The Mastery of Renewal: The New Samurai

Al-Qaeda's new affiliate structure has been underpinned by a communitarian ideology that has proved to be a fruitful avenue for its great adaptive capacity
La maestría de la renovación: los nuevos samuráis 


9/11 marked an evolutionary breakthrough in Al-Qaeda's organisation

Al-Qaeda has shown its capacity for renewal; change for the sake of change is not innovation. By modifying the structure, strategy and philosophy, but maintaining the same tactics, the organisation has found the perfect point of equilibrium that will allow it to continue moving forward. Such a balance point most clearly reflects a parallel between the new Al-Qaeda and the samurai culture of feudal Japan, eradicated after more than 700 years of history, which tends to repeat itself.

New structure: affiliates

9/11 was a turning point from which the organisation showed a great adaptive capacity that has allowed it to position itself as the arrowhead of the global jihadist movement. Al-Qaeda "organisation" in states prior to that date, grouped and coordinated to achieve set objectives.  The model was pyramidal, hierarchical and vertical, thus resulting in a network of branches.

The division and specialisation of its components demanded a strict distribution of operations, while at the strategic level it was a centralised structure, at the tactical level it was more disjointed. It was a group of individuals with conditioned autonomy and with very marked characteristics1 that made up a subordinate structure with a view to achieving certain objectives.

Diagrama 1. Estructura jerarquizada de Al-Qaeda antes del 11 S.

After the World Trade Center disaster, the global jihadist network disintegrated and the networks of subordinate branches were eliminated. Branches emerge as a separate identity from the parent organisation, although they continue to appear as an extension of it in the different territories. Subsidiaries act on their own account and at their own risk, but take into account the rules of the parent organisation. They are made up of a set of operationally independent individuals and groups with a shared ideology.3  

In contrast, in the previous branch mode, they were secondary to a parent organisation. For this reason, and being a division of degree, they carried out different activities whose specialisation allowed for a functional distribution. The branches were dependent, and were therefore in a subordinate relationship, since they only made sense in conjunction with the parent organisation. 

The centralised and hierarchical structure disappears, giving way to an organisation made up of three compartmentalised sub-systems with varying degrees of independence. The new system requires little effort to coordinate between branches, partners and the central core;4 the distribution of tasks and functions, formalised regulations, links and specialisations disappears: 

  1. The first subsystem was still composed of the heads of the organisation, but now with the difference that its core of power was more diffuse, due to the arrest or death of the leaders of the old hierarchical system. Ayman al-Zawahiri's weight today is a far cry from Bin Laden's leadership.
  2. The second subsystem is made up of affiliates with close ties and the capacity to act at any time, specifically linked to radicalisation missions (mobilisation, propaganda and recruitment).5 AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) Al-Shabbaab (Al-Qaeda in the Horn of Africa-Somalia) Al-Nursa Front (Syria) AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) among others, make up an interweaving of independent and self-managed affiliates.

The affiliates now form the backbone of the structure, unlike in the hierarchical system where an Al-Qaeda without Bin Laden was not envisaged. Nowadays, leaders are replaced, the important thing is that they remain loyal to the central core. Al-Qaeda would not exist without affiliates, whereas previously they would not exist without Al-Qaeda. 

In the third subsystem are the "collaborators" who, without direct links, join the cause despite their limited resources and training. It is common to find groups or individuals in the common ideology of jihadist Salafism, as well as tribal leaders who facilitate the transfer of weapons, money and movement of individuals.6 

Diagrama 2. Estructura en red de Al-Qaeda después de 11-S.

It is important to point out that such a system of affiliates should not be confused with a simple organisation of affiliates, as sometimes the very nodes that link them together form another independent affiliate.7 A clear example is AQIM's expansion into countries such as Mali, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia and Niger. There, new affiliates such as the GICL in Libya, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM, the Al Qaeda affiliate) in Mali, or the Uqba bin Nafti Battalion (KUBN) in Tunisia are formed.8 Like a family tree, they start from a central trunk but with total independence. 

Extrapolating from feudal Japan, in the early days the samurai were organised in vertically structured clans with a lord-vassal relationship, similar to the hierarchical system of Al-Qaeda in the pre-9/11 period. Over time, these early clans joined together into larger clans through alliances, marriages and adoptions, forming more complex and powerful structures10 that are more closely related to today's affiliate system. 

From its origins as (MAK)11 , Al-Qaeda has transformed itself by showing great resilience and outstanding adaptability.12 Such adaptability has allowed the organisation to shape a new war paradigm known as swarming13 that forces its enemies to take up defensive positions in numbers, making them more vulnerable. This is why it makes no difference how many times the organisation is dismantled or its leaders captured, it always continues its activities after successful regeneration.14  

New strategy: comprehensive, moderate and silent
Diagrama 2. Estructura en red de Al-Qaeda después de 11-S.

The sentiments of the French Revolution resurfaced during the Arab Spring, the passions that invaded its streets in 1789 brought change and with it new opportunities for organisation. These social movements rather than a milestone for equality have led to a power shift in which some terrorist organisations have become embedded. Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of the conjuncture of this social movement to reconfigure itself and rise from the ashes. Moreover, the conflict with the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) has meant that this process can take place in the 'shadows'. 

While the Islamic State fights against the West, Al-Qaeda has remained active through a restructuring based on an enhanced strategy. Focusing on decentralising the organisation to gain a global reach, it has taken advantage of its gift of alliances that the Islamic State lacks, benefited from the backlash against terrorist violence in recent years to declare itself a moderate extremist organisation, and protected itself from the West by using ISIS as a shield.15 

Aymán al-Zawahirí, leader since 2 May 2001, and promoter of a decentralised structure, solidifies the resurrection of the organisation in three strategic moves: 

Decentralisation and a global approach to jihadism. 

  • The adoption of moderate extremism, avoiding mass Muslim casualties. 
  • Silent reconstruction. 
  • This strategy has allowed them to position themselves today as the jihadist terrorist organisation with the greatest potential. The Arab Spring, as well as the confrontation with the leading role of the Islamic State, have led to the simulation of a strange "calm combat".  

Sun Tzu stated in the Art of War: "the victor does not adopt a permanent Structure "16 , what he did not qualify was that along with this structural renewal the strategy must also vary17 , a synergy of joint actions. 

This is why a decade later the organisation detected such a need, and by virtue of the opportunities afforded by the Arab protests of 2010-2012, it began to consolidate itself as a global organisation; one of moderate extremism and quieter than usual. 

During the almost 700 years of samurai history, they have been characterised by what was known as "musha shugyô", a pilgrimage with religious and ascetic connotations, without ceasing to be something typical of the Japanese warrior nobility. The aim was to exchange martial experiences while establishing two-way communication links between different clans and fiefdoms.18 

Under a similar religious-political connotation Al-Qaeda simulates such a pilgrimage through a process of global jihad, replacing clans and fiefdoms with a system of affiliates, the organisation aims to establish its ideology in the same way as warriors exchanged their martial experiences. 

New philosophy: communitarianism
Diagrama 2. Estructura en red de Al-Qaeda después de 11-S.

Al-Qaeda's structure changed after 9/11 (2001) and its strategy with the Arab Spring (2010-2012), al-Qaeda also changed its philosophy. The idea of traditional organisation disappeared in favour of an intertwining of communities.19 The former hierarchical al-Qaeda no longer resembled a centralised state governed by a single sovereign monopoly, but a set of modelled sovereignties. 

These articulated sovereignties make up what we understand within communitarianism as "communities". Communitarians, in contrast to statists20 , are advocates of dialogue without limits, promoting the recognition of different branches or communities. 

Communitarists defend the idea of state protection of communities without having to supplant them, which does not fit in well with a centralist or peripheral structure of claiming a state or new states endowed with greater uniformity. 

The evolution of this Islamic communitarianism does not curtail freedoms, but enhances them. This freedom encourages creativity and aspires to allow affiliates to recognise themselves in the plural vitality of jihadist communities. An idea of shared identity emerges that is not dependent on any one power, thus increasing the possibilities for participation on the basis of a common ideology. 

The most studied collective decline in history was that of the Roman Empire, which is why I would like to quote Saint Augustine of Hippo21 , for whom the cause of such decline is injustice: "An unjust state cannot endure despite the great successes it has achieved". This is why al-Qaeda's new discourse centred on a communitarian vision of differentiated cooperation22 , free and benevolent, characteristics necessary for the advancement and progress of any civilisation.23 

The organisation embraced the phenomenon of "strangeness": Communities or affiliates exist because differences exist, hence strangeness is a consequence of distinction and plurality. Such differentiation is what justifies both exclusion and inclusion. The organisation adopted ideological minimum standards of equality, much as developed countries do in relation to human rights. Estrangement implies distinction, but not isolation, so affiliates are structured in a joint framework. 

One of the communitarian teachings is based on "Diversity in Unity" which can be explained as follows: from the inside in, maximum diversity, from the outside out maximum unity.24 The communitarian ideology promotes the performance of its functions without dirigisme and investment in infrastructures that enable the development of new and better communities25 , such as universal access to communication between branches. 

The last of the reasons for al-Qaeda's metamorphosis is freedom.26 Increasing the freedom of jihadist cells or communities means survival. It is not equality that keeps a collectivity thriving; equality excludes "strangeness" so that a distinction of affiliates would not be possible.  

Al-Qaeda has evolved on the basis of a communitarian ideology that has allowed it to generate a structure of affiliates through the recognition of multiple decentralised communities at the strategic level. These affiliates27 have boundaries marked by the "strangeness" that allows it to open itself inwardly to the global jihad and close itself off to its retractors. Unity is strength and the more diversity the better, with a common ideological base the organisation promotes justice and freedom as guiding principles. 

The new communitarian philosophy grants a freedom similar to that available to the Ronin in Japan between 1185 and 1868. A Ronin was a samurai without a master: such freedom took on a negative connotation due to the causes that generated it,28 but the freedom that Al-Qaeda grants its affiliates takes on a positive characterisation. 

The ronin, also known as "wave men" or "wanderers", despite their situation, remained faithful to their code of ethics: bushido. Under these premises, the organisation has taken advantage of the positivity that such freedom granted to the masterless samurai in order to keep its affiliates free and loyal within a communitarian model. 

Same tactic: the way of the samurai
Diagrama 2. Estructura en red de Al-Qaeda después de 11-S.

It is common to assume that strategy is about what and why, while tactics tell us how and when. Strategy tells us where we are going and tactics tells us how we are going.29 Sunt Zu said: "strategy without tactics is the slowest road to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise that prevails over defeat. 

Al-Qaeda currently has a well-defined strategy, yet it seems to lack any tactics. However, it is worth remembering that the organisation has developed the Art of War to perfection, "the whole art of war is based on deception "31 and such a deception may appear to be just that, deception. 

Hagakure, meaning "hidden under the leaves", is an ancient compendium of chivalry written in the early 18th century by Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It embodies the teachings of Bushido, translated as "the way of the warrior", which endowed the samurai with a code of conduct and a way of life that made them one of the most influential military elites in history. Under the principles of loyalty, duty and courage, they defended their shoguns or feudal lords. 

In "notes on the martial arts" the breviary reveals that the best tactic is to have none at all. No tactics, quiet victory. Al-Qaeda is absent from applying any tactics as the Japanese warriors did: 

  1. Recklessness 

One of the samurai lessons states: "On the battlefield if we begin to be prudent, we can never cease to be prudent. Prudence does not get you through enemy lines. When we stand before the tiger's den, recklessness is the most advisable thing to do. Therefore, if we are informed about military tactics, we will harbour many doubts that will never go away. My descendants will not participate in military tactics".32 

The Charlie Hebdo attack was carried out by a well-organised cell linked to Al-Qaeda.33 The terrorists conducted reconnaissance beforehand, but in no case did they have a tactic as such; reckless, the jihadists made certain mistakes (such as forgetting their ID card at the scene of the crime or first moving into the wrong building) yet they moved calmly and stealthily. Their objective was the elimination of the management of the Charlie Hebdo publishing house, unquestionably without tactics and recklessly.34 

  1. Action without reflection  
  2. Diagrama 2. Estructura en red de Al-Qaeda después de 11-S.

Another teaching testifies: "There is one thing that every young samurai should pay attention to. During times of peace, when we hear anecdotes about war, we should never say, 'What should we do in such a situation?' Such words are out of place. How can a man who harbours doubts in his own room be successful in battle? There is a saying: "Whatever the circumstances, the warrior's mind must always be set on victory. We must be the first to raise the spear and strike with it. Even if you have decided to put your life at risk, nothing can be done when the situation does not go according to plan. "35 

For al-Qaida, there is no such thing as a time of peace; steadfastness is the key to success. Lone wolves seem to be warriors without reason, individuals who are ideally suited to apply these precepts. This is why Aymán Al-Zawahirí in 2015 already rewarded action over reflection: "I call on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusaders." "We must now focus on taking the war to the heart of the crusaders' homes and cities. "36 

  1. Detachment 

The Hagakure states: "If a warrior is too preoccupied with such things as life and death, he will be of no use. The saying: 'All skills come from the mind' gives the impression that it has to do with feelings, but in reality it is about detachment from life and death. It is through this detachment that we can achieve any feat. The martial arts and other comparable disciplines have to do with this insofar as they lead to the Path. "37 

Al-Qaeda's Path is jihad and the guidance of jihad is the Koran. Extreme interpretations of some of the Qur'anic verses encourage detachment from life by inciting to die for the cause: 

"And whether you are killed by Allah or die a natural death, Allah's forgiveness and mercy are better than what they amass "38. 

"And if ye die a natural death or are slain in the way of Allah, ye shall, yea, be gathered/taken to Allah. "39 

"And think not that those who have fallen for Allah are dead: on the contrary! They are alive and sustained together with their Lord". 40 

  1. Courage 

The way of the samurai advised against: "Learning such things as military tactics is useless. If we do not merely attack by closing our eyes and throwing ourselves against the enemy, even for a single step, we will be of no use at all. "41 

It is important to note that despite the lack of military tactics, the samurai had a number of basic formations at their disposal, which are related to those used by Al-Qaeda. 

Gyōrin vs Suicide vehicles

Favoured by the samurai was the Gyōrin (fish scales)42; its purpose was to attack a single sector to break enemy ranks. This did not require extensive training, it was simply enough. Failure to appreciate and assess the possible consequences is common in Al-Qaeda attacks. A trademark is the use of a suicide vehicle43 , ideal for launching into the enemy by closing their eyes and breaking their ranks.

Saku vs. means of transport

As the years have progressed, this model has faded with increasingly heterogeneous attacks, between 2003 and 2005 the most commonly used methods were attacks against means of transport44 . This new method was more similar to Saku45 (siege), with the Japanese aiming to prevent counter-attacks by exposing another line of warriors (e.g. archers), the jihadists in their case using the civilian population as a shield. 

Ganko vs. lone wolves

Today it is common for them to act alone, to use a short weapon or to declare themselves as "a soldier of the caliphate".46 The Ganko 47 (birds in flight) was a very flexible formation that allowed troops to adjust depending on the opponent's movements. Al-Qaeda has adopted it to perfection, allowing greater leeway for its collaborators while commanders are positioned in the rear. 

  1. No mercy 

The warriors learned that: "With the passage of time, the criminal will forget the reasons that led him to commit the crime, it is best to execute him on the spot. "48 

The second deadliest attack in the CIA's history originated in 2010 when, after assassinating several of the organisation's leaders, the Afghan branch attacked a US base in Afghanistan, killing seven of its agents. 

The terrorists claimed: "He avenged our first martyrs, as he wrote in his will. God have mercy on him "49.  

Neither forgetting nor forgiving, samurai and jihadist apply Skinner's operant conditioning theory to perfection; by punishing, the opponent soon learns.50 

  1. Loving uncertainty 

The Japanese breviary states: "When assessing an enemy's castle, there is a saying: 'Smoke and haze are like looking at a mountain in springtime. After the rain has passed, it is like looking at a clear day. Perfect clarity brings weakness.51 

Wherever uncertainty reigns, organisation makes its presence felt. In 2014 more than 32 countries had links with Al-Qaeda, according to the UN Security Council Commission report the number of associated terrorist organisations totalled 63. 52 

Al-Qaeda is now growing; since the Islamic State became the target of a US-led international military coalition, the smoke and haze has increased; the result has been less Islamic State and more al-Qaeda.53 

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Algeria, Syria, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and many others are good breeding grounds to sprout in; uncertainty is to water as fire is to clarity. Al-Qaeda's seed seeks to sow where weakness is plausible and order fades. 

  1. The art of rhetoric

A basic premise states: "The key to oratory is not to speak. If you think you can finish something without speaking, do it without uttering a single word. If something cannot be finished without speaking, say a few words, always in accordance with reason. "54 

"Opening one's mouth thoughtlessly leads to disgrace, and there will be no such occasions when others will turn their backs on us. "55 

Al-Qaeda as a great orator avoids populism of any kind. A populist Islamic State, on the other hand, focuses its discourse on "the idealisation of a way of life, of a golden age to return to... "56 

Al-Qaeda discourses, as political discourses, have the following characteristics:57 

  • There is no discourse without an adversary. 
  • They do not aim to convince but to "recognise, distinguish and confirm supporters, as well as to attract the undecided". 
  • They are strategic discourses; their reality is the only one.58 
  • They clearly define their means, objectives and rivals. 
  • Performative speeches, there is an obligatory connection between word and action.59 

It shows an "order of discourses" where aspects of some are interrelated with others; it is a sermon recontextualised through interdiscursivity.  

Ideological capture: the aim is to intervene on the addressee to make him think, believe or act in a certain way. 

Logical or rhetorical argumentation. 

The simplicity of the scheme allows the organisation to avoid falling into the demagogy of the Islamic State. Fair and measured words at the right moments. Mimicking the introverted samurai has allowed Al-Qaeda to hone its audience's emotional memory, analysis and planning.60 

Diagrama 2. Estructura en red de Al-Qaeda después de 11-S.

  1. Fortitude 

Bushi 61 preached: "Military tactics are of no use to the strong man." When I was a boy, I suddenly realised one day that a warrior is a man who does not appreciate his own life. As I have treasured that idea in my heart for many years, it has become my deepest belief, and today I never think of death. Apart from that I have no convictions at all. "62 

In the 1990s, Islamist-inspired religious terrorism was one of the main challenges to global security, with frequent analyses linking the sheer lethality of attacks and, on occasion, their non-vindication to the fact that the terrorists' main target was divinity.63 

In this sense they resembled the samurai in understanding life and death as mere instruments at the disposal of their mission. That of the former: "to serve their lord with absolute abnegation, as if his body were already dead "64. The terrorists' mission is to fulfil their "supraterrestrial" mission with Allah. 

In the 21st century, Islamic terrorists reinterpreted their mission by adopting a communicative purpose as well. Attacks became a regular accompaniment to political impositions or demands, with the desire to gain the support of certain sectors of society. 

Al-Qaida was inspired by anarchist terrorism and adopted "propaganda by the deed". Tactics became unnecessary; simple action was sufficient to achieve divinity and in turn the best way to achieve the communicative purpose. 

Thus, the strength of the samurai's understanding of death as a simple instrument to accomplish their mission was doubly reinforced within radical Islam. The new interpretation not only enabled them to achieve the Kingdom of Allah, but also gave them the possibility of using their lives as "propaganda for the sake of it", making any tactics dispensable.  

  1. Latent threat 

The Japanese masters taught: "As soon as you peek over the eaves, you are a dead man. As soon as you step out of the door, the enemy lurks." It is not a matter of being cautious, but of considering yourself dead beforehand.65 

Radical Islam operates on a basic premise: "The umma is subjugated and threatened under a global conspiracy against Islam".66  

Samurai and jihadists identify themselves as communities exposed to a continuous threat to which the only response is jihad or holy war for some and the art of the sword for others. 

  1. Patient walker, assured companion

Yamamoto Tsunetomo said: "Others will become your enemies if you rise to prominence too quickly in life. To rise slowly in the world provides allies and ensures happiness. In the long run, whether you are fast or slow, as long as people understand you, there is no danger. It is said that the best fortune is what others wish for you. 

Al-Qaeda has succeeded in persisting as a terrorist structure, spreading global jihadism and conditioning security policies. This spread of global terrorism has been largely a consequence of its slow and sure adaptive capacity.68 

After 9/11, between 2003 and 2007, when it seemed that the organisation was coming to an end, other territorial extensions of the terrorist structure appeared, such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.  

The slow pace of the events led to compression by other groups or organisations with which al-Qaida has developed closer ties. The most notable exponents today are Therik e Taliban Pakistan and As Shabaab in Somalia.  

In addition to such an understanding, individuals and independent cells, which are inspired by Al-Qaeda's generic ideology and guidelines, have also developed a desire to join. 

However, other similar organisations such as the Islamic State have risen to prominence all too quickly; having interested allies means enemies in the future. 

In conclusion, al-Qaida shares with the Japanese warriors these ten premises that show how tactics are unnecessary. That is why, despite renewing its structure, philosophy and strategy, the tactics remain the same: none. (for lovers of qualifiers: "The Way of the Samurai").  


In 1869 the Japanese were forced to open up to the West, thus beginning the beginning of an end where the feudal power was incapable of assuming the modernity that the country needed. 

The last Shoung69 , Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, did not receive samurai instruction, the grandson of a merchant, was educated as a man of letters, which led him to become a compendium of samurai and mercantile values with an ironclad rejection of violence (something innate in the military elite).70 

In addition, from the mid-17th century onwards, a class system prevailed that marginalised the samurai, who had no place in a society of estates where merchants were more prominent.71 

The need to open up to the West, the emergence of a new ruler with a renewed mentality and a new class system would put an end to the figure of the much-feared samurai. 

Almost seven centuries of survival, with comings and goings and with a decline that began to become plausible in the 12th century, the samurai found a new adaptation in the renewed Al-Qaeda. 

Under a strategy of global jihad, a structure of affiliates, a communitarian philosophy and the use of classic samurai tactics, the organisation will enjoy a longevity similar to that of the Japanese military elite. 

Al-Qaida's demise will originate from within when leadership falls to a renewed Islamist, open to the West and under a class system where jihadists are no more than a costly anachronism. 

The changes will come, we will not need seven hundred years, but we will need to count them in hundreds. Al-Qaida has given birth to a global jihad in full swing; they will adapt and renew themselves until the point comes when their leaders look at life more broadly, where nobler and more general issues than those of a "jihadi warrior" attract their attention. 

Modern warfare gives little occasion for its continuous development; history has taught us that whether monarchies, republics, empires or city-states are founded on military virtues (whether as Sparta or Rome) they cannot make on earth a "permanent city". Even if the fighting instinct is universal in man, it does not comprise the whole man. Beneath the fighting instinct ferments an instinct of love.72 

"The opportune moment comes when the need to change generates a desire greater than the inertia of inertia itself to follow". 

"Having no dogma or formula to defend, it may consent to disappear as an entity, like a cherry blossom, it wants to die at the first breath of the morning breeze. But its fate will never be total extinction "73. 

"Separately each one tells his own story, together they can tell the future". 


Jacobo Salvador Micó Faus* 

Independent analyst. 

Bibliographic References 
  1. Characteristics: a) a certain division of tasks and functions involving variations in the level of authority and responsibility of the persons performing each of these tasks and functions; b) a set of formalized and explicit rules that allowed for coordination and supervision of the authorities of each of the organizations; c) a high degree of specialization; d) a highly trained leadership group; and e) a network of organizations linked to the Afghan organization.
  2. SÁNCHEZ, Gema. La reorganización de Al-Qaeda. El viejo Topo, 2009, nº 254, p. 32-37.
  3. MERLOS, Alfonso. “La evolución estructural de Al Qaeda. Ventajas operativas y desafíos para el contraterrorismo”. (Tesis Doctoral. No publicada.) Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid. 2008. pp. 153.
  4. FLERSHMAN, C. “The Business of terror: Conceptualizing terrorist organizations vs Celullar Business”, Analysis of the Center for Defense Information. 2005.
  5. Ejemplos: las cúpulas en Bosnia, Afganistán o Chechenia.
  6. PEREZ, Óscar. “25 años de Al-Qaeda: principio y fin de la red terrorista”. IRG-CBM. 2013.
  7. ARQUILLA, John y RONFELDT, David.  “The advent of netwar”, en Arquilla, J y Ronfeldt, D. In Athena´s Camp. Preparing for conflict in the information age”. Rand, Santa Mónica, California. 1997.
  8. ECHEVARRÍA, Carlos. “Al Qaida en las tierras del Magreb Islámico y otros grupos de su entorno: una compleja red de carácter violento”. Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégico (IEEE), (OI). 2013. Recuperado de :
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  11. Maktab al-Khadamat. Abdullah Azzam representó el movimiento de la yihad armada cuando interpretaron el enfrentamiento al ejército ruso como una lucha contra los enemigos del islam. De este modo originó una fundación enfocada en captar aportes económicos y voluntarios para ayudar a sus hermanos afganos en su lucha contra los ocupantes soviéticos. Tras su muerte, Bin Laden utilizó la infraestructura y conexión de redes para crear su organización, Al-Qaeda.
  12. SÁNCHEZ, Gema. “Las fuentes de financiación legales e ilegales de los grupos terroristas”. Política y estrategia. 2008,  nº 112, p. 1-25.
  13. El enjambramiento consiste en una conducta semejante al agrupamiento que se da en determinados insectos y que se origina cuando unidades dispersas de una red de pequeñas fuerzas convergen sobre un blanco fácil desde varias direcciones”
  14. FORIGUA, Emersson. “Las nuevas guerras: Un enfoque desde las estructuras de las organizaciones”, Pap. Política Bogotá, 2006, vol. 11, nº 1. p. 305-352.
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  19. SÁNCHEZ, Gema. “La reorganización de Al-Qaeda…op. cit.
  20. Nos referimos a Estado como la estructura jerarquiza y centralizada de la “organización” Al-Qaeda antes del 11-S.
  21. Para una beneficiosa relectura del obispo de Tebaste, vid. “La ciudad de Dios”, BAC, Madrid 1988, particularmente, capítulos 23 y 24.
  22. TOYNBEE, Arnold. “Estudio de la historia”. EMECE, 1959,  vol 1. pp. 25 y 306.
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  26. Entendamos por libertad “autonomía”.
  27. Nos referimos a las filiales en términos estructurales. Sin embargo, el termino comunidades posee una connotación filosófica.
  28. Causas por la que un samurái pierde el amo: su amo podría morir o caer del poder o el samurái podría perder el favor de su amo o patrocinio y ser desechado. GREENLANE. ¿Lo que era un Ronin en el japón feudal? [Mensaje en un blog]. 2019. Recuperado de
  29. ROMEVA, Raúl. Esperanza y Libertad. Barcelona, España: Arallibres. 2019.
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  59. "Quien lo sustenta no se limita a informar o transmitir una convicción, sino que también produce un acto, expresa públicamente un compromiso y asume una posición."
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