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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Al-Qaeda (The Base)

Reposted with permission from Federation of American Scientists: Project on Government Secrecy

al-Qa'ida (The Base) Qa‘idat al-Jihad Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders Islamic Salvation Foundation Usama bin Laden Network

Al-Qa'ida is multi-national, with members from numerous countries and with a worldwide presence. Senior leaders in the organization are also senior leaders in other terrorist organizations, including those designated by the Department of State as foreign terrorist organizations, such as the Egyptian al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya and the Egyptian al-Jihad. Al-Qa'ida seeks a global radicalization of existing Islamic groups and the creation of radical Islamic groups where none exist.

Al-Qa'ida supports Muslim fighters in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Kosovo. It also trains members of terrorist organizations from such diverse countries as the Philippines, Algeria, and Eritrea.

Al-Qa'ida's goal is to "unite all Muslims and to establish a government which follows the rule of the Caliphs." Bin Laden has stated that the only way to establish the Caliphate is by force. Al-Qa'ida's goal, therefore, is to overthrow nearly all Muslim governments, which are viewed as corrupt, to drive Western influence from those countries, and eventually to abolish state boundaries.


Established by Usama Bin Ladin in the late 1980s to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. Helped finance, recruit, transport, and train Sunni Islamic extremists for the Afghan resistance. Current goal is to establish a pan-Islamic Caliphate throughout the world by working with allied Islamic extremist groups to overthrow regimes it deems “non-Islamic” and expelling Westerners and non-Muslims from Muslim countries–particularly Saudi Arabia. Issued statement under banner of “the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders” in February 1998, saying it was the duty of all Muslims to kill US citizens—civilian or military—and their allies everywhere. Merged with Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Al-Jihad) in June 2001.


In 2003, carried out the assault and bombing on 12 May of three expatriate housing complexes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that killed 20 and injured 139. Assisted in carrying out the bombings on 16 May in Casablanca, Morocco, of a Jewish center, restaurant, nightclub, and hotel that killed 41 and injured 101. Probably supported the bombing of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 5 August that killed 17 and injured 137. Responsible for the assault and bombing on 9 November of a housing complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that killed 17 and injured 100. Conducted the bombings of two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, on 15 November that killed 23 and injured 200 and the bombings in Istanbul of the British Consulate and HSBC Bank on 20 November that resulted in 27 dead and 455 injured. Has been involved in some attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2002, carried out bombing on 28 November of hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killing 15 and injuring 40. Probably supported a nightclub bombing in Bali, Indonesia, on 12 October that killed about 180. Responsible for an attack on US military personnel in Kuwait, on 8 October, that killed one US soldier and injured another. Directed a suicide attack on the MV Limburg off the coast of Yemen, on 6 October that killed one and injured four. Carried out a firebombing of a synagogue in Tunisia on 11 April that killed 19 and injured 22. On 11 September 2001, 19 al-Qaida suicide attackers hijacked and crashed four US commercial jets, two into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon near Washington, DC, and a fourth into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, leaving about 3,000 individuals dead or missing. Directed the 12 October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, killing 17 US Navy members, and injuring another 39. Conducted the bombings in August 1998 of the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that killed at least 301 individuals and injured more than 5,000 others. Claims to have shot down US helicopters and killed US servicemen in Somalia in 1993 and to have conducted three bombings that targeted US troops in Aden, Yemen, in December 1992.

Al-Qaida is linked to the following plans that were disrupted or not carried out: to assassinate Pope John Paul II during his visit to Manila in late 1994, to kill President Clinton during a visit to the Philippines in early 1995, to bomb in midair a dozen US trans-Pacific flights in 1995, and to set off a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport in 1999. Also plotted to carry out terrorist operations against US and Israeli tourists visiting Jordan for millennial celebrations in late 1999. (Jordanian authorities thwarted the planned attacks and put 28 suspects on trial.) In December 2001, suspected al-Qaida associate Richard Colvin Reid attempted to ignite a shoe bomb on a transatlantic flight from Paris to Miami. Attempted to shoot down an Israeli chartered plane with a surface-to-air missile as it departed the Mombasa airport in November 2002.


Al-Qaida probably has several thousand members and associates. The arrests of senior-level al-Qaida operatives have interrupted some terrorist plots. Also serves as a focal point or umbrella organization for a worldwide network that includes many Sunni Islamic extremist groups, some members of al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin.

Location/Area of Operation

Al-Qaida has cells worldwide and is reinforced by its ties to Sunni extremist networks. Was based in Afghanistan until Coalition forces removed the Taliban from power in late 2001. Al-Qaida has dispersed in small groups across South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and probably will attempt to carry out future attacks against US interests.

External Aid

Al-Qaida maintains moneymaking front businesses, solicits donations from likeminded supporters, and illicitly siphons funds from donations to Muslim charitable organizations. US and international efforts to block al-Qaida funding has hampered the group’s ability to obtain money.

Sources and Resources

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Anonymous said...

Enough of this fanatical Islamic terrorist bullshit!! These thugs are a pestilence to every civilized country in the world. I cannot believe that we allow these cockroaches to reside in our country when they plot against us and our allies and interests abroad. When they kill and maim innocent people in the name of Allah one has to wonder what kind of religion would condone such acts. The only solution is to wipe them from the face of the earth.

The_Bos'un said...

Hey, My Brother,

I realize your pain. However, there are good and bad in all paths of life, including Muslims.

We are in the process of establishing democracy in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Each life lost in the war is worth something. Our brothers and sisters in uniform are not dying for a lost cause. Have faith that truth and justice will prevail. We have to defeat the enemy, radicalized Islam; Islamofacism. Fascism has many faces. We have to guard against getting caught up with the Hilters, bin Ladens, Zarqawis, et al. Stay focused, stay vigilant, and stay situationally aware.