Discourses of terror: The U.S. from the viewpoint of the ‘Other’

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Discourses on terror have been encrypted in the events of 9/11 in 2001 perhaps more than any single event since the end of the Cold War. Even though these discourses are projected as a global phenomenon, very few studies have analysed how they are framed by non-U.S. actors, especially by al-Qaedal and to some extent al-Shabaab. An analysis of discourses of terror by al-Qaeda is invaluable in determining how the U.S. is represented from the perspectives of the “other.” Using Critical Discourse Analysis as an analytic and interpretive framework, this article analyses al-Qaeda declassified intelligence reports captured by the U.S. in order to establish a view of “terror” from an al-Qaeda insider perspective. The article argues that there is a convergence of ideas and overlap in terms of the discourses of terror between the U.S. and al-Qaeda, which is ironic because of the firm distinction made by the U.S. government between “us” – the civilized nations – and “them” – the barbarian, evil murderers of innocent civilians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Linguistics Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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