Sample Essay on Al Qaeda, the Main Threat?

Al Qaeda, the Main Threat?

Bruce Hoffman and Marc Sageman stand as the most noteworthy study of contemporary terrorism. A former Central Intelligence Agency analyst, Sageman created a couple of the most extensively employed resources concerning jihadist practices, which are: Leaderless Jihad and Understanding Terror Networks. Likewise, Hoffman wrote numerous reputable publications concerning terrorism, which encompassed Inside Terrorism. These two researches have generated considerable contribution to the literature on terrorism, though they differ regarding the operational capacities of Al Qaeda. The debate commenced in 2008 when Bruce published a text entitled: Leaderless Jihad in Foreign Affairs. Bruce disapproves Marc’s counterterrorist records after Marc setting off his striking scholarly resume with exposure in Afghanistan and Iraq (Celso, 2012). Bruce affirms that the efforts of Marc do not triumph over his fundamental blemish in comprehending al Qaeda: Marc considers that al Qaeda is not a major threat to the West anymore. Moreover, Marc affirms that a more direct threat hails from marginalized Muslim migrants in the West and residents that feel disfranchised.

On the contrary, Bruce articulates that Marc’s affirmations fly in the teeth of proof concerning al Qaeda. Bruce believes that the al Qaeda is not a mutilated force based on the Pakistan-Afghanistan boundary, but remains a major threat to the West. According to Bruce, this is revealed by intelligence evaluations in Europe and the US. Bruce then continues to declare that Marc misapprehends the present threat since he wrongly utilizes historical analogs separately. Bruce states that Marc’s assumption of the manner in which terrorist networks act stays in contradiction to the majority of the text on terrorism, and he disparages Marc for overlooking most of the information on terrorism in support of his own style. He as well considers that domestic terrorists are yet to rise as a great threat (Jordan, 2012). Lastly, Bruce articulates that Marc’s operation is a psychological research written from a personal perspective.

Bruce ends by affirming that al Qaeda has recuperated in the boundary region between Pakistan and Afghanistan and that it has resurfaced as a key threat to the US. According to Bruce, al Qaeda cannot be annihilated by concentrating on networks, but by getting rid of its leadership and illegalizing its philosophy (Jordan, 2012).

Marc replied in his issue that followed and declared that Bruce misunderstood his argument and that Bruce alluded to information that never emerged in his publication. Marc wrote that al Qaeda is still a significant threat, and it will resurface if the West fails to uphold constant watchfulness and battle against the central leadership. According to Marc, al Qaeda’s core leaders are still conniving against the US. Marc declares that Bruce was out of point in representing Leaderless Jihad as an unsophisticated polemist (Celso, 2012). The reality is that Marc articulates that al Qaeda has advanced with time and that its aura has initiated the radicalization of domestic terrorists. Finally, Marc states that he particularly discards a personalized perspective and concentrates on groups since he views group conduct as a critical element of assessment. Thus, examining the debate between Marc Sageman and Bruce Hoffman, al Qaeda is a major threat to the West. It is worth noting that the death of Osama bin Laden has a critical significance to numerous constituencies, such as the al Qaeda, the United States, and Pakistan, due to varying rationales (Cottee, 2011). For example, the death of bin Laden considerably affected the core leadership of al Qaeda and the success or failure of al Qaeda is reliant on Osama’s successors.




Celso, A. N. (2012). Al Qaeda’s Post–9/11 Organizational Structure and Strategy: The Role of Islamist Regional Affiliates. Mediterranean Quarterly, 23(2), 30-41.

Cottee, S. (2011). Jihadism as a Subcultural Response to Social Strain: Extending Marc Sageman’s “Bunch of Guys” Thesis. Terrorism and Political Violence, 23(5), 730-751.

Jordan, J. (2012). Analysis of Jihadi Terrorism Incidents in Western Europe, 2001–2010. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 35(5), 382-404.