PDF The World According to Al Qaeda: PDF

by Brad K. Berner

Founded in the late 1980s in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, has come to symbolize contemporary terrorism for many, especially since its September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. However, for a significant fundamentalist Islamist minority, it represents a force that is resisting Western encroachment and the 'apostate' regimes ruling Muslim countries.
The Al Qaeda of the 1990s no longer exists. Although it has suffered serious reverses with the loss of its training camps in Afghanistan and the capture or death of some of its cadre and leaders, Al Qaeda continues as a more decentralized organization and believes it has succeeded in its self-proclaimed role as a "detonator" with the advent of many like-minded organizations and individuals that are currently undertaking violent jihad throughout the world. Key to understanding Al Qaeda's view has been its long-term strategy to involve the United States in a regional conflict, as a prelude to widening its fight to other regions.
The appeal of its ideology is best understood in Al Qaeda's own words and the words of affiliated organizations and supporters. This compilation includes statements by organizations in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kashmir, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, in addition to statements by Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda writers and theoreticians, and various pro-Al Qaeda jihadist leaders throughout the world.

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