Beyond Al-Qa'ida: The theology, transformation and global growth of Salafi radicalism since 1979
Contemporary Salafi Radicalism finds its religious roots primarily in the theology of Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab and Sayyid Qutb, while its social roots stem from the cultural, social, political and economic crisis faced by Muslims in the latter half of the 20th Century. These circumstances, along with the Afghan Jihad, led to a transformation of Salafi Radicalism in the 1980's, in which the Saudi and Egyptian expressions of Salafi Radicalism merged. This resulted in an emergence of a radicalized Salafi assemblage that drew in many existing Salafi radical groups in the Muslim world. The end result was a network of semi-independent extremist groups, each capable and willing to commit violent acts against civilians. In order to counter this threat the United States, along with it's allies, must work to defeat the Salafi Radical movement through a combination of military pressure, cultural undermining of radicalism and economic development.