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Al-Qaeda

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Al-Qaeda Islamic fundamentalism is a construction based on the proclaimed primacy of religious identity Political Islamism is a political ideology, based on Islamic ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Al-Qaeda


1
Al-Qaeda
2
  • Islamic fundamentalism is a construction based on
    the proclaimed primacy of religious identity
  • Political Islamism is a political ideology, based
    on Islamic fundamentalism, which aims to seize
    power in the nation-state
  • The movement symbolically represented by Al-Qaeda
    is a different kind of movement ? It is based on
    Islamic fundamentalism but is explicitly global. 

3
February 23rd 1998
  • Osama bin Laden establishes the World Islamic
    Front for the Jihad Against Jews and the
    Crusaders? a fundamentalist, terrorist, global
    network
  • Origins can be traced to the CIA-financed
    training camps for anti-Soviet mujahedeen in
    Pakistan? today extends to at least 65 countries
    and numerous autonomous groups 

4
The values and goals 
  • The building of the umma 
  • Muslim societies should be ruled by shari'a law
    (The Taliban regime came closest to the Islamic
    ideals espoused by bin Laden)
  • Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are not preoccupied by the
    kind of society they want to build ("pragmatic
    militants")

5
The values and goals 
  • The defense of Islam starts with the defense of
    the holy sites in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem
  • Martyrdom
  • No negotiation, no surrender, no way out

6
Islamic global terror networks rely on two main
tactics of action
  • 1. Terror--gtthe expectation is that over time the
    institutions of democratic states crumble under
    the collective fear (al-Qaeda aims at the heart
    of Westerners)
  • 2. Media politics--gttransforming consciousness is
    the ultimate goal (al-Qaeda aims at the mind
    oppressed Muslims)

7
The dream
  • They hope for An unreasonable response from the
    West--gtinflame the rotten world--gtnew society
    from the ashes

8
Who are the adversaries? 
  • The political regimes of Muslim countries (pawns
    of the Crusaders)
  • Zionists 
  • The U.S. (and other Western powers)

9
Six stages of development
  • 1. Resistance to Soviet occupation of Afghanistan
    (1979)
  • 2. Militants return home and engage in
    political-military battles against their own
    national governments
  • 3. First direct attacks by al-Qaeda (1993 in NYC)
  • 4. Concentrated on supporting movements in
    countries where a power base could be achieved
    (Sudan/ Afghanistan)
  • 5. al-Qaeda moves toward open confrontation with
    the U.S. (embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es
    Salaam, USS Cole bombing in Aden, 9/11)
  • 6. U.S. destroys the Taliban regime, obliterates
    the basis of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, bin-Laden
    killed, many associated networks emerge around
    the world (inc in the U.S.)

10
Who are the members of al-Qaeda?
  • They come from a number of ethnic and national
    groups (very few Palestinians)
  • The nucleus was formed in camps
  • Young (20s and 30s), male
  • The core group of al-Qaeda come from wealthy
    families

11
Who are the members of al-Qaeda?
  • Many are highly educated professionals (the core
    group of 9/11 attackers were engineering
    students)
  • The military commanders mostly trained in
    national military academies 

12
The structure 
  • Networking is critical--gtcore leadership but no
    control center
  • Cells are largely autonomous

13
  • al-Qaeda provides training and indoctrination 
  • Fighting principle string as hard as you can,
    anytime and anywhere you can, all Westerners are
    potential targets, as are symbolic points of
    connection between Muslim societies and
    non-believers (airports, multi-national corporate
    facilities, tourism centers)
  • Nation-specific organizations fight against the
    states that oppress true-Muslims in their own
    countries

14
Establishing new networks
  • bin Laden helped establish most active network in
    the world today Jamaah Islamiyah in South East
    Asia 

15
Chechnya
  • A secular, ethnic-nationalist struggle against
    Russia becomes an Islamic struggle
  • Rebels receive training and money from al-Qaeda 
  • For bin Laden, the Chechen struggle was simply a
    continuation of the fight against Russians in
    Afghanistan
  • The dual character of local struggles and global
    networking is the essence of al-Qaeda's strategy

16
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