This conference brought together leading scholars and practitioners from the United States, Europe, and the Arab world to examine the complex dynamics underway within al-Qaeda. This included its role in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and North Africa, as well as European influence on the movement, and the broader political and social context within which al-Qaeda operates today.


8:30–9:00 a.m.

9:00–10:15 a.m.
Al-Qaeda in the Levant

  • Fidaa El Itani
  • Nelly Lahoud, U.S. Military Academy at West Point 
  • Joas Wagemakers, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Moderator: Frederic Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

10:15–10:30 a.m.

10:30–11:45 a.m.
Al-Qaeda in North Africa

  • Ismail Alexandrani, Arab Reform Initiative 
  • Anouar Boukhars, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 
  • Frederic Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Bronwyn Bruton, Atlantic Council
  • Moderator: Michele Dunne, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

11:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

12:00–1:00 p.m.
Luncheon Discussion: Al-Qaeda's Curious Comeback
Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University

1:00-1:15 p.m.

1:15–2:30 p.m.
European Influences on Al-Qaeda— and Potential Blowback

  • Farhad Khosrokhavar, Sciences Po  
  • Petter Nesser, Norwegian Defense Research Establishment  
  • Raffaello Pantucci, Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies 
  • Moderator: Sarah Chayes, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

2:30–2:45 p.m.

2:45–4:00 p.m.
Implications for Local and Western Strategies

  • Nadwa Al-Dawsari, Yemeni Tribal Voices blog 
  • Peter Bergen, New America Foundation
  • Jen Easterly, National Security Council
  • Moderator: William McCants, Brookings Institution