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Al-Qaeda/Terrorism

Terrorism can be defined as threatening use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons. It is the act of terrorizing or the state of being terrorized. Most acts of terrorism are committed by terrorist organizations.

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Terrorist organizations use terror to accomplish their mission or objective. One of the most infamous terrorist organizations is Al-Qaeda.

Established in 1988 by militant Islamist, Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda traces all the way back to the Soviet War in Afghanistan. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational and stateless army. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and various other countries. The overall mission of Al-Qaeda is to attempt to overthrow godless regimes and replace them with Islamic regimes.

Furthermore, the terrorist organization desires to 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. Al-Qaeda also states several other missions which include gathering information about the enemy, the land, the installations, and the neighbors, kidnapping enemy personnel documents, secrets, and arms, assassinating enemy personnel as well as foreign tourists, and freeing the brothers who are captured by the enemy.

Other missions also include spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy, blasting and destroying the places of amusement, immorality, and sin; not a vital target, blasting and destroying the embassies and attacking vital economic centers, blasting and destroying bridges leading into and out of the cities. The headquarters of infamous terrorist organization are not known anymore. al-Qaeda has known contacts and activities in the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Eritrea, Kosovo, the Philippines, Somalia, Tajikistan, and Yemen, and now Kosovo.

Additionally, al-Qaida has been linked to conflicts and attacks in Africa, Asia, Europe, the former Soviet Republics, the Middle East, as well as North and South America. All in all, their threat is not limited to these geographical areas because of worldwide connections. The group has targeted American and other Western interests as well as Jewish targets and Muslim governments it sees as corrupt or impious-above all, the Saudi monarchy. Above all, its main target is the United States of America.

In 2005, Al-Quds Al-Arabi published extracts from Saif al-Adel’s document “Al Qaeda’s Strategy to the Year 2020” which is a plan for the downfall of U. S. economy by the year 2020. Over the years, al-Qaeda has been involved in many terrorist attacks. The terrorist group has undergone proper military training, and is capable of commanding insurgent forces in order to carry out its attack. Al-Qaeda linked attacks include: The attempted December 2009 bombing of a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight and an October 2007 suicide bombing that narrowly missed killing former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Two months later, another bomber succeeds in killing the former prime minister; Pakistani officials blame Baitullah Mahsud, a top Pakistani Taliban commander with close ties to al-Qaeda. Other attacks include: the February 2006 attack on the Abqaiq petroleum processing facility, the largest such facility in the world, in Saudi Arabia, the July 2005 bombings of the London public transportation system, and the March 2004 bomb attacks on Madrid commuter trains, which killed nearly 200 people and left more than 1,800 injured.

On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda was involved in one of the most devastating attacks on the United States, hijacking four U. S. airplanes, two of which crashed into the World Trade Center, and a third of which crashed into the Pentagon. 9/11 resulted in over 3,000 deaths and $95 billion worth of damage, lost of taxes, and clean-up costs to the city of New York. In the aftermath of 9/11, Bin Laden issued several messages praising the attacks, but denying Al-Qaeda’s involvement. This was just one example of the terrorist group’s usage of the media. Al-Qaeda has become extremely reliant on media.

It uses media to further its cause by garnering publicity towards its cause. The media is used to publicize its corrupt Islamic institutions, organizations, and ideas. All things considered, Al-Qaeda is shrinking. The leadership ranks of the main al-Qaeda terrorist network have been reduced to just two figures whose demise would mean the group’s defeat. Although the terrorist group is shrinking, it is important that the American people stay on alert. There will probably always be a fear of the terrorist group’s reemergence, but as long as we stay a step ahead and do not underestimate the group, the American people will be a-okay.