Al-Qaeda involvement in Asia

One of the flags of Al-Qaeda.

Al Qaeda involvement in Asia. It is believed that members of Al-Qaeda are in hiding along the border of Afghanistan and northwest sections of Pakistan. In Iraq, elements loosely associated with al-Qaeda, in the Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad organization commanded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have played a key role in the War in Iraq.


Aftermath of the Canal Hotel bombing

Osama bin Laden first took interest in Iraq when the country invaded Kuwait in 1990, raising concerns the secular Baathist government of Iraq might next set its sights on Saudi Arabia. In a letter sent to King Fahd, he offered to send an army of mujahedeen to defend Saudi Arabia, but the offer was rebuffed.[1]

In November 2001, a month after the 11 September attacks, Mubarak al-Duri was contacted by Sudanese intelligence services who informed him that the FBI had sent Jack Cloonan and several other agents, to speak with a number of people known to have ties to Bin Laden. al-Duri and another Iraqi colleague agreed to meet with Cloonan in a safe house overseen by the intelligence service. They were asked whether there was any possible connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, and laughed stating that Bin Laden hated the dictator who he believed was a "Scotch-drinking, woman-chasing apostate."[2]

Links between Saddam's regime and al-Qaeda, as claimed by the Bush Administration (which formed a crucial part of the WMD justification for the Iraq invasion), were non-existent or exaggerated, according to the report of both the United States Government's 9/11 Commission[3] and the Pentagon;[4] despite these conclusions, Vice President Dick Cheney has continued to publicly assert an Iraqi–al-Qaeda link.[5] The US claimed that al-Qaeda was in contact with the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam from its inception in 1999; however, Ansar al-Islam's founder, Mullah Krekar, has staunchly denied any such link.[6]

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, elements at first loosely associated with al-Qaeda, commanded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have supported local resistance to the occupying coalition forces and the emerging government, particularly targeting Iraq's Shia majority.[7] They have been implicated in the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Iraq,[8] as well as hundreds of other small and large scale attacks on the military and civilian targets.[9] Eventually, al-Zarqawi claimed allegiance to bin Laden in October 2004.

Al-Zarqawi was killed by U.S. air strikes on a safe house near Baqubah on 7 June 2006. Before his death, he was allegedly trying to use Iraq as a launching pad for international terrorism, most notably dispatching suicide bombers to attack hotels and government targets in Jordan.[10] Since the killing of al-Zarqawi, it was believed that Abu Ayyub al-Masri took over as head of "al-Qaeda in Iraq". On 3 September 2006 the second-in-command of "al-Qaeda in Iraq", Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi (also known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana), was arrested north of Baghdad, along with a group of his aides and followers.[11]

In a 39-page document retrieved in November and a 16-page document retrieved in October gives insight on how Al-Qaeda in Iraq is in panic and fear. The documents reveal how local fighters are being mistreated by the foreign fighters and labeled as "scoundrels, sectarians, and non-believers." Abu-Tariq, states that the number of fighters has dwindled from 600 to 20 fighters.[12]

Israel and PalestineEdit

Bin Laden's and Ayman al-Zawahiri's repeatedly refer to the Palestinian cause in their manifestos and interviews.

Jund Ansar Allah, a group which claims to be inspired by Al-Qaeda, is active in the Gaza Strip.[13]

Members of an al-Qaeda cell were convicted of the 2009 Murder of Yafim Weinstein near Nazareth. [14][15]


Shakir al-Abssi, a former associate of al-Qaeda in Iraq, recruited Palestinian refugees in Lebanon into Fatah al-Islam and rose against the government.[16] The exact nature of the group's al-Qaeda links remains a matter of controversy.

On 9 May 2008, the media outlet Presstv alleges that Al-Qaeda declared war on Hezbollah.[17]

Saudi ArabiaEdit

On February 3, 2009, the government of Saudi Arabia published a list of 85 suspected terrorists.[18][19][20][21] One key aspect of its international involvement has been to make alliances, which are often "underutilized.".[22]

The Saudi government believed that all of these men were living outside of Saudi Arabia, and encouraged them to surrender themselves at the closest Saudi Embassy. Many of those named on the list were believed to be in Asia.[citation needed]


Al-Qaeda was responsible for the USS Cole bombing was a suicide bombing attack against the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) on 12 October 2000 while it was harbored in the Yemeni port of Aden. Seventeen American sailors were killed.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Who is Osama Bin Laden?". BBC News. 28 May 2006. Archived from the original on 22 May 2006. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  2. ^ Silverstein, Ken. Los Angeles Times, "Official Pariah Sudan Valuable to America's War on Terrorism", 29 April 2005
  3. ^ "The 9/11 Commission Report, p.334" (PDF). United States Government Printing Office. 22 July 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  4. ^ "World Peace Herald: Pentagon report: There was no Saddam-al Qaida connection". Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Cheney reasserts Iraq/al-Qaeda links". Financial Times. 10 September 2006. Archived from the original on 17 May 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  6. ^ Pam O'Toole (31 January 2003). "Mullah denies Iraq al-Qaeda link". BBC News. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
  7. ^ "Al-Zarqawi declares war on Iraqi Shia". Al Jazeera. 14 September 2005. Archived from the original on 24 October 2005.
  8. ^ "Foreign Terrorist Organization: Designation of Jama?at al-Tawhid wa?al-Jihad and Aliases" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. 15 October 2004. Retrieved 21 April 2006.
  9. ^ Miklaszewski, Jim (2 March 2004). "With Tuesday's attacks, Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to al-Qaida, is now blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq". NBC News. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007.
  10. ^ "Furious Jordanians take to streets". CNN. 11 November 2005. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008.
  11. ^ USA Today: Suspected No. 2 al-Qaeda leader arrested Archived 13 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 4 September 2006
  12. ^ "Al-Qaeda leaders admit: 'We are in crisis. There is panic and fear'". Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
  13. ^ "'Hamas executing its rivals in Gaza'". The Jerusalem Post. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Katz, Yaakov (26 July 2011). "Barak outlaws Nazareth group with links to al-Qaida". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  15. ^ Miskin, Maayana (1 April 2012). "Nazareth Imam Convicted of Inciting Terror; An influential Nazareth imam has been convicted of inciting to terrorism, and founding a Salafist group with Al-Qaeda ideology". Israel National News. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  16. ^ Mekhennet, Souad/Moss, Michael. "A new face of Al Qaeda emerges in Lebanon Archived 23 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine", International Herald Tribune, 15 March 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  17. ^ "Presstv. Archived 15 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine"
  18. ^ Robert Worth (3 February 2009). "Saudis Issue List of 85 Terrorism Suspects". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  19. ^ Mshari Al-Zaydi (6 February 2009). "A Clear Generation Gap in Saudi Most Wanted List". Asharq Alawsat. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  20. ^ Turki Al-Saheil (5 February 2009). "Al-Qaeda Using Iran as Base of Operations". Asharq Alawsat. Retrieved 6 February 2009. mirror
  21. ^ "85 on Saudi wanted list of militants". Saudi Gazette. 3 February 2009. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2009. Al-Arabiya satellite news channel said the statement identified one of the militants, Saleh Al-Qaraawi, as the leader of Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.
  22. ^ Tricia Bacon (2015). "Hurdles to International Terrorist Alliances: Lessons From al Qaeda's Experience". Terrorism and Political Violence. 27. doi:10.1080/09546553.2014.993466.