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Al Qaeda a case study in ideological terrorism. BIG IDEA al-Qaeda is the single greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. al-Qaeda is the single greatest.

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Presentation on theme: "Al Qaeda a case study in ideological terrorism. BIG IDEA al-Qaeda is the single greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. al-Qaeda is the single greatest."— Presentation transcript:

1 al Qaeda a case study in ideological terrorism

2 BIG IDEA al-Qaeda is the single greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. al-Qaeda is the single greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. al-Qaeda covers the spectrum of types of terrorism al-Qaeda covers the spectrum of types of terrorism Ideological Ideological State-sponsored State-sponsored Narco terrorism Narco terrorism National liberation National liberation

3 BIG IDEA al-Qaeda is especially threatening to the U.S. because it has become stateless al-Qaeda is especially threatening to the U.S. because it has become stateless Without a country to attack Without a country to attack Without a central location Without a central location Loosely-knit group - bound by an idea Loosely-knit group - bound by an idea

4 al-Qaeda: Ideological Overview ISLaM = submission to God ISLaM = submission to God MuSLiM = one who submits to God MuSLiM = one who submits to God SaLaaM = peace SaLaaM = peace If you submit to God, you will achieve peace If you submit to God, you will achieve peace Some believe they must fight those that disrupt peace Some believe they must fight those that disrupt peace

5 You Say al-Qaeda, I Say al-Qaida al-Qaeda = the base al-Qaeda = the base al-Qaeda-al-Jihad = the base of the jihad al-Qaeda-al-Jihad = the base of the jihad The World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders The World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders

6 al-Qaeda: Ideological Overview Multinational, militant Islamist org. Multinational, militant Islamist org. established by Osama bin Laden in 1988 established by Osama bin Laden in 1988 Current goal: to work with allied Islamist groups to overthrow corrupt regimes and evict Westerners and non-Muslims from Muslim countries in order to establish a pan-Islamic Caliphate Current goal: to work with allied Islamist groups to overthrow corrupt regimes and evict Westerners and non-Muslims from Muslim countries in order to establish a pan-Islamic Caliphate

7 al-Qaeda: Ideological Overview Goals and Objectives of Jihad Establishing the rule of God on earth Establishing the rule of God on earth Attaining martyrdom in the cause of God Attaining martyrdom in the cause of God Purification of the ranks of Islam from the elements of depravity Purification of the ranks of Islam from the elements of depravity

8 al-Qaeda: Ideological Overview February, issued a fatwa, calling on Muslims to kill U.S. citizens - civilian/military - and their allies everywhere February, issued a fatwa, calling on Muslims to kill U.S. citizens - civilian/military - and their allies everywhere 9/11/01 - attacks on America result in war in Afghanistan to destroy al Qaedas bases and overthrow the Taliban 9/11/01 - attacks on America result in war in Afghanistan to destroy al Qaedas bases and overthrow the Taliban

9 Age-old Ideology al-Qaedas ideology not new - justifications for jihad rooted in the Quran al-Qaedas ideology not new - justifications for jihad rooted in the Quran Inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood Inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood al-Qaeda = most recent manifestation al-Qaeda = most recent manifestation

10 VIDEO CLIP - ORIGINS OF AL- QAEDA

11 Origins of al-Qaeda 1980s: Soviet invasion of Afghanistan inspire mujahideen to fight the jihad inspire mujahideen to fight the jihad gather from all over to fight USSR b/c disrupting peace in Afghanistan gather from all over to fight USSR b/c disrupting peace in Afghanistan young + religious young + religious fight godless communists fight godless communists defeat of communists + collapse of USSR defeat of communists + collapse of USSR OBL = rising leader, parts ways OBL = rising leader, parts ways

12 Chronology: Snowball Effect 1988: OBL forms al-Q, looks for new jihads 1990: offers al-Q to defend Saudi Arabia from Saddam in Kuwait, rejected for U.S. U.S. presence in S.A. = MUST FIGHT U.S. U.S. presence in S.A. = MUST FIGHT U.S.

13 Chronology: Snowball Effect 1991: OBL kicked out of S.A. - to Sudan al-Qs base of operations al-Qs base of operations Teams up with Ayman al-Zawahiri Teams up with Ayman al-Zawahiri Idea = evict U.S. from M.E. Idea = evict U.S. from M.E. Search for nukes? Search for nukes? Organize attacks Organize attacks

14 Chronology: Snowball Effect Feb. 1993: WTC bombed, 6 die, injured Oct. 1993: Black Hawk down in Somalia, trained by al-Q, 18 servicemen dead

15 Chronology: Snowball Effect May 1996: OBL forced to leave Sudan Afghanistan - new base of operations June 1996: U.S. military base in S.A. bombed, 19 servicemen killed

16 Chronology: Snowball Effect Feb. 1998: OBL issues fatwa - kill U.S. Aug. 1998: embassy bombings in Kenya, Tanzania, 220+ people killed, U.S. retaliates

17 Chronology: Snowball Effect Oct. 2000: USS Cole attacked, killing 17 Sept. 2001: Worst Day Ever, R.I.P al-Qs climax U.S. retaliated U.S. retaliated Disrupted al-Q Disrupted al-Qnetwork

18 Tactics, Strategies, and Targets Tactics: assassination, bombing, hijacking, kidnapping, suicide attacks, etc. Strategies: developing surrogates, alliances, seeking WMDs Targets: prominent symbols of U.S. wealth and military dominance

19 Ideologically Justified Killing? The undersigned, leaders of Islamic movements, are horrified by the events of 9/11 in the U.S., which resulted in massive killing, destruction & attack on innocent lives. We express our deepest sympathies & sorrow. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human & Islamic norms. This is grounded in the Noble Laws of Islam, which forbid all forms of attacks on innocents. God Almighty says in the Holy Quran: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another (Surah al-Isra 17:15).

20 Ideological Debate Salafi = proper religious adherence to strict moral code of Prophet Mohammed Salafi = proper religious adherence to strict moral code of Prophet Mohammed Implied other understandings are corrupt Implied other understandings are corrupt Most believe in non-violent means of supporting Islam Most believe in non-violent means of supporting Islam Small radical fringe - violent means Small radical fringe - violent means

21 Ideological Debate al-Qaeda: America started the war… Supporters of non-violent response to U.S. are corrupt, and thus not credible Supporters of non-violent response to U.S. are corrupt, and thus not credible U.S. waging war against Islam, therefore defensive jihad U.S. waging war against Islam, therefore defensive jihad Killing civilians allowed in current climate Killing civilians allowed in current climate

22 Ideological Debate Justified Jihad? Offensive jihad - not widely accepted Offensive jihad - not widely accepted Defensive jihad - religious duty, just cause par excellance Defensive jihad - religious duty, just cause par excellance Post 9/11 al-Qaeda losing the ideological debate al-Qaeda losing the ideological debate Attacks on WTC seen as offensive by Muslim community Attacks on WTC seen as offensive by Muslim community

23 Ideological Debate Post U.S. invasion of Iraq: Confluence of opinion Confluence of opinion Mainstream Islamic scholars, al-Qaeda united in call for defensive jihad Mainstream Islamic scholars, al-Qaeda united in call for defensive jihad Iraq = chaotic, breeding ground for terror Iraq = chaotic, breeding ground for terror al-Qaeda + Hezbollah al-Qaeda + Hezbollah

24 U.S. Response Has largely been a police operation Has largely been a police operation Capture and detain terrorists, rather than going after the source of terrorism Capture and detain terrorists, rather than going after the source of terrorism Ideology?? Ideology?? Are we giving OBL credibility? Are we giving OBL credibility? Will catching OBL make a difference? Will catching OBL make a difference?

25 BIG IDEA The U.S. response has recently come under question (CIA, Michael Scheuer) for supposed mistakes in the War on Terror. More and more, invading Iraq seems to be


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