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Accession Number ADA562328
Title Beware of Imitators: Al-Qa'ida through the Lens of its Confidential Secretary.
Publication Date Jun 2012
Media Count 112p
Personal Author N. Lahoud
Abstract A draft of this report based on Fadil Harun's two-volume autobiography had been completed and reviewed by external readers when my academic home, the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point, received 17 declassified documents captured from Usama Bin Ladin's compound in Abbottabad. Revising this report took a backseat as I prioritized analyzing the documents, a study that resulted in the publication of the CTC report Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined, which accompanied the release of the documents. Initially, I agonized about privileging Bin Ladin's files over Harun's manuscript. After all, in my view, Harun's manuscript is the richest primary source available regarding al-Qaida, and this report is but a modest exploration of what it has to offer. But, in hindsight, the delay in publication of this report was fortuitous as Bin Ladin's concerns about the ideology and operational conduct of regional jihadi groups echo the dominant theme that runs throughout Harun s lengthy autobiography (1,156 pages). Since Harun was a quiet al-Qaida operative who prioritized effectiveness while avoiding publicity, his criticism of the jihadi landscape may have been brushed aside as that of a renegade. Now that Bin Ladin's own letters articulate similar concerns to those raised by Harun, their release prior to the publication of this report lends an emphatic credibility to Harun's account. Whereas Bin Ladin chose to restrict his worries to private communications, Harun decided to air his publicly, releasing his autobiography on a jihadi website in February 2009. In comparison with the thin volume of Abbottabad documents, Harun s manuscript is richer in information and has more to offer about al-Qaida's internal political culture, its ideology and the methods of its operational work. The process of revising this report in light of the documents has largely been to confirm Harun's account rather than to correct it.
Keywords Al-qaida
Fadil harun
Osama bin ladin

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 74G - Military Operations, Strategy, & Tactics
92C - Social Concerns
Corporate Author Military Academy, West Point, NY. Combating Terrorism Center.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1225
Contract Number N/A

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