Washington: A RAND study has found out that the number of al Qaeda affiliates has expanded but the terror network has become more diffused and decentralised.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that most al Qaeda affiliates and allies are not actively plotting attacks against the US homeland.
Seth Jones, an analyst at the RAND Corporation, said that there has been a net expansion in the number and geographic scope of al Qaeda affiliates and allies over the past decade.
Jones further added that the Arab uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East have created an opportunity for al Qaeda affiliates and allies to secure a foothold in those regions.
According to the report, most of al Qaeda`s local affiliates largely run their operations autonomously, though they still communicate with core leadership in Pakistan and may seek strategic advice.
Al Qaeda documents have disclosed that both Osama bin Laden and the current Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, primarily emphasised guerrilla campaigns to overthrow apostate governments in the Middle East.