by: Asif Haroon Raja
Strangely enough, some are of the view that al-Qaeda is a fantasy created by the US and is not in existence. This is simply outlandish. Al-Qaeda was founded by Palestinian revolutionary Abdullah Azzam in 1980s and Saudi national Osama bin Laden (OBL) became one of its members. This outfit took active part in Afghan Jihad against the Soviet forces. OBL came in the good books of CIA during the Afghan Jihad. CIA helped in recruiting and training fighters including Ayman Al-Zawahari from Arab countries for al-Qaeda. Pakistan also helped in training, equipping and launching Mujahideen.
agencies pronounced him and al-Qaeda responsible for 9/11 attacks without even carrying out preliminary investigations. After occupation of Afghanistan by the US led forces in November 2001, he and other al-Qaeda leaders as well as Taliban leaders took refuge in Tora Bora caves, considered as unreachable. He was forced to flee after Tora Bora was heavily bombed in December 2001.
Activation of Iraq front enabled Al-Zawahiri to make al-Qaeda spread its tentacles and ideology far and wide. Al-Qaeda having attained a long arm; it can strike targets under a decentralized arrangement. The main strength of al-Qaeda is presently concentrated in Arabian Peninsula with major bases in Yemen, North Africa and Somalia. Pro-US dictators of Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen have fallen and so has anti-US Qaddafi regime in Libya, while regimes of Syria, Bahrain, Jordan and Algeria are rocking.
When Qaddafi became a target, CIA and NATO cooperated with al-Qaeda to achieve their purpose of changing the regime. After Qaddafi’s departure, situation in Libya is dismal, giving an opportunity to al-Qaeda to increase its influence. In Syria, the US and NATO are again in collusion with al-Qaeda to boot out Bashar al Assad. One would not be surprised to discover that al-Qaeda-TTP alignment in Pakistan was made possible by USA.