Articles on Osama bin Laden

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Yemen’s al-Qaida branch, called al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is the most dangerous and sophisticated offshoot of the terror group Osama bin Laden founded in Afghanistan in 1988. AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

Al-Qaida is stronger today than it was on 9/11

Bin Laden's extremist group had less than a hundred members in September 2001. Today it's a transnational terror organization with 40,000 fighters across the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
This term ‘jihad’ can include various forms of nonviolent struggles: for instance, the struggle to become a better person. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

So, what really is jihad?

Violent radicals are often described as jihadists. A scholar explains what the word means and why those using the word to justify terrorism are often misrepresenting their sources.
When U.S. troops go home, ethnic militias will likely gain strength. REUTERS/Parwiz

What will come after a US withdrawal from Afghanistan?

The US has been at war in Afghanistan since a few weeks after 9/11. Now we are negotiating a peace with the Taliban, the same insurgents who sheltered Osama bin Laden.
People, including the activist group Code Pink, hold signs at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia during a protest about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Oct. 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In the end, it was Khashoggi’s ‘friends’ who silenced him

Missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was no ordinary reporter. His contacts included the Royal Family as well as known terrorists.
South Tower being hit during the 9/11 attacks. The events of September 11 2001 has significantly shaped American attitudes and actions towards fighting terrorism, surveilling citizens and othering outsiders. NIST SIPA/Wikicommons

World politics explainer: The twin-tower bombings (9/11)

Though more consequences are likely to develop in the post-9/11 era, the war on terror, heightened government surveillance and Islamophobia are notable legacies of this early 21st century tragedy.
The World Trade Center burns after being hit by planes in New York Sept. 11, 2001. Reuters/Sara K. Schwittek

Why al-Qaida is still strong 17 years after 9/11

An unprecedented onslaught from the US hasn't destroyed the terrorist organization. What is the secret of its resilience?
Iraqis carry the picture of three men who were kidnapped and executed by Islamic State during a funeral procession in Karbala, southern Iraq, in June 2018. EPA-EFE/FURQAN AL-AARAJI

Islamic State has survived 100,000 bombs and missiles and is still active

The wars against Islamic State and al-Qaida show that military responses may seem to work in the short term but don’t change much in the long run.
A nine-year-old boy plays on his damaged street in Mosul, Iraq in this July 2017 photo. U.S.-backed forces have wrested Mosul from the Islamic State, and the terrorist group lost Raqqa, in northern Syria, last month. Nonetheless the Islamic State is using virtual information sessions to keep its members committed to the cause. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

How the Islamic State uses ‘virtual lessons’ to build loyalty

Despite the fact that the Islamic State is on the run, the terrorist group still manages to inspire, motivate and maintain the social identity and cohesion of its members. Here's how.
In this photo from Sept. 11, 2001, firefighters work in the ruins of the World Trade Center towers in New York City after an al-Qaida terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

9/11 anniversary: Understanding extremist motives could stop further violence

It's been 16 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Understanding what propelled al-Qaida's attacks could help guard against further violence.
Without the perfect-storm conditions of post-invasion insurgency, this most potent expression of al-Qaedaism yet would never have risen to dominate both the Middle East and the world in the way that it does. Reuters/Stringer

Out of the ashes of Afghanistan and Iraq: the rise and rise of Islamic State

The final article of our series on the historical roots of Islamic State examines the role recent Western intervention in the Middle East played in the group's inexorable rise.
The century since the first world war is littered with the broken promises of Muslim rulers to bring about a transition to more representative forms of government. AAP/Asmaa Abdelatif

How the political crises of the modern Muslim world created the climate for Islamic State

The rise of Islamic State and its declaration of the caliphate can be read as part of a wider story that has unfolded since the formation of modern nation states in the Muslim world.
A flag-waving Islamic State fighter takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province. Reuters/Stringer

Understanding Islamic State: where does it come from and what does it want?

How far back in history does one have to go to find the roots of the so-called Islamic State? The first article in our series on the genesis of the terrorist outfit considers some fundamentals.
President Barack Obama and his inner circle follow the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which made headlines worldwide but is seemingly unimportant four years on. EPA/Pete Souza/White House handout

Osamacide, ‘justice’ and the deadly legacy of Bin Laden

Memories of the killing of Osama bin Laden are fading, but the legacies of al-Qaeda and the war on terror's many 'own goals' haunt us in the form of multiplying threats and lost civil liberties.

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