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History of al-Qaeda and Terrorism against the USA

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1 History of al-Qaeda and Terrorism against the USA
Adapted from a work created by Dan Greenstone Michael Quiñones

[All notes you take need to help you answer the following question] What effect HAS TERRORISM AND U.S. RESPONSE TO IT haVE on THE U.S. image abroad? What effect HAS IT HAD ON have on U.S. civil rights?]

3 What is al-Qaeda? Al Qaeda means “the Base.” It is a stateless (meaning without a country) terrorist organization. It is led and financed by Osama bin Laden, a radical Sunni Muslim.

4 When did al-Qaeda form? The beginnings of al-Qaeda go back to the 1980s when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

5 Bin Laden, and the Arab Afghans, fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan for over 10 years.
The Soviet army left in 1988. US stinger anti-aircraft gun.

6 Desert Storm (Gulf War I)
In 1990, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded the tiny, oil-rich country of Kuwait

7 Operation Desert Shield/Storm
The United States feared Saddam would invade Saudi Arabia too. The result of further Iraqi invasions could cause unprecedented oil price spikes. Iraqi tanks

8 US and Saudi coalition The United States was asked by the Saudis to establish military bases in their country in order to stop an Iraqi advance and conquest of Saudi Arabia.

9 Saudi’s choice Osama bin Laden, back home from Afghanistan, offered the Saudis the use of his soldiers to fight the Iraqi army because Infidel armies have no place in the holy land of Islam.

10 Saudis chose the USA as its ally and snubbed bin Laden
Saudis chose the USA as its ally and snubbed bin Laden. The presence of infidels [non-Muslim people] in the Middle East outraged bin Laden.

11 1991--Bin Laden leaves Saudi Arabia for Sudan

12 USA in Somalia Dec. 4, 1992, George H.W. Bush sent 28,000 American troops to Somalia. Bush wanted to help the Somali people since all attempts to send food to them were intercepted by war lords.

13 Black Hawk Down! In 1993, 18 Americans died when Black Hawk helicopters were shot down over Mogadishu, Somalia and the resulting gun battles.

14 al Qaeda? US intelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA think al Qaeda operatives taught the Somalis how to shoot down helicopters using the [US made] stinger anti-aircraft guns just like the Mujahadeen did in Afghanistan against the Soviets.

15 1993-The 1st World Trade Center bombing
Pakistani national Ramzi Yusef was the mastermind of this attack. He has since been captured, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the U.S.

16 1993 WTC bombing This attack killed 6 people and injured over 1000.

17 May 1996 ---Sudan expels bin Laden, and he returns to Afghanistan

18 1996 car bombing of Khobar Towers
19 Americans were killed and hundreds injured.

19 Fatwa [An Islamic edict demanding action]
In August of 1998, Al Qaeda, led by bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri declare war on American.

20 Embassy bombings: 1998 Two American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed simultaneously [220 people were killed].

21 Clinton responds. President Clinton, risking “Wag the Dog” criticism during the Lewinsky scandal, decided to attack al Qaeda to project US strength in response to attacks against the US.

22 US sent missiles to destroy al Qaeda training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan under Bill Clinton----to little effect.

23 2000—Millennium Attacks Foiled!
Jordanian police halted suicide 4 bombings of civilian targets. Four al Qaeda terrorists were arrested, crossing the Canadian border with nitroglycerin in their trunk. Allegedly the group was set to bomb [LAX] LA International Airport. In Yemen, a boat with explosives tried to bomb a navy ship but sank due to being overloaded

24 USS Cole attack Oct. 2000 In Yemen, Al Qaeda operatives sent a suicide bomber aboard a small speed boat into the USS Cole, a US Navy destroyer, and detonated its bomb, blowing a large hole in the US Navy ship. 17 sailors killed.


26 343 firefighters and paramedics were killed
2819 people were killed 343 firefighters and paramedics were killed Khalid Sheik Muhhamad was the central Planner of the 9/11. Most terrorists (at right) were from Saudi Arabia [later captured in Pakistan and still in US custody].






32 Flight 93 crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania instead of its believed destination, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C, because of the heroic efforts of several passengers!

33 Pentagon the control center of the U.S. military

34 U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act Within 6 weeks of 9/11 the US Justice Department drafted a national security instrument to combat terrorist threats [foreign and domestic]. The law was actually an acronym for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism. This counter-terrorism law strengthened an existing statute called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act formerly created to expose foreign agents inside the US. However, the revisions to the law targeted US citizens too. 3 of the most controversial provisions were National Security Letters, FISA courts, and indefinite detentions of declared enemy combatants. Water boarding [simulated drowning] and Rendition [capture, transfer to 3rd World nation “Black site,” [secret prison] blind folded, beaten and interrogated] have been 2 examples of extra-legal tactics used by the US to obtain intelligence.

35 U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act National Security Letters-allowed the FBI and other federal agencies such as the CIA to obtain information [administrative subpoena] without judicial consent [permission of a judge]. This power was troubling because it contradicted guaranteed constitutional rights. The subpoena also had a gag order attached barring the recipient from making the letter public to anyone [that was later overturned as a violation of the 1st Amendment]. FISA courts-federal courts established to issue secret warrants to monitor/mine financial, personal, employment, education and medical data to detect patterns of terrorist activity and money laundering. Defendants were/are never notified as is standard practice. Guantanamo Bay Detention center [a.k.a. Gitmo]-is a US Naval base used since 1903 but more recently used to detain people captured on battlefield or terror investigation and held without bail or expectation of release [no lawyers].

36 Some Closure… Small hard to detect unmanned remotely controlled aircraft have been used to obtain intelligence and employ missile strikes on targets throughout the Middle East. On May 2, 2011 terror mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed by US special operations forces inside a walled compound in Pakistan as has been suspected by the US.

[All notes you take need to help you answer the following question] What effect HAS TERRORISM AND U.S. RESPONSE TO IT haVE on THE U.S. image abroad? What effect HAS IT HAD ON have on U.S. civil rights?]

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