Duhaime's Law Dictionary


al Qaeda Definition:

A terrorist organization, nominally Islamic, and originally based in Afghanistan.

Related Terms: Jihad

Also spelled al Qaida.

In Re Almie, Justice Richard Mosley of the Federal Court of Canada wrote this rather timid definition of the terrorist group which purports to promote the ideals of Muhammad and Islam through terrorism and murder:

Al Qaeda means (translated) the base. Dating back to approximately 1988, the term referred to an organization with a physical infrastructure. That organization established itself in Afghanistan where several camps were established and people were invited to attend these camps and receive military training to conduct operations in c and other regions. The physical infrastructure was displaced in November 2001 and the organization has since evolved.

"The term al Qaeda now represents more of an ideology or philosophy and a network through which like-minded groups around the world can affiliate to pursue and further the aims and ideologies of the movement."

The definition  makes no reference to the admitted terrorism goals, ideals and crimes of Al Qaeda. In February 1998, al-Qaeda The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders, a statement of principles calling upon Muslims to kill US citizens—civilian or military—and their allies everywhere. In addition, this definition comes eight years after September 11, 2001, agents of the al Qaeda terrorist organization hijacked commercial airplanes and attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the national headquarters of the Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia, killing almost 3,000 civilians.

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