Al Qaida History

Topics: Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, September 11 attacks Pages: 9 (3238 words) Published: December 13, 2012
Research Paper
Name: Gerosshanth Satkunam
Student Number: 500461906
Course: SSH301– Research Design and
Qualitative Methods
Section: 051
Dr. Melanie Knight
Department of Sociology
Jorgenson Hall 324

On September 11th, 2001, the entire world witnessed the revolutionary terrorist acts of global militant group Al Qaeda, as US commercial airplanes were high jacked and crashed onto American soil leading to the death of thousands of innocent lives, shining a new light onto the face of global terrorism (The 9/11 Commission, 2004). Although this tragedy was recognized and publicized more extensively than others, the idea of Al Qaeda has existed for approximately 30 years, effectuating the meaning behind its name, which can be translated int Arabic into a “bare of operations”, or “foundation” (Burke, 2004, p.18).

According to testimonies given before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Al Qaida’s transnational terror network and ideology has become one of the most dominant threats against western civilization (Borum & Gelles, 2005). Although most view Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization, it is not that which poses the biggest threat to our national safety. It is more than that. It is an ideology. It serves as a vanguard for an enterprise of transnational Muslims to indulge in extremist methods reinforcing a worldwide Muslim jihad against western civilization. (Borum & Gelles, 2005). Their efforts to achieve this goal have left a trail of destruction and devastation throughout our world.

In this paper, I will dispute that Al Qaeda, through their tactics and ideologies play an influential role in global jihadism against the western civilization. To do so, I begin by setting a research question, to outline the overall frame of the paper: Who/What are the Al Qaeda, and what role do they play in the global jihad movement against western civilization? I will begin to answer this question, by rewinding back to the birth of the organization and its ideologies (The 9/11 Commission, 2004). By identifying the roots of the organization, it will create a better understanding regarding the people, influences, and incidents that took place in both influencing and propelling the birth of the organization and its ideologies. I will then go further into the beliefs reinforcing their ideology, and the reasoning towards their aggressive perception of the west, more specifically the United States of America (Burke, 2004). After setting up this foundation of comprehension, I will outline the tactics and methods used by the group to convey and implement themselves onto the Muslim population, and how this ideology is converted into the terrorism that is, and has been inflicted upon both the US, and other western countries. After illustrating these important details through research conducted through plausible and academic secondary sources, I will ultimately analyze and manifest the way this reinforces my argument, in the influential power of this terrorist organization regarding jihad against western civilization, and discuss the key details and themes regarding the issue.

Literature Review
Despite the world’s outlook on Al Qaeda as a terrorist group, or bureaucratic entity/army that could be defeated through war, it has now become a transnational movement that feeds into the Arabic translation of its name – “the base of operation” or the “foundation” (Hoffman, 2004, p. 552). They aren’t necessarily a “central hub” for Islamic militancy, but they pose as a “venture capital firm” – providing funding, intelligence, contacts/affiliates and experienced advice to Islamic militant groups and individuals all over the world, as their worldview grows stronger and more influential every day (Burke, 2004, P. 18).

The birth of Al Qaeda began with the fusing of two of the most extremist minds, of both Usama Bin Laden, and an Egyptian fugitive, Ayman al Zawahiri, both...

References: Hoffman, B., & , (2004). The changing face of al qaeda and the global war on terrorism. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism , 27(6), 549-560.
Gunaratna, R., & Oreg, A. (2010). Al qaeda 's organizational structure and its evolution. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism , 33(12), 1043-1078.
Huntington, S.P, (2004). Al‐Qaeda: a blueprint for international terrorism in the twenty‐first century? Defence Studies, 4 (2), pg. 229-255
Steger, M.B (2009)
Al qaeda. (2012, July 30). New York Times. Retrieved from
Daly, C
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