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{{redirect|Al-Qaidah|the Iraqi newspaper|Al-Qaidah (newspaper)}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Salafi jihadist organization}}{{Use American English|date=May 2015}}{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2018}}

SPECIAL REPORTS â€“ THE SALAFIST MOVEMENT: AL QAEDA'S NEW FRONT>URL=HTTPS://WWW.PBS.ORG/WGBH/PAGES/FRONTLINE/SHOWS/FRONT/SPECIAL/SALA.HTMLFIRST=BRUCEPUBLISHER=WGBH EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATIONACCESSDATE=OCTOBER 18, 2011, GELTZER>FIRST1=JOSHUA A.DATE=2011ISBN=978-0415664523EDITION=REPRINT, QutbismWright, Looming Tower, 2006, p. 79Pan-IslamismHTTP://WWW.SPIEGEL.DE/INTERNATIONAL/0,1518,369448,00.HTML >TITLE=THE FUTURE OF TERRORISM: WHAT AL-QAIDA REALLY WANTS DATE=SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20120307084609/HTTP://WWW.SPIEGEL.DE/INTERNATIONAL/0%2C1518%2C369448%2C00.HTML URL-STATUS=DEAD LOCATION=LONDONURL-STATUS=DEADARCHIVEDATE=JANUARY 12, 2012, HTTP://WWW.THEPOLITIC.COM/ARCHIVES/2005/07/27/JIHADISTS-WANT-GLOBAL-CALIPHATE/>TITLE=JIHADISTS WANT GLOBAL CALIPHATEDATE=JULY 27, 2005ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20110930020925/HTTP://WWW.THEPOLITIC.COM/ARCHIVES/2005/07/27/JIHADISTS-WANT-GLOBAL-CALIPHATE/URL-STATUS=DEADTITLE=AL-QAIDAACCESSDATE=OCTOBER 18, 2011, HTTPS://WWW.THEGUARDIAN.COM/WORLD/2004/MAR/21/ALQAIDA.TERRORISM>LOCATION=LONDONFIRST=JASONTITLE=WHAT EXACTLY DOES AL-QAEDA WANT?Anti-CommunismAnti-ZionismHTTP://CONTENT.TIME.COM/TIME/PRINTOUT/0,8816,17676,00.HTMLWORK=TIMEACCESSDATE=MARCH 22, 2015, weblink" title="">October 6, 2002. Appeared in Al-Qala'a website and then The Observer and The Guardian on November 24, 2002.AntisemitismHTTP://WWW.PBS.ORG/WGBH/PAGES/FRONTLINE/SHOWS/BINLADEN/WHO/INTERVIEW.HTML>ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/19990508145341/HTTP://WWW.PBS.ORG/WGBH/PAGES/FRONTLINE/SHOWS/BINLADEN/WHO/INTERVIEW.HTMLARCHIVEDATE=MAY 8, 1999WEBSITE=ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE, HTTPS://WWW.ADL.ORG/BLOG/ISIS-AUGMENTS-ITS-THREATS-AGAINST-ISRAEL>TITLE=ISIS AUGMENTS ITS THREATS AGAINST ISRAEL, Anti-Defamation League, |clans=Al-Qaeda Central (1988–present)Al-Qaeda in Iraq (2004–2013, became Mujahideen Shura Council in January 2006)Mujahideen Shura Council (January 2006–October 2006, became Islamic State of Iraq in October 2006)Islamic State of Iraq (2006–2013)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (2013–2014)Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (2007–present)Tawhid al-Jihad (2008–present)Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (2009–present)Ansar al-ShariaAl-Shabaab (2010–present)Al-Nusra Front (2012–2017, became Tahrir al-Sham in January 2017)Tahrir al-Sham (alleged, 2017–present)Al-Mourabitoun (2013–2015, joined AQIM in December 2015)Jund al-Aqsa (2014–2017)Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (2014–present)Khorasan GroupAl-Qaeda in Sinai PeninsulaImam Shamil BattalionGuardians of Religion Organization (2018–present)Al-Qaeda Kurdish BattalionsAnsaruAl-Qaeda in Bosnia and HerzegovinaJama'at Nasr al-Islam wal MusliminAbu Hafs al-Masri BrigadesTanzim Qaedat al-Jihad|leaders=Osama bin Laden{{KIA}} (1988–2011)Ayman al-Zawahiri (2011–present)area=WorldwidePredominantly in the Middle East(List of active rebel groups#Groups which control territory|Rebel group with current territorial control in:)
  • SomaliaWEB,weblink War in Somalia: Map of Al Shabaab Control (June 2013), May 31, 2013, August 18, 2014, Political Geography Now, Evan Centanni,
  • SyriaWEB,weblink Prensa Latina News Agency, April 12, 2016,
  • YemenWEB,weblink Aden intelligence service building targeted, August 22, 2015, August 22, 2015, Gulf News, AFP, |strength={hide}unbulleted list
publisher={edih}Qataris provided support to al-Qaeda through the country's largest NGO, the Qatar Charity. Al-Qaeda defector al-Fadl, who was a former member of Qatar Charity, testified in court that Abdullah Mohammed Yusef, who served as Qatar Charity's director, was affiliated to al-Qaeda and simultaneously to the National Islamic Front, a political group that gave al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden harbor in Sudan in the early 1990s.Legal proceedings from the trial United States vs. Enaam M. Arnaout revealed that Qatar Charity was cited by Bin Laden in 1993 as one of the charities used to channel financial support to al-Qaeda operatives overseas.United States vs. Enaam M. Arnaout The same documents also report Bin Laden's complaint that the failed assassination attempt of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had compromised the ability of al-Qaeda to exploit charities to support its operatives to the extent that it was capable of before 1995.It is alleged{{who|date=January 2019}} that the Qatar Charity gave financial support to members of al-Qaeda in Chechnya. This accusation was publicly denied by Hamad bin Nasser al-Thani.WEB,weblink IPT Exclusive: Qatar's Insidious Influence on the Brookings Institution, Qatar Daily Star, June 21, 2016,weblink" title="">weblink May 15, 2016, dead, mdy-all, Qatar Charity is among the NGOs allegedly channelling funds to Ansar Dine in North Mali, according to French military intelligence reports from France's intervention in the country in early 2013.WEB,weblink Qatar Charity, Pioneer and Master of Terror Finance, CATF, Reports,, June 6, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink April 24, 2016, dead, mdy-all, Qatar finances al-Qaeda's enterprises through al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra. The funding is primarily channeled through kidnapping for ransom.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, October 9, 2017, Funding Al Nusra Through Ransom: Qatar and the Myth of "Humanitarian Principle", CATF, Reports,, June 6, 2017, The Consortium Against Terrorist Finance (CATF) reported that the Gulf country has funded al-Nusra since 2013. Al-Awsat estimated that Qatar disbursed $25 million in support of al-Nusra through kidnapping for ransom.صفقة العسكريين: 25 مليون دولار لـ«النصرة».. وهامش تحرك في عرسال | الشرق الأوسط In addition, Qatar has launched fundraising campaigns on behalf of al-Nusra. Al-Nusra acknowledged a Qatar-sponsored campaign "as one of the preferred conduits for donations intended for the group".WEB,weblink Syrian conflict said to fuel sectarian tensions in Persian Gulf, June 21, 2016, WEB,weblink Analysis: Qatar still negligent on terror finance – The Long War Journal, June 21, 2016,


{{Update section|date=August 2016}}In the disagreement over whether Al-Qaeda's objectives are religious or political, Mark Sedgwick describes Al-Qaeda's strategy as political in the immediate term but with ultimate aims that are religious.JOURNAL, SEDGWICK, MARK, Al-Qaeda and the Nature of Religious Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, 10 Aug 2010, 16, 4, 795–814, 10.1080/09546550590906098, On March 11, 2005, Al-Quds Al-Arabi published extracts from Saif al-Adel's document "Al Qaeda's Strategy to the Year 2020".BOOK,weblink Abdel Bari, Atwan, The Secret History of Al Qaeda, 221, University of California Press, 0-520-24974-7, Google Books, March 11, 2005, May 8, 2011,weblink May 12, 2011, live, WEB,weblink single – The Jamestown Foundation, April 12, 2016, {{dead link|date=November 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} Abdel Bari Atwan summarizes this strategy as comprising five stages to rid the Ummah from all forms of oppression:
  1. Provoke the United States and the West into invading a Muslim country by staging a massive attack or string of attacks on US soil that results in massive civilian casualties.
  2. Incite local resistance to occupying forces.
  3. Expand the conflict to neighboring countries, and engage the US and its allies in a long war of attrition.
  4. Convert al-Qaeda into an ideology and set of operating principles that can be loosely franchised in other countries without requiring direct command and control, and via these franchises incite attacks against the US and countries allied with the US until they withdraw from the conflict, as happened with the 2004 Madrid train bombings, but which did not have the same effect with the July 7, 2005 London bombings.
  5. The US economy will finally collapse by the year 2020, under the strain of multiple engagements in numerous places. This will lead to a collapse in the worldwide economic system, and lead to global political instability. This will lead to a global jihad led by al-Qaeda, and a Wahhabi Caliphate will then be installed across the world.
Atwan noted that, while the plan is unrealistic, "it is sobering to consider that this virtually describes the downfall of the Soviet Union."According to Fouad Hussein, a Jordanian journalist and author who has spent time in prison with Al-Zarqawi, Al Qaeda's strategy consists of seven phases and is similar to the plan described in Al Qaeda's Strategy to the year 2020. These phases include:NEWS, Musharbash, Yassir, The Future of Terrorism: What al-Qaida Really Wants,weblink January 15, 2015, Der Spiegel, August 12, 2005,
  1. "The Awakening." This phase was supposed to last from 2001 to 2003. The goal of the phase is to provoke the United States to attack a Muslim country by executing an attack on US soil that kills many civilians.
  2. "Opening Eyes." This phase was supposed to last from 2003 to 2006. The goal of this phase was to recruit young men to the cause and to transform the al-Qaeda group into a movement. Iraq was supposed to become the center of all operations with financial and military support for bases in other states.
  3. "Arising and Standing up", was supposed to last from 2007 to 2010. In this phase, al-Qaeda wanted to execute additional attacks and focus their attention on Syria. Hussein believed that other countries in the Arabian Peninsula were also in danger.
  4. Al-Qaeda expected a steady growth among their ranks and territories due to the declining power of the regimes in the Arabian Peninsula. The main focus of attack in this phase was supposed to be on oil suppliers and cyberterrorism, targeting the US economy and military infrastructure.
  5. The declaration of an Islamic Caliphate, which was projected between 2013 and 2016. In this phase, al-Qaeda expected the resistance from Israel to be heavily reduced.
  6. The declaration of an "Islamic Army" and a "fight between believers and non-believers", also called "total confrontation".
  7. "Definitive Victory", projected to be completed by 2020.
According to the seven-phase strategy, the war is projected to last less than two years.According to Charles Lister of the Middle East Institute and Katherine Zimmerman of the American Enterprise Institute, the new model of al-Qaeda is to "socialize communities" and build a broad territorial base of operations with the support of local communities, also gaining income independent of the funding of sheiks.BBC April 6, 2016


The English name of the organization is a simplified transliteration of the Arabic noun {{transl|ar|DIN|al-qāʿidah}} ({{wikt-lang|ar|القاعدة}}), which means "the foundation" or "the base". The initial al- is the Arabic definite article "the", hence "the base".Arabic Computer Dictionary: English-Arabic, Arabic-English By Ernest Kay, Multi-lingual International Publishers, 1986.In Arabic, al-Qaeda has four syllables ({{IPA|/alˈqaː.ʕi.da/}}). However, since two of the Arabic consonants in the name are not phones found in the English language, the common naturalized English pronunciations include {{IPAc-en|æ|l|ˈ|k|aɪ|d|ə}}, {{IPAc-en|æ|l|ˈ|k|eɪ|d|ə}} and {{IPAc-en|ˌ|æ|l|k|ɑː|ˈ|iː|d|ə}}. Al-Qaeda's name can also be transliterated as al-Qaida, al-Qa'ida, or el-Qaida.WEB,weblink Listen to the U.S. pronunciation,weblink" title="">weblink December 11, 2005, RealPlayer, Bin Laden explained the origin of the term in a videotaped interview with Al Jazeera journalist Tayseer Alouni in October 2001:}}It has been argued that two documents seized from the Sarajevo office of the Benevolence International Foundation prove that the name was not simply adopted by the mujahideen movement and that a group called al-Qaeda was established in August 1988. Both of these documents contain minutes of meetings held to establish a new military group, and contain the term "al-Qaeda".{{Harvnb|Bergen|2006|p=75}}. Wright indirectly quotes one of the documents, based on an exhibit from the "Tareek Osama" document presented in United States v. Enaam M. Arnaout {{Webarchive|url= |date=February 3, 2016 }}.Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook wrote that the word al-Qaeda should be translated as "the database", because it originally referred to the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen militants who were recruited and trained with CIA help to defeat the Russians.NEWS, Robin Cook,weblink Robin Cook: The struggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means, The Guardian, UK, July 8, 2005, May 8, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink May 14, 2011, live, In April 2002, the group assumed the name Qa'idat al-Jihad ( {{transl|ar|DIN|qāʿidat al-jihād}}), which means "the base of Jihad". According to Diaa Rashwan, this was "apparently as a result of the merger of the overseas branch of Egypt's al-Jihad, which was led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, with the groups Bin Laden brought under his control after his return to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s.""After Mombassa {{webarchive |url= |date=May 14, 2013 }}", Al-Ahram Weekly Online, January 2–8, 2003 (Issue No. 619). Retrieved September 3, 2006.


{{See also|Qutbism}}{{Islamism sidebar}}The radical Islamist movement developed during the Islamic revival and the rise of the Islamist movement after the Iranian revolution.Some have argued that the writings of Islamic author and thinker Sayyid Qutb, inspired the al-Qaeda organization.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=332}}. In the 1950s and 1960s, Qutb preached that because of the lack of sharia law, the Muslim world was no longer Muslim, and had reverted to the pre-Islamic ignorance known as jahiliyyah. To restore Islam, Qutb argued that a vanguard of righteous Muslims was needed in order to establish "true Islamic states", implement sharia, and rid the Muslim world of any non-Muslim influences. In Qutb's view, the enemies of Islam included "world Jewry", which "plotted conspiracies" and opposed Islam.{{Harvnb|Qutb|2003|pp=63, 69}}.In the words of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a close college friend of bin Laden: .}}Qutb also influenced bin Laden's mentor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.WEB,weblink How Did Sayyid Qutb Influence Osama bin Laden?,, March 22, 2010, Zawahiri's uncle and maternal family patriarch, Mafouz Azzam, was Qutb's student, protégé, personal lawyer, and an executor of his estate. Azzam was one of the last people to see Qutb alive before his execution.Mafouz Azzam; cited in {{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=36}}. Zawahiri paid homage to Qutb in his work Knights under the Prophet's Banner.WEB,weblink Sayyid Qutb's Milestones (footnote 24),, March 22, 2010, Qutb's argued that many Muslims were not true Muslims. Some Muslims, Qutb argued, were apostates. These alleged apostates included leaders of Muslim countries, since they failed to enforce sharia law.WEB,weblink Qutbism: An Ideology of Islamic-Fascism, DALE C., EIKMEIER, Parameters, Spring 2007, 85–98,weblink" title="">weblink June 9, 2007, The Afghan jihad against the pro-Soviet government further developed the Salafist Jihadist movement which inspired Al-Qaeda.BOOK, Kepel, Gilles, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam,weblink 2002, Harvard University Press., GKJTPI2002, 9780674010901,

Religious compatibility

Abdel Bari Atwan wrote that:}}

Attacks on Civilians

Following its 9/11 attack and in response to its condemnation by Islamic scholars, Al-Qaeda provided a justification for the killing of non-combatants/civilians, entitled, "A Statement from Qaidat al-Jihad Regarding the Mandates of the Heroes and the Legality of the Operations in New York and Washington". According to a couple of critics, Quintan Wiktorowicz and John Kaltner, its provides "ample theological justification for killing civilians in almost any imaginable situation."JOURNAL, Wiktorowicz, Quintan, Kaltner, John, KILLING IN THE NAME OF ISLAM: AL-QAEDA'S JUSTIFICATION FOR SEPTEMBER 11, Middle East Polic, Summer 2003, X, 2, 86,weblink 12 August 2019, Among these justifications are that America is leading the west in waging a War on Islam so that attacks on America are a defense of Islam and any treaties and agreements between Muslim majority states and Western countries that would be violated by attacks are null and void. According to the tract, several conditions allow for the killing of civilians including:
  • retaliation for the American war on Islam which al-Qaeda alleges has targeted "Muslim women, children and elderly";
  • when it is too difficult to distinguish between non-combatants and combatants when attacking an enemy "stronghold" (hist) and/or non-combatants remain in enemy territory, killing them is allowed;
  • those who assist the enemy "in deed, word, mind" are eligible for killing, and this includes the general population in democratic countries because civilians can vote in elections that bring enemies of Islam to power;
  • the necessity of killing in the war to protect Islam and Muslims;
  • the prophet Muhammad, when asked whether the Muslim fighters could use the catapult against the village of (Ta'if7th century: Era of Muhammad|Taif), replied affirmatively, even though the enemy fighters were mixed with a civilian population;
  • if the women, children and other protected groups serve as human shields for the enemy;
  • if the enemy has broken a treaty killing of civilians is permitted.


The Guardian in 2009 described five distinct phases in the development of al-Qaeda: its beginnings in the late 1980s, a "wilderness" period in 1990–1996, its "heyday" in 1996–2001, a network period from 2001 to 2005, and a period of fragmentation from 2005 to 2009.NEWS, Jason Burke, Paddy Allen, yes,weblink The five ages of al-Qaida, The Guardian, UK, March 22, 2010, September 10, 2009,

Jihad in Afghanistan

File:Afghan Muja crossing from Saohol Sar pass in Durand border region of Pakistan, August 1985.png|thumb|CIA-funded and ISI-trained Afghan mujahideen fighters crossing the Durand Line border to fight Soviet forces and the Soviet-backed Afghan government in 1985.]]The origins of al-Qaeda can be traced to the Soviet War in Afghanistan (December 1979 – February 1989). The United States viewed the conflict in Afghanistan in terms of the Cold War, with Marxists on one side and the native Afghan mujahideen on the other. This view led to a CIA program called Operation Cyclone, which channeled funds through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency to the Afghan Mujahideen.WEB, 1986–1992: CIA and British Recruit and Train Militants Worldwide to Help Fight Afghan War,weblink Cooperative Research History Commons, January 9, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2013, The US government provided substantial financial support to the Afghan Islamic militants. Aid to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan mujahideen leader and founder of the Hezb-e Islami, amounted to more than $600 million. In addition to American aid, Hekmatyar was the recipient of Saudi aid.Bergen, Peter L., Holy war, Inc.: inside the secret world of Osama bin Laden, New York: Free Press, 2001. pp. 68–x69 In the early 1990s, after the US had withdrawn support, Hekmatyar "worked closely" with bin Laden.Bergen, Peter L., Holy war, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden, New York: Free Press, 2001., pp. 70–71At the same time, a growing number of Arab mujahideen joined the jihad against the Afghan Marxist regime, which was facilitated by international Muslim organizations, particularly the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK).WEB, Maktab al-Khidamat,weblink January 11, 2006, February 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink February 14, 2007, dead, mdy-all, In 1984, MAK was established in Peshawar, Pakistan, by bin Laden and Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, a Palestinian Islamic scholar and member of the Muslim Brotherhood. MAK organized guest houses in Peshawar, near the Afghan border, and gathered supplies for the construction of paramilitary training camps to prepare foreign recruits for the Afghan war front. MAK was funded by the Saudi government as well as by individual Muslims including Saudi businessmen.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006}}.{{Page needed|date=August 2010}} Bin Laden also became a major financier of the mujahideen, spending his own money and using his connections to influence public opinion about the war.{{Harvnb|Gunaratna|2002|p=19}}. Quotes taken from {{Harvnb|Riedel|2008|p=42}} and {{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=103}}.File:Omar Abdel-Rahman.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Omar Abdel-RahmanOmar Abdel-RahmanFrom 1986, MAK began to set up a network of recruiting offices in the US, the hub of which was the Al Kifah Refugee Center at the Farouq Mosque on Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue. Among notable figures at the Brooklyn center were "double agent" Ali Mohamed, whom FBI special agent Jack Cloonan called "bin Laden's first trainer",Cloonan Frontline interview, PBS, July 13, 2005. and "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel-Rahman, a leading recruiter of mujahideen for Afghanistan. Azzam and bin Laden began to establish camps in Afghanistan in 1987.{{Harvnb|Sageman|2004|p=35}}.MAK and foreign mujahideen volunteers, or "Afghan Arabs", did not play a major role in the war. While over 250,000 Afghan mujahideen fought the Soviets and the communist Afghan government, it is estimated that were never more than 2,000 foreign mujahideen on the field at any one time.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=137}}. Nonetheless, foreign mujahideen volunteers came from 43 countries, and the total number that participated in the Afghan movement between 1982 and 1992 is reported to have been 35,000.THE WAR ON TERROR AND THE POLITICS OF VIOLENCE IN PAKISTAN>URL=HTTP://WWW.JAMESTOWN.ORG/NEWS_DETAILS.PHP?NEWS_ID=54PUBLISHER=THE JAMESTOWN FOUNDATIONARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20061208102951/HTTP://WWW.JAMESTOWN.ORG/NEWS_DETAILS.PHP?NEWS_ID=54, December 8, 2006, Bin Laden played a central role in organizing training camps for the foreign Muslim volunteers."Who Is Osama Bin Laden?". Forbes. September 14, 2001."Frankenstein the CIA created". January 17, 1999. The Guardian.The Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. Mohammad Najibullah's Communist Afghan government lasted for three more years, before it was overrun by elements of the mujahideen.

Expanding operations

Toward the end of the Soviet military mission in Afghanistan, some foreign mujahideen wanted to expand their operations to include Islamist struggles in other parts of the world, such as Palestine and Kashmir. A number of overlapping and interrelated organizations were formed, to further those aspirations. One of these was the organization that would eventually be called al-Qaeda.Research suggests that al-Qaeda was formed on August 11, 1988, when a meeting between leaders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Abdullah Azzam, and bin Laden took place. An agreement was reached to link bin Laden's money with the expertise of the Islamic Jihad organization and take up the jihadist cause elsewhere after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan.{{Harvnb|Wright|2008}}.Notes indicate al-Qaeda was a formal group by August 20, 1988. A list of requirements for membership itemized the following: listening ability, good manners, obedience, and making a pledge (bayat ) to follow one's superiors.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|pp=133–34}}. In his memoir, bin Laden's former bodyguard, Nasser al-Bahri, gives the only publicly available description of the ritual of giving bayat when he swore his allegiance to the al-Qaeda chief.Al-Bahri, Nasser, Guarding bin Laden: My Life in al-Qaeda. p. 123. Thin Man Press. London. {{ISBN|9780956247360}} According to Wright, the group's real name wasn't used in public pronouncements because "its existence was still a closely held secret."{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=260}}.After Azzam was assassinated in 1989 and MAK broke up, significant numbers of MAK followers joined bin Laden's new organization.{{citation needed|date=March 2016}}In November 1989, Ali Mohamed, a former special forces sergeant stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, left military service and moved to California. He traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan and became "deeply involved with bin Laden's plans."{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=181}}. In 1991, Ali Mohammed is said to have helped orchestrate bin Laden's relocation to Sudan.WEB, Osama bin Laden: The Past,weblink January 12, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink February 18, 2007, live,

Gulf War and the start of US enmity

Following the Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan in February 1989, bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 had put the Kingdom and its ruling House of Saud at risk. The world's most valuable oil fields were within striking distance of Iraqi forces in Kuwait, and Saddam's call to pan-Arab/Islamism could potentially rally internal dissent.In the face of a seemingly massive Iraqi military presence, Saudi Arabia's own forces were outnumbered. Bin Laden offered the services of his mujahideen to King Fahd to protect Saudi Arabia from the Iraqi army. The Saudi monarch refused bin Laden's offer, opting instead to allow US and allied forces to deploy troops into Saudi territory.NEWS, Jehl, Douglas, A Nation Challenged: Holy war lured Saudis as rulers looked away, The New York Times, December 27, 2001, A1, B4,weblink September 5, 2009, The deployment angered bin Laden, as he believed the presence of foreign troops in the "land of the two mosques" (Mecca and Medina) profaned sacred soil. After speaking publicly against the Saudi government for harboring American troops, he was banished and forced to live in exile in Sudan.


From around 1992 to 1996, al-Qaeda and bin Laden based themselves in Sudan at the invitation of Islamist theoretician Hassan al-Turabi. The move followed an Islamist coup d'état in Sudan, led by Colonel Omar al-Bashir, who professed a commitment to reordering Muslim political values. During this time, bin Laden assisted the Sudanese government, bought or set up various business enterprises, and established training camps.A key turning point for bin Laden occurred in 1993 when Saudi Arabia gave support for the Oslo Accords, which set a path for peace between Israel and Palestinians.{{Harvnb|Riedel|2008|p=52}}. Due to bin Laden's continuous verbal assault on King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Fahd sent an emissary to Sudan on March 5, 1994 demanding bin Laden's passport. Bin Laden's Saudi citizenship was also revoked. His family was persuaded to cut off his stipend, $7 million a year, and his Saudi assets were frozen.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=195}}.WEB, Osama bin Laden: A Chronology of His Political Life, PBS,weblink/shows/binladen/etc/cron.html, January 12, 2007, December 5, 2006, live, His family publicly disowned him. There is controversy as to what extent bin Laden continued to garner support from members afterwards.WEB, Context of 'Shortly After April 1994',weblink Cooperative Research History Commons, January 12, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink August 19, 2013, In 1993, a young schoolgirl was killed in an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the Egyptian prime minister, Atef Sedki. Egyptian public opinion turned against Islamist bombings, and the police arrested 280 of al-Jihad's members and executed 6.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=186}}. In June 1995, an attempt to assassinate Egyptian president Mubarak led to the expulsion of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), and in May 1996, of bin Laden from Sudan.{{citation needed|date=March 2016}}According to Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the Sudanese government offered the Clinton Administration numerous opportunities to arrest bin Laden. Ijaz's claims appeared in numerous op-ed pieces, including one in the Los Angeles TimesNEWS,weblink Clinton Let Bin Laden Slip Away and Metastasize, Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2001, March 22, 2010, Mansoor, Ijaz, and one in The Washington Post co-written with former Ambassador to Sudan Timothy M. Carney.NEWS,weblink Intelligence Failure? Let's Go Back to Sudan, Carney, Timothy, Mansoor, Ijaz, June 30, 2002, Washington Post, March 13, 2016, Similar allegations have been made by Vanity Fair contributing editor David Rose,NEWS,weblink The Osama Files, Rose, David, January 2002, Vanity Fair, December 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink December 5, 2008, live, and Richard Miniter, author of Losing bin Laden, in a November 2003 interview with World.NEWS,weblink Clinton did not have the will to respond, Belz, Mindy, November 1, 2003, World (magazine), World, December 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink December 6, 2008, live, Several sources dispute Ijaz's claim, including the 9/11 Commission, which concluded in part: }}

Refuge in Afghanistan

After the fall of the Afghan communist regime in 1992, Afghanistan was effectively ungoverned for four years and plagued by constant infighting between various mujahideen groups.{{Citation needed|date=May 2015}} This situation allowed the Taliban to organize. The Taliban also garnered support from graduates of Islamic schools, which are called madrassa. According to Ahmed Rashid, five leaders of the Taliban were graduates of Darul Uloom Haqqania, a madrassa in the small town of Akora Khattak.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2002}}. The town is situated near Peshawar in Pakistan, but the school is largely attended by Afghan refugees. This institution reflected Salafi beliefs in its teachings, and much of its funding came from private donations from wealthy Arabs. Four of the Taliban's leaders attended a similarly funded and influenced madrassa in Kandahar. Bin Laden's contacts were laundering donations to these schools, and Islamic banks were used to transfer money to an "array" of charities which served as front groups for al-Qaeda.{{Harvnb|Napoleoni|2003|pp=121–23}}; {{Harvnb|Akacem|2005}} "Napoleoni does a decent job of covering al-Qaida and presents some numbers and estimates that are of value to terrorism scholars"Many of the mujahideen who later joined the Taliban fought alongside Afghan warlord Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi's Harkat i Inqilabi group at the time of the Russian invasion. This group also enjoyed the loyalty of most Afghan Arab fighters.The continuing lawlessness enabled the growing and well-disciplined Taliban to expand their control over territory in Afghanistan, and it came to establish an enclave which it called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. In 1994, it captured the regional center of Kandahar, and after making rapid territorial gains thereafter, the Taliban captured the capital city Kabul in September 1996.In 1996, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan provided a perfect staging ground for al-Qaeda.{{Harvnb|Kronstadt|Katzman|2008}}. While not officially working together, Al-Qaeda enjoyed the Taliban's protection and supported the regime in such a strong symbiotic relationship that many Western observers dubbed the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as, "the world's first terrorist-sponsored state."WEB,weblink Al-Qaeda Core: A Case Study, p. 11,,weblink 2018-10-10, dead, However, at this time, only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.While in Afghanistan, the Taliban government tasked al-Qaeda with the training of Brigade 055, an elite element of the Taliban's army. The Brigade mostly consisted of foreign fighters, veterans from the Soviet Invasion, and adherents to the ideology of the mujahideen. In November 2001, as Operation Enduring Freedom had toppled the Taliban government, many Brigade 055 fighters were captured or killed, and those that survived were thought to have escaped into Pakistan along with bin Laden.NEWS,weblink Time, Daniel, Eisenberg, Secrets of Brigade 055, October 28, 2001, By the end of 2008, some sources reported that the Taliban had severed any remaining ties with al-Qaeda,NEWS, Robertson, Nic,weblink Sources: Taliban split with al Qaeda, seek peace, CNN, March 22, 2010, however, there is reason to doubt this.Roggio, Bill Taliban have not split from al Qaeda: sources October 7, 2008 The Long War Journal According to senior US military intelligence officials, there were fewer than 100 members of al-Qaeda remaining in Afghanistan in 2009.Partlow, Joshua. In Afghanistan, Taliban surpasses al-Qaeda" November 11, 2009

Call for global Salafi jihadism

{{Expand section|date=September 2009}}In 1994, the Salafi groups waging Salafi jihadism in Bosnia entered into decline, and groups such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad began to drift away from the Salafi cause in Europe. Al-Qaeda stepped in and assumed control of around 80% of non-state armed cells in Bosnia in late 1995. At the same time, al-Qaeda ideologues instructed the network's recruiters to look for Jihadi international Muslims who believed that extremist-jihad must be fought on a global level. Al-Qaeda also sought to open the "offensive phase" of the global Salafi jihad.{{Harvnb|Sageman|2004|pp=48, 51}}. Bosnian Islamists in 2006 called for "solidarity with Islamic causes around the world", supporting the insurgents in Kashmir and Iraq as well as the groups fighting for a Palestinian state.{{Harvnb|Trofimov|2006|p=282}}.


In 1996, al-Qaeda announced its jihad to expel foreign troops and interests from what they considered Islamic lands. Bin Laden issued a fatwa,NEWS, Bin Laden's Fatwa,weblink Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Al Quds Al Arabi, August 1996, January 9, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink January 8, 2007, live, which amounted to a public declaration of war against the US and its allies, and began to refocus al-Qaeda's resources on large-scale, propagandist strikes.On February 23, 1998, bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, a leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, along with three other Islamist leaders, co-signed and issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill Americans and their allies.Summary taken from bin Laden's May 26, 1998, interview with American journalist John Miller. Most recently broadcast in the documentary Age of Terror, part 4, with translations checked by Barry Purkis (archive researcher). Under the banner of the World Islamic Front for Combat Against the Jews and Crusaders, they declared:}}Neither bin Laden nor al-Zawahiri possessed the traditional Islamic scholarly qualifications to issue a fatwa. However, they rejected the authority of the contemporary ulema (which they saw as the paid servants of jahiliyya rulers), and took it upon themselves.{{Harvnb|Benjamin|Simon|2002|p=117}}. "By issuing fatwas, bin Laden and his followers are acting out a kind of self-appointment as alim: they are asserting their rights as interpreters of Islamic law."{{Unreliable source?|reason=questionable statement as at least one of the other signers of the fatwa may have indeed been able to issue such an edict â€“ bin Laden and al-Zawahiri were co-signers|date=May 2009}}


Al-Qaeda has launched attacks against the Iraqi Shia majority in an attempt to incite sectarian violence.Al Qaeda's hand in tipping Iraq toward civil war, The Christian Science Monitor/Al-Quds Al-Arabi, March 20, 2006 Al-Zarqawi purportedly declared an all-out war on ShiitesNEWS,weblink Another wave of bombings hit Iraq, Associated Press, International Herald Tribune, September 15, 2005,weblink" title="">weblink February 12, 2009, while claiming responsibility for Shiite mosque bombings.WEB,weblink 20 die as insurgents in Iraq target Shiites, International Herald Tribune, September 17, 2005,weblink" title="">weblink February 12, 2009, The same month, a statement claiming to be from Al-Qaeda in Iraq was rejected as a "fake"."Al-Qaeda disowns 'fake letter'", CNN, October 13, 2005 In a December 2007 video, al-Zawahiri defended the Islamic State in Iraq, but distanced himself from the attacks against civilians, which he deemed to be perpetrated by "hypocrites and traitors existing among the ranks".WEB,weblink British 'fleeing' claims al-Qaeda,, April 7, 2003, May 8, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink May 12, 2011, live, US and Iraqi officials accused Al-Qaeda in Iraq of trying to slide Iraq into a full-scale civil war between Iraq's Shiite population and Sunni Arabs. This was done through an orchestrated campaign of civilian massacres and a number of provocative attacks against high-profile religious targets.WEB,weblink Al Qaeda leader in Iraq 'killed by insurgents', ABC News (Australia), ABC News, May 1, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink May 12, 2011, With attacks including the 2003 Imam Ali Mosque bombing, the 2004 Day of Ashura and Karbala and Najaf bombings, the 2006 first al-Askari Mosque bombing in Samarra, the deadly single-day series of bombings in which at least 215 people were killed in Baghdad's Shiite district of Sadr City, and the second al-Askari bombing in 2007, Al-Qaeda in Iraq provoked Shiite militias to unleash a wave of retaliatory attacks, resulting in death squad-style killings and further sectarian violence which escalated in 2006.DeYoung, Karen/Pincus, Walter. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq May Not Be Threat Here", The Washington Post, March 18, 2007 In 2008, sectarian bombings blamed on al-Qaeda in Iraq killed at least 42 people at the Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala in March, and at least 51 people at a bus stop in Baghdad in June.In February 2014, after a prolonged dispute with al-Qaeda in Iraq's successor organisation, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), al-Qaeda publicly announced it was cutting all ties with the group, reportedly for its brutality and "notorious intractability".NEWS,weblink Al-Qaeda disavows any ties with radical Islamist ISIS group in Syria, Iraq, The Washington Post, Liz Sly, February 3, 2014, August 6, 2014, Liz Sly,

Somalia and Yemen

File:Somali Civil War (2009-present).svg|thumb|Current military situation in Somalia: {{legend|#b4b2ae|Controlled by Al-Shabaab and Allies}} ]]File:Yemeni Civil War.svg|thumb|Current military situation in Yemen: {{legend|#ffffff|Controlled by al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia}}]]In Somalia, al-Qaeda agents had been collaborating closely with its Somali wing, which was created from the al-Shabaab group. In February 2012, al-Shabaab officially joined al-Qaeda, declaring loyalty in a video.NEWS, Somalia's al-Shabab join al-Qaeda,weblink BBC, February 10, 2012, Somalian al-Qaeda recruited children for suicide-bomber training, recruited young people to participate in militant actions against Americans.NEWS,weblink Al-Shabaab joining al Qaeda, monitor group says, February 9, 2012, February 9, 2012, CNN, The percentage of attacks in the First World originating from the Afghanistan–Pakistan (AfPak) border declined starting in 2007, as al-Qaeda shifted to Somalia and Yemen.NEWS,weblink London, The Daily Telegraph, Philip, Johnston, Anwar al Awlaki: the new Osama bin Laden?, September 17, 2010, While al-Qaeda leaders were hiding in the tribal areas along the AfPak border, middle-tier leaders heightened activity in Somalia and Yemen.In January 2009, al-Qaeda's division in Saudi Arabia merged with its Yemeni wing to form al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).NEWS,weblink, BBC, January 3, 2010, March 22, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink March 23, 2010, live, Centered in Yemen, the group takes advantage of the country's poor economy, demography and domestic security. In August 2009, the group made an assassination attempt against a member of the Saudi royal family. President Obama asked Ali Abdullah Saleh to ensure closer cooperation with the US in the struggle against the growing activity of al-Qaeda in Yemen, and promised to send additional aid. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, drew US attention from Somalia and Yemen.WEB,weblink Al-Qaeda Slowly Makes Its Way to Somalia and Yemen, September 23, 2009,, In December 2011, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the US operations against al-Qaeda "are now concentrating on key groups in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa."WEB,weblink Hunt for terrorists shifts to 'dangerous' North Africa, Panetta says, NBC News, August 5, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink May 8, 2012, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the 2009 bombing attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.NEWS,weblink Al Qaeda: We Planned Flight 253 Bombing Terrorist Group Says It Was In Retaliation for U.S. Operation in Yemen; Obama Orders Reviews of Watchlist and Air Safety, CBS News, December 28, 2009, March 22, 2010, The AQAP declared the Al-Qaeda Emirate in Yemen on March 31, 2011, after capturing the most of the Abyan Governorate.WEB,weblink AQAP: Abyan province an "Islamic Emirate.", Grace Wyler, March 31, 2011, Business Insider, April 12, 2016, As the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen escalated in July 2015, 50 civilians were killed, and 20 million were in need of aid.NEWS,weblink Jihadis likely winners of Saudi Arabia's futile war on Yemen's Houthi rebels, July 7, 2015, The Guardian, In February 2016, al-Qaeda forces and Saudi Arabian-led coalition forces were both seen fighting Houthi rebels in the same battle.NEWS,weblink Yemen conflict: Al-Qaeda joins coalition battle for Taiz, BBC, February 22, 2016, In August 2018, Al Jazeera reported that "A military coalition battling Houthi rebels secured secret deals with al-Qaeda in Yemen and recruited hundreds of the group's fighters. ... Key figures in the deal-making said the United States was aware of the arrangements and held off on drone attacks against the armed group, which was created by Osama bin Laden in 1988."

United States operations

In December 1998, the Director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center reported to President Bill Clinton that al-Qaeda was preparing to launch attacks in the United States, and that the group was training personnel to hijack aircraft.BIN LADEN PREPARING TO HIJACK US AIRCRAFT AND OTHER ATTACKS>DATE=DECEMBER 4, 1998PUBLISHER=DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCEARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20121015182609/HTTP://WWW.FOIA.CIA.GOV/DOCS/DOC_0001110635/0001110635_0001.GIFSeptember 11 attacks>attacked the United States, hijacking four airliners within the country and deliberately crashing two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center (1973-2001) in New York City. The third plane crashed into the western side of the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. The fourth plane was crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS PUBLISHER=W. W. NORTON & COMPANY EDITION=FIRST ISBN=0-393-32671-3, In total, the attackers killed 2,977 victims and injured more than 6,000 others.HTTP://WWW.THEONLINEROCKET.COM/NEWS/LOST-LIVES-REMEMBERED-DURING-9-11-CEREMONY-1.2333384>TITLE=LOST LIVES REMEMBERED DURING 9/11 CEREMONYACCESSDATE=APRIL 4, 2012ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20110629111119/HTTP://WWW.THEONLINEROCKET.COM/NEWS/LOST-LIVES-REMEMBERED-DURING-9-11-CEREMONY-1.2333384, June 29, 2011, File:Anwar al-Awlaki sitting on couch, lightened.jpg|thumb|upright|left|Anwar al-AwlakiAnwar al-AwlakiUS officials noted that Anwar al-Awlaki had considerable reach within the US. A former FBI agent identified Awlaki as a known "senior recruiter for al-Qaeda", and a spiritual motivator.Chucmach, Megan, and Ross, Brian, "Al Qaeda Recruiter New Focus in Fort Hood Killings Investigation Army Major Nidal Hasan Was In Contact With Imam Anwar Awlaki, Officials Say," ABC News], November 10, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2009] Awlaki's sermons in the US were attended by three of the 9/11 hijackers, and accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan. US intelligence intercepted emails from Hasan to Awlaki between December 2008 and early 2009. On his website, Awlaki has praised Hasan's actions in the Fort Hood shooting.Esposito, Richard, Cole, Matthew, and Ross, Brian, "Officials: U.S. Army Told of Hasan's Contacts with al Qaeda; Army Major in Fort Hood Massacre Used 'Electronic Means' to Connect with Terrorists," ABC News, November 9, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2009An unnamed official claimed there was good reason to believe Awlaki "has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the US [in 2002], including plotting attacks against America and our allies."WEB,weblink Imam From Va. Mosque Now Thought to Have Aided Al-Qaeda,, US President Barack Obama approved the targeted killing of al-Awlaki by April 2010, making al-Awlaki the first US citizen ever placed on the CIA target list. That required the consent of the US National Security Council, and officials argued that the attack was appropriate because the individual posed an imminent danger to national security.NEWS,weblink Muslim cleric Aulaqi is 1st U.S. citizen on list of those CIA is allowed to kill, Miller, Greg, The Washington Post, April 6, 2010, April 9, 2010, NEWS,weblink U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric, Shane, Scott, April 6, 2010, The New York Times, April 6, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink2010007worlmiddleeast07yemen.html, April 8, 2010, live, NEWS,weblink Barack Obama orders killing of US cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, Tom, Leonard, April 7, 2010, Telegraph (UK), April 8, 2010, London,weblink" title="">weblink April 11, 2010, live, In May 2010, Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty to the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt, told interrogators he was "inspired by" al-Awlaki, and sources said Shahzad had made contact with al-Awlaki over the Internet.NEWS,weblink Suspect Cites Radical Imam's Writings, The Wall Street Journal, Yochi J., Dreazen, Yochi Dreazen, Evan, Perez, May 6, 2010, May 6, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink May 9, 2010, live, NEWS, Herridge, Catherine,weblink Times Square Bomb Suspect a 'Fan' of Prominent Radical Cleric, Sources Say, Fox News Channel, May 6, 2010, May 7, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink May 7, 2010, live, NEWS,weblink Faisal Shahzad Had Contact With Anwar Awlaki, Taliban, and Mumbai Massacre Mastermind, Officials Say, Esposito, Richard, Chris Vlasto, Chris Cuomo, The Blotter from Brian Ross, ABC News, May 6, 2010, May 7, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink May 9, 2010, live, Representative Jane Harman called him "terrorist number one", and Investor's Business Daily called him "the world's most dangerous man".WEB,weblink Awlaki Not Among FBI's 'Most Wanted' Terrorists; No Reward Offered for His Capture May 24, 2010, by Patrick Goodenough,, May 24, 2010, July 17, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink August 12, 2010, dead, mdy-all, May 10, 2010, editorial in the Investor's Business Daily In July 2010, the US Treasury Department added him to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists, and the UN added him to its list of individuals associated with al-Qaeda.NEWS,weblink Awlaki lands on al-Qaida suspect list, United Press International, October 30, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink October 23, 2010, live, In August 2010, al-Awlaki's father initiated a lawsuit against the US government with the American Civil Liberties Union, challenging its order to kill al-Awlaki.NEWS,weblink CIA on the verge of lawsuit, Seer Press News, August 5, 2010, Mark Wilson, In October 2010, US and UK officials linked al-Awlaki to the 2010 cargo plane bomb plot.NEWS,weblink Yemen cargo bomb plot may have been targeted at Britain, The Daily Telegraph, October 30, 2010, October 31, 2010, London, Sean, Rayment, Patrick, Hennessy, David, Barrett,weblink" title="">weblink November 1, 2010, live, In September 2011, al-Awlaki was killed in a targeted killing drone attack in Yemen.Zenko, Micah. (September 30, 2011) Targeted Killings: The Death of Anwar al-Awlaki {{Webarchive|url= |date=April 7, 2014 }}. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved August 4, 2013 On March 16, 2012, it was reported that Osama bin Laden plotted to kill US President Barack Obama.NEWS, BBC News, March 17, 2012,weblink Osama Bin Laden 'plotted to kill Obama' before death,

Death of Osama bin Laden

File:Osama bin Laden compound1.jpg|thumb|View of Osama bin Laden's compound in AbbottabadAbbottabadOn May 1, 2011, US President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed by "a small team of Americans" acting under direct orders, in a covert operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan.NEWS,weblink The Guardian, London, May 1, 2011, Osama bin Laden is dead, Obama announces, Richard, Adams, Declan, Walsh, Ewen, MacAskill, The action took place {{convert|50|km|mi|abbr=on}} north of Islamabad. According to US officials, a team of 20–25 US Navy SEALs under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command stormed bin Laden's compound with two helicopters. Bin Laden and those with him were killed during a firefight in which US forces experienced no casualties.WEB,weblink Osama Bin Laden Killed By Navy Seals in Firefight, ABC News, May 2, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink June 4, 2011, live, According to one US official the attack was carried out without the knowledge or consent of the Pakistani authorities.NEWS,weblink Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan, The Washington Post, May 2, 2011, Dan, Balz, In Pakistan some people were reported to be shocked at the unauthorized incursion by US armed forces.WEB,weblink Chitralis bewildered at OBL episode,, May 2, 2011, May 8, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink May 5, 2011, dead, The site is a few miles from the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul.NEWS, Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan, CNN, May 2, 2011, May 2, 2011,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink May 6, 2011, live, In his broadcast announcement President Obama said that US forces "took care to avoid civilian casualties.""Osama Bin Laden Dead: Obama Speech Video And Transcript" The Huffington Post, May 2, 2011Details soon emerged that three men and a woman were killed along with bin Laden, the woman being killed when she was "used as a shield by a male combatant". DNA from bin Laden's body, compared with DNA samples on record from his dead sister,WEB,weblink Report: DNA At Mass. General Confirms bin Laden's Death,, February 5, 2011, May 2, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink May 18, 2011, dead, mdy-all, confirmed bin Laden's identity.WEB,weblink Osama bin Laden Killed; ID Confirmed by DNA Testing, ABC News, May 1, 2011, The body was recovered by the US military and was in its custodyWEB,weblink Osama Bin Laden Killed by US Strike, ABC News, May 1, 2011, until, according to one US official, his body was buried at sea according to Islamic traditions.NEWS, How U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden,weblink Cable News Network, May 2, 2011, the CNN Wire, May 2, 2011, WEB,weblink US forces kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, MSN, One US official stated that "finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted terrorist would have been difficult."WEB,weblink Official: Bin Laden buried at sea, Yahoo! News, May 2, 2011, May 8, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink May 4, 2011, US State Department issued a "Worldwide caution" for Americans following bin Laden's death and US diplomatic facilities everywhere were placed on high alert, a senior US official said.NEWS,weblink U.S. forces kill elusive terror figure Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, CNN, May 2, 2011, Crowds gathered outside the White House and in New York City's Times Square to celebrate bin Laden's death.WEB,weblink Crowds celebrate Bin Laden's death, Euronews, May 2, 2011,


{{see also|Al-Nusra Front|Tahrir al-Sham|Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant}}File:Syrian Civil War map.svg|thumb|Military situation in the Syrian Civil War as of {{#invoke:Iraq Syria map date|syriadate}}.{{legend|#fff7fd|Controlled by al-Nusra Frontal-Nusra FrontFile:Saadallah al-Jabiri square, Aleppo, after the explosion of October 2012.jpg|thumb|The scene of an October 2012 Aleppo bombingsOctober 2012 Aleppo bombingsIn 2003, President Bashar al-Assad revealed in an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper that he doubted that al-Qaeda even existed. He was quoted as saying, "Is there really an entity called al-Qaeda? Was it in Afghanistan? Does it exist now?" He went on further to remark about bin Laden, commenting "[he] cannot talk on the phone or use the Internet, but he can direct communications to the four corners of the world? This is illogical."WEB,weblink Assad doubts existence of al-Qaeda, USA Today, May 15, 2014, Following the mass protests that took place in 2011, which demanded the resignation of al-Assad, al-Qaeda affiliated groups and Sunni sympathizers soon began to constitute an effective fighting force against al-Assad.WEB, Berezow, Alex,weblink Al-Qaeda Goes Global, RealClearWorld, September 30, 2013, November 10, 2013, Before the Syrian Civil War, al-Qaeda's presence in Syria was negligible, but its growth thereafter was rapid.JOURNAL, Neumann, Peter, Peter R. Neumann, 2014, Suspects into Collaborators,weblink London Review of Books, 36, 7, 19–21, April 6, 2014, Groups such as the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have recruited many foreign Mujahideen to train and fight in what has gradually become a highly sectarian war.NEWS,weblink CNN, Opinion: Syria plunging Mideast into sectarian war?, September 4, 2013, NEWS, Cowell, Alan,weblink Syria – Uprising and Civil War, The New York Times, November 10, 2013, Ideologically, the Syrian Civil War has served the interests of al-Qaeda as it pits a mainly Sunni opposition against a Shia government. Al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist Sunni militant groups have invested heavily in the civil conflict, actively backing and supporting the Syrian Opposition.WEB,weblink Syria: On the frontline with the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, FRANCE 24, November 10, 2013, WEB,weblink Al Nusra Front, an al Qaeda branch, and the Free Syrian Army jointly seize border crossing, The Washington Times, September 30, 2013, November 10, 2013, On February 2, 2014, al-Qaeda distanced itself from ISIS and its actions in Syria,NEWS,weblink Al-Qaeda disavows ISIS militants in Syria, BBC News, February 3, 2014, however during 2014–15, ISIS and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front were still able to occasionally cooperate in their fight against the Syrian government.NEWS,weblink Jabhat Al-Nusra And ISIS Alliance Could Spread Beyond Damascus, Erin Banco, International Business Times, April 11, 2015, "How would a deal between al-Qaeda and Isil change Syria's civil war?". The Daily Telegraph. November 14, 2014NEWS,weblink ISIS joins other rebels to thwart Syria regime push near Lebanon, The Sacramento Bee, McClatchy DC, March 4, 2014, October 9, 2015,weblink" title="">weblink October 6, 2014, dead, mdy-all, Al-Nusra (backed by Saudi Arabia and Turkey as part of the Army of Conquest during 2015–2017) launched many attacks and bombings, mostly against targets affiliated with or supportive of the Syrian government."Syria's al-Qaeda offshoot Nusra stages suicide bombing in Aleppo: monitor". Reuters. July 6, 2015. From October 2015, Russian air strikes targeted positions held by al-Nusra Front, as well as other Islamist and non-Islamist rebels,NEWS,weblink Russia launches media offensive on Syria bombing, BBC News, October 1, 2015, NEWS,weblink Russia launches major offensive in Syria with airstrikes on Idlib and Homs, as rebel-held east Aleppo bombarded for first time in weeks, The Telegraph, Raf Pantucci, 15 November 2016, Syria at War: As U.S. Bombs Rebels, Russia Strikes ISIS and Israel Targets Assad Newsweek 17 March 2017 while the US also targeted al-Nusra with airstrikes.The United States Is Bombing First, Asking Questions Later, Foreign Policy 3 April 2017U.S. Airstrike Kills More Than 100 Qaeda Fighters in Syria New York Times 20 January 2017 In early 2016, a leading ISIL ideologue described al-Qaeda as the "Jews of jihad".WEB, Moore, Jack, January 25, 2016, ISIS ideologue calls al-Qaeda the 'Jews of jihad' as rivalry continues,weblink Newsweek, March 2, 2016,


In September 2014 al-Zawahiri announced al-Qaeda was establishing a front in India to "wage jihad against its enemies, to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty, and to revive its Caliphate." Al-Zawahiri nominated India as a beachhead for regional jihad taking in neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Bangladesh. The motivation for the video was questioned, as it appeared the militant group was struggling to remain relevant in light of the emerging prominence of ISIS.NEWS, India security alert after Al Qaeda calls for jihad in subcontinent,weblink September 4, 2014, September 8, 2014, India Gazette, The new wing was to be known as "Qaedat al-Jihad fi'shibhi al-qarrat al-Hindiya" or al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Leaders of several Indian Muslim organizations rejected al-Zawahiri's pronouncement, saying they could see no good coming from it, and viewed it as a threat to Muslim youth in the country.NEWS, Indian Muslims Reject al-Qaida call for Jihad,weblink September 6, 2014, September 8, 2014, India Gazette, In 2014 Zee News reported that Bruce Riede (a former CIA analyst and National Security Council official for South Asia) accused the Pakistan military intelligence—Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)—of organising and assisting Al-Qaeda to organise in India, that Pakistan ought to be warned that it will be placed on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, and wrote that "Zawahiri made the tape in his hideout in Pakistan, no doubt, and many Indians suspect the ISI is helping to protect him".WEB,weblink Al Qaeda launches India wing: 'Pakistan Army, ISI targeting India to hit Nawaz Sharif', Zee News, October 25, 2014, WEB,weblink al-Qaeda's wing in India: Pakistan's ISI exposed over threatening video,, October 25, 2014, WEB,weblink Danger from ISIS and Al Qaeda: What India should do,, October 25, 2014,


File:RecentAlQaedaAttacks.svg|thumb|upright=1.65|Map of major attacks attributed to al-Qaeda:1. The Pentagon, US â€“ September 11, 20012. World Trade Center, US â€“ September 11, 20013. Istanbul, Turkey â€“ November 15 and 20, 20034. Aden, Yemen â€“ October 12, 20005. Nairobi, Kenya â€“ August 7, 19986. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania â€“ August 7, 1998]](File:Main countries of activity of Al-Qaeda.png|upright=2.25|thumb|right|al-Qaeda around the world)Al-Qaeda has carried out a total of six major attacks, four of them in its jihad against America. In each case the leadership planned the attack years in advance, arranging for the shipment of weapons and explosives and using its businesses to provide operatives with safehouses and false identities.{{citation needed|date=January 2019|reason=Both sentences in the paragraph}}Al-Qaeda usually does not disburse funds for attacks, and very rarely makes wire transfers.NEWS, Eichenwald, Kurt, Kurt Eichenwald, A Nation Challenged: The Money; Terror Money Hard to Block, Officials Find, The New York Times, December 10, 2001,weblink May 4, 2011,


On December 29, 1992, al-Qaeda's launched its first attack, the 1992 Yemen hotel bombings. Two bombs were detonated in Aden, Yemen. The first target was the Movenpick Hotel and the second was the parking lot of the Goldmohur Hotel.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|p=174}}.The bombings were an attempt to eliminate American soldiers on their way to Somalia to take part in the international famine relief effort, Operation Restore Hope. Internally, al-Qaeda considered the bombing a victory that frightened the Americans away, but in the US, the attack was barely noticed. No American soldiers were killed because no soldiers were staying in the hotel which was bombed. However, an Australian tourist and a Yemeni hotel worker were killed in the bombing. Seven others, mostly Yemenis, were severely injured. Two fatwas are said to have been appointed by al-Qaeda's members, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, to justify the killings according to Islamic law. Salim referred to a famous fatwa appointed by Ibn Taymiyyah, a 13th-century scholar much admired by Wahhabis, which sanctioned resistance by any means during the Mongol invasions.{{Harvnb|Jansen|1997}}.{{Unreliable source?|date=September 2009}}

Late 1990s

File:Kenya bombing 1.jpg|left|thumb|upright|1998 Nairobi embassy bombing ]]In 1996, bin Laden personally engineered a plot to assassinate United States President Bill Clinton while the president was in Manila for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. However, intelligence agents intercepted a message before the motorcade was to leave, and alerted the US Secret Service. Agents later discovered a bomb planted under a bridge.NEWS, Osama bin Laden came within minutes of killing Bill Clinton, Tom Leonard, The Daily Telegraph, December 25, 2009,weblink December 25, 2009, London,weblink" title="">weblink December 25, 2009, live, On August 7, 1998, al-Qaeda bombed the US embassies in East Africa, killing 224 people, including 12 Americans. In retaliation, a barrage of cruise missiles launched by the US military devastated an al-Qaeda base in Khost, Afghanistan. The network's capacity was unharmed. In late 1999 and 2000, Al-Qaeda planned attacks to coincide with the millennium, masterminded by Abu Zubaydah and involving Abu Qatada, which would include the bombing of Christian holy sites in Jordan, the bombing of Los Angeles International Airport by Ahmed Ressam, and the bombing of the {{USS|The Sullivans|DDG-68}}.On October 12, 2000, al-Qaeda militants in Yemen bombed the missile destroyer USS Cole in a suicide attack, killing 17 US servicemen and damaging the vessel while it lay offshore. Inspired by the success of such a brazen attack, al-Qaeda's command core began to prepare for an attack on the US itself.

September 11 attacks

{{See also|Responsibility for the September 11 attacks}}(File:FEMA - 4235 - Photograph by Andrea Booher taken on 09-28-2001 in New York.jpg|thumb|upright|Aftermath of the September 11 attacks)The September 11 attacks on America by al-Qaeda killed 2,977 people — 2,507 civilians, 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers, and 55 military personnel. Two commercial airliners were deliberately flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, a third into the Pentagon, and a fourth, originally intended to target either the United States Capitol or the White House, crashed in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It was also the deadliest foreign attack on American soil since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.The attacks were conducted by al-Qaeda, acting in accord with the 1998 fatwa issued against the US and its allies by persons under the command of bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, and others.WEB,weblink Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, June 16, 2010, February 23, 1998, Evidence points to suicide squads led by al-Qaeda military commander Mohamed Atta as the culprits of the attacks, with bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Hambali as the key planners and part of the political and military command.Messages issued by bin Laden after September 11, 2001, praised the attacks, and explained their motivation while denying any involvement.NEWS,weblink Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks, CNN, July 6, 2006, September 17, 2001,weblink" title="">weblink July 5, 2006, live, Bin Laden legitimized the attacks by identifying grievances felt by both mainstream and Islamist Muslims, such as the general perception that the US was actively oppressing Muslims.{{Harvnb|Esposito|2002|p=22}}.Bin Laden asserted that America was massacring Muslims in "Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir and Iraq" and that Muslims should retain the "right to attack in reprisal." He also claimed the 9/11 attacks were not targeted at people, but "America's icons of military and economic power," despite the fact he planned to attack in the morning when most of the people in the intended targets were present and thus generating the maximum number of human casualties.Hamid Miir 'Osama claims he has nukes: If U.S. uses N-arms it will get the same response' "Dawn: the Internet Edition" November 10, 2001Evidence has since come to light that the original targets for the attack may have been nuclear power stations on the US East Coast. The targets were later altered by al-Qaeda, as it was feared that such an attack "might get out of hand".NEWS, Al-Qaida leaders say nuclear power stations were original targets,weblink The Guardian, UK, September 9, 2002, January 11, 2007, Giles, Tremlett,weblink" title="">weblink January 22, 2007, live, NEWS, Al Qaeda Scaled Back 10-Plane Plot,weblink The Washington Post, June 17, 2004, January 11, 2007,

Designation as a terrorist group

Al-Qaeda is deemed a designated terrorist group by the following countries and international organizations:{{Div col|colwidth=15em}}
  • {{flag|Australia}}WEB,weblink Listing of Terrorist Organisations, July 3, 2006, Australian Government,weblink" title="">weblink February 4, 2014,
  • {{flag|Azerbaijan}}WEB, Armed group neutralized in Azerbaijan linked to Al-Qaeda,weblink, 21 June 2014,
  • {{flag|Belarus}}WEB,weblink Is Radical Islam a Threat for Belarus? - BelarusDigest, January 11, 2019,
  • {{flag|Brazil}}WEB,weblink O Brasil e o terrorismo internacional, February 22, 2014, Alfredo Sirkis,
  • {{flag|Canada}}WEB,weblink Entities list, July 3, 2006, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada,weblink" title="">weblink November 19, 2006,
  • {{flag|China}weblink
  • {{flag|European Union}}WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, June 14, 2007, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, Commission of the European Communities, October 20, 2004, June 11, 2007, DOC, Commission of the European Communities,
  • {{flag|France}}WEB,weblink La France face au terrorisme, Secrétariat général de la défense nationale (France), fr, August 6, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink August 7, 2011,
  • {{flag|India}}WEB,weblink The Hindu : Centre bans Al-Qaeda,, April 9, 2002, March 22, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink April 27, 2009, dead, mdy-all,
  • {{flag|Indonesia}}WEB,weblink Indonesia's Long Battle With Islamic Extremism, Time, January 11, 2019,
  • {{flag|Iran}}NEWS,weblink Iran Wants to Talk With U.S.; Just Not About Nukes, Moody, John, June 12, 2007, Fox News, July 31, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink December 25, 2013, dead, mdy-all,
  • {{flag|Ireland}}WEB, Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005,weblink 2005, Department of Justice Ireland, May 26, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 27, 2014, mdy,
  • {{flag|Israel}}WEB,weblink Summary of indictments against Al-Qaeda terrorists in Samaria, March 21, 2006, May 4, 2011, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, WEB,weblink Archived copy, August 9, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 10, 2014,
  • {{flag|Japan}}WEB,weblink B. Terrorist Attacks in the United States and the Fight Against Terrorism, Diplomatic Bluebook, 2002, June 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink June 14, 2007, live,
  • {{flag|Kazakhstan}}WEB,weblink Fight against terrorism and extremism in Kazakhstan,, November 23, 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 14, 2015, mdy-all,
  • {{flag|Kyrgyzstan}}WEB,weblink Kyrgyzstan to publicise list of banned terrorist groups, Caravanserai, Caravanserai, January 11, 2019,
  • {{flag|NATO}}WEB,weblink Press Conference with NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, October 23, 2006, NATO,weblink" title="">weblink October 26, 2006, live, WEB,weblink AL QAEDA, NATO Library, 2005, June 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink June 14, 2007, live,
  • {{flag|Netherlands}}WEB,weblink Annual Report 2004, June 11, 2007, General Intelligence and Security Service,weblink" title="">weblink June 14, 2007, dead, General Intelligence and Security Service,
  • {{flag|New Zealand}}WEB,weblink New Zealand's designated terrorist individuals and organisations, October 7, 2008, New Zealand Government,weblink" title="">weblink October 7, 2008,
  • {{flag|Philippines}}NEWS

, newsflash
, 4 October 2002
, 22 March 2010,
  • {{flag|Russia|name=Russian Federation}}NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, November 14, 2006, Russia Outlaws 17 Terror Groups; Hamas, Hezbollah Not Included,
  • {{flag|South Korea}}NEWS,weblink Seoul confirms release of two Korean hostages in Afghanistan, August 14, 2007, September 16, 2007, Korean Foreign Ministry,weblink" title="">weblink December 15, 2007,
  • {{flag|Sweden}}WEB,weblink Radical Islamist Movements in the Middle East, Ministry for Foreign Affairs Sweden, March–June 2006, June 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink June 14, 2007, dead,
  • {{flag|Switzerland}}WEB,weblink Report on counter-terrorism submitted by Switzerland to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), December 20, 2001, June 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink June 9, 2007, dead, mdy-all,
  • {{flag|Tajikistan}}Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, page 8Tajikistan Civil War Global Security
  • {{flag|Turkey}} designated Al-Qaeda's Turkish branchWEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Terörle Mücadele ve Harekat Dairesi BaÅŸkanlığı, January 14, 2013, April 12, 2016,
  • {{flag|United Arab Emirates}}WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, November 17, 2014, مجلس الوزراء يعتمد قائمة التنظيمات الإرهابية. - WAM, November 17, 2014,
  • {{flag|United Kingdom}}ACT, Terrorism Act 2000, 11, 2000, 2, Schedule,weblink
  • {{flagdeco|United Nations}} United Nations Security CouncilWEB, Security Council Resolutions Related to the Work of the Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1267 (1999) Concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities, United Nations Security Council,weblink January 9, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink January 12, 2007, dead,
  • {{flag|United States}}WEB,weblink Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), July 3, 2006, United States Department of State,
  • {{flag|Uzbekistan}}Terrorism in Uzbekistan: A self-made crisis {{Webarchive|url= |date=October 16, 2006 }} Jamestown FoundationUzbekistan: Who's Behind The Violence? {{Webarchive|url= |date=2004-04-04 }} Center for Defense Information
  • {{flag|Vietnam}}WEB,weblink Vietnamese-born al-Qaeda recruit sentenced to 40 years in US over plot to bomb Heathrow, May 28, 2016, South China Morning Post, January 11, 2019,

{{div col end}}

War on Terror

(File:US 10th Mountain Division soldiers in Afghanistan.jpg|thumb|US troops in Afghanistan)In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the US government responded, and began to prepare its armed forces to overthrow the Taliban, which it believed was harboring al-Qaeda. The US offered Taliban leader Mullah Omar a chance to surrender bin Laden and his top associates. The first forces to be inserted into Afghanistan were paramilitary officers from the CIA's elite Special Activities Division (SAD).The Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden to a neutral country for trial if the US would provide evidence of bin Laden's complicity in the attacks. US President George W. Bush responded by saying: "We know he's guilty. Turn him over",WEB,weblink US Jets Pound Targets Around Kabul, The Portsmouth Herald, October 15, 2001, July 25, 2012, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned the Taliban regime: "Surrender bin Laden, or surrender power".NEWS,weblink Blair to Taliban: Surrender bin Laden or surrender power, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, October 3, 2001, March 22, 2010, Soon thereafter the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan, and together with the Afghan Northern Alliance removed the Taliban government as part of the war in Afghanistan. As a result of the US special forces and air support for the Northern Alliance ground forces, a number of Taliban and al-Qaeda training camps were destroyed, and much of the operating structure of al-Qaeda is believed to have been disrupted. After being driven from their key positions in the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan, many al-Qaeda fighters tried to regroup in the rugged Gardez region of the nation.File:Khalid Shaikh Mohammed after capture.jpg|left|thumb|upright|Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after his arrest in RawalpindiRawalpindiBy early 2002, al-Qaeda had been dealt a serious blow to its operational capacity, and the Afghan invasion appeared to be a success. Nevertheless, a significant Taliban insurgency remained in Afghanistan.Debate continued regarding the nature of al-Qaeda's role in the 9/11 attacks. The US State Department released a videotape showing bin Laden speaking with a small group of associates somewhere in Afghanistan shortly before the Taliban was removed from power.WEB,weblink U.S. Releases Videotape of Osama Bin Laden, July 4, 2006, December 13, 2001,weblink" title="">weblink June 25, 2006, Although its authenticity has been questioned by a couple of people,NEWS,weblink Morris, Steven, US urged to detail origin of tape, The Guardian, UK, July 11, 2006, December 15, 2001, the tape definitively implicates bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the September 11 attacks. The tape was aired on many television channels, with an accompanying English translation provided by the US Defense Department.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink February 2, 2007, Transcript of Osama bin Laden videotape, In September 2004, the 9/11 Commission officially concluded that the attacks were conceived and implemented by al-Qaeda operatives.WEB,weblink National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, April 27, 2006, September 20, 2004,weblink" title="">weblink April 27, 2006, live, In October 2004, bin Laden appeared to claim responsibility for the attacks in a videotape released through Al Jazeera, saying he was inspired by Israeli attacks on high-rises in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon: "As I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children."WEB,weblink Full transcript of bin Ladin's speech, Al Jazeera, July 12, 2006, November 1, 2004,weblink" title="">weblink July 11, 2006, dead, By the end of 2004, the US government proclaimed that two-thirds of the most senior al-Qaeda figures from 2001 had been captured and interrogated by the CIA: Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in 2002;NEWS, Shane, Scott, Inside the interrogation of a 9/11 mastermind, The New York Times, June 22, 2008, A1, A12–A13,weblink September 5, 2009, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003;NEWS,weblink Lawyers: Scan suggests alleged 9/11 plotter suffered head injury in CIA custody, Rosenberg, Carol, April 30, 2018, Miami Herald, February 2, 2019, and Saif al Islam el Masry in 2004.BOOK,weblink February 2, 2019, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, Gunaratna, Rohan, 147, 2002, Columbia University Press, The Al Qaeda team included Abu Talha al-Sudani, Saif al- Islam el-Masry, Salem el-Masry, Saif al-Adel and other trainers, including Abu Jaffer el- Masry, the explosives expert who ran the Jihad Wal camp Afghanistan. In addition to developing this capability with Iranian assistance, Al Qaeda also received a large amount of explosives from Tran that were used in the bombng of he East African targets. The training team brought Hezbollah training and propaganda videos with the intention of passing on their knowledge to other Al Qaeda members and Islamist groups., 9780231126922, Mohammed Atef and several others were killed. The West was criticized for not being able to handle Al-Qaida despite a decade of the war.WEB, Paul Rogers,weblink Al-Qaida – A Multiform Idea, Oxford Research Group, August 8, 2013, November 10, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink November 10, 2013, dead, mdy-all,



File:GSPC map.png|thumb|Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly GSPC) area of operations]]File:The Guardian al-Qaeda recruitment.jpg|thumb|Front page of The Guardian WeeklyThe Guardian WeeklyAl-Qaeda involvement in Africa has included a number of bombing attacks in North Africa, while supporting parties in civil wars in Eritrea and Somalia. From 1991 to 1996, bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders were based in Sudan.Islamist rebels in the Sahara calling themselves al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have stepped up their violence in recent years.
  • NEWS, Trofimov, Yaroslav, Islamic rebels gain strength in the Sahara, The Wall Street Journal, 254, 39, August 15, 2009, A9,weblink September 15, 2009,
  • NEWS, Trofimov, Yaroslav, Islamic rebels gain strength in the Sahara, The Wall Street Journal Europe, 27, 136, August 17, 2009, 12,
  • NEWS, Trofimov, Yaroslav, Islamic rebels gain in the Sahara, The Wall Street Journal Asia, 33, 245, August 18, 2009, 12, French officials say the rebels have no real links to the al-Qaeda leadership, but this has been disputed. It seems likely that bin Laden approved the group's name in late 2006, and the rebels "took on the al Qaeda franchise label", almost a year before the violence began to escalate.{{Harvnb|Riedel|2008|p=126}}.
In Mali, the Ansar Dine faction was also reported as an ally of al-Qaeda in 2013.Baba Ahmed and Jamey Keaten, Associated Press (January 12, 2013) Hundreds of French troops drive back Mali rebels. USA Today. Retrieved August 4, 2013 The Ansar al Dine faction aligned themselves with the AQIM.Ansar al Dine. Google Books. Retrieved August 4, 2013Following the Libyan Civil War, the removal of Gaddafi and the ensuing period of post-civil war violence in Libya, various Islamist militant groups affiliated with al-Qaeda were able to expand their operations in the region.NEWS,weblink Libya: revolutionaries turn on each other as fears grow for law and order, The Daily Telegraph, October 31, 2011, November 10, 2013, London, Nick, Meo, The 2012 Benghazi attack, which resulted in the death of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, is suspected of having been carried out by various Jihadist networks, such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar al-Sharia and several other Al-Qaeda affiliated groups.NEWS,weblink Libyans storm Ansar Al-Shariah compound in backlash after attack on US Consulate, Fox News Channel, September 21, 2012, November 10, 2013, NEWS,weblink Sources: 3 al Qaeda operatives took part in Benghazi attack, CNN, May 4, 2013, November 10, 2013, The capture of Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, a senior al-Qaeda operative wanted by the United States for his involvement in the 1998 United States embassy bombings, on October 5, 2013, by US Navy Seals, FBI and CIA agents illustrates the importance the US and other Western allies have placed on North Africa.NEWS,weblink U.S. forces raid terror targets in Libya, Somalia, CNN, October 6, 2013, November 10, 2013,


Prior to the September 11 attacks, al-Qaeda was present in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and its members were mostly veterans of the El Mudžahid detachment of the Bosnian Muslim Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Three al-Qaeda operatives carried out the Mostar car bombing in 1997. The operatives were closely linked to and financed by the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina founded by then-prince King Salman of Saudi Arabia.{{citation needed|date=January 2019|Reason=for the whole paragraph}}Before the 9/11 attacks and the US invasion of Afghanistan, westerners who had been recruits at al-Qaeda training camps were sought after by al-Qaeda's military wing. Language skills and knowledge of Western culture were generally found among recruits from Europe, such was the case with Mohamed Atta, an Egyptian national studying in Germany at the time of his training, and other members of the Hamburg Cell. Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atef would later designate Atta as the ringleader of the 9/11 hijackers. Following the attacks, Western intelligence agencies determined that al-Qaeda cells operating in Europe had aided the hijackers with financing and communications with the central leadership based in Afghanistan.WEB,weblink Last words of a terrorist | The Observer, The Guardian, November 10, 2013, In 2003, Islamists carried out a series of bombings in Istanbul killing fifty-seven people and injuring seven hundred. Seventy-four people were charged by the Turkish authorities. Some had previously met bin Laden, and though they specifically declined to pledge allegiance to al-Qaeda they asked for its blessing and help.NEWS, View all comments that have been posted about this article.,weblink Washington Post â€“ Al-Qaeda's Hand in Istanbul Plot, The Washington Post, March 22, 2010, WEB,weblink Msn News â€“ Bin Laden allegedly planned attack in Turkey â€“ Stymied by tight security at U.S. bases, militants switched targets, MSNBC, December 17, 2003, March 22, 2010, In 2009, three Londoners, Tanvir Hussain, Assad Sarwar and Ahmed Abdullah Ali, were convicted of conspiring to detonate bombs disguised as soft drinks on seven airplanes bound for Canada and the US The MI5 investigation regarding the plot involved more than a year of surveillance work conducted by over two hundred officers.
  • NEWS, Gardham, Duncan, Gang is brought to justice by most complex operation since the war, The Daily Telegraph, London, September 8, 2009, 2,weblink September 15, 2009,
  • NEWS, Gardham, Duncan, Complex operation brings gang to justice, The Weekly Telegraph, Australian edition, issue 947, September 16, 2009, 9, NEWS, Milmo, Cahal, Police watched the plot unfold, then pounced, The Independent, London, September 8, 2009, 2–4,weblink September 15, 2009, British and US officials said the plot – unlike many similar homegrown European Islamic militant plots – was directly linked to al-Qaeda and guided by senior al-Qaeda members in Pakistan.WEB, Press, Associated,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, May 12, 2011, UK court convicts 3 of plot to blow up airliners, The Jerusalem Post, September 7, 2009, May 8, 2011, NEWS, Sandford, Daniel,weblink UK &124; Airline plot: Al-Qaeda connection, BBC News, September 7, 2009, March 22, 2010,
In 2012, Russian Intelligence indicated that al-Qaeda had given a call for "forest jihad" and has been starting massive forest fires as part of a strategy of "thousand cuts".NEWS, Elder, Miriam, Russia accuses al-Qaida of 'forest jihad' in Europe,weblink November 6, 2012, The Guardian, October 3, 2012, London,

Arab world

(File:INTEL-COGNITIVE-Cole.jpg|thumb|USS Cole after the October 2000 attack)Following Yemeni unification in 1990, Wahhabi networks began moving missionaries into the country. Although it is unlikely that bin Laden or Saudi al-Qaeda were directly involved, the personal connections they made would be established over the next decade and used in the USS Cole bombing.JOURNAL
, Weir
, Shelagh
, July–September 1997
, A Clash of Fundamentalisms: Wahhabism in Yemen
, Middle East Report
, Middle East Research and Information Project
, 204
, January 19, 2009
,weblink" title="">weblink
, October 3, 2008
, dead
, mdy-all
, ; cited in BOOK, Burke, Jason, Jason Burke, Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, 128–29, I.B. Tauris, 2003, New York, 1-85043-396-8,weblink Concerns grew over Al Qaeda's group in Yemen."Yemen: The Next Front Line Against al Qaeda". CBS News. October 30, 2010In Iraq, al-Qaeda forces loosely associated with the leadership were embedded in the Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad group commanded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Specializing in suicide operations, they have been a "key driver" of the Sunni insurgency.{{Harvnb|Riedel|2008|p=100}}. Although they played a small part in the overall insurgency, between 30% and 42% of all suicide bombings which took place in the early years were claimed by Zarqawi's group.See the following works cited in {{Harvnb|Riedel|2008|p=101}}:
  • {{Harvnb|Hafez|2007|pp=97–98}}
  • NEWS, Al-Shishani, Murad Batal, Al-Zarqawi's Rise to Power: Analyzing Tactics and Targets, Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Monitor, 3, 22, November 17, 2005, Reports have indicated that oversights such as the failure to control access to the Qa'qaa munitions factory in Yusufiyah have allowed large quantities of munitions to fall into the hands of al-Qaida.NEWS,weblink How the US let al-Qaida get its hands on an Iraqi weapons factory, The Guardian, UK, January 7, 2011, Dominic, Streatfeild, January 7, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink January 7, 2011, live, In November 2010, the militant group Islamic State of Iraq, which is linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq, threatened to "exterminate all Iraqi Christians".NEWS,weblink CSI Urges Obama to Protect Iraq's Endangered Christian Community, November 1, 2010, PR Newswire, July 6, 2014, "Iraqi Christians Mourn 58 Dead in Church Siege". CBS News. November 1, 2010.
Al-Qaeda did not begin training Palestinians until the late 1990s.{{Harvnb|Gunaratna|2002|p=150}}. Large groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have rejected an alliance with al-Qaeda, fearing that al-Qaeda will co-opt their cells. This may have changed recently. The Israeli security and intelligence services believe that al-Qaeda has managed to infiltrate operatives from the Occupied Territories into Israel, and is waiting for an opportunity to attack.{{as of|2015}}, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are openly supporting the Army of Conquest,"Gulf allies and ‘Army of Conquest’". Al-Ahram Weekly. May 28, 2015."'Army of Conquest' rebel alliance pressures Syria regime". Yahoo News. April 28, 2015. an umbrella rebel group fighting in the Syrian Civil War against the Syrian government that reportedly includes an al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front and another Salafi coalition known as Ahrar al-Sham.NEWS,weblink Turkey and Saudi Arabia alarm the West by backing Islamist extremists the Americans had bombed in Syria, Kim Sengupta, The Independent, May 12, 2015,


Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri consider India to be a part of an alleged Crusader-Zionist-Hindu conspiracy against the Islamic world.Terrorism in India and the Global Jihad {{webarchive |url= |date=November 11, 2011 }}, Brookings Institution, November 30, 2008 According to a 2005 report by the Congressional Research Service, bin Laden was involved in training militants for Jihad in Kashmir while living in Sudan in the early 1990s. By 2001, Kashmiri militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen had become a part of the al-Qaeda coalition.Al Qaeda: Profile and Threat Assessment, Congressional Research Service, February 10, 2005 According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), al-Qaeda was thought to have established bases in Pakistan administered Kashmir (in Azad Kashmir, and to some extent in Gilgit–Baltistan) during the 1999 Kargil War and continued to operate there with tacit approval of Pakistan's Intelligence services.WEB, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,weblink Freedom in the World 2008 – Kashmir Pakistan, 2 July 2008,, July 2, 2008, May 8, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink May 12, 2011, live, Many of the militants active in Kashmir were trained in the same madrasahs as Taliban and al-Qaeda. Fazlur Rehman Khalil of Kashmiri militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen was a signatory of al-Qaeda's 1998 declaration of Jihad against America and its allies.Kashmir Militant Extremists {{webarchive|url= |date=February 14, 2007 }}, Council on Foreign Relations, July 9, 2009 In a 'Letter to American People' (2002), bin Laden wrote that one of the reasons he was fighting America was because of its support to India on the Kashmir issue.Osama bin Laden "letter to the American people",, November 20, 2002Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America', The Guardian, November 24, 2002 In November 2001, Kathmandu airport went on high alert after threats that bin Laden planned to hijack a plane and crash it into a target in New Delhi.WEB,weblink Osama men plan to target Delhi: Kathmandu receives threat], Dawn (newspaper), Dawn, November 10, 2001,weblink" title="">weblink April 18, 2002, In 2002, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on a trip to Delhi, suggested that al-Qaeda was active in Kashmir though he did not have any evidence.Analysis: Is al-Qaeda in Kashmir?, BBC, June 13, 2002Rumsfeld offers US technology to guard Kashmir border, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 14, 2002 Rumsfeld proposed hi-tech ground sensors along the Line of Control to prevent militants from infiltrating into Indian-administered Kashmir.An investigation in 2002 found evidence that al-Qaeda and its affiliates were prospering in Pakistan-administered Kashmir with tacit approval of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.Al Qaeda thriving in Pakistani Kashmir, The Christian Science Monitor, July 2, 2002 In 2002, a special team of Special Air Service and Delta Force was sent into Indian-Administered Kashmir to hunt for bin Laden after receiving reports that he was being sheltered by Kashmiri militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, which had been responsible for kidnapping western tourists in Kashmir in 1995.SAS joins Kashmir hunt for bin Laden, The Telegraph, February 23, 2002 Britain's highest-ranking al-Qaeda operative Rangzieb Ahmed had previously fought in Kashmir with the group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and spent time in Indian prison after being captured in Kashmir.Al-Qaeda terror trial: Rangzieb Ahmed was highest ranking al-Qaeda operative in Britain, The Telegraph. December 18, 2008US officials believe that al-Qaeda was helping organize attacks in Kashmir in order to provoke conflict between India and Pakistan.Bin Laden's finger on Kashmir trigger?, CNN, June 12, 2002 Their strategy was to force Pakistan to move its troops to the border with India, thereby relieving pressure on al-Qaeda elements hiding in northwestern Pakistan.Taliban, al-Qaeda linked to Kashmir, USA Today, May 29, 2002 In 2006 al-Qaeda claimed they had established a wing in Kashmir.Al Qaeda claim of Kashmir link worries India, The New York Times,2006-07-13 However Indian Army General H.S. Panag argued that the army had ruled out the presence of al-Qaeda in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Panag also stated that al-Qaeda had strong ties with Kashmiri militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed based in Pakistan.No Al Qaeda presence in Kashmir: Army, The Hindu,2007-06-18 It has been noted that Waziristan has become a battlefield for Kashmiri militants fighting NATO in support of al-Qaeda and Taliban.Ilyas Kashmiri had planned to attack COAS, The News International, September 18, 2009 {{Dead link|date=June 2016|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}}Waziristan new battlefield for Kashmiri militants {{dead link|date=November 2017}}{{cbignore}}, The News International, November 24, 2008Kashmiri militants move to Waziristan, open training camps The Indian Express, November 26, 2008 Dhiren Barot, who wrote the Army of Madinah in KashmirWEB,weblink Army of Madinah in Kashmir, Nine Eleven Finding Answers Foundation,, June 6, 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 3, 2012, mdy-all, and was an al-Qaeda operative convicted for involvement in the 2004 financial buildings plot, had received training in weapons and explosives at a militant training camp in Kashmir.How radical Islam turned a schoolboy into a terrorist, The Times, November 7, 2006Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of Kashmiri group Jaish-e-Mohammed, is believed to have met bin Laden several times and received funding from him. In 2002, Jaish-e-Mohammed organized the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl in an operation run in conjunction with al-Qaeda and funded by bin Laden.The Long Hunt for Osama, The Atlantic, October 2004 According to American counter-terrorism expert Bruce Riedel, al-Qaeda and Taliban were closely involved in the 1999 hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814 to Kandahar which led to the release of Maulana Masood Azhar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh from an Indian prison. This hijacking, Riedel stated, was rightly described by then Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh as a 'dress rehearsal' for September 11 attacks.WEB,weblink Al Qaeda Strikes Back, Bruce Riedel, The Brookings Institution, April 12, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink June 5, 2011, mdy, Bin Laden personally welcomed Azhar and threw a lavish party in his honor after his release.Al-Qaeda involved in Indian plane hijack plot, The Hindu, September 18, 2006Osama threw lavish party for Azhar after hijack, The Indian Express, September 18, 2006 Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had been in prison for his role in the 1994 kidnappings of Western tourists in India, went on to murder Daniel Pearl and was sentenced to death in Pakistan. Al-Qaeda operative Rashid Rauf, who was one of the accused in 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, was related to Maulana Masood Azhar by marriage.Rashid Rauf: profile of a terror mastermind, ''The Daily Telegraph', November 22, 2008Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmiri militant group which is thought to be behind 2008 Mumbai attacks, is also known to have strong ties to senior al-Qaeda leaders living in Pakistan.LeT, which is based at Muridke, near Lahore in Pakistan, has networks throughout India and its leadership has close links with core al-Qaeda figures living in Pakistan Focus on Westerners suggests al-Qaeda was pulling strings, The Times, November 28, 2008 In late 2002, top al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah was arrested while being sheltered by Lashkar-e-Taiba in a safe house in Faisalabad.Lashkar-e-Taiba Served as Gateway for Western Converts Turning to Jihad, The Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2008 The FBI believes that al-Qaeda and Lashkar have been 'intertwined' for a long time while the CIA has said that al-Qaeda funds Lashkar-e-Taiba. Jean-Louis Bruguière told Reuters in 2009 that "Lashkar-e-Taiba is no longer a Pakistani movement with only a Kashmir political or military agenda. Lashkar-e-Taiba is a member of al-Qaeda."WEB,weblink Lashkar-e-Taiba threat revived after Chicago arrest, Dawn (newspaper), Dawn, November 20, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink November 23, 2009, INTERVIEW-French magistrate details Lashkar's global role, Reuters, November 13, 2009In a video released in 2008, American-born senior al-Qaeda operative Adam Yahiye Gadahn stated that "victory in Kashmir has been delayed for years; it is the liberation of the jihad there from this interference which, Allah willing, will be the first step towards victory over the Hindu occupiers of that Islam land."'Azzam the American' releases video focusing on Pakistan, CNN, October 4, 2008In September 2009, a US drone strike reportedly killed Ilyas Kashmiri who was the chief of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, a Kashmiri militant group associated with al-Qaeda.WEB,weblink US drones killed two terrorist leaders in Pak, Dawn (newspaper), Dawn, September 17, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink September 23, 2009, dead, Kashmiri was described by Bruce Riedel as a 'prominent' al-Qaeda memberAl Qaeda's American Mole {{webarchive |url= |date=September 24, 2011 }}, Brookings Institution, December 15, 2009 while others have described him as head of military operations for al-Qaeda.weblink" title="">Ilyas Kashmiri alive, lays out future terror strategy, Daily Times, October 15, 2009United States of America vs Tahawwur Hussain Rana, Chicago Tribune {{webarchive|url= |date=January 7, 2014 }} Kashmiri was also charged by the US in a plot against Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper which was at the center of Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.WEB,weblink US charges Ilyas Kashmiri in Danish newspaper plot, Dawn (newspaper), Dawn, January 15, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink January 18, 2010, dead, US officials also believe that Kashmiri was involved in the Camp Chapman attack against the CIA.weblink" title="">US seeks Harkat chief for Khost CIA attack{{cbignore}}, The News International, January 6, 2010 In January 2010, Indian authorities notified Britain of an al-Qaeda plot to hijack an Indian airlines or Air India plane and crash it into a British city. This information was uncovered from interrogation of Amjad Khwaja, an operative of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, who had been arrested in India.Indian hijack plot caused new UK terror alert, The Times, January 24, 2010In January 2010, US Defense secretary Robert Gates, while on a visit to Pakistan, stated that al-Qaeda was seeking to destabilize the region and planning to provoke a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.WEB,weblink Al Qaeda could provoke new India-Pakistan war: Gates, Dawn (newspaper), Dawn, January 20, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink January 23, 2010,


Al-Qaeda and its successors have migrated online to escape detection in an atmosphere of increased international vigilance. The group's use of the Internet has grown more sophisticated, with online activities that include financing, recruitment, networking, mobilization, publicity, and information dissemination, gathering and sharing.WEB, Timothy, Thomas,weblink Al Qaeda and the Internet: The Danger of Cyberplanning, February 14, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink March 26, 2003, Abu Ayyub al-Masri's al-Qaeda movement in Iraq regularly releases short videos glorifying the activity of jihadist suicide bombers. In addition, both before and after the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq), the umbrella organization to which al-Qaeda in Iraq belongs, the Mujahideen Shura Council, has a regular presence on the Web.The range of multimedia content includes guerrilla training clips, stills of victims about to be murdered, testimonials of suicide bombers, and videos that show participation in jihad through stylized portraits of mosques and musical scores. A website associated with al-Qaeda posted a video of captured American entrepreneur Nick Berg being decapitated in Iraq. Other decapitation videos and pictures, including those of Paul Johnson, Kim Sun-il, and Daniel Pearl, were first posted on jihadist websites.{{citation needed|date=January 2019|reason=The whole paragraph}}In December 2004 an audio message claiming to be from bin Laden was posted directly to a website, rather than sending a copy to al Jazeera as he had done in the past. Al-Qaeda turned to the Internet for release of its videos in order to be certain they would be available unedited, rather than risk the possibility of al Jazeera editing out anything critical of the Saudi royal family.WEB,weblink Bin Laden Identifies Saudi Arabia as the Enemy of Mujahideen Unity, Scheuer, Michael, January 2008, Terrorism Focus, Jamestown Foundation,weblink" title="">weblink June 25, 2007, and were perhaps the most significant al-Qaeda websites. Alneda was initially taken down by American Jon Messner, but the operators resisted by shifting the site to various servers and strategically shifting content.{{citation needed|date=January 2019|reason=The whole paragraph}}The US government charged a British information technology specialist, Babar Ahmad, with terrorist offences related to his operating a network of English-language al-Qaeda websites, such as He was convicted and sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison.NEWS, Whitlock, Craig, Craig Whitlock, Briton Used Internet As His Bully Pulpit, The Washington Post, August 8, 2005, A1,weblink September 4, 2009, WEB, Babar Ahmad Indicted on Terrorism Charges, United States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut, October 6, 2004,weblink May 29, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink May 26, 2006, NEWS,weblink British cyber-jihadist Babar Ahmad jailed in US, BBC News, July 6, 2015,

Online communications

In 2007, al-Qaeda released Mujahedeen Secrets, encryption software used for online and cellular communications. A later version, Mujahideen Secrets 2, was released in 2008.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Eric, Schmitt, Michael S., Schmidt, Qaeda Plot Leak Has Undermined U.S. Intelligence, September 29, 2013,

Aviation network

Al-Qaeda is believed to be operating a clandestine aviation network including "several Boeing 727 aircraft", turboprops and executive jets, according to a 2010 Reuters story. Based on a US Department of Homeland Security report, the story said that al-Qaeda is possibly using aircraft to transport drugs and weapons from South America to various unstable countries in West Africa. A Boeing 727 can carry up to 10 tons of cargo. The drugs eventually are smuggled to Europe for distribution and sale, and the weapons are used in conflicts in Africa and possibly elsewhere. Gunmen with links to al-Qaeda have been increasingly kidnapping Europeans for ransom. The profits from the drug and weapon sales, and kidnappings can, in turn, fund more militant activities.NEWS, Gaynor, Tim,weblink Al Qaeda linked to rogue aviation network, Reuters, January 13, 2010, May 8, 2011,

Involvement in military conflicts

{{original research|date=August 2013}}The following is a list of military conflicts in which Al-Qaeda and its direct affiliates have taken part militarily.{|class="wikitable sortable"! Start of conflict! End of conflict! Conflict! Continent! Location! Branches involved1991ongoing|Somali Civil War|Africa|SomaliaAl-Shabaab (militant group)>Al-Shabaab19921996Civil war in Afghanistan (1992–96)>Civil war in Afghanistan (1992–1996)|Asia|Islamic State of Afghanistan|Al-Qaeda Central1992ongoing|Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen|Asia|Yemen|Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula19962001|Civil war in Afghanistan (1996–2001)|Asia|Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan|Al-Qaeda Central2001ongoing|War in Afghanistan (2001–present)|Asia|Afghanistan|Al-Qaeda Central2002ongoing|Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present)|Africa|AlgeriaChadMaliMauritaniaMoroccoNigerTunisia|Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb20032011|Iraq War|Asia|Iraq|Al-Qaeda in IraqIslamic State of Iraq2004ongoing|War in North-West Pakistan|Asia|Pakistan|Al-Qaeda Central2009ongoing|Insurgency in the North Caucasus|Asia|Russia|Caucasus Emirate2011ongoing|Syrian Civil War|Asia|Syria|al-Nusra Front2015ongoing|Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen|Asia|YemenAl-Qaeda in the Arabian PeninsulaREPORT: SAUDI-UAE COALITION 'CUT DEALS' WITH AL-QAEDA IN YEMEN WORK=AL-JAZEERA WORK=FOX NEWS WORK=SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 6 August 2018,

Alleged CIA involvement

Experts debate the notion al-Qaeda attacks were an indirect result from the American CIA's Operation Cyclone program to help the Afghan mujahideen. Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary from 1997 to 2001, has written that al-Qaeda and bin Laden were "a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies", and that "Al-Qaida, literally 'the database', was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians."NEWS,weblink The struggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means, Cook, Robin, The Guardian, UK, July 8, 2005, July 8, 2005,weblink" title="">weblink July 10, 2005, live,
Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations from 2002 to 2008, wrote in a letter published in The New York Times on January 19, 2008:}}A variety of sources, including CNN journalist Peter Bergen, Pakistani ISI Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, and CIA operatives involved in the Afghan program, such as Vincent Cannistraro, deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the foreign mujahideen or bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them.Bergen and others argue that there was no need to recruit foreigners unfamiliar with the local language, customs or lay of the land since there were a quarter of a million local Afghans willing to fight.{{Harvnb|Coll|2005|pp=145–46, 155–56}}. Bergen further argues that foreign mujahideen had no need for American funds since they received several million dollars per year from internal sources. Lastly, he argues that Americans could not have trained the mujahideen because Pakistani officials would not allow more than a handful of them to operate in Pakistan and none in Afghanistan, and that the Afghan Arabs were almost invariably militant Islamists reflexively hostile to Westerners whether or not the Westerners were helping the Muslim Afghans.According to Bergen, who conducted the first television interview with bin Laden in 1997: the idea that "the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden... [is] a folk myth. There's no evidence of this... Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently... The real story here is the CIA didn't really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him."NEWS,weblink Bergen: Bin Laden, CIA links hogwash, Bergen, Peter, CNN, August 15, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink August 21, 2006, live, Jason Burke also wrote: }}

Alleged Saudi and Emirati involvement

{{See also|Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen|Al-Qaeda in Syria}}CNN report has revealed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been handing out sophisticated American-made weapons to al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Yemen.NEWS, Saudi Arabia, UAE gave US arms to al-Qaeda-linked groups: Report,weblink al-Jazeera, 5 February 2019, In October 2014, US Vice President Joe Biden stated that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had "poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Al-Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world."NEWS, Joe Biden Is the Only Honest Man in Washington,weblink Foreign Policy, October 7, 2014,

Broader influence

Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, was inspired by Al-Qaeda, calling it "the most successful revolutionary movement in the world." While admitting different aims, he sought to "create a European version of Al-Qaida."NEWS,weblink Breivik Studied al-Qaeda Attacks, Time, April 20, 2012, May 8, 2012, Ritter, Karl,weblink" title="">weblink May 25, 2012, dead, NEWS,weblink Norway: Militant Studied Al Qaeda, The New York Times, April 20, 2012, May 8, 2012,


Islamic extremism dates back to the Kharijites of the 7th century. From their essentially political position, the Kharijites developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and ShiÊ¿a Muslims. The Kharijites were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to Takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death.NEWS,weblink Another battle with Islam's 'true believers', The Globe and Mail, WEB,weblink Archived copy, November 17, 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 2, 2014, WEB,weblink Imam Mohamad Jebara: Fruits of the tree of extremism, Mohamad Jebara More Mohamad Jebara, Ottawa Citizen, According to a number of sources, a "wave of revulsion" has been expressed against al-Qaeda and its affiliates by "religious scholars, former fighters and militants" who are alarmed by al-Qaeda's takfir and its killing of Muslims in Muslim countries, especially in Iraq.{{Harvnb|Bergen|Cruickshank|2008}}; {{Harvnb|Wright|2008}}. Quotes taken from {{Harvnb|Riedel|2008|pp=106–07}} and {{Harvnb|Bergen|Cruickshank|2008}}.Noman Benotman, a former Afghan Arab and a militant member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), went public with an open letter of criticism to Ayman al-Zawahiri in November 2007, after persuading the imprisoned senior leaders of his former group to enter into peace negotiations with the Libyan regime. While Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the affiliation of the group with al-Qaeda in November 2007, the Libyan government released 90 members of the group from prison several months after "they were said to have renounced violence."WEB,weblink Libya releases scores of prisoners,, April 9, 2008, March 22, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink July 18, 2008, In 2007, on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Saudi sheikh Salman al-Ouda delivered a personal rebuke to bin Laden. Al-Ouda, a religious scholar and one of the fathers of the Sahwa, the fundamentalist awakening movement that swept through Saudi Arabia in the 1980s, is a widely respected critic of jihadism.{{Citation needed|date=September 2009}} Al-Ouda addressed al-Qaeda's leader on television asking him:.}}According to Pew polls, support for al-Qaeda had dropped in the Muslim world in the years before 2008.WEB,weblink Taking Stock of the War on Terror,, May 22, 2008, March 22, 2010, Support of suicide bombings in Indonesia, Lebanon, and Bangladesh, dropped by half or more in the last five years.{{when|date=August 2018}} In Saudi Arabia, only 10 percent had a favorable view of al-Qaeda, according to a December 2017 poll by Terror Free Tomorrow, a Washington-based think tank.NEWS,weblink December 18, 2007 Poll: Most Saudis oppose al Qaeda, CNN, December 18, 2007, March 22, 2010, In 2007, the imprisoned Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif, an influential Afghan Arab, "ideological godfather of al-Qaeda", and former supporter of takfir, withdrew his support from al-Qaeda with a book Wathiqat Tarshid Al-'Aml Al-Jihadi fi Misr w'Al-'Alam ().Although once associated with al-Qaeda, in September 2009 LIFG completed a new "code" for jihad, a 417-page religious document entitled "Corrective Studies". Given its credibility and the fact that several other prominent Jihadists in the Middle East have turned against al-Qaeda, the LIFG's reversal may be an important step toward staunching al-Qaeda's recruitment."New jihad code threatens al Qaeda", Nic Robertson and Paul Cruickshank, CNN, November 10, 2009

Other criticisms

Bilal Abdul Kareem, an American journalist based in Syria created a documentary about al-Shabab, al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia. The documentary included interviews with former members of the group who stated their reasons for leaving al-Shabab. The members made accusations of segregation, lack of religious awareness and internal corruption and favoritism. In response to Kareem, the Global Islamic Media Front condemned Kareem, called him a liar, and denied the accusations from the former fighters.WEB,weblink New release from the Global Islamic Media Front: "Lies in Disguise: A Response From the Deep Heart of a Mujāhid of the Lions of Islām in Somalia", June 6, 2017, In mid-2014 after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant declared that they had restored the Caliphate, an audio statement was released by the then-spokesman of the group Abu Muhammad al-Adnani claiming that "the legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the Caliphate's authority". The speech included a religious refutation of Al-Qaeda for being too lenient regarding Shiites and their refusal to recognize the authority Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al-Adnani specifically noting: "It is not suitable for a state to give allegiance to an organization". He also recalled a past instance in which Osama bin Laden called on al-Qaeda members and supporters to give allegiance to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi when the group was still solely operating in Iraq, as the Islamic State of Iraq, and condemned Ayman al-Zawahiri for not making this same claim for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and that Zawahiri was encouraging factionalism and division between former allies of ISIL such as the al-Nusra Front.WEB,weblink ISIS Spokesman Declares Caliphate, Rebrands Group as "Islamic State", SITE,, WEB,weblink al-Furqān Media presents a new audio message from the Islamic State's Shaykh Abū Muḥammad al 'Adnānī al-Shāmī: "This Is the Promise Of God", June 29, 2014,

See also

{hide}Wikipedia books
|1=Islamic terrorism
|3=Islamic terrorist groups
{edih}{{div col|colwidth=22em}} {{div col end}}Publications:



Further reading

  • BOOK, Andrea, Mura, The Symbolic Scenarios of Islamism: A Study in Islamic Political Thought,weblink Routledge, 2015, London,
  • BOOK, Al-Bahri, Nasser, Nasser al-Bahri, Guarding bin Laden: My Life in Al-Qaeda, Thin Man Press, London, 978-0-9562473-6-0, 2013,
  • BOOK, Atran, Scott, Scott Atran, Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (un)making of Terrorists, Ecco Press, New York, 978-0-06-134490-9, 2010,
  • BOOK, Atwan, Abdel Bari, Abdel Bari Atwan, The Secret History of al Qaeda, University of California Press, 2006, Berkeley, CA, 978-0-520-24974-5, harv,
  • BOOK, Atwan, Abdel Bari, Abdel Bari Atwan, After Bin Laden: Al-Qaeda, The Next Generation, Saqi Books (London)/ New Press (New York), 2012, London/New York, 9780863564192,
  • JOURNAL, Basile, Mark, Going to the Source: Why Al Qaeda's Financial Network Is Likely to Withstand the Current War on Terrorist Financing, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 27, 3, May 2004, 169–185, 10.1080/10576100490438237, harv,
  • BOOK, Benjamin, Daniel, Daniel Benjamin, Simon, Steven, The Age of Sacred Terror, Random House, 2002, 1st, New York, 0-375-50859-7, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Bergen, Peter, Peter Bergen, Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden, Free Press, 2001, 1st, New York, 0-7432-3495-2, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Bergen, Peter, The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader, Free Press, 2006, 2nd, New York, 0-7432-7892-5, harv
  • NEWS, Bergen, Peter, Cruickshank, Paul, The Unraveling: The jihadist revolt against bin Laden, The New Republic, 238, 10, June 11, 2008, 16–21,weblink May 4, 2011, harv
  • BOOK, Bergen, Peter, The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and al-Qaedalocation=New York, 978-0-7432-7893-5, 2011
  • BOOK, Bin Laden, Osama, Osama bin Laden, Lawrence, Bruce, Bruce Lawrence, Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, 2005, Verso, London, 1-84467-045-7,weblink
  • BOOK, Cassidy, Robert M., Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War, Praeger Security International, 2006, Westport, CT, 0-275-98990-9, harv
  • BOOK, Coll, Steve, Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, 2nd, 2005, Penguin Books, New York, 0-14-303466-9, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Esposito, John L., John L. Esposito, Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, Oxford University Press, 2002, New York, 0-19-515435-5, harv
  • BOOK, Gunaratna, Rohan, Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, C. Hurst & Co., 2002, 1st, London, 1-85065-671-1, harv
  • JOURNAL, Hafez, Mohammed M., Mohammed Hafez, Martyrdom Mythology in Iraq: How Jihadists Frame Suicide Terrorism in Videos and Biographies, Terrorism and Political Violence, 19, 1
pages=95–115, 10.1080/09546550601054873, harv,
  • BOOK, Hoffman, Bruce, Bruce Hoffman, The Emergence of the New Terrorism, Tan, Andrew, Ramakrishna, Kumar, The New Terrorism: Anatomy, Trends, and Counter-Strategies, 30–49, Eastern Universities Press, 2002, Singapore, 981-210-210-8, harv
  • BOOK, Jansen, Johannes J.G., Johannes J.G. Jansen, The Dual Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism, Cornell University Press, 1997, Ithaca, NY, 0-8014-3338-X, harv,weblink
  • NEWS, McGeary, Johanna, A Traitor's Tale, Time, 157, 7, February 19, 2001, 36–37,weblink September 15, 2009, harv
  • BOOK, Napoleoni, Loretta, Loretta Napoleoni, Modern Jihad: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks, Pluto Press, 2003, London, harv, 0-7453-2117-8
  • BOOK, Qutb, Sayyid, Sayyid Qutb, Milestones, Kazi Publications, 2003, Chicago, 0-911119-42-6, harv, Ma'alim fi al-Tariq
  • BOOK, Rashid, Ahmed, Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Yale University Press
origyear=2000, New Haven, 1-86064-830-4, harv,
  • BOOK, Reeve, Simon, Simon Reeve (UK television presenter), The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama Bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism, Northeastern University Press, 1999, Boston, 1-55553-407-4, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Riedel, Bruce, Bruce Riedel, The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future, Brookings Institution Press, 2008, Washington, D.C., 978-0-8157-7414-3, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Sageman, Marc, Marc Sageman, Understanding Terror Networks, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, Philadelphia, 0-8122-3808-7, harv,weblink
, ,
  • BOOK, Wechsler, William F., Strangling The Hydra: Targeting Al Qaeda's Finances, Hoge, James, James F. Hoge, Jr., Rose, Gideon, Gideon Rose, How Did This Happen? Terrorism and the New War, PublicAffairs, 2001, New York, 129–143, 1-58648-130-4, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Wright, Lawrence, Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Knopf, 2006, New York, 0-375-41486-X, harv,weblink
  • NEWS, Wright, Lawrence, The Rebellion Within, The New Yorker, 84, 16, June 2, 2008, 36–53,weblink September 15, 2009, harv
pages=444–445, 10.1017/S0020743805362143, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Bale, Jeffrey M., Deciphering Islamism and Terrorism, Middle East Journal, 60, 4, October 2006, 777–788, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Shaffer, R, The Terrorism, Ideology, and Transformations of Al-Qaeda, Terrorism and Political Violence, 27, 3
pages=581–590, 10.1080/09546553.2015.1055968, harv,
Government reports

External links

{{Sister project links|wikt=no|commons=Category:al-Qaeda|b=no|n=Category:al-Qaeda|q=al-Qaeda|s=no|v=no|voy=no|species=no|d=no|mw=no}}

{{al-Qaeda}}{{Osama bin Laden}}{{Islamism}}{{al-Qaeda and direct affiliates}}{{US War on Terror}}{{Authority control}}

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Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
M.R.M. Parrott