The al-Qaeda of today is a vastly different entity from the al-Qaeda formed by Osama bin Laden towards the end of the Afghan war against the Soviets in 1988 (Alexander and Swetnam, 2001: 37). The evolution, or as Burton (2006) has termed it “devolution”, of al-Qaeda, is partially linked to its terrorist acts, and, in particular, the counter-terrorist measures employed by governments to deal with them. This is most evident in reference to the single most expensive, in terms of life lost and economical impact, terrorist act in modern history, the destruction of the World Trade Centre, and the subsequent declaration of a “war on terror” by George Bush’s United States and its Allies. It is the actions in response to terrorist acts that has propagated these dynamic changes in the tactics and techniques used by al-Qaeda. This adaptation has seen the ideologies of al-Qaeda survive, despite constraints being placed on its operations. It has also ensured the continued jihad against the near enemy of apostate Islamic governments in the Middle East, and the far enemy of the United States and its Allies (Hoffman, 2004: 553) to further pursue its goal to establish a Caliphate muslim state governed by the Sharia (Alexander and Swetnam, 2001).
There are many variations of the accounts as to how the al-Qaeda network was originally established. The common theme to all of these variations is that al-Qaeda was born out of Soviet-Afghan war, from the training camps set up in Afghanistan and Preshawar, Pakistan, by Osama bin Laden, and others, to combat the Soviet invaders. The original concept of ‘al-Qaeda’ (‘the base’) was a network used as a means of keeping track of mujahideen fighters passing through these camps and also a means of informing families of the fighters about their loved ones (Smith 2002: 35, Alexander and Swetnam, 2002: 4). At the end of the Soviet-Afghan war, some of the foreign mujahideen left Afghanistan to continue jihad with Islamic militant groups in their respective countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa (Martin, 2003: 232). The return of the foreign mujahideen fighters to their countries of origin contributed to the establishment of al-Qaeda as a global network, and helped sew the seeds of the pan-Islamic ideology (Gunaratna, 2002: 4). This ideology of pan-Islamic unity in fighting the common enemy of the unbelievers has set al-Qaeda apart from most other guerrilla and terrorist groups because it is not mono-ethnic, nor nationalist in nature (Gunaratna, 2002: 87).
The ideologies of al-Qaeda take basis in the need for a united Islamic state that is governed by the strict Islamic laws of the Sharia. Muslim governments that do not conform to these laws are seen as apostate, corrupted by Western influence and must be overthrown. This includes the government of bin Laden’s home land, Saudi Arabia, which he has condemned for allowing the US to establish a base of operation during the Gulf War (Martin, 2003: 194). However, it is the US that is the major source of hatred for the al-Qaeda network for many reasons which include the suppression of Iraq, and the continued struggle between US backed Israel and Palestine and US links to the undemocratic Arab regimes. This is evident in the fatwa that he issued in February of 1998 (Simon and Benjamin, 2001: 8): The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies – civilian and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.
Bin Laden has also made statements to justify attacks on American civilians. In these statements he iterates that American civilians live in a morally corrupt society and that it should pay for the foreign policies of its democratically elected government (Blanchard, 2005: 7). This...
Al-Qaeda around the World
By: Kenneth Higgins
Terrorism that has affected the world on a large scale for centuries by many different people groups; over the past century there has been an increase in the frequency and devastation of terrorism attacks. There has also been a concentration in both the target of terrorist attacks and the groups committing these attacks involve innocent peoples. When most people think “terrorism” the first thing that comes to mind for an American is 9/11. With that forethought comes the thoughts of Muslims, Islam, and the often negatively stigmatized Middle Eastern part of the world. Not all Muslims are “terrorists” but they are out there. There are many organizations in the world committing terrorist acts in the world on one of the largest, complex, and most sophisticated Islamic terrorist groups in the world is Al-Qaeda. Created only 25 years ago, they have grown into one of the largest, most spread out terrorist organizations, and are responsible for some of the most tragic terrorist attacks to have ever taken place in the world. In this paper I will give an overview of Al-Qaeda, including their history, motives, and other topics related to the organization
The history of AlQaeda is somewhat short but very complicated....
...Paper 1 – Al-Qaeda
It would not at all be surprising if this decade comes to be known as the decade of terrorism in years to come. Since the turn of the millennium, terrorism, maybe more than any other global issue or topic, has plagued the world stage with constant news and horror. It can be argued that terrorism is a problem with no solution and no end in sight. The Islamic militant group, Al-Qaeda, is the most well known terrorist organization in the world. Al-Qaedahas been held accountable for some of the most tragic and horrifying acts of terror in history. Still, many people do not fully understand whatAl-Qaeda is, who is behind it, and why it exists. A fluid, agreed-upon definition does not exist for the extremist organization, run by Osama bin Laden and responsible for the September 11th terrorist attacks, but rather a multitude of beliefs on the number, strength, and whereabouts of Al-Qaeda.
Most researchers and historians point to August 11th, 1988 as the origin of Al-Qaeda as an organized group. However, it was the events leading up to this meeting that caused Osama bin Laden and a small group of extremist leaders to officially organize what had grown into a large, strong Islamic following. From December...
...AlQaeda Terrorist Group
University of Phoenix
December 8, 2005
AlQaeda is arguably the most well-known and most dangerous Islamic terrorist organization in the world. It was established around 1990 by a Saudi millionaire, Osama Bin Laden, to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion. The goal of the organization is to reestablish the Muslim state throughout the world. AlQaeda works with allied Islamic extremist groups to overthrow regimes it deems "non-Islamic" and remove Westerners from Muslin countries. Groups affiliated with AlQaeda have conducted numerous bombings and other violent attacks throughout the world that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. In 1996, Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States, and two years later, he vowed to attack Americans and their allies, wherever they are.
AlQaeda is the leading multi-national Islamic terrorist network. It was founded and is still led by Osama Bin Laden, a multimillionaire from Saudi Arabia who became an active Islamist in 1979, when he went to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. Though AlQaeda financially and operationally supports Islamist terror groups around the globe, its core remains Bin Laden and the Arabs who...
...America’s strategy to combat terrorism, resulting from Al-Qaeda’s 2001 attacks, falls short of its intent to defeat transnational terrorism. While the tenets of the current counterterrorism strategy were written broadly to enable global employment, this template approach proved ineffective. While focusing its efforts on dismantling terrorist organizations in Afghanistan and Iraq, America neglected parts in Southeast Asia that provided sanctuary to Islamic terrorists. Such sanctuaries facilitated the regrouping, recruiting, and training of Al-Qaeda operatives to conduct subsequent attacks against America and its allies throughout the world. The central research question is: What strategy can I employ to eliminate Al-Qaeda’s influence throughout the Southeast Asian countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines? Recommended strategy changes were generated from applying a three-step analysis approach. First, analyzing the adversary established a foundation from which to develop recommendations to counter Al-Qaeda’s operations. Second, analyzing three Southeast Asian governments’ responses to terrorist threats within their country assisted in the formulation of a counterterror strategy for the region. Finally, the analysis of the current counterterror strategy resulted in recommended adjustments to each of America’s instruments of national...
In 1988, one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the world was formed. They call themselves al-Qaeda, which translates from Arabic to “The Base”, and originated in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda is an international terrorist organization and are considered the top threat to the United States of America. The biggest attack that the group has planted was the events of September 11, 2001. When the U.S. responded with the War on Terror in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda relocated to Pakistan. Intelligence agencies have found that the organization is slowly regrouping and regaining strength of Afghanistan borders.
History of Al-Qaeda
There is no exact date to which al-Qaeda was formed, but researchers say it was sometime around August of 1988 by Osama Bin Laden. It is formed by Islamic “Holy Warriors” and its main purpose in 1988 was to help fight off the Soviets in Afghanistan. According to GlobalSecurity.org, “al-Qaeda helped finance, recruit, transport and train thousands of fighters from dozens of countries to be part of an Afghan resistance to defeat the Soviet Union.” The groups current goal is a “global jihad”: to rid all Muslim countries, which is what they see as an influence of the West,...
...terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and the North American based Christian terrorist group the Army of God obviously sympathize with that statement. Each organization has set personal vendettas against the United States and the policies the US has established regarding their stray from the conservative, traditional practices within each of their faith traditions. Through that warring, essentially extremist ideology,Al-Qaeda and the Army of God have set themselves apart from their religious affiliates, outside the mainstream philosophies of Islam and Christianity. However, as erratic and irrational as these groups’ principles seem, their backgrounds and ideologies lend some sort of practical insight into the minds of these organizations, who have seemingly defied the very foundations of their faiths. From the warring mountain regions of Afghanistan to an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida, these two organizations, hundreds of miles apart and centered around two different religions, are eerily linked in the violence and terror they instill upon the unsuspecting public.
In order to fully understand the Muslim jihadist group Al-Qaeda and their position outside of mainstream Islam, one must understand where they began and who helped bring them to such prominence. This is where Osama Bin Laden, America’s most wanted man...
Al-Qaeda Terrorist Network
Have you ever wonder what is the biggest terrorist network?? I bet you haven’t, but
wait.... there is not just one there is more than just one network. As one of the biggest terrorist
network, Al-Qaeda takes the number one spot globally. It’s a network that’s led by Muslims and
Islamist people. In examining problems caused by ignorance and hate, I will focus specifically on
how this concepts have contributed to terrorism globally and the frightening of its people and I
will discuss what is being done about it by our country and its allies.
Terrorism has caused a problem all around the globe. There has been myths that currently
exist about this problem. Its been said that terrorism is a global problem and its being lead by Al-
Qaeda the biggest terrorist network known about. “Terrorism lead by Al-Qaedahas been has been
compromising both a multinational stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling
for global Jinab”(Al-Qaeda.) This is important in different ways, Al-Qaedahas many networks
which add up to just one big network. This is important because all this networks are adding up
not to just one big link...
...Inside Al-Qaida: Ideology, Structure, Targets, and Tactics
Columbia Southern University
October 30, 2012
Inside Al-Qaida: Ideology, Structure, Targets, and Tactics
The purpose of this paper is to briefly describe and analyze the USA Patriot Act and its abilities to prevent, protect, and/or respond to current and/or future Al-Qaida terrorists attacks.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 of Al-Qaida’s workers hijacked four
U.S. commercial airliners for use as suicide weapons, killing 2,972 people making it the most deadly act of terrorism and the first known suicide terrorist attack in the U.S. “How much freedom are Americans willing to give up for safety from terrorists?” This question, proposed by a January 2003 feature in USA Today newspaper, resides at the center of debates about homeland security. More than a year after 9/11 terrorists attacks on the U.S., the federal government’s stepped up security efforts are still a major focus today” (Torr, 2004).
New homeland security measures weighed by policy makers and outside viewers using two values: “their success in preventing terrorist attacks and the impact it would have on the American people”. It included a combination of efforts to prevent terrorist attacks such as random bag checks at the airport, as well as wide-ranging policies in the way intelligence was...