• [115] Other analysts have described al-Qaeda’s rank and file as being “predominantly Arab” in its first years of operation, but that the organization also includes “other
    peoples” as of 2007.

  • There is also no evidence that bin Laden used the term “al-Qaeda” to refer to the name of a group until after September 11 attacks, when he realized that this was the term
    the Americans had given it.

  • The deaths of key leaders, including that of Osama bin Laden, have led al-Qaeda’s operations to shift from top-down organization and planning of attacks, to the planning of
    attacks carried out by a loose network of associated groups and lone-wolf operators.

  • “[123] Among the first pieces of evidence regarding Saudi Arabia’s support for al-Qaeda was the so-called “Golden Chain”, a list of early al-Qaeda funders seized during a
    2002 raid in Sarajevo by Bosnian police.

  • [127] The MWL was openly identified by al-Qaeda’s leader as one of the three charities al-Qaeda primarily relied upon for funding sources.

  • “[3] 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.

  • Curtis contended the name “al-Qaeda” was first brought to the attention of the public in the 2001 trial of bin Laden and the four men accused of the 1998 US embassy bombings
    in East Africa.

  • 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.

  • Both of these documents contain minutes of meetings held to establish a new military group, and contain the term “al-Qaeda”.

  • [72] Organization Al-Qaeda only indirectly controls its day-to-day operations.

  • [125] It was alleged that in 1993 Bin Laden was using Middle East based Sunni charities to channel financial support to al-Qaeda operatives overseas.

  • The lack of any significant numbers of convicted al-Qaeda members, despite a large number of arrests on terrorism charges, was cited by the documentary as a reason to doubt
    whether a widespread entity that met the description of al-Qaeda existed.

  • [147] It has been argued that two documents seized from the Sarajevo office of the Benevolence International Foundation prove the name was not simply adopted by the mujahideen
    movement and that a group called al-Qaeda was established in August 1988.

  • [74] However, after the War on Terror, al-Qaeda’s leadership has become isolated.

  • This idea would directly influence many Islamist figures such as Abdullah Azzam and Usama Bin Laden; and became the core rationale for the formulation of “Al-Qaeda” concept
    in the near future.

  • [75][76] Many terrorism experts do not believe that the global jihadist movement is driven at every level by al-Qaeda’s leadership.

  • [128] Nuaimi was accused of overseeing a $2 million monthly transfer to al-Qaeda in Iraq as part of his role as mediator between Iraq-based al-Qaeda senior officers and Qatari

  • [78] As of 2010 however, Bruce Hoffman saw al-Qaeda as a cohesive network that was strongly led from the Pakistani tribal areas.

  • [116] According to the 2004 BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares, al-Qaeda was so weakly linked together that it was hard to say it existed apart from bin Laden and a small
    clique of close associates.

  • [129][132] He also financially supported Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a Pakistani national and senior al-Qaeda officer who is believed to be the mastermind behind the September
    11 attack according to the September 11 Commission report.

  • It made them identifiable as a group and therefore made it easier to prosecute any person associated with al-Qaeda for any acts or statements made by bin Laden.

  • [128] The US Treasury has said Nuaimi “has facilitated significant financial support to al-Qaeda in Iraq, and served as an interlocutor between al-Qaeda in Iraq and Qatar-based

  • [61] Al-Qaeda members believe a Christian-Jewish alliance (led by the United States) is conspiring to be at war against Islam and destroy Islam.

  • 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.

  • [117] Al-Qaeda’s commanders, as well as its sleeping agents, are hiding in different parts of the world to this day.

  • Experts argue that al-Qaeda has fragmented into a number of disparate regional movements, and that these groups bear little connection with one another.

  • [67] The United States government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the “war on terror”, which sought to undermine al-Qaeda and its allies.

  • Curtis wrote: The reality was that bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri had become the focus of a loose association of disillusioned Islamist militants who were attracted by the
    new strategy.

  • Seven years later, Ayman al-Zawahiri became arguably the number one leader in the organization, implementing his strategy with systematic consistency.

  • In this phase, al-Qaeda wanted to execute additional attacks and focus their attention on Syria.

  • As a result, the leadership has become decentralized, and the organization has become regionalized into several al-Qaeda groups.

  • Subayi’s name was added to the UN Security Council’s Sanctions List in 2008 on charges of providing financial and material support to al-Qaeda senior leadership.

  • [143] The doctrinal concept of “Al-Qaeda” was first coined by the Palestinian Islamist scholar and Jihadist leader Abdullah Azzam in an April 1988 issue of Al-Jihad magazine
    to describe a religiously committed vanguard of Muslims who wage armed Jihad globally to liberate oppressed Muslims from foreign invaders, establish sharia (Islamic law) across the Islamic World by overthrowing the ruling secular governments;
    and thus restore the past Islamic prowess.

  • 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 it was capable of before 1995.

  • [124] Documents seized during the 2002 Bosnia raid showed that al-Qaeda widely exploited charities to channel financial and material support to its operatives across the globe.

  • Al-Qaeda is a way of working … but this has the hallmark of that approach … al-Qaeda clearly has the ability to provide training … to provide expertise … and I think
    that is what has occurred here.

  • [124][125] Osama bin-Laden’s name appeared seven times among the beneficiaries, while 20 Saudi and Gulf-based businessmen and politicians were listed among the donors.

  • Nevertheless, it was around this time that the Arab Spring greeted the region, the turmoil of which came great to al-Qaeda’s regional forces.

  • [127] Allegations of Qatari support See also: Qatar and state-sponsored terrorism and Qatar diplomatic crisis Several Qatari citizens have been accused of funding al-Qaeda.

  • [136][137] Strategy 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.

  • [110] Field operatives Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir interviewing Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, 1997 The number of individuals in the group who have undergone proper military
    training, and are capable of commanding insurgent forces, is largely unknown.

  • [148] 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.

  • [73] Al-Qaeda’s top leaders have defined the organization’s ideology and guiding strategy, and they have also articulated simple and easy-to-receive messages.

  • The number of al-Qaeda militants was set at 20,000 in Syria alone, and they had 4,000 members in Yemen and about 7,000 in Somalia.

  • Insurgent forces According to author Robert Cassidy, al-Qaeda maintains two separate forces which are deployed alongside insurgents in Iraq and Pakistan.

  • “[146] Bin Laden explained the origin of the term in a videotaped interview with Al Jazeera journalist Tayseer Alouni in October 2001: The name ‘al-Qaeda’ was established
    a long time ago by mere chance.

  • In this phase, al-Qaeda expected the resistance from Israel to be heavily reduced.

  • The following are presently believed to be indirect affiliates of al-Qaeda: • Caucasus Emirate (factions) • Fatah al-Islam[81] • Islamic Jihad Union[82] • Islamic Movement
    of Uzbekistan • Jaish-e-Mohammed[83] • Jemaah Islamiyah[84] • Lashkar-e-Taiba[85] • Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group[86] Al-Qaeda’s former affiliates include the following: • Abu Sayyaf (pledged allegiance to ISIL in 2014[87]) • Al-Mourabitoun
    (joined JNIM in 2017[88]) • Al-Qaeda in Iraq (became the Islamic State of Iraq, which later seceded from al-Qaeda and became ISIL) • Al-Qaeda in the Lands Beyond the Sahel (inactive since 2015[89]) • Ansar al-Islam (majority merged with ISIL
    in 2014) • Ansar Dine (joined JNIM in 2017[88]) • Islamic Jihad of Yemen (became AQAP) • Jund al-Aqsa (pledged allegiance to ISIL in 2017) • Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (merged with Al-Mulathameen to form Al-Mourabitoun in
    2013) • Rajah Sulaiman movement[90] • Al-Nusra Front (became Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and split ties in 2017, disputed) • Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (pledged alliance to ISIL and adopted the name Sinai Province) Leadership Osama bin Laden (1988 – May
    2011) Osama bin Laden (left) and Ayman al-Zawahiri (right) photographed in 2001 Osama bin Laden served as the emir of al-Qaeda from the organization’s founding in 1988 until his assassination by US forces on May 1, 2011.

  • In fact, from Northwest Africa to South Asia, al-Qaeda had more than two dozen “franchise-based” allies.

  • [144][145][146] According to Azzam’s world-view: “It is about time to think about a state that would be a solid base for the distribution of the (Islamic) creed, and a fortress
    to host the preachers from the hell of the Jahiliyyah [the pre-Islamic period].

  • These were militants who mostly planned their own operations and looked to bin Laden for funding and assistance.

  • 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.

  • This was to be implemented by establishing an Islamic state that would nurture generations of Muslim soldiers that would perpetually attack United States and its allied governments
    in the Muslim World.

  • [114] In 2006, it was estimated that al-Qaeda had several thousand commanders embedded in 40 countries.

  • The goal of this phase was to recruit young men to the cause and to transform the al-Qaeda group into a movement.

  • [77] This view mirrors the account given by Osama bin Laden in his October 2001 interview with Tayseer Allouni: this matter isn’t about any specific person and … is not
    about the al-Qa’idah Organization.

  • Batterjee was designated as a terror financier by the US Department of the Treasury in 2004, and Julaidan is recognized as one of al-Qaeda’s founders.

  • Command structure Most of Al Qaeda’s top leaders and operational directors were veterans who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

  • [56] Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on civilian and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, and the
    2002 Bali bombings;[5] it has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council,[57] the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, India, and various other countries.

  • On December 18, 2013, the US Treasury designated Nuaimi as a terrorist for his activities supporting al-Qaeda.

  • However, bin Laden held considerable ideological sway over some Muslim extremists before his death.

  • Through al-Qaeda’s information committees, he placed special emphasis on communicating with his groups.

  • [134] The Consortium Against Terrorist Finance (CATF) reported that the Gulf country has funded al-Nusra since 2013.

  • This will lead to a global jihad led by al-Qaeda, and a Wahhabi Caliphate will then be installed across the world.

  • US-led efforts to eradicate the sources of “terrorist financing”[101] were most successful in the year immediately following the September 11 attacks.

  • [21] After fighting the “holy” war, the group aimed to expand such operations to other parts of the world, setting up bases in parts of Africa, the Arab world and elsewhere,[60]
    carrying out many attacks on people whom it considers kāfir.

  • Al-Nusra acknowledged a Qatar-sponsored campaign “as one of the preferred conduits for donations intended for the group”.

  • [96] Nasir al-Wuhayshi was alleged to have become al-Qaeda’s overall second in command and general manager in 2013.


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