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By Christina Hellmich

Due to the fact that Sep 11, al-Qaeda has ruled American discussions of nationwide and foreign safeguard. but conflicting assumptions concerning the nature of the crowd and the consequences of bin Ladin's dying abound. instead of simply delivering one more biography of al-Qaeda, Christina Hellmich forensically examines the main authoritative resources on which the current realizing of al-Qaeda is predicated, interpreting the discrepancies among what's suggested and what can realistically be identified. the result's a penetrating perception into a firm that for all its notoriety is without doubt one of the least understood of our time.

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His main contribution to its success, however, was his worldwide promotion of the jihad, both through his ideological communications and later, jointly with bin Ladin, through the establishment of an infrastructure for the recruitment of volunteers. Azzam communicated a simple message. To him, coming to the defence of a Muslim country against invasion by non-Muslim forces was a clear case of personal obligation ( fard ‘ayn): it was every Muslim’s duty to join the jihad. Indeed, it has sometimes been argued that he saw Afghanistan as the first step in a worldwide jihad to recapture Muslim lands lost to infidels, especially his native Palestine.

The second, much larger, explosion occurred at the Khobar Towers in June 1996, where a massive 1,500 kg (3,000 lb) of dynamite exploded in a military complex housing American Forces, killing nineteen soldiers and injuring some 500 people of many nationalities. In the fatwa, bin Ladin describes these two bombings as mere ‘warning signs’. Implying that al-Qaeda was in some way responsible for the two attacks would appear to have been a canny piece of propaganda on the part of bin Ladin, and indeed al-Qaeda’s attempts to project itself as an what is al-qaeda ?

I met with Osama bin Laden in 1997. … At the time bin Laden was regarded only as a financier of Islamic extremism. … I had always believed that the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 … might have some larger organization behind it, perhaps led by someone like bin Laden. That hunch would turn out to be wrong. Bin Laden had nothing to do with the attack, but the Saudi exile did lead a global terrorist organization, as we would find out when we met with him in Afghanistan. 90 … Osama bin Laden arrived out of the darkness … he wasn’t the fire-breathing terrorist, he comported himself like a cleric.

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