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Al-Qæda ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} or {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Arabic: القاعدة‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} al-qāʿidah, Arabic: [ælqɑːʕɪdɐ], translation: "The Base", "The Foundation" or "The Fundament" and alternatively spelled al-Qaida, al-Qæda and sometimes al-Qa'ida) is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> and several others,<ref name="al-Fadl"/> at some point between August 1988<ref name=bergen75>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> and late 1989,<ref name="al-Fadl"></ref> with origins traceable to the Arab volunteers who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref name="Cooley">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army<ref>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. "Al-Qaeda's global network, as we know it today, was created while it was based in Khartoum, from December 1991 till May 1996. To coordinate its overt and covert operations as al-Qaeda's ambitions and resources increased, it developed a decentralized, regional structure. [...] As a global multinational, al-Qaeda makes its constituent nationalities and ethnic groups, of which there are several dozen, responsible for a particular geographic region. Although its modus operandi is cellular, familial relationships play a key role."
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|CitationClass=journal }}</ref> and an Islamist, extremist, wahhabi jihadist group.<ref name="autogenerated1">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> It has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the United States, Russia, India, and various other countries (see below). Al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks on targets it considers kafir.<ref>Jihadi Terrorism and the Radicalisation Challenge: p.219, Rik Coolsaet – 2011</ref>

Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on civilian and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, and the 2002 Bali bombings. The U.S. government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the "War on Terror". With the loss of key leaders, culminating in the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's operations have devolved from actions that were controlled from the top down, to actions by franchise associated groups and lone-wolf operators. Characteristic techniques employed by al-Qaeda include suicide attacks and the simultaneous bombing of different targets.<ref>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> Activities ascribed to it may involve members of the movement who have made a pledge of loyalty to Osama bin Laden, or the much more numerous "al-Qaeda-linked" individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or Sudan who have not.<ref>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Al-Qaeda ideologues envision a complete break from all foreign influences in Muslim countries, and the creation of a new worldwide Islamic caliphate.<ref name="spiegel1"/><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> During the Syrian civil war, al-Qaeda factions started fighting each other, as well as the Kurds and the Syrian government.

Among the beliefs ascribed to al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam.<ref>Fu'ad Husayn 'Al-Zarqawi, "The Second Generation of al-Qa'ida, Part Fourteen," Al-Quds al-Arabi, July 13, 2005</ref> As Salafist jihadists, they believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned, but they ignore any aspect of religious scripture which might be interpreted as forbidding the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting.<ref name="Moghadam"/><ref name=Ranstorp>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Al-Qaeda also opposes what it regards as man-made laws, and wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law.<ref name="LT246">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Al-Qaeda is also responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims.<ref>Dragons and Tigers: A Geography of South, East, and Southeast Asia – (2011) – Barbara A. Weightman</ref> Al-Qaeda leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias, Sufis and other sects as heretics and have attacked their mosques and gatherings.<ref>Security strategy and transatlantic relations (2006) Roland Dannreuther</ref> Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings.<ref>Jihad and Just War in the War on Terror (2011) Alia Brahimi</ref> Since the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011 the group has been led by Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Al-Qaeda sections
Intro  Organization  Strategy  Name  Ideology  Religious compatibility  History  Attacks  Designation as terrorist group  War on Terrorism  Activities  Alleged CIA involvement  Broader influence  Criticism  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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