Al Qaeda


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Wikipedia.

Al Qaeda

or

Al Qaida

(äl kī`ĕdə, kä`ĭdä) [Arab.,=the base], Sunni Islamic terrorist organization with the stated goals of uniting all Muslims and establishing a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state. Founded by Osama bin Ladenbin Laden, Osama or Usama
, 1957?–2011, Saudi-born leader of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization devoted to uniting all Muslims and establishing a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in Pakistan in the late 1980s, its membership originally consisted of Sunni Muslim Arabs who had come to Afghanistan to fight a holy war against occupying Soviet forces. Much of Al Qaeda's ideology was influenced by militant Egyptian Islamist Sayyd QutbQutb, Sayyid
, 1906–66, Egyptian Islamist whose critique of modern civilization and Islam provides the theoretical underpinnings for many contemporary Islamic militants.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

After Soviet troops withdrew (1989) from Afghanistan, bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia. He opposed the presence of U.S. forces there during the First Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.

The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and after he was caught smuggling arms (1991) he was expelled and went to Sudan. Al Qaeda subsequently began supporting attacks on U.S.-related targets, including two attacks (1995, 1996) in Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden was forced to leave Sudan in 1996. He relocated to Afghanistan, where much of the country was controlled by the TalibanTaliban
or Taleban
, Islamic fundamentalist militia of Afghanistan and later Pakistan, originally consisting mainly of Sunni Pashtun religious students from Afghanistan who were educated and trained in Pakistan.
..... Click the link for more information.
, who allowed him to establish a headquarters and training camps. Al Qaeda had by then been enlarged by the influx of members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad; other militants came to the camps to be trained in terrorist warfare and fundamentalist Muslim ideology.

In 1998 terrorists trained by Al Qaeda were linked to the bombings of the U.S.'s Kenyan and Tanzanian embassies; subsequent significant attacks directed by Al Qaeda included that on the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole in Aden, Yemen (2000), and those on New York City's World Trade CenterWorld Trade Center,
former building complex in lower Manhattan, New York City, consisting of seven buildings and a shopping concourse on a 16-acre (6.5-hectare) site; it was destroyed by a terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
..... Click the link for more information.
, in which some 3,000 died, and the PentagonPentagon, the,
building accommodating the U.S. Dept. of Defense. Located in Arlington, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the Pentagon is a vast five-sided building designed by Los Angeles architect G. Edwin Bergstrom.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (2001; see also 9/119/11,
the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, in the United States, and the associated events and impact of those attacks.

The attacks, which were carried out by agents of Al Qaeda (a militant Islamic terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden) used three hijacked commercial
..... Click the link for more information.
). The events of 9/11 led to U.S. intervention in the Afghan civil war, and attacks against the Taliban and Al Qaeda installations in Afghanistan.

Although Al Qaeda's camps were destroyed, bin Laden and many fighters escaped; bin Laden established a new base in the mountains bordering Pakistan for a time as the U.S. conducted missions against Al Qaeda. Eventually based in parts of W Pakistan, Al Qaeda continued to function and launch terror attacks on a more limited scale; it also provided support to and inspiration for other groups committed to a fundamentalist Islamic insurgency, becoming identified with a decentralized international network of terrorists. Many Al Qaeda recruits returned to their homelands, and they and others formed similar, more or less autonomous groups, mainly in the Middle East and Africa, and aligned themselves with Al Qaeda and sometimes adopted its name. In most cases, however, these groups were focused on local issues and battles, and often fighting against other Muslims, especially Shiites, rather than attacking Western nations.

Deadly terrorist attacks supported or inspired by Al Qaeda continued, the most serious of which were the anti-Western bombings on Bali in 2002, the commuter rail bombings in Madrid, Spain, in 2004, and the public transit bombings in London, England, in 2005. Al Qaeda–associated fighters also have been involved in attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and against Muslims they regard as apostate, such as Shiites in Iraq. In 2011 U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in a helicopter raid on his secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Ayman al-ZawahiriZawahiri or Zawahri, Ayman al-
, 1951–, militant Egyptian Islamist. A surgeon by education and training, he became involved with the Muslim Brotherhood and joined the Egyptian Islamic Jihad after it was founded in
..... Click the link for more information.
 succeeded him as the group's leader.

References in periodicals archive ?
The transition from safe haven to the fourth stage of creating an Islamist state is not well articulated in al Qaeda literature, probably because more thought has been given to conducting the current fight with its more definable parameters, but some al Qaeda writings on the subject are available.
Numerous estimates show that the group called Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and its foreign fighters comprise only 5 to 10 percent of the Sunni insurgents' forces.
Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there," President Bush said a week after the attacks.
But when the Justice Department feels it may be losing, it pulls out this trump card: Even "if FISA could not be read to allow the President to authorize the NSA activities during the current Congressionally authorized armed conflict with Al Qaeda, FISA would be unconstitutional.
From Iran's standpoint, the less favorable outcome has always been one in which al Qaeda became the radical Muslim world's sole challenger to the West.
The purpose of this article is to show that all of the intelligence gathered thus far in the US-led War on Terror displays a visible strategy and system of attack that Al Qaeda is employing in its terrorist operations.
Readers will learn that Al Qaeda once controlled a fleet of 15 ships used to "smuggle terrorists, tons of explosives, and cartons of cash or drugs.
His capture, said one Pakistani official, is "a major breakthrough in the , hunt for AL Qaeda fugitives.
Al Qaeda In Iraq's Founder And His Successor Were Foreign Terrorists, Not Iraqis
Army infantry officer and FBI special agent assigned to a joint terrorism task force, explained the evolution of Al Qaeda from 1988 to the present.
UNITED NATIONS -- Osama Bin Laden's successor as the leader of Al Qaeda has struggled to unite its various factions, a UN report said Wednesday, but the group remains an evolving threat.
Washington, May 30 ( ANI ): Months before US President Barack Obama declared that the al Qaeda was "on a path to defeat", his aides had been telling Congress that the terrorist network was expanding and was capable of inflicting mass casualties in the US.