prior to 2001 and the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda maintained a command hierarchy, but after the attacks, leaders ran virtual networks and inspired autonomous jihadists worldwide Cold War led to the U.S. and allies seeking to align themselves with any country that was anticommunist, regardless of that country's government, also began to support strains of Islam having been the ally of Saudi Arabia, and after a French intelligence suggestion, these countries began to support fighters against the Russians when Afghanistan was invaded in 1979 U.S. began working with Pakistan's ISI to help train mujahedeen fighters against the Soviets U.S.-Saudi arabis relationship led to several things: U.S. helped Saudi Arabia develop a funding mechanism and underground arms network to support the fighters, U.S. gave most weapons and supplies to ISI which built groups with little American participation, Islamic charities flourished in the U.S. and donations went to fund the fighters, and the U.S. abandoned Afghanistan the minute the Soviets left this ignorance by America led the groups to grow and terrorism grew with the groups groups continued to fight in Afghanistan for control of land and other territory, all ignored by the U.S. as the end of the Cold War was being celebrated and defense spending was being reduced Osama bin Laden (UBL) was raised in the Saudi royal court; the son of a wealthy construction executive, he was tutored by the brother of Sayyid Qutb, Mohammed Qutb, influenced by Qutb's way of thinking, UBL left college to fight the Soviets first by lending support and then forming his own guerrilla unit UBL fell under Abdullah Azzam, a doctor of Islamic law also influenced by Qutb who believed a purified form of Islam was the answer to the questions of poverty and loss of political power, while he was in Afghanistan Azzam saw the war as only the beginning of a holy war against all things foreign to Islam and he believed that Islam had been dominated by foreign powers for too long; UBL soon became a hero on the battlefield, uniting him with the fighters
towards the end of the war UBL and Azzam established a base of foundation (al Qaeda) as a potential general headquarters for future jihad, with a financial committee, a military committee, an intelligence component, and a committee in charge of propaganda and media affairs Ayman al Zawahiri fell under militant thoughts after first being exposed to it in high school, and then from Sayyid Imam al Sharif, who first embraced militancy and then denounced it while in prison which lead to many jihadists viewing him as a traitor, while at a university in Cairo; he eventually left to join the mujahedeen after being arrested in Egypt for activities relating to the Muslim Brotherhood Azzam later called a meeting of jihadists in an attempt to unite them all, but the meeting ended horribly with both UBL and Zawahiri leaving th emeeting disgusted with Azzam as Zawahiri proposed al Qaeda act as an umbrella
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- Fall '13
- Islam, Al Qaeda, Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri