Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Studies

First Advisor

Isaac Kamola


2014 marks the first time that al Qaeda’s supremacy in the Jihadist community has been challenged. al Qaeda’s former franchise in Iraq, now called the “Islamic State,” has declared the organization responsible for 9/11 “Tyrants” and “Apostates.” The Islamic State has begun openly attacking al Qaeda’s official franchise in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra. These events are a consequence of the strategy of franchising that al Qaeda undertook following 9/11. The root of the issue between al Qaeda and its former Iraqi franchise is over a difference over the importance placed on popular support as a key ingredient in achieving the larger objectives of Global Jihad. This schism in the jihadist community will have a large impact on al Qaeda, as well as implications for United States security policy.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Full text access is limited to the campus only.