Modern History of al-Qaeda and
Terrorism against ………?
What is al-Qaeda?
• Al Qaeda is a stateless (meaning without a
country) terrorist organization.
• led and financed by Osama bin Laden, a
radical Shi’a Muslim.
When did al-Qaeda form?
• The beginnings of al-Qaeda go back to 1979
when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
Intro: The War
How did it start:
• The soviet attacks Afghanistan on December 27, 1979 after the death of
afghan’s PM/minister of defense.
Why did it start:
• Before the war, afghan government had turned to the soviets in order to
stabilize their economy. However, due to the soviet’s determination to
spread communism.
What was the issue:
• A group called Guerrillas (mujahidin) a.k.a was formed in order to fight
communism. They've received helps from USA, Saudi Arabia, and
Proxy War
The Soviet-Afghan war was a example of proxy war. The
two great powers were the Soviet Union and the United
States of America. The US played an indirect (third party)
part of the war effort supporting the Afghan Mujahidin. By
supplying them with artillery and other weapons of
destructions. The US and the Soviet Union were two
rivalling powers who believed into two different types of
Power. Democracy Vs. Communism. Therefore the reason
the US got involved in the war was to help Afghanistan
fight and win the battle between the Soviet Union.
Former president Jimmy Carter believed the Soviets were creating a
huge threat to the peace achieved at the end of Second World War
because it was the battle of gaining a lot of fossil fuel. Jimmy Carter
also places an embargo (a ban) US on shipment of commodities, like
grains and high technology to the Soviet Union.
Also Jimmy Carter sees this as a threat to the Persian Gulf region of
invasion. With other country giving financial help to General Zia,
the Afghan ruler who took the financial aids to build their army well
trained and well funded. When there was a President in power for
the United State in 1981, Ronald Reagan give even more aids to the
Afghan. As of this United States, Pakistan Iran, China,
Arabia and United Kingdom created or forum as
the Afghan Mujahideen.
Beliefs = how the problem
The Afghanistan government didn’t seem to be prepared for doing what
was necessary for the benefit of the country; instead the Soviets invaded
and took control of the situation after getting rid of Amin.
The Afghan resistance movement during the mid 1980s was assisted by
the U.S., U.K., China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others, that
contributed to the Moscow’s high military costs and stressed international
relations. In result, Afghan guerrillas were armed, funded, and trained
mostly by the U.S. and Pakistan. Plus, the donation of American-created
FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems increased the losses of the
Soviet Air Force.
• 1979 was during the Cold
War, a time when the USA
was a rival to the Soviet
Union. The USA wanted to
help Afghans fight the
• The CIA sent stinger
missiles to Afghans to shoot
down Soviet helicopters.
Other trees = other things influencing
the problem
• Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Special Service Group
(SSG) were actively involved in the conflict, and in cooperation with the
CIA and the U.S. Army Special Forces all supported the armed rebellion
against the Soviet threats.
• After the Soviet invasion, Pakistan’s military ruler General Muhammad
Zia-ul-Haq accepted financial aid from the Western powers to help the
Muhajideen rebellion. The United States, the United Kingdom and Saudi
Arabia became major financial contributors to General Zia who was the
ruler of a neighbour country and helped by ensuring the Afghan resistance
was well-trained and well-funded.
• In the 19780s, Pakistan received aid from the U.S. and took in millions of
Afghan (mostly Pashtun) refugees fleeing the Soviet occupation.
The Fishbone
4. 1988: Yhe birth of al-Qaeda
• August 11, 1988, bin laden stated in his
meeting that the purpose of the meeting was to,
“the establishment of a new military group,”
Bin Laden in Afghanistan
• Son of a wealthy Saudi
Arabian family, Osama
bin Laden made lots of
like-minded friends.
• He learned that scantilyarmed Muslims could
defeat a powerful
Christian army
• The Soviet army left in
Bin Laden moves to Sudan
• Bin Laden and his friends, feeling powerful,
wanted to set up a base for future jihads. A
jihad is a Muslim word for holy war, usually
against Christians. He stays in Sudan about 5
years. Note: Most Muslims don’t feel that
jihads are about car bombs and plane
• In 1983, during the presidency of Ronald Regan, a
terrorist group bombed a Marine barracks in
Lebanon. Reagan did not retaliate. 283 killed.
Desert Storm (Gulf War I)
• In 1990, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded
the tiny, oil-rich country of Kuwait. Kuwait
owed Iraq money, so Hussein wanted to secure
Kuwaiti oil fields.
Operation Desert Storm
• The United States imports oil from Kuwait and
Saudi Arabia. If Saddam Hussein wanted to,
he could take his army into Saudi Arabia and
seize their oil fields too.
Iraqi tanks
US and Saudi coalition
• The United States asked the Saudis for permission to
establish military bases in their country. The Saudis
have a tough choice to make. Do they allow a
Christian army into the holiest country of Islam? Can
the Saudis themselves stop Saddam Hussein?
Saudi’s choice
• Osama bin Laden was back home from Afghanistan.
He offered the Saudis the use of his soldiers to fight
the Iraqi army because once America establishes a
base, they won’t leave. Christian armies have no
place in the land of Islam.
Saudis chose the USA and snubbed bin Laden.
• President George H.W. Bush liberates Kuwait and pushes the
Iraqi army back into Iraq.
Bin Laden
• Osama bin Laden overtly criticizes the Saudi
government. Saudi Arabia banishes him; his
family disowns him (officially).
• Bin Laden leaves Saudi Arabia for Sudan to
further build al Qaeda.
USA in Somalia
• Dec. 4, 1992, George H.W. Bush sends 28,000
American troops to Somalia.
• Bush wanted to help the Somali people since
all attempts to send food to them were
intercepted by war lords.
Black Hawk Down!
• In 1993, 18 Americans
died when their Black
Hawk helicopter was
shot down over
Mogadishu, Somalia.
al Qaeda?
• We think al Qaeda operatives taught the
Somalians how to shoot down helicopters just
like they did in Afghanistan against the
World Trade Center bombing
• 9-11 was not the first terrorist attack on the
WTC. In 1993, a man rented a Ryder truck
and detonated a large bomb in one of the
towers hoping to knock it over onto the other
Ramzi Yousef
• He was a planner of the WTC
bombing. He was a
member/leader of al Qaeda.
• Yousef stated, "Yes, I am a
terrorist, and proud of it as long
as it is against the U.S.
• Speaks 7 languages and has
college degrees in engineering
and chemistry.
• Currently serving a life sentence.
1993 WTC bombing
It killed 6 people and injured over 1000.
1996 car bombing of Khobar Towers
• The Khobar Towers provided housing for American
military stationed in Saudi Arabia. 19 Americans
were killed and hundreds injured. Look familiar?
• In August of 1998, Osama bin Laden and 4 of
his close associates sign and distribute a
statement declaring “it is the individual duty
for every Muslim who can do it” to kill
Kenyan embassy bombings
• Two American embassies in
Kenya and Tanzania were
bombed simultaneously in
1998. 220 people were killed.
Clinton responds.
• President Clinton, risking “Wag the Dog”
criticism during the Lewinsky scandal, decided
to attack al Qaeda in response.
US attacks al Qaeda training camps in Sudan and
Afghanistan with Tomahawk missiles. Camps
were destroyed. Osama lives.
USS Cole attack Oct. 2000
• In Yemen, Al
Qaeda operatives
sent a suicide
bomber aboard a
small ship near the
USS Cole and
detonated its
bomb, blowing a
large hole in the
US Navy ship. 17
sailors killed.
Where is Sudan and Yemen?
September 11, 2001
• Four airplanes were hijacked by al Qaeda
• Two crashed into the 2 World Trade Center
• One crashed into the Pentagon, the military
building of the US armed forces.
• One crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, likely
because passengers forced the plane down.
• 2819 people were killed
• 343 firefighters and
paramedics were killed
Khalid Sheik Muhhamad was the central
Planner of the 9/11. Most terrorists (at right)
were from Saudi Arabia.
Firemen going up before towers
Shoes people left behind to run faster.
• A plane crashed into the Pentagon killing
• It showed Americans that terrorism doesn’t
just happen in New York and our most
important buildings are vulnerable.
Pentagon after attack
Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania
Its target was possibly the
White House or Capitol
building. We think the
passengers forced the
plane down.
• Al Qaeda and the Taliban government of
Afghanistan were virtually one and the same.
• President George W. Bush sent a small force
into Afghanistan to eliminate the
government and destroy al Qaeda.
• This war is still going on.
• Many criticize President Bush for taking
troops out of Afghanistan to fight in Iraq.
Operation Enduring Freedom in
Where is Afghanistan?
Tora Bora
• Famous battle in Afghanistan where al Qaeda
allegedly saved Osama bin Laden’s life and
snuck him out of the area.
Tora Bora
Today in Afghanistan
• In ‘08, more US troops die in Afghanistan than
in Iraq. US troops are still fighting Taliban
and Al Qaeda troops near the Pakistani border.
• In ’04 Afghanistan had its first election. The
people voted for Hamid Karzai
• Despite terrorist attacks, daily
life is better in Afghanistan.
Where was Osama bin Laden ?
• Well, where do you think he was?
• Bin Laden was very smart. He was probably
hiding inside the lawless region of Pakistan,
near the Afghan border.
• Pakistan is a powerful Muslim country who
has cooperated with the USA for years. They
have nuclear weapons.
• While the Pakistani government likes the
USA, its citizens don’t.
Pakistan cont. . .
• Pakistani government goes after Osama bin Laden
and al Qaeda too strongly, the Muslim people could
overthrow the government and be the first al Qaedadominated nuclear power. This was what bin Laden
Review Quiz
Are you ready?
Review Quiz
• 1. Name 3 Al Qaeda leaders.
• 2. The Soviet Union invaded what country in 1979 where al
Qaeda formed?
• 3. In the first Gulf War, what was bin Laden’s objection
regarding American troops in Saudi Arabia?
• 4.Was Osama bin Laden friends with Saddam Hussein of
• 5. After the first Gulf War, what did Iraq try to do to upset
the USA?
• 6. How was the WTC attacked in 1993?
• 7. What American embassies were bombed in 1998?
• 8. What Navy ship was bombed in 2000?
• 9. How many planes were hijacked on 9/11/2001?
• 10. Where could Osama bin Laden possibly be hiding?