How Did Al Qaeda's Influence

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Today, al Qaeda is a de-centralized, compartmentalised organisation that has self-sufficient networks in many countries. Al Qaeda’s success and influence can be traced to its terrorist attack in New York City and Washington DC on 9/11. The scale of these attacks claiming some three thousand lives acted to galvanise support and unify elements of Muslim extremism in parts of the Middle East. Al-Qaeda seeks to unite Muslims in a caliphate and to fight the West, especially the US and Israel, as a means of overthrowing regimes it deems to be secular or unIslamic expelling western influence from Muslim countries, and removing Israel. On the one hand, its initial influence was quite profound; terrorist attacks in Spain, Indonesia (Bali) and the UK, amongst many others were carried out by groups inspired by or affiliated to al Qaeda. The US invasion of Afghanistan dealt a significant blow to the operations of the terrorist organisation, even though bin Laden himself…show more content…
In this sense, Al Qaeda has had some success in affecting political change. Additionally, it could be argued that Al Qaeda lured the USA into an unwinnable war in Afghanistan costing it much blood and treasure in over a decade of fighting. On the other hand however, al Qaeda is in many ways a diminished force and is losing influence. Its direct involvement in recent terrorist attacks appears to be minimal, it is still yet to form a pan-Islamic caliphate and Israel remains strong. Al Qaeda’s retreat from Yemen in 2011 indicates that it has lost support at the grass roots level, and in Mali the BBC has suggested the militants are in ‘disarray’ after French military intervention. While Al Qaeda certainly has power and influence, it has been more limited in recent

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