The Business Habits of Highly Effective Terrorists: Why Terror Masterminds Rely on Micro-Management
In addition to being a ruthless jihadist, Ayman al-Zawahiri long ago earned a reputation for being a terrible boss. When he took over al Qaeda in 2011, senior U.S. intelligence officials were already pointing out his penchant for micro-management. (In one instance in the 1990s, he reached out to operatives in Yemen to castigate them for buying a new fax machine when their old one was working just fine.) Reports that last week’s terror alert was triggered when Zawahiri reached out to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, his second-in-command and the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -- a communication that Washington predictably managed to intercept -- only hardened the impression that he lacks the savvy to run a global terror organization.
Shapiro, JN. The Business Habits of Highly Effective Terrorists: Why Terror Masterminds Rely on Micro-Management. Foreign Affairs Online, August 14, 2013.