By Christina Hellmich
Considering Sep 11, al-Qaeda has ruled American discussions of nationwide and foreign safety. but conflicting assumptions in regards to the nature of the gang and the consequences of bin Ladin's demise abound. instead of simply offering another biography of al-Qaeda, Christina Hellmich forensically examines the main authoritative resources on which the current figuring out of al-Qaeda is predicated, reading the discrepancies among what's stated and what can realistically be recognized. the result's a penetrating perception into a company that for all its notoriety is likely one of the least understood of our time.
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Extra info for al-Qaeda: From Global Network to Local Franchise
Contradicting this commonly held and, as noted above, formally documented view of Osama bin Ladin as the ‘founder’ of al-Qaeda, there seems to be a general agreement in the extant al-qaeda literature that al-Qaeda was in fact conceived by Azzam. ’ 20 Moreover, bin Ladin himself is on record as saying that ‘the name “al-Qaeda” was established a long time ago by mere chance. The late Abu Ubaida Al Bashiri established training camps for our Mujahideen against Russia’s terrorism. ’ 21 The controversy surrounding its genesis notwithstanding, the image that emerges at this stage is that rather than actually being ‘created’, in the sense of being planned with the specific goal of creating an entity to fight the USA and the West, alQaeda evolved from the structures that were originally put into place to recruit volunteers for the fighting in Afghanistan.
The 9/11 Commission Report further describes this development in terms of the structure and organization of al-Qaeda: The February 1998 fatwa thus seems to have been a kind of public launch of a renewed and stronger al-Qaeda, after a year and a half of work. Having rebuilt his fund-raising network, Bin Ladin had again become the rich man of the jihad movement. He had maintained or restored links with terrorists elsewhere in the world. 111 The report then goes on to assert that bin Ladin had around him an inner core of loyal supporters who had sworn the bayat to him, but that he was also supported by a fluctuating outer circle.
For example, in the indictment of bin Ladin and various cohorts such as Ayman al-Zawahiri, the US District Court of New York notes, ‘From in or about 1989 until the present, the group called itself “alQaeda” (“the Base”). ’16 In the light of these assertions, Raufer makes an important point when he concludes that, surprisingly, and even if al-Qaeda constitutes the most serious immediate threat to the security of the United States and has committed the worst terrorist attack ever, no one in the United States seems to be really sure of what al-Qaeda is.