It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that world terrorism is a dangerous threat to the society worldwide. News broadcasts report about numerous terrorist acts all over the world on a regular basis, but the average society seems to be not aware of a real situation concerning this problem. Therefore, the essence of terrorism should be given an account. Taking this point into consideration, the following paper describes Al Qaeda as one of the largest and most dangerous terrorist organizations.
To start with, it is necessary to give an account of a brief history of Al Qaeda. It dates back to 1988 when Soviet Union withdrew its armed forces from Afghanistan and certain groups of absolute Islamists decided to keep fighting for establishment of Islamic halifat in all Muslim states. The primary objective was the elimination of any liberal and pro-Western government which was not a monarchical political system. At the end of 1989, Osama Bin Laden became a leader of this movement, and first segment of Al Qaeda started emerging (Bevy, 2006). First of all, it was just training camps as long as the organization was planning to struggle with the United States after conflicts in Afghanistan and Persian Gulf. Actually, it was the most remarkable period as the evidence of terrorist activity of Al Qaeda became explicit. Then, the organization committed numerous terrorist acts in Lebanon, Egypt, and Gaza. The last one was a result of a confrontation with a local HAMAS group. Needless to say, Al Qaeda is suspected to be involved in the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
Regarding the ideology of Al Qaeda, it should be mentioned that it is absolute Islamism; consequently, the organization is fighting for the establishment of Muslim society across the Gulf and Middle East. It means that all secular states should be eliminated. In addition, Western world is an opposing enemy so that it is also a target for jihad. It is worth saying, however, that there is a little agreement regarding Al Qaeda’s intention to conquer Western countries or just defeat them in a war. Still, the main action, which epitomizes the ideology is jihad so that the main vision of Al Qaeda can be referred to a profound religious basis. The phenomenon of jihad has created multiple Islamic paradigms which will be addressed later.
Nobody would deny the fact that such influential organization as Al Qaeda has a profound hierarchy. Except for the most well-known leader Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Muhammad Rabi az-Zawahiri became the main Al Qaeda leader after Bin Laden being killed on May 2, 2011. The main executive organ of the organization is Shura that is similar to a congress or executive team. Shura controls 8 various committees such as religious, military, public relations, financial, etc. The most common representation of Al Qaeda community is training camps, which are similar to Mu’askar al-Faruq (Atwan, 2008). These training camps include overall physical training, martial arts, military and civil education, development of strategic thinking, etc. Taking these points into account, it is to be said that Al Qaeda is particularly oriented to a complex set of activities, which refer not only to the use of violence as a means of establishing new political system but as a means of fighting for religious interests that occur to be a sound reason for committing numerous terrorist acts.
Concerning factual activity of Al Qaeda, it is necessary to admit that despite its decentralized nature, it emerged in numerous conflicts within the Gulf and other Muslim countries as well as committed numerous terrorist acts in Europe and the U.S., including the events of 9/11. Initially, Al Qaeda was particularly focused on constant armed rebels in Muslim countries in order to eliminate secular government. It is worth saying that the organization was using political tension in Iraq and Kuwait during Iraq invasion. By the same token, Al Qaeda had armed confrontation with HAMAS squads in Gaza Beach; therefore, it is possible to admit that this organization is attempting to take an absolute control over Islamic world. Familiar cases can be traced in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. As for terrorist acts in Europe and the U.S., Al Qaeda committed numerous suicide bombings in embassies, public places, and organized homicide events on September 11, 2001, in New York and Pentagon. After assassination of Bin Laden, the organization keeps spreading all over the world by creating its training camps in Sudan, Caucasus, and Balkan Peninsula.
Regarding these points, it is pivotal to note that Al Qaeda can be classified as a terrorist type of insurgency. It uses extreme forms of violence in order to achieve its political, social, and even religious goals. Religious basis is a central issue of the organization’s ideology so that it is a main booster of violent actions including suicide bombing. In fact, these actions are not particularly oriented to making a strong public change in regard to religion. These actions are aimed at threatening and confusing existing secular forms of government and society; consequently, the main goal is obvious: Al Qaeda is attempting to take control over Islamic world. It can be proved by the fact that the training course in camps started to include civil education, and trainees are taught to have patience and feeling of proper timing. Therefore, Al Qaeda is an extreme form of violent insurgency since it has developed a meaningful infrastructure and seeks multiple objectives.
As a consequence, jihad has emerged as a new Islamic paradigm. In order to describe it in a more simple way, jihad started having some other implications except for religious ones: political, social, and even economic. Actually, the core of this paradigm has raged unabated, but it is possible to admit that contemporary members of Al Qaeda are taught to be ready for time of combat (Brynjar, 2008). That can be interpreted as a preparation for multiple terrorist acts and involvement of Western world in a real big war. That is why Al Qaeda managed to implement a powerful campaign of propaganda since its further struggle requires economic and social consideration. All in all, the paradigm of jihad refers to the factors which are placed far beyond a simple religious understanding.
To conclude, it is to be admitted that Al Qaeda can be regarded as a terrorist organization, and its actions are recognized as the evidence of extremely violent terrorist insurgency. This aspect can be traced throughout the history of Al Qaeda, which participated in numerous conflicts across the Gulf and committed multiple terrorist acts in Europe and the United States, including tragedy of 9/11. The organization has a developed and profound hierarchy. Moreover, the understanding of jihad has lost its original meaning so that Al Qaeda conducts proactive propaganda work among Muslims. Needless to say, it is an obvious evidence of the organization’s attempt to address not only religious but political, social, and even economic perspectives. Still, the main method of Al Qaeda is the use of extreme violence, which is aimed at elimination of secular society, Western world, and establishment of absolute Islamism. Despite all these facts, it is possible to stop this organization by means of diplomacy.