Thursday, February, 16, 2023

Leadership and Succession in Terrorist Organizations, New America ONLINE

[ONLINE] – Terror in Transition
Leadership and Succession in Terrorist Organizations

What is the role of founding leaders in shaping terrorist organizations? What follows the loss of a formative leader? Following the killing of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan, who himself took over after the killing of al Qaeda’s founding leader, Osama Bin Laden, these questions are taking on renewed importance. In their book Terror in Transition: Leadership and Succession in Terrorist Organizations, Tricia L. Bacon and Elizabeth Grimm examine how religious terrorist groups manage and adapt to major shifts in leadership. Bacon and Grimm highlight similarities between Islamic terrorist groups abroad and Christian white nationalist groups such as the 1920s Ku Klux Klan.

Join New America’s International Security Program as it welcomes the co-authors of Terror in Transition for a discussion of the issues surrounding transitions in terrorist group leadership. Tricia L. Bacon is associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University and director of the Policy Anti-Terrorism Hub. In addition to Terror in Transition, she is the author of Why Terrorist Groups Form International Alliances (2018) and previously spent ten years working on counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State. Elizabeth Grimm is an associate professor of teaching in the Security Studies Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is also the author of How the Gloves Came Off: Lawyers, Policy Makers, and Norms in the Debate on Torture (2017).

Join the conversation online using #TerrorinTransition and following @NewAmericaISP.


Tricia L. Bacon, @tricbacon
Co-Author, Terror in Transition
Associate Professor, American University

Elizabeth Grimm, @ProfLizGrimm
Co-Author, Terror in Transition
Associate Professor, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University


Peter Bergen, @peterbergencnn
Vice President, New America
Co-Director, Center on the Future of War, ASU