Eclectic dissociation is a term used to refer to international networks. There are no patterns for forming groups so they are referred to as eclectic. The groups formed and the outer alliances they form are temporary and dissociate from each other after operations have been completed (White 247).
The lack of structure in jihadist networks after the collapse of Al-Qaida’s hierarchy in October 2001 is a manifestation of eclectic dissociation. The collapse of Jihadist groups was encouraged by the fact that the groups had come together for a common goal. But when the mission ended, each group went its own way. The groups had their own individual leadership whose interest was not the same. The groups that form the jihadist networks are such like the south East Asia group, the Maghreb group, the core Arab group and Saudi peninsula group (White 293).
The groups aim at decentralization as a strategy. This is appropriate for them as it helps them operate more easily. It becomes a problem for security personnel to hunt them down. The lack of structure among the groups is caused by the on and of associations. These groups only come together to fight. They don’t consider other factors when they come together. The religious link is what brings them together in times of need.
A contributing factor to the lack of structure among Jihadist groups is the spatial distance between them. The groups are located wide apart from each other and this does not allow them to come together for purposes of obtaining structure. When war starts, groups rejoin without order but because of their religious affiliation. The wars that these groups fight are not always long lived. Thus forming an organized structure does not help them in any way.
The collapse of Al-Qaida’s hierarchy in 2001, contributed more to the lack of structure to the Jihadist groups. Al-Qaida was the strong link between and among the groups but after its collapse, some leaders broke links and formed their own groups with their followers and new recruits. The groups thus come together when there is an operation to be undertaken and go separate ways after the operation has been fulfilled.