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The Terrorist's DilemmaManaging Violent Covert Organizations$
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Jacob N. Shapiro

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157214

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157214.001.0001

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Organizing Al-Qa’ida in Iraq’s Operations and Finances

Organizing Al-Qa’ida in Iraq’s Operations and Finances

(p.82) Chapter 4 Organizing Al-Qa’ida in Iraq’s Operations and Finances
The Terrorist's Dilemma

Jacob N. Shapiro

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines one of the most prominent terrorist groups in the last twenty years, al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI), using a host of the group's internal documents to study its financial and operational management. As the AQI materials so richly demonstrate, in any organization made up of thinking human beings, the level of control terrorist leaders actually exercise depends on the specific internal dynamics of a group. Terrorist operatives have their own ideas about what to do and these ideas do not always coincide with those of their leaders. A group's solution to its fundamental dilemma depends on the outcomes of the strategic interactions between terrorist leaders and their operatives.

Keywords:   al-Qa'ida in Iraq, operational management, terrorist leaders, internal dynamics, terrorist operatives, strategic interactions

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