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Post -9/11 Worldview of Al-Qaeda (Essay Sample)


Al Qaeda has evolved a great deal since its founding in the late 90’s. Explain what Al Qaeda was like in its early days, and describe how it has changed over time. How has the ongoing War on Terror played a role in the evolution of Al Qaeda? Source 1


Post -9/11 Worldview of Al-Qaeda
Post -9/11 Worldview of Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is an international militant Islamist organization that was founded in Pakistan by Osama bin Laden between 1988 and 1989. Its origin can be traced to the Soviet War in Afghanistan, where it operates as a network that comprised the multinational and stateless army, which consisted the Muslim movements advocating global jihad, as well as the strict interpretations of Sharia law (Mayer, 2008). It had carried many attacks and had been targeting various countries such as non-Muslim countries and other targets considered by the kafir. Various military and civilian targets were their objects for the attacks, where its activities became apparent after the September 11 attacks, 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings, among others.
Al-Qaeda activities started expanding their international attacks during the late 1990s, although it had predominantly recruited various members in Afghanistan. One of the major attacks that they conducted was of the September 11 attack in New York City, where very many people were killed including prominent officers and leaders of different classes. In this case, the U.S. government responded swiftly by launching the War on Terror because it became an international concern (Mayer, 2008). This is especially after its target on the U.S., which ha been the superpower for decades, thereby influencing various countries with friendly relations with United States towards joining hands together to fight the issue. The declaration of the fight against terror, which was mostly targeting the al-Qaeda since the militants were perceived to target America and its allies. However, this research study objects at discussing the way War on Terror has contributed towards the evolution of al-Qaeda to become the largest Islamist Militia in the world.
Currently, the Al Qaeda has changed into a different terrorist group than their status when perpetrating the September 11 attack. Before the attack, Al Qaeda was mostly composed of various Afghan insurgents organized to fight against Soviet Union, where they had a centralized leadership model involving many Egyptians. Numerous activities of the organization were plotted by the top leadership or organized by juniors but approved by their leaders. In the period before the September 11 attack, the militia group was argued to be non-existent (Mayer, 2008). This event was perceived to the realization of the organizations since it gained a stronger momentum and gained shape in the global image. Before the attack, the Al Qaeda was perceived to be like a corporation with Osama bin Laden as the Chief Executive Officer, soliciting ideas from many stakeholders and issuing orders to its operatives.
The declaration of the War on Terror was mostly targeting Al-Qaeda or the associated Islamist groups, which has made them evolve in various aspects. The group has transformed its activities and operational approaches in order to evade the pressures from the security community that has extended the nerves to arrest the group members in the global society (Mayer, 2008). Therefore, the members of Al Qaeda have been transformed into the diffuse global network, composed of dispersed strategical members with varying capacities of being independent. For example, their leaders Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri were thought to take refuge in the mountainous belt of Northern Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan where they continued to coach and train the operatives, recruit new members, and disseminate the propaganda. Fortunately, the expanded network of Al Qaeda and its affiliates that are active in countries such as Somalia and Yemen represent largely, especially in becoming the power centers to penetrate the rest of the world. Some of the affiliate groups such as the al-Shabaab of Somalia receive weapons, money, and training facilities within their network but from different members in different countries. Others look the core leadership in Pakistan for theological justifications, strategic guidance, and for extensive narratives of the global struggles.
Over the past few years, various sources indicated that Al Qaeda were less centralized control and commanded, without a clear center of organizing or training and their success or failure depended on where the U.S. machineries or other international security focus is for that period (Mayer, 2008). This means that their activities are recurrent, especially where they had committed the attack. It also means that they keep revolutionizing the group techniques until the time they get an opportunity to execute their plans. The insurgent group has also continued to become more advanced, making it difficult for the security framework to detect them.
Moreover, the current Al Qaeda network is comprised of the self-radicalized and semi-autonomous operatives with only ties with the Pakistan links or other affiliates in other parts of the world. According to the U.S. information, the Al Qaeda network is available to over seventy countries worldwide (Mayer, 2008). It is hard to identify the group members as they live anonymously in the society, where they hid from the security dragnet to avoid being noticed for their suicidal activities. As a technique of preventing their capture, numerous members do not travel from their home countries but only rely on radicalizing themselves on assistance of other members who had opportunities to travel for more training, information, or other essential knowledgeable aspect they may need. Such mechanisms of training and provision of the required information is much enhanced by the technological advancements, where various...
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