Paper on the Al Qaeda Terrorist Organization

Essay by sgee13University, Bachelor'sA, April 2006

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda surpassed the IRA and the PLO as the world's most well-known terrorist organization. Al-Qaeda, or "the base" in Arabic, is the network of extremists organized by Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda has its origins in the uprising against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Thousands of volunteers from around the Middle East came to Afghanistan as mujahideen, warriors fighting to defend fellow Muslims. In the mid-1980s, Osama bin Laden became the prime financier for an organization that recruited Muslims from mosques around the world. These "Afghan Arab" mujahideen, who numbered in the thousands, were crucial in defeating Soviet forces. After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, bin Laden returned to his native Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden also studied with radical Islamic thinkers and may have already been organizing al-Qaeda when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. Bin Laden was outraged when the government allowed U.S.

troops to be stationed in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. In 1991 he was expelled from Saudi Arabia for anti-government activities.

After his expulsion from Saudi Arabia, bin Laden established headquarters for al-Qaeda in Khartoum, Sudan. The first actions of al-Qaeda against American interests were attacks on U.S. servicemen in Somalia. A series of terrorist actions suspected to have been orchestrated by al-Qaeda followed. Subsequent attacks include numerous embassy bombings, the first attempt on the World Trade Center, a boat attack on the U.S.S. Cole, bombings of airplanes and movie theaters out of the Philippines. Al-Qaeda has also been linked to recent attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, and on a nightclub in Bali. In 1994, Sudan, under pressure from Saudi Arabia and the U.S., expelled bin Laden, who moved his base of operations to Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda set up terrorist training camps in the war-torn nation, as...