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In The Al Qaeda Network: A New Framework For DefiningThe Enemy, Katherine Zimmerman of the American Enterprise Institute describes the terrorist groups affiliated with Al Qaeda. Zimmerman is seen as a leading expert on the Al Qaeda network, having testified about it to Congress and written about it for The Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, and the Huffington Post.

Al Qaeda region 2In her analysis, Zimmerman identified the geographical locations of the groups said to be within the Al Qaeda network. These locations outline an area encompassing parts of Northern Africa and all of the Middle East. This region, in which the entire Al Qaeda network is based, represents about 15% of the total land on planet earth.

What is special about this land that might lead its inhabitants to a life of terrorism? Some, including Zimmerman, say that this region correlates to the land of Islam and that…

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