World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

USA Issues Info on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda Network

Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda Network

American Forces Press Service

US government officials say that the terror network headed by bin Laden is responsible for the deaths of more than 6,300 people in attacks at New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and aboard a hijacked aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania.

The Sept. 11 attacks are just the latest alleged to have been perpetrated by the Al Qaeda network, a group bin Laden established in 1988. The group is also suspected of being responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, an assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 1995, the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.

The avowed goal of Al Qaeda (often spelled Al-Qa'ida) is to "unite all Muslims and establish a government which follows the rule of the Caliphs," according to a U.S. government fact sheet on the organization. "Caliphate" refers to the immediate successors of Mohammed. Under the caliphs, Islam expanded from the Arabian Peninsula through Persia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Al Qaeda seeks to overthrow nearly all Muslim governments, because bin Laden regards most of them as corrupted by Western influences.

Another rallying cry for Al Qaeda is the liberation of Islam's three holiest places -- Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem.

According to published sources, "Al Qaeda" translates to 'The Base,' and it has a global reach. Al Qaeda has cells in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Dagestan, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Azerbaijan, Eritrea, Uganda, Ethiopia and in the West Bank and Gaza. The events of Sept. 11 indicate there are cells in the United States. Published reports estimate Al Qaeda has about 3,000 members worldwide.

Published reports say Bin Laden's organization is different from groups that have carried out bombings and hijackings in the past. The group is not a small, tightly knit group with a clear command structure. Al Qaeda is a loose coalition of groups operating across continents.

Osama bin Laden is a shadowy figure who is now the most wanted man in the world. He was born around 1955 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He's the youngest son of Muhammed bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi of Yemeni origin.

In 1979, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia to fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In the mid-1980s he co- founded the Maktab-al-Khidamat, or "Services Office," to funnel money and fighters to Afghanistan. Egyptians, Lebanese, Turks and others, numbering thousands in bin Laden's estimate, joined these Afghan Muslims in the struggle against an ideology that spurned religion. These so-called "Arab-Afghans" continue to serve Al Qaeda in various roles.

The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. Bin Laden turned his attention to the United States and its allies in the Middle East. He also worked against the Saudi royal family. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991. Published reports say his fortune is pegged at $300 million. Other published reports say his family disowned him. Terrorism experts say bin Laden has been using his millions to fund attacks against the United States. One major U.S. effort against Al Qaeda is tracing and cutting off the money supporting the terror network.

When he left Saudi Arabia, bin Laden took refuge in Sudan. He continued his efforts against the United States and its allies. In 1996, Sudan expelled bin Laden due to threats of U.N. sanctions for bin Laden's complicity in an attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

He praised the terrorist attack on Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and promised more attacks on Americans.

In February 1998, he announced the creation of a new alliance of terrorist organizations, The International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders. Part of that group is the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Harakat ul-Ansar and two other groups, according to a U.S. government release.

Bin Laden is also suspected of helping to set up Islamic training centers to prepare soldiers to fight in Chechnya and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

Osama bin Laden is actively recruiting for members for Al Qaeda. Two months ago, a recruiting videotape for the organization surfaced in the Persian Gulf region. Bin Laden appealed for fighters to join him, and the tape showed boys who look about 11 years old going through training in Afghanistan.

At War With America - American Forces Press Service

The president and other senior U.S. government officials believe Osama bin Laden and his associates masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks against America. They are suspected of being responsible for many more.

Bin Laden's current protectors, the ruling Islamic fundamentalist Taliban movement in Afghanistan, continue to refuse to extradite him to answer for numerous crimes he is accused of committing. Bin Laden and his organization are suspected of playing a role in the following assaults and incidents against Americans in the past decade:

* In May, four men connected to bin Laden's network were convicted by a U.S. jury of plotting the Aug. 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. That attack killed 224 people.

* The New York World Trade Center was attacked before. On Feb. 26, 1993, a bomb went off in the center, killing six people and injuring 1,000.

* Five U.S. service members were killed Nov. 13, 1995, in Saudi Arabia by a car bombing.

* Nineteen service members were killed and 400 were wounded June 25, 1996, when a car bomb exploded just outside the Khobar Towers apartment complex in Saudi Arabia.

* A terrorist was captured trying to enter the United States from the Canadian border in the Pacific Northwest in late 1999 just before the millennium celebration. The alleged target: Los Angeles International Airport.

* On Oct. 12, 2000, a small boat containing a suicide bomber pulled up alongside the destroyer USS Cole anchored in the port of Aden, Yemen. The bomb blew a hole in the Cole, killing 17 sailors and wounding 39.

* Bin Laden denies involvement with the attacks, including the Sept. 11 hijackings and assaults in New York and Washington.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...
More>>

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>