al Qaeda

Police escort Islamist extremists accused of plotting the Holey Artisan Bakery attack to a courtroom for their trial in Dhaka, on Nov. 27, 2019.

The Radicalization of Bangladeshi Cyberspace

After the pandemic pushed people online, Islamist extremist groups reached an even wider audience. But the authorities are fighting back.

A Sudanese man holds bags to build a barricade amid flood waters in Tuti island, where the Blue and White Nile merge between the twin cities of Khartoum and Omdurman, on Sept. 3.

The White House Wants Peace With Sudan. Congress Wants Khartoum to Pay.

Normalizing ties with Israel could mean removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list, allowing the country to rebuild its shattered economy—but U.S. legislators are standing in the way.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok visits Sudan's North Darfur state.

Document of the Week: Pompeo Seeks Deal to Remove Sudan From Terrorist List Before U.S. Election

Bipartisan congressional support for removing Sudan from U.S. terrorism lists grows as Khartoum pledges hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to American victims.

Osama bin Laden with then-advisor Ayman al-Zawahiri during a November 2001 interview at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda’s Leader Is Old, Bumbling—and a Terrorist Mastermind

Ayman al-Zawahiri isn’t trying to plan another 9/11 attack—because he doesn’t need to.

A Soldier assigned to the United Kingdom specialized infantry trains Nigerian forces on refined weapon-reloading techniques during Flintlock 20 near Thies, Senegal, Feb. 17, 2020. (U.S. photo by Sgt. Steven Lewis)

In West Africa, U.S. Military Struggles for Scarce Resources as Terrorism Threat Grows

Tensions with Iran almost scuttled a major international training exercise in the Sahel.

The annual Tribute in Light memorial echoing the twin towers of the World Trade Center illuminates the night sky during the tenth Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sept. 11, 2011, in this view from Bayonne, New Jersey.

It’s Hard to Commemorate 9/11 If You Don’t Understand It.

Today’s university freshmen were born after the Twin Towers fell. In the Trump era, lack of historical perspective makes young people susceptible to alarmism and more likely to misread threats.

Islamic fighters from the al-Qaida group in the Levant, Al-Nusra Front, wave their movement's flag as they parade at the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp, south of Damascus, to denounce Israels military offensive on the Gaza Strip, on July 28, 2014.

Al Qaeda Is Ready to Attack You Again

Eighteen years after 9/11, the terrorist group has found a new home—and rediscovered its old mission.

The Taliban’s Broken Pledge to Contain Terrorists

A generation ago, the Taliban promised to prevent Osama bin Laden from targeting Americans—then came 9/11.

U.S. soldiers arrive at Saudi Arabia's Dhahran air base in 1991.

Did Mohammed bin Salman Just Give Jihadis the World’s Greatest Terrorist Recruiting Tool?

Anger at the presence of U.S. troops on sacred Saudi soil led Osama bin Laden to found al Qaeda and wage jihad on the West. The crown prince’s decision to welcome them back could light the fuse again.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks toward a plane to depart Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on June 24.

U.S. Intelligence Undercuts Trump’s Case on Iran-al Qaeda Links

Despite claims by Pompeo, Tehran and al Qaeda have been at odds more often than they've been aligned since 9/11.

A screen grab from a propaganda video released April 29 purportedly shows Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for the first time in five years at an undisclosed location.

‘Let’s Kill This Baby in the Crib’

That’s what the CIA said when it had Osama bin Laden in its sights after 9/11. Instead, America veered off into Iraq, and the result is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who appeared in a new video this week.

A discarded Islamic State flag lies torn on the ground in the village of Baghouz, Syria, on March 24. (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS’s West African Offshoot Is Following al Qaeda’s Rules for Success

The amorphous Boko Haram splinter group is taking inspiration where it can get it and bringing disaster to the Lake Chad Basin in the process.

A man prays at the burial of a friend on January 16, 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya after al-Shabab militants stormed the Dusit hotel complex.

Al-Shabab Wants You To Know It’s Alive and Well

The brutal attack in Kenya is designed to show Washington and the world that the terrorist group is still a force to be reckoned with in East Africa.

U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province on July 7. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States Needs an Afghanistan Exit Strategy

Washington should hand over U.S. military and political roles to other countries, including China.

(Illustration by Matt Chase for Foreign Policy)

The Future of War Will Be ‘Liked’

In the social media age, what you share is deciding what happens on the battlefield.

Yemeni mourners bury the bodies of Houthis killed in a car bomb attack which targeted a Shiite Muslim mosque in Sanaa during a group funeral procession in the Yemeni capital on July 22, 2015.

America Is Not an Innocent Bystander in Yemen

Washington has left a vacuum in the Middle East, letting U.S. allies do as they please—no matter how high the body count.

Rescuers work among the rubble after the bombing U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya on Aug. 7, 1998. (AFP/Getty Images)

The Bombings the World Forgot 

On the podcast: Ambassador Prudence Bushnell survived the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. Now she tells her story.

(JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images/iStockphoto/Foreign Policy illustration)

Time for Peace Talks With ISIS and Al Qaeda?

With options limited for fighting terrorists, negotiations may be the best remaining alternative.

What can we learn from Bin Laden's diary? (Getty Images)

Among the Memes and YouTube Videos, What Do the Bin Laden Files Hold?

The CIA recently released hundreds of thousands of files seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound. What can we learn from them?

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U.S. Bombs Falling in Record Numbers In Three Countries

Trump’s looser authorities for airstrikes have unleashed huge increases in ordnance in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.