Al Qaeda is a global Islamic extremist organization, found by the Osama Bin Laden sometime between 1988. The origins of the group are thought to be from the volunteers who repelled the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan I the 1980s. It has been assigned as a terrorist group by numerous nations around the world for its activities, and is responsible for many atrocities.
The foundations of Al-Qaeda lay in the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. The Afghan resistance, known as the mujahedeen, included many radical Islamic extremists. The US, wanting to curb the influence of the Soviet Union, funded the Afghan resistance and indirectly funded and trained some future members of Al-Qaeda.
In 1988, after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden, a participant in the war against the Soviets, began a movement called Al-Qaeda and started recruiting members. Bin Laden then moved to Sudan in 1991 to set up training camps and to further recruit more numbers to his organization.
Beginning in 1996, several deadly attacks have been committed by the Al-Qaeda. Many claim the period of 1996-2005 to be Al-Qaeda’s ‘’heyday’’. In 1996 Bin Laden called for guerilla warfare against American forces and to expel infidels in the Arabian Peninsula.
In 1996, a bomb was planted in a US military housing complex in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 people, and there is very strong evidence to suggest the Al-Qaeda was behind it.
In 1998, 220 people were killed, when lorries with bombs inside were driven into US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Al-Qaeda took responsibility for this attack, and the US retaliated with air strikes against suspected Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.
On September 11 2011, Al-Qaeda hijacked four planes, and flew two of them into the World Trade Centre killing 3000 people. This has been the deadliest single attack by the Al-Qaeda, and the worst attack on US soil. Just weeks later the US launched the war on terrorism, which began with attacks on Afghanistan.
During the war on terror, many senior officials from the Al-Qaeda were either killed or apprehended which lowered Al-Qaeda’s influence. The killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, further dealt a blow to Al-Qaeda, and it influence started waning.
Another reason for the decreased influence is that many more terrorist groups have popped up due to the Arab Spring, especially ISIS, which has gained considerable more influence and power than the Al-Qaeda, and has taken many members of the terrorist group and some of its territory.
Al-Qaeda is responsible for some of the most violent atrocities of modern times, including 9/11. Their religious fanaticism led to the loss of so many lives, and their influence has waned in recent time due to the war of terror.
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