the Islamic Army
the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews
the Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy
the Usama Bin Laden Network
the Usama Bin Laden Organization
Islamic Salvation Foundation
The Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites
al-Qaida: The base.
Fatwa: A religious
commandment Muslims must follow.
Jihad: Holy war.
Kalifah: A great Islamic
kingdom ruled by a caliph, or king. No laws
outside the Koran would exist in Kalifah
so as not to disrupt the total observance
Majlis al Shura: The
consultation council that considers and
approves majors policies and actions.
Mujaheddin: Holy warriors.
Ummah: An overall Muslim
nation without states.
Established by Usama Bin Ladin in the late 1980s
to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan
against the Soviet invasion. Helped finance, recruit,
transport, and train Sunni Islamic extremists
for the Afghan resistance. Current goal is to
establish a pan-Islamic Caliphate throughout the
world by working with allied Islamic extremist
groups to overthrow regimes it deems "non-Islamic"
and expelling Westerners and non-Muslims from
Muslim countries. Issued statement under banner
of "the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against
the Jews and Crusaders" in February 1998,
saying it was the duty of all Muslims to kill
US citizens--civilian or military--and their allies
Plotted to carry out terrorist operations
against US and Israeli tourists visiting Jordan
for millennial celebrations. (Jordanian authorities
thwarted the planned attacks and put 28 suspects
on trial.) Conducted the bombings in August 1998
of the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar
es Salaam, Tanzania, that killed at least 301
persons and injured more than 5,000 others. Claims
to have shot down US helicopters and killed US
servicemen in Somalia in 1993 and to have conducted
three bombings that targeted US troops in Aden,
Yemen, in December 1992. Linked to the following
plans that were not carried out: to assassinate
Pope John Paul II during his visit to Manila in
late 1994, simultaneous bombings of the US and
Israeli Embassies in Manila and other Asian capitals
in late 1994, the midair bombing of a dozen US
trans-Pacific flights in 1995, and to kill President
Clinton during a visit to the Philippines in early
1995. Continues to train, finance, and provide
logistic support to terrorist groups in support
of these goals.
May have several hundred to several thousand members.
Also serves as a focal point or umbrella organization
for a worldwide network that includes many Sunni
Islamic extremist groups such as Egyptian Islamic
Jihad, some members of al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya,
the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Harakat
Location/Area of Operation
Al-Qaida has a worldwide reach, has cells in a
number of countries, and is reinforced by its
ties to Sunni extremist networks. Bin Ladin and
his key lieutenants reside in Afghanistan, and
the group maintains terrorist training camps there.
Bin Ladin, son of a billionaire Saudi family,
is said to have inherited approximately $300 million
that he uses to finance the group. Al-Qaida also
maintains moneymaking front organizations, solicits
donations from like-minded supporters, and illicitly
siphons funds from donations to Muslim charitable