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Al Qaeda

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In the years since Sept. 11, 2001, understanding the Al Qaeda organization—its strategy, ideology and leadership structure—has become a major preoccupation of both scholars and security specialists. Policymakers and legal scholars have debated what legal tools and tactics we should and should not use to defeat the organization. And as the long war that began on 9/11 drags on, defining which precise individuals and groups constitute the group and its allies remains one of the most crucial questions national-security lawyers have to address.

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As the war with the Soviets drew to a close, Bin Laden wanted to continue the struggle beyond Afghanistan with a holy war to overthrow regimes deemed by him to be un-Islamic and to expel infidels from all Muslim land, this would be achieved by Al Qaeda operations and working alongside other Islamic extremist groups. It has operated with groups from Algeria, Chechnya, Kashmir, Libya, Lebanon, Philippines, Somalia, Uzbekistan and Yemen, with some of the groups being the following; This list is not exhaustive as Al Qaeda’s alliances are continually evolving, but its operations have included joint missions, sharing of intelligence and supplying of funds, to voicing support. It has also absorbed groups into it since its inception notably, Al-Jihad,”Egyptian Islamic Jihad”, and Tanzim Qaidat al-Jiahd fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, “Organisation of Jihad’s base in the country of the two rivers”, which became Al Qaeda in Iraq. It has links to Sudan, where the group was based from 1991-96 when the Sudanese government was pressured to make Al Qaeda leave its territory, the largest state alignment it had was with the Taliban in Afghanistan. This provided a stable base and backing for its activities, which has led to Al Qaeda being forever intertwined with the ongoing Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan and during the “Global war on terror”, Taliban and Al Qaeda fighting side by side. Finally although it has never been proved or confirmed there is strong belief that the ISI, Pakistani intelligence services has had a murky relationship with Al Qaeda for its own benefits and aims.

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The war against the west by Al Qaida declined to 75% in 2007 and to 50% in 2010 as Al Qaida moved attention to Somalia and Yemen. Al Qaida moved from Afghanistan-Pakistan border and they have concentrated on Somalia and Yemen. Their leaders are believed to be hiding in other tribal countries. In Somalia, Al Qaida collaborates with Shahab group and they are actively recruiting children for suicidal bombing. Young people are trained and sent at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to fight Americans. Al Qaida and Yemen joined to form Al Qaida group in the Arabian Peninsula. Al Qaida is believed to be responsible for the 2009 bombing of northwest airline flight 253 (Bergen, 2001). In 1998, Al Qaida prepared to attack USA by training staff to seize aircraft. This was reported by the director of central intelligence to the president. On September 11, 2001 Al Qaida attacked U.S in a bomb that killed 3000 civilians. Al Qaida has carried out six major terrorism attacks. The group is known to arrange its attack in advance by training the personnel and transporting weapons. They use their businesses to make all the necessary arrangements and false identities to its members (Esposito, 2002).

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Usually, over the last few years, the group has developed its membership and claimed responsibilities for various terrorist attacks in the region. The group claimed responsibility of bombing the Northwest Airlines Flight 253. Many know the group as AQAP; it has increased its membership from around one hundred since in 2009 to over a thousand people. According to the aforementioned facts, it is possible to conclude that Al-Qaeda is the world’s leading terror group. It calls for collaborative efforts from all governments to ensure its permanent elimination.

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Bergen, P. (2001). Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin laden (1st Ed.). New York: Free Press. ISBN 0743234952.

Coll, E. (2005). Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2nd Ed.). New York: Penguin Books.

Esposito, J. (2002). Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lawrence, B. (2005). Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden. London. Macmillan

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Al Qaeda
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