A FESTIVAL OF 5GW FUN
“Al Qaeda started off as a dense network of highly connected individuals that conducted training etc in the hills of Afghanistan. Once they were smashed by the US and ran to the hills the amount of direct control held by bin Laden diminished greatly. Direct interaction was replaced by globally distributed passive communication that outlined the group’s objectives, and an even more distributed network was left on their own to do what they can for “the cause”: we had the disappearance of Al Qaeda the “terrorist organization”, and the appearance of Al Qaeda the “movement.” There were all sorts of groups that stood up to claim membership to the greater network of AQ after committing some act. Look at “Al Qaeda in Iraq” and other regional franchises of the organization. Copycat groups like the London bombers also appeared.
Now, maybe a core organization of Al Qaeda still exists, but there seems to be a much more loose global community surrounding the AQ idea. This begs the question: could AQ 2.0, or even some future “terrorist organization”, be the result of an emergent community? Emergence is a bottom-up organization of complex systems, where a “number of agents operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviours as a collective.”
Further 5GW Links: