What is Al-Qaeda? Nikita Lalwani
The act of terrorism has been around for thousands of years. However, in the last 30 years, a new form of terrorism called suicide bombing has become more frequent. Suicide bombing was developed by the Tamil Tigers, an organization in Sri Lanka. One of their most infamous acts was the assassination of the Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, by a female suicide bomber in 1991. This tactic has been adopted by many organizations, including the most prominent of them all, al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda (meaning "the base" in Arabic) is a broad-based Islamic extremist movement which was founded by a man named Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda was formed in the 1980's and it started out as a network to bring Islamic fighters together who were dedicated to driving the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. Sooner or later, al-Qaeda turned into a terrorist network, and its purpose is to attack their enemies (mainly the USA), and protect various Muslim countries from harm. This organization has completed or been suspected of a total of 59 terrorist attacks, including the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The 58 other attacks have been all around the world, and the majority of the attacks have been committed by suicide bombers. All this horror and tragedy around the world started with the work of one single man, Osama bin Laden.
Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden (his full name, and bin Laden is his last name) was born in 1957 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia into one of the wealthiest families in the whole country. "Osama" means "young lion", and he grew up spoiled and rich, with his own stable of horses by the time he was 15. He was the 17th out of 51 children, and used his 300 million dollar inheritance to create a network of terrorists known as al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden joined the resistance fighters in Afghanistan after the Soviet Union invaded the country in 1979. He believed that it was his duty to help Muslim soldiers drive out the occupying forces in their country. In 1996, Osama bin Laden declared a war against the United States of America, vowing to drive out the USA from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. Bin Laden was already a wanted terrorist in the USA, with a 5 million dollar reward on his head. Long before 9/11, American officials considered bin Laden at least partly responsible for the killing of American soldiers in Somalia and in Saudi Arabia; the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993; the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; and a foiled plot to hijack a dozen jets, crash a plane into the C.I.A. headquarters, and kill President Clinton. In 2001, he planned and succeeded in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,...