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Tracking Jihadist Movements in 2019: Al Qaeda

MIN READJan 22, 2019 | 11:00 GMT

A Somali soldier stands at the scene of a car bomb attack conducted by al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab near the Peace Hotel in Mogadishu on Jan. 2, 2017.

A Somali soldier stands at the scene of a car bomb attack conducted by al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab near the Peace Hotel in Mogadishu on Jan. 2, 2017. Al Qaeda's various franchises are likely to have contrasting fortunes in 2019.

(MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images)

The jihadist movement is a global insurgency – not just a terrorist phenomenon. Today, most of the world's jihadist groups have affiliated themselves with one of two poles: al Qaeda or the Islamic State. This seeming unity, however, belies numerous disagreements about how to pursue jihad. Given these differences, it is little surprise that there is a great deal of variance among different groups – even among those under the same al Qaeda or Islamic State umbrella. In this, some "franchises" stick close to the philosophies and guidance provided by the nominal parent organization, while others stray further afield. Here's a look at what how al Qaeda's various franchises fared in 2018 and what we can expect from them in the year to come. ...

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