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Al Qaeda's ascendance in Syria

CBS News covers the ascendance of al Qaeda in Syria. Correspondent Lara Logan emphasizes the group's decentralized nature and the consistency of Salafi jihadist ideology, in a rebuke of the distinction of an al Qaeda "core" mentioned in President Barack Obama's speech at the National Defense University on May 23:

"This is not an organization that is divided up into different regions and does their own thing. They are united by their ideology. They make that very plain. they have the same intent. Their intent today is exactly what it was pre-9/11. It's exactly what Osama bin Laden said it was, and it's never changed .... We have this sense that we want to divide everything up .... The fact is, that al Qaeda's ideology is what is at the core."

READER COMMENTS: "Al Qaeda's ascendance in Syria"

Posted by M.H at August 13, 2013 8:45 PM ET:

Beside the ideology, another indication of the unified affiliates is having the same Al-Sahria( Legislation) and the same parliament( Al- Shura), both instruments can be applied in any affiliates despite any ethnic, cultural or geographic difference.

Posted by Dr Shane Lawrence at August 13, 2013 9:53 PM ET:

Obama is right in that there is a central core but this is the
ideology not a core of organisation.It is correct that there are
many close knit organisations linked by the same ideology.Jihad is not always the linking ideology.
Dr Shane Lawrence
Cambridge UK.

Posted by Matt at August 13, 2013 9:58 PM ET:

That maybe true but Bin Laden and Ayman say that only armed resistance can bring down regimes which the west supports dictatorships etc. Not to introduce democracy but a Talib style regime. That is were the freedom agenda came in, you remove yourself from the cross hairs and deny them the support they need among the population for their radical agenda. You can't kill an ideology, but you can deny it oxygen, you can't kill al-Qaida but you can contain it. There is a vacuum it Syria which they have exploited, in Egypt they say see we told you so, not the ballot box the gun. It is how you define al-Qaida 'core' my definition is the members who fled Afghanistan after 9/11 a lot of those chaps ended up in North Africa and then finally Mali. We were not fighting them in Afghanistan they fled and leave the fighting to indigenous forces.The French acted quickly to counter that in Mali so they did not get into a long term brawl with the rebels. And inIraq the majority of al-Qaida recruits were ex saddam military and Sunni tribes. Who swap sides during the awakening leave a small force which was deconstructed and contained. Al- Maliki actions has see an increase in the force structure of al-Qaida. And thus increased terror attacks. So when looking at the end game of the end game of Syria the day after, al-Qaida are their how do you deconstruct and contain it. The template is there you can see it in Iraq and Mali.

Posted by Nic at August 14, 2013 1:42 AM ET:

Lara Logan discusses the War on Terror.