Thesis Title

Getting through the Maze : An Analysis of Al-Qaeda Recruiting Techniques


Ryan Moyer

Date of Graduation

Spring 2012


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Mark Schneider


al-Qaeda, recruitment, strategies, terrorism, individuals, internet, madrassas, mosque, prisons

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


When al-Qaeda struck the United States with its attacks on September 11, 2001, the West had to begin dealing with a terror organization spread all over the world. To eventually topple al-Qaeda, the United States must understand how al-Qaeda recruits and the avenues they use to access potential recruits. The work in this thesis suggests that focusing on the individual level is where terror recruiting begins. After examining the radicalizing elements that drive an individual to embrace terrorism, it is apparent that there is not one single factor that leads one down the path to terrorism, but a series of elements and techniques which combine to make an individual more susceptible to recruitment. In order to fight terrorism effectively , it must be addressed at all levels. The recruitment of new members into this terrorist organization has evolved with the times, actively targeting recruits in prisons, mosques, and madrassas, as well as finding new members online or by individual recruitment. Taking steps such as winning Iraq and Afghanistan and increasing public diplomacy can be used effectively to curb


© Ryan Moyer