The Salafi Jihadist Threat in Lebanon – by Matteo Tomasini

In the last few years, particularly after the May 2007 fighting in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al‐Barid, the threat of al‐Qaeda establishing a base in Lebanon from which to wage its global jihad has become a cause for concern for most of the international community.
This paper will examine to what extent this concern is justified by tracing the history of Salafi jihadism in Lebanon and analyzing its future prospects with an emphasis on the likelihood al‐Qaeda will choose to open a new front in Lebanon. The paper concludes with a range of policy prescriptions intended to help Lebanon and the international community counter the growth of al‐Qaeda and Salafi jihadism in general.

Matteo Tomasini, Fletcher MALD 2010, is a second‐year student concentrating in International Security Studies and Foreign Policy Analysis with a focus on the Middle East. He is also a research assistant at the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies.

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