Terrorism: Al Qaeda, Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places
by: Raymund Babaran
Al-Qaeda, multinational alliance of Islamist terrorist groups engaged in a universal jihad against the United States of America, its allies, and friends. Established as Al-Qaeda al Sulbah (The Solid Base) in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 1988, the predominantly Arab group supports multiple jihad campaigns around the world. As the proclaimed “pioneering vanguard” of the “Islamic movements”, Al-Qaeda is steadfast in its desire to establish Islamic states wherever Muslims live.
After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in February 1989, Al-Qaeda provided state-of-the-art training, finance, ideological, and strategic direction to two dozen Asian, Middle Eastern, African, and Caucasian Islamist groups. Since US intervention in Afghanistan in October 2001, a dispersed Al-Qaeda is relying on these disparate associates for survival and for conducting terrorist attacks. Al-Qaeda, working together with its associated members, has supported or conducted terrorist attacks in Karachi, Jarbah, Bali, Amman, Mombasa, Riyadh, Chechnya, Casablanca, Jakarta, the Philippines, Ýstanbul, Iraq, and Afghanistan. With several new groups joining the fight, the frequency of attacks has increased.
Al-Qaeda is the successor of Maktab-il Khidamat (Afghan Service Bureau, established in 1984) founded by the Palestinian Jordanian Abdulla Azzam, the pre-eminent ideologue of the anti-Soviet multinational Afghan mujahedin campaign, and his protégé Osama bin Laden, a Saudi financier who fought against the Soviet army. Two pivotal events, first the “defeat” of the Soviet army, the world’s largest land army, and the culminating loss of its superpower status and second, the Iranian revolution, and the Iranian defiance of the US in holding American diplomats as hostages for 444 days, emboldened the Islamists to take on the remaining superpower.
After having failed to inspire and instigate the vast majority of the Muslims to revolt against “false Muslim rulers” and “corrupt Muslim regimes” in the early 1990s, violent Islamist groups had turned against “Crusader” and “Jewish” targets by the mid-1990s. By conducting the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Al-Qaeda hoped to bring a vast majority of the peace-loving Muslims into conflict with the Western world. Although Al-Qaeda failed, it succeeded in inspiring and instigating two dozen violent Islamist groups in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and in the Caucasus to attack not only their opposing local governments but also the United States, its allies, and friends. During the first 24 months after the September 11 attacks Al-Qaeda was gravely weakened following the loss of 4,100 members, associate members, and key supporters in 102 countries. Its current strength is estimated at under 1,000 members.
The most enduring contribution of Al-Qaeda, a force multiplier, has been its ability to successfully convince the territorial jihad groups with local aims and objectives to subscribe to a universal ideology of a global jihad. Al-Qaeda and its associated groups operate through the framework of the Al-Qaeda umbrella, the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders established in February 1998. By morphing from a group into a mass movement of several tens of thousands of followers, Al-Qaeda has triggered a phase of perpetual conflict between the violent Islamist groups and the West. While Al-Qaeda staged an average of one attack every year before the September 11 attacks, today, the Al-Qaeda network conducts an average of one attack every three months. Although attributed to Al-Qaeda, a vast majority of the attacks have been not by Al-Qaeda but by its associates in the global south. Although Al-Qaeda’s intention to attack North America, Western Europe, and Australasia has not diminished, its capability to plan, prepare, and execute an attack on Western soil has suffered. As a result, the bulk of the Islamist terrorist attacks are against Western targets in the global south. US intervention in Iraq in March 2003 (see War on Iraq) has increased the size, strength, and the influence of Islamist groups. As a consequence of Al-Qaeda working with disparate groups worldwide, both the threat and the threshold of terrorism have increased several-fold after September 11, 2001. To respond to a terrorist threat that is multidimensional and global in reach, the international community will have to develop a multi-pronged, multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, and multinational approach.
-The AL QAEDA group as it said is the most violent and the most dangerous terrorist in this time. It is proven because of their actions that result to tragedy. Just like what they’ve done last September 11, 2001. Many of lives have lost because of the bombing of the World Trade Center in United States. That is one of the tragic actions that the AL QAEDA has done.
But on the other hand, the AL QAEDA, for Muslims is their army for the liberation of their holy places. AL QAEDA for them is the one that is responsible in taking freedom for the holy places of the Muslims. AL QAEDA helps the Afghans in recruiting, transporting and training Islamic extremist during the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. Their current goal is to reestablish the Muslim state in the world. AL QAEDA works with Islamic Extremist groups to overthrow regimes it deems non Islamic and remove westerners from Muslim countries. That is the reason why the some Muslims believes that the AL QAEDA is their army for the liberation of the Muslims holy places..