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Peter Neumann

Peter Neumann is professor of security studies at King’s College London. He currently leads a research project on the Syrian conflict and the future of the global jihadist movement.

Assad and the Jihadists

Peter Neumann, 2 April 2014

Three years ago, it was hard to find anything significant about Syria in books about al-Qaida. Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower, which many consider the definitive history of al-Qaida, contains only five references, while Fawaz Gerges’s The Rise and Fall of al-Qaida mentions Syria just once, as the home of Osama bin Laden’s mother. Today, by contrast, Syria is widely – and correctly – seen as the cradle of a resurgent al-Qaida: a magnet for jihadist recruits, which offers the networks, skills and motivation needed to produce a new generation of terrorists.

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