September 11, 2019

IntelBrief: 18 Years After the 9/11 Attacks, What is the Current State of Al-Qaeda?

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, with the skeleton of the World Trade Center twin towers in the background, New York City firefighters work amid debris on Cortlandt St. after the terrorist attacks.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File).
  • Eighteen years after the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the group has evolved and looks much different today than it did nearly two decades ago.
  • The influence of al-Qaeda core and its senior leadership hiding in Pakistan has been reduced, while franchise groups have grown in prominence.
  • The story of post-bin-Laden al-Qaeda has primarily been driven by the group’s attempt to remain relevant in Syria and its competition with the Islamic State.
  • Over the past several years, al-Qaeda leadership has released a steady stream of messages that reiterated the importance of the global struggle and urged its followers to launch strikes against the West.