, which at many places has favored Islamic extremism and has allowed Al-Qaeda to survive one of the most intense onslaughts against a terrorist group.

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