Al-Qaïda

Article

August 14, 2022

Al-Qaeda (Arabic: القاعدة al-qāʿida, literally "the base") is an Islamist terrorist organization founded in 1987 by Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam and his student Osama bin Laden. Of Salafist jihadist inspiration, Al-Qaeda has its roots in radical Islamist thinkers such as Abu Qatada, Abu Moussab al-Souri or Abu Mohammed al-Maqdissi. He considers that the "Crusader" (Western) governments, led by the United States, interfere in the internal affairs of Islamic nations and this in the sole interest of Western societies. It uses terrorism to make its claims heard. Although Al-Qaeda is the most commonly used name, the group spoke in 2003 under the name Qaeda al-Jihad, or: "The base of jihad" (قَاعِدَة ٱلْجِهَاد, qāʿida al-jihād). Al-Qaeda emerged from the Maktab al-Khadamāt organization, formed during the first war in Afghanistan by Azzam to fuel Afghan resistance against the armed forces of the USSR. Maktab al-Khadamāt was used to relay multiple donations from Islamic countries. Since the withdrawal of the Soviets, the actions claimed in the name of Al-Qaeda are considered as terrorist acts by most States and UN observers. The group is placed on the official list of terrorist organizations of the United States, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, India and Turkey. Without drawing up an official list, France also considers Al-Qaeda to be a terrorist group. The UN publishes a list of entities and persons close to Al-Qaeda, as such sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council. The EU is also implementing “restrictive measures” against Al-Qaeda and associated groups. The most resounding operation carried out by Al-Qaeda took place on American soil on September 11, 2001. Then came the attacks of May 16, 2003 in Casablanca, the attacks of March 11, 2004 in Madrid and those of July 7, 2005 in London.

History

Origins

Originally, Al-Qaeda is strongly linked to the first war in Afghanistan. The Maktab al-Khadamāt (MAK), created by Abdallah Azzam in 1980, organizes and trains the mujahideen before sending them to Afghanistan. The MAK is supported by other Islamist organizations, charities and by the CIA which deploys in this period an interventionist policy in order to check and bring down the power of the USSR, designated as "Evil Empire". by the Reagan administration, in particular by supporting groups of all kinds that can destabilize the regimes supposedly close to Moscow. In 1986, Osama bin Laden, a former student of Abdallah Azzam, who had been financing the group's activity since 1982, joined the front. In August 1988, two meetings including Abdallah Azzam, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zaouahiri and Mohammed Atef took place to determine the future direction of jihad. The participants agree to create a new organization to continue the jihad after the withdrawal of the Soviets from Afghanistan, but without specifying what its exact goals will be. The organization is initially called Al-Qaeda al-askariya ("the military base"). Osama bin Laden explained the origin of this term in a videotape with journalist Tayseer Alouni, for Al Jazeera, in October 2001: “The name of al-Qaeda was established a long time ago and by chance. The late Abu Ebeida El-Banashiri had established the training camps for our mujahideen against terrorism from Russia. We used to call the training camp “the base”, or “al-Qaeda”. The training camp in question was near Jalalabad. In November 1989, Abdallah Azzam was assassinated in a