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Past event

ICCT Lecture: The Evolution of al-Qaeda Over Three Decades: Lessons Learned for the Future


The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT) invites you to attend a lecture by Associate Fellow Dr. Colin P. Clarke

The Evolution of al-Qaeda Over Three Decades: Lessons Learned for the Future

Location: Wijnhaven - Universiteit Leiden The Hague Wednesday 12 June 16:00 – 18:00 Turfmarkt 99, 2511 DP

As an organization, al-Qaeda’s has evolved considerably over the past three decades since its founding by Abdullah Azzam in 1988. What can organizational theory tell us about how terrorists group form and dissolve? Academic research has shown that approximately half of all terrorist groups do not last beyond their first year. Why then, has al-Qaeda been able to survive and in some cases, thrive? What lessons learned from studying al-Qaeda’s organizational structure (in addition to a host of other variables) could help guide future research and policy with respect to counter-terrorism efforts? Can studying the evolution of al-Qaeda provide policymakers with any clues to how the Islamic State will evolve moving forward?

About Colin P. Clarke

Colin P. Clarke is an Associate Fellow at ICCT, a Senior Research Fellow at the Soufan Center and a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation, where his research focuses on terrorism, insurgency and criminal networks. He has directed studies on IS financing, the future of terrorism and transnational crime, and lessons learned from all insurgencies between the end of WWII and 2009.

Clarke has testified as an expert witness on terrorism before the United States Congress, including both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee. He appears frequently in the media and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and has published his research in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Politico, Lawfare, and numerous scholarly journals, including Small Wars & Insurgencies, Historical Methods, and Military Operations Research.