Former Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar Mark Stout has co-authored an article in the current issue of the journal Intelligence and National Security, entitled "Al Qaida's Views of Authoritarian Intelligence Services in the Middle East."
Stout and his colleague, Jessica Huckabey of the Institute for Defense Analyses, argue that Al Qaida and its jihadist allies shape their plans and operations substantially in response to threats they face from authoritarian intelligence services of the Middle East. While most jihadists initially believed that victory over their 'near enemies' - so-called 'apostate' regimes - should be their top priority, the ruthlessly effective security apparatuses of their home countries were significant factors in the transition to 'global jihadism', which emphasized the fight against the 'far enemy': the United States.
The article presents Al Qaida's views of the region's domestic intelligence services by examining captured documents and open source materials. It is available on the journal's website (payment necessary).