Al-Qaeda Fact Sheet
from an outline by Pastor Mason Okubo
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This outline of the history and beliefs of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group was put together by Pastor Okubo from his own research and taught as part of a series on Islam for Immanuel First's adult Bible study on November 21, 2010.
The central theme of Pastor Okubo's teaching can be summarized in the
following equation which he wrote on the whiteboard of the classroom:
≠ Muslims ≠ Arabs
Muslims and Arabs are NOT equal
or identical to each other. Al-Qaeda terrorists are not
true Muslims and do not represent all of Islam. Also, not all Muslims
are Arabs, and not all Arabs are Muslims. There are many Arabs in the
Middle East who are Christians, and in the West there are non-Arabs,
including whites, who are Muslims.
Here is a list of relative populations:
- World: 6.7 billion
- China: 1.3 billion
- India: 1.1 billion
- U.S.: 307 billion
- Arabs (the Middle East): half billion
- Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria,
Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait
- Muslims: about 1 billion
- in Middle east: about half billion
- outside of Middle East (Africa, India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.): half billion
The radical Islamist movement and al-Qaeda developed during the last
three decades of the 20th century. It is rooted in the works of the
Islamic author and thinker Sayyid Qutb. Qutb preached that because of
the lack of sharia law, the Muslim world was no longer Muslim. To
restore Islam, righteous Muslims needed to establish "true Islamic
states", implement sharia, and rid the Muslim world of non-Muslim
influences, such as concepts like socialism or nationalism.
Qutb's idea that "may who said they were Muslims
were not" gave jihadists a legal loophole around the prohibition of
killing another Muslim and rather made it a religious obligation to
execute apostate Muslims. These alleged apostates included leaders of
Muslim countries, since they failed to enforce sharia law.
- Osama bin Laden, Senior Operations Chief
(killed in 2011 by U.S. forces)
- Ayman al-Zawahiri, successor to Bin Laden
- Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia
- Islamic Jihad of Yemen--Nasser al-Wahayshi
- Al-Qaeda in Iraq-- Abu Ayyub al-Masri
- Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb
- Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen in Somalia
- Egyptian Islamic Jihad
- Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
- East Turkestan Islamic Movement in Xinjiang
through radical Islamic message, not necessarily to the
- Franchising: convert al-Qaeda into an ideology and set of operating principes that
can be loosely franchised in other countries without requiring direct
command and control
terrorism and guerilla warfare
collapse of non-Muslim enemies
of sharia law
For a good article in the Washington Post on
al-Qaeda strategy, see the article by Bruce Hoffman, professor of
Security Studies at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the U.S.
Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center:
in the News
- September 30, 2011: U.S.
unmanned drone aircraft kill U.S.-born terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki in an
airstrike carried out in southeastern Yemen. Al-Awlaki was the first
U.S. citizen ever placed on the CIA target list.
- May 1, 2011: President
Obama announces in a televised address that U.S. Navy SEALS carried out
a mission that found and killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at a
secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, ending a more than decade-long
manhunt for the world's most wanted terrorist.
2010: Ibrahim al-Asiri, a 28-year-old Saudi, attempts to
air mail explosive devics to the U.S. Shipments are stopped in Britain
and Dubai. Also responsible for failed underwear bomb in San'A, Yemen
in previous years.
2010: President Obama approves the targeted killing of
Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born radical preacher, linked to al-Qaeda
failed bombing, making al-Awlaki the first U.S. citizen ever placed on
the CIA target list.
- 2010: Al-Qaeda movement toward Somalia and Yemen. The percentage of terrorist
attacks on the west, originating from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,
have declined considerably from almost 100% to 75% in 2007 and to 50%
in 2010, shifting operations toward Somalia and Yemen.
2010: Muslim Fatwa on Terrorism (Muslim Condemnation of
Terrorism): a direct Quranic refutation of the ideology of al-Qaeda and
the Taliban regarding the usage of terrorism and suicide bombings,
produced by an influential Muslim scholar, Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri