Al-Qaeda involvement in the Middle East

Al Qaeda involvement in the Middle East has included a number of attacks inside Saudi Arabia, occurring as early as 1995. Al Qaeda or Ayman al-Zawahiri's former organization, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, have carried out various attacks inside Egypt.

In Iraq, elements at first loosely associated with al-Qaeda, in the Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad organization commanded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have played a key role in the War in Iraq.


On September 17, 2008, six assailants, possibly associated with Al Qaeda, approached the United States embassy in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. The assailants, carrying rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, attacked the embassy with gunfire going for ten minutes. During the attack, a car bomb detonated at an embassy checkpoint. The attack resulted in the death of six Yemeni guards, along with four civilians, and the six attackers. The civilians were in a line outside the embassy, waiting to get visas. [cite news |url= |title=16 dead in car bomb, ambush at US Embassy in Yemen |author=al-Haj, Ahmed |date=2007-09-17 |publisher=Associated Press]


Canal Hotel bombing]

Osama bin Laden first took interest in Iraq when the country invaded Kuwait in 1990, raising concerns the secular Baathist government of Iraq might next set its sights on Saudi Arabia, homeland of bin Laden and Islam itself. In a letter sent to King Fahd, he offered to send an army of mujahedeen to defend Saudi Arabia, but the offer was rebuffed. [cite web|date= 2006-05-28 | title=Who is Osama Bin Laden? | work=BBC News | url= | accessmonthday=29 May | accessyear=2006] During the Gulf War, the organization's interests became split between outrage at the intervention of the United Nations in the region and hatred of Saddam Hussein's secular government.

Links between Saddam's regime and al-Qaeda, as claimed by the Bush Administration (which formed a crucial part of the WMD justification for the Iraq invasion), were non-existent or exaggerated, according to the report of both the United States Government's 9/11 Commission [cite web|date= 2004-07-22 | title=The 9/11 Commission Report, p.334 | work=United States Government Printing Office | url= | accessmonthday=2 May | accessyear=2007|format=PDF] and the Pentagon; [ [ World Peace Herald: "Pentagon report: There was no Saddam-al Qaida connection"] ] despite these conclusions, Vice President Dick Cheney has continued to publicly assert an Iraqi–al-Qaeda link. [cite web|date= 2006-09-10 | title=Cheney reasserts Iraq/al-Qaeda links | work=Financial Times | url=| accessmonthday=10 May | accessyear=2007] Recently, the US has acknowledged that the role of al-Qaeda in post-invasion violence in Iraq was overstated. [cite web|date= 2006-04-18 | title=Who is behind "Al Qaeda in Iraq"? Pentagon acknowledges fabricating a "Zarqawi Legend" | work=Centre for Research on Globalization | url=| accessmonthday=14 May | accessyear=2007] The US also claimed that al-Qaeda was in contact with the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam from its inception in 1999; however, Ansar al-Islam's founder, Mullah Krekar, has staunchly denied any such link. [cite news | url= | title=Mullah denies Iraq al-Qaeda link | publisher=BBC News | author=Pam O'Toole | date=2003-01-31]

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, elements at first loosely associated with al-Qaeda, commanded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have supported local resistance to the occupying coalition forces and the emerging government, particularly targeting Iraq's Shia majority.cite news|url =|work = Al Jazeera|title = Al-Zarqawi declares war on Iraqi Shia|date = September 14 2005 ] They have been implicated in the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Iraq, [cite press release|publisher=U.S. Department of State|date=October 15 2004|title=Foreign Terrorist Organization: Designation of Jama?at al-Tawhid wa?al-Jihad and Aliases|url=|accessdate=2006-04-21] as well as hundreds of other small and large scale attacks on the military and civilian targets. [cite news | first=Jim | last=Miklaszewski | title=With Tuesday’s attacks, Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to al-Qaida, is now blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq. | date=March 2 2004|publisher=NBC News|url= ] Eventually, al-Zarqawi claimed allegiance to bin Laden in October 2004.

Al-Zarqawi was killed by U.S. air strikes on a safe house near Baqubah on June 7, 2006. Before his death, he was allegedly trying to use Iraq as a launching pad for international terrorism, most notably dispatching suicide bombers to attack hotels and government targets in Jordan. [cite news|title= Furious Jordanians take to streets|date=November 11 2005|publisher=CNN | url= ] Since the killing of al-Zarqawi, it was believed that Abu Ayyub al-Masri took over as head of "al-Qaeda in Iraq". On September 3, 2006 the second-in-command of "al-Qaeda in Iraq", Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi (also known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana), was arrested north of Baghdad, along with a group of his aides and followers. [USA Today: [ Suspected No. 2 al-Qaeda leader arrested] , 4 September 2006]

In a 39 page document retrieved in November and a 16 page document retrieved in October gives insight on how Al-Qaeda in Iraq is in panic and fear. The documents reveal how local fighters are being mistreated by the foreign fighters and labeled as "scoundrels, sectarians, and non-believers." Abu-Tariq, states that the number of fighters has dwindled from 600 to 20 fighters. [ [ Al-Qaeda leaders admit: 'We are in crisis. There is panic and fear'] ]

Israel and Palestine

Bin Laden's and Ayman al-Zawahiri's repeatedly refer to the Palestinian cause in their manifestos and interviews. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and organization formed in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s by Fathi Shaqaqi and Abd Al Aziz Awda as a branch of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, an organization currently led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, is active in its attacks against Israel.Fact|date=July 2008

Al-Qaeda is suspected to have planned and carried out two nearly simultaneous attacks against Israeli civilian targets in Mombasa, Kenya, on November 28, 2002. Al-Qaeda also increased its external operations in 2005 by claiming credit for attacks including" [ Foreign Terrorist Organizations] ", "Country Reports on Terrorism", U.S. State Department, 28 April 2006.] a rocket attack that narrowly missed U.S. Navy ship in Eilat, Israel, and the firing of several "Katyusha" rockets into Israel from Lebanon.

An extremist Gaza Strip group calling itself Army of Islam or "the organization of al-Qaeda in Palestine", [Kershner, Isabel. " [ Bombing at U.S.-backed school in Gaza] ", "International Herald Tribune", 04-21-2007. Retrieved 04-30-2007.] which gained notoriety with kidnapping of Alan Johnston, draws inspiration from al-Qaeda. [Reuters. "BBC's Johnston shown in tape wearing explosives", Reuters, 06-24-2007.]


Shakir al-Abssi, a former associate of al-Qaeda in Iraq, recruited Palestinian refugees in Lebanon into Fatah al-Islam and rose against the government. [ Mekhennet, Souad/Moss, Michael. " [ A new face of Al Qaeda emerges in Lebanon] ", "International Herald Tribune", 03-15-2007. Retrieved 03-23-2007.] The exact nature of the group's al-Qaeda links remains a matter of controversy.

On the 9th of May 2008, after the clashes between the Hezbollah and government loyalists, Al-Qaeda declared war on Hezbollah. [" [ Presstv.] "]

ee also

* Ghriba synagogue bombing
* Riyadh compound bombings
* 29 May 2004 Al-Khobar massacres
* 2005 Amman bombings
* 2005 Sharm el-Sheikh attacks


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Kingdom (film) — The Kingdom Promotional poster Directed by Peter Berg Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy — infobox Book | name = The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy orig title = translator = author = John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt cover artist = country = United States language = English series = classification = Non fiction genre = Politics… …   Wikipedia

  • The Path to 9/11 — was a two part miniseries that aired in the United States on ABC television from September 10 ndash; 11, 2006, and also in other countries. The film dramatizes the 2001 terrorist attack upon the World Trade Center in New York City and the events… …   Wikipedia

  • The New Statesman — For the current affairs magazine, see New Statesman. For other uses, see New Statesmen. infobox television show name = The New Statesman genre = Satirical sitcom creator = Laurence Marks Maurice Gran executive producer = David Reynolds John… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the United States (1991–present) — This article covers the history of the United States from 1991 to present, beginning at the end of the Cold War with the fall of the Soviet Union and the start of the United States military involvement in the Middle East.Globalization and the new …   Wikipedia

  • Rationale for the Iraq War — The rationale for the Iraq War (i.e., the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent hostilities) has been a contentious issue since the Bush administration began actively pressing for military intervention in Iraq in late 2001. The primary… …   Wikipedia

  • Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations timeline — The Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda timeline below list allegations of meetings, all but one now discounted, denied or disproven by the United States Government, between al Qaeda members and members of Saddam Hussein s government, as well as other… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the United States — The United States is located in the middle of the North American continent, with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The United States ranges from the Atlantic Ocean on the nation s east coast to the Pacific Ocean bordering the west, and …   Wikipedia

  • 2006 State of the Union address — The 2006 State of the Union Address was delivered by United States President George W. Bush at 9 p.m. EST (0200 UTC) on January 31, 2006 to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. The address outlined the President s legislative proposals for the… …   Wikipedia

  • Al-Qaeda — Infobox militant organization name = al Qaeda rtl ar. القاعدة caption = One version of the flag of al Qaeda leader = Osama bin Laden Ayman al Zawahiri dates = 1988 ndash; present area = Global ideology = Islamism Islamic fundamentalism Sunni… …   Wikipedia

  • Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations — were made by some U.S. Government officials who claimed that a highly secretive relationship existed between former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the radical Islamist militant organization Al Qaeda from 1992 to 2003, specifically through a… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.