The death of Osama bin Laden and the decline of “Al Qaeda central” will transform the war on terror but not end it. The new threats will come from Salafi jihadi syndicates like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which appears to be adopting more global ambitions, and from global jihadist subsidiaries like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). As a result, the threat will shift from the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater to other places like the Arabian Peninsula.
We have asked Christopher Swift to assess these new threats and ways to respond to them. As the author of a forthcoming book The Fighting Vanguard: Local Insurgencies in the Global Jihad, Dr. Swift is well-positioned to address these issues authoritatively. He is an attorney and political scientist specializing in international law and contemporary armed conflict at the University of Virginia Law School’s Center for International Security Law, and has traveled to Afghanistan, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. Dr. Swift served in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, where he enforced economic sanctions programs targeting terrorist syndicates, weapons proliferators, and other specially designated entities.
Dr. Swift has appeared as a guest analyst for CNN International, BBC News, National Public Radio, RT Television, Voice of America and other leading international broadcast media. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics & International Studies from the University of Cambridge.