Jump to content

The Missing Narrative on al-Qaeda


Recommended Posts

the-missing-narrative-on-al-qaedaCenter for Strategic Communication:

Karina Sandhu



Beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on May 2, 2011, in the eyes of many Americans, the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, was born, raised, lived, and died. Despite the fact that al-Qaeda was founded in 1989 and continues to exist today, many American citizens seem to have forgotten about the organization.




In a review of the article Terrorism after al-Qaeda; A Change of Course? author Jessica Baran writes “There needs to be a certain novelty behind stories that are covered…” In the 10 years that bin Laden was the face of al-Qaeda, he was front-and-center in the stories that the media covered. His face was as recognizable as the President’s. With bin Laden’s death came the loss of novelty of the narrative of al-Qaeda and terrorism.


Owing to the lack of news coverage, terrorism slowly but surely became less of a threat to homeland security and—if anything—more of a hassle. On September 10th, 2012 a panel of celebrities on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” barely scratched the surface of this topic when they discussed how safe the U.S. is eleven years after the September 11th attacks and the death of bin Laden. The guests mutually decided that airport policies were a hassle and that we were safe enough to quickly move on to a more interesting topic, the popular new novel “50 Shades of Grey.”




The narrative of Osama bin Laden being the biggest threat to the U.S. was an easy one to grasp. We can wrap our heads around fearing a person whose name and face is consistently splashed across TV screens and newspaper headlines. As a culture of storytellers, it’s harder for us to understand an entity that exists in the shadows, such as al-Qaeda. In reaction to our lack of understanding about terrorist organizations, the U.S. media seems to have moved on from discussing the threats that al-Qaeda poses as a terrorist organization. The issue that this brings to the forefront is how we understand continued al-Qaeda-based threats and terrorism in general. While bin Laden may be gone, our understanding of the threat al-Qaeda and terrorism could potentially pose should not be buried with him.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1686428525
  • Create New...