Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Osama Laden : the exploitation in the Muslim world , Justly ideology , life and death .

بسم الله الر حمن الر حيم

An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare worldview), as in common sense (see Ideology in everyday society below) and several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society (a "received consciousness" or product of socialization).

The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer either change in society, or adherence to a set of ideals where conformity already exists, through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. It is how society sees things. Ideology

Inilah sejambak bunga karang tsunami
yang kupungut dari perut laut atlantik, berkurun
terbenam di dasar dalam, ditindih seribu satu molikul kelam
warnanya, warna ajaib dalam sinar riak dan ombak air
jamaah ikan mengenalnya, tiada ancam dan waham
"aku memeluk mutiara berkilau!"
kini kudekap bunga karang tsunami
aku mendengar lagu sayunya tentang hidup dan mati
manusia tak tahu ancaman, ombak menduga
gelombang puaka, menerjang, menerpa
membawa salam kematian, apabila kau alpa
"prasangka dan haloba itu, mainan sia-sia!"

sejambak bunga karang tsunami
ingin kuhadiahkan untuk kekasih yang peka
tentang cinta, hidup dan kemanusiaan
jalan ke syorga hanya dalam kalbu, bak purnama
kau kaya dengan raga dan lembar-lembar madah
"bertahun menjadi rekan akrab tsunami bunga!"

kuhias kamarku dengan jambak karang tsunami
rona ajaibnya mengajakku menyapa pelangi
adakah kau disentuh duyung sang puteri
waktu dunia ribut, kalut, kecut dipaut ombak maut
bayi manis di pelukan ibunya mengukir senyum akhir kali
"Bu, Tuhan menjemput kita meniti ke syorga!"
nukilan : kamala

Osama Laden

How do address the questions of terrorism, radicalism and violence? What are the major challenges?
How to deal with the root causes of extremism and militancy and to assess how the political vacuum is often filled by extremist ideology.
The ‘right solutions’ for it is not that they support extremism and militancy; most of the time, they do not have any option. The transition to democracy  within  a confrontational agenda against the West.
Most of these religious groups strengthened their political base by criticizing the west as anti-Islam, responsible for the exploitation in the Muslim world.
While the Americans were concerned only with winning the war in Afghanistan and defeating the Soviet Union, the Saudis had ideological and sectarian aims.
Jihad in Pakistan responded to the financial stimulus of Saudi Arabia, it became mercenary and cannot be regarded as a manifestation of Islam.
Pakistani leadership is still confused if India should be considered a partner in the war against terrorism or if it would be possible to develop a joint mechanism with India. “Enemy India” is important to reconfirm Pakistan’s status as an independent state.

The military is presently dealing with through the use of force; while the civilian government took a while to decide if going against the Taliban would be politically safe or would undermine their political legitimacy.
On the other hand, the leadership was also apprehensive of the repercussions of military action against the Taliban, fearing direct physical threat from the Taliban.
There are specific sectarian/majoritarian brands of religious groups espousing, for instance, the Shia-Sunni conflict, Deobandi-Bralevi conflict in Pakistan; the other set of religious extremists comprises those who believe in a grand agenda, the movement or network of the residue of the Afghan war.
Way beyond the Shia-Sunni conflict, this group believes in a constant war between the forces of evil (the US and other states of the West and all those who support these states, including Muslim states friendly to them) and the forces of virtue, i.e. al Qaeda under Osama Bin Laden.
The residue of the Afghan Jihad movement leads this group. Pakistan went through many phases in the process where individual motivation transformed into group dynamics resulting in militancy in the society.
Religious mobilization in Pakistan was of course impossible with out outside support. Saudi Arabia erected a number of large global charities in the 1960s and 1970s whose original purpose may have been to spread Wahhabi Islam, but which became penetrated by prominent individuals from al Qaeda’s global jihadi network.
Thus, we find emergence of strong non-state actors in the body politics of Pakistan challenging the government in Islamabad.
According to the 2005 International Crisis Group report, the political disenfranchisement and total neglect of regions like the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in the northwest and the Federally Administered Northern Areas in the northeast have turned these areas into sanctuaries for sectarian and international terrorists or non state actors and centers of arms and drug trade.
With the intensification of regional politics after the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the beginning of the Afghan war in 1980, Pakistan failed to prevent the influence of these forces on its domestic politics.
While the Americans were concerned only with winning the war in Afghanistan and defeating the Soviet Union, the Saudis had ideological and sectarian aims.
Jihad in Pakistan responded to the financial stimulus of Saudi Arabia, it became mercenary and cannot be regarded as a manifestation of Islam.
It is possible that the jihadi youth believed in the spilling of blood in the name of Islam and martyrdom.
The same is true of sectarianism. Madrassas under government patronage were all Sunni religious seminaries that indoctrinated their students with a brand of extremist Islam and thus, laid the foundation for sectarian violence in the country.
Gen. Zia needed the support for his decision to involve Pakistan in the war against the Soviet Union; he managed to do it with an army of young Pakistani students from religious seminaries.
The Saudi and Iraqi involvement in effect, imported the Iran-Iraq war into Pakistan as the SSP and its allies on one hand and the TJP (Tehrik-e-Jaferia Pakistan, Shi’ite extremist group) and its allies on the other, fought with each other.
While Saudi and Iranian involvement slowed down after 9/11, it did not stop completely.
The affiliation, both financial and ideological, of Pakistani Deobandi religious parties and madrassas with Saudi Arabia, continues till date.
The deteriorating economic conditions, unemployment and lack of freedom of expression in society are all pertinent factors responsible for the growing number of radicals, despite the withdrawal of state patronage. As mentioned above, since religious groups have become financially independent and all powerful, the monetary tool that was once controlled by the state and which had made such groups dependent, has now become ineffective as these gropus have found other means to sustain themselves.
Unless the state comes up with some financial attraction for the young and discontented, they will continue to fill the ranks of the jihadi organizations, independent of the state.
Political deprivation is yet another factor. Lack of political infrastructure in the tribal areas paved the way for different religious groups to establish their “emirates”.
These “emirates’ are well-resourced and well-equipped with modern weapons and hence, there is no dearth of people joining them and challenging the state.
According to Vali Nasr, “Indophobia” in Pakistan increased with the ascendancy of the militant Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami under Sayyid Abul Ala Maudidi.
Nasr further says that the first victims of Indophobia in Pakistan were not Indian nationals, but the Muhajir Urdu speaking immigrants who were accused of dual loyalty to India by the Jamaat and their cohorts, providing them the ammunition needed to justify discrimination and physical attacks on the Muhajirs.
This led to the radicalization of the youth in urban areas - a battle of rightist Islamists ideology under Jamat-e-Islami against ethnic mobilization.
Since Pakistan was supporting and pampering the “Mujaheedins”, radical Islamist leaders advocated violence against India for decades.
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute came up with a study on ideologically driven school textbooks.
According to the report, since the 1970s, Pakistani school textbooks have systematically inculcated hatred towards India and Hindus.
According to this report, the insistence on the ideology of Pakistan has been an essential component of generating hatred against India and the Hindus.
For the upholders of the ideology of Pakistan, the existence of Pakistan is defined only in relation to Hindus, and hence, the  Hindus have to be painted in as negative a light as possible.
Regular state-owned educational institutions have de-emphasized the notions of Pakistan as a nation-state, citizenship of a territorybased state, and religious and cultural pluralism.
Instead, the emphasis was on Islamic universalism, militancy, and Islam versus the ‘other’.

While the Americans were concerned only with winning the war in Afghanistan and defeating the Soviet Union, the Saudis had ideological and sectarian aims.
Jihad in Pakistan responded to the financial stimulus of Saudi Arabia, it became mercenary and cannot be regarded as a manifestation of Islam.
Pakistani leadership is still confused if India should be considered a partner in the war against terrorism or if it would be possible to develop a joint mechanism with India. “Enemy India” is important to reconfirm Pakistan’s status as an independent state.

Grassroots support for the Taliban can be traced back to the re-orientation of Pakistani society towards Islamic orthodoxy and militancy from the days of General Zia-ul Haq’s military rule.
Deliberate efforts to dissociate Pakistan from its South Asian Indo- Persian civilization and link it with the Arab civilization based on religion, have created a lot of confusion in society.
Pakistani leadership is still confused if India should be considered a partner in the war against terrorism or if it would be possible to develop a joint mechanism with India. “Enemy India” is important to reconfirm Pakistan’s status as an independent state.
The time now is to deal with real threats along its western border.

Pakistan’s decision to become an ally of the US in the war on terror was enough to irritate the “children of Jihad” who were not convinced that Pakistan needed to deal with extremism because it was hurting itself by not paying attention to the menace.
Lal Mosque radicalization is not just a black spot in Pakistan’s history, but also shows the characteristic of a section of Pakistani society at a micro-level.
The unmistakable strain of extremism in this culture is evident within the country.
Pakistan has lost over a generation to Islamic orthodoxy and militancy, as aptly stated by Dr. Hasan Askari. By now this generation has reached middle-level positions in the government, security services and private sector.
The typical Pakistani mindset developed after the state imposed purification policies that resulted in religious conservatism and militancy finds it hard to accept that once the glorified “Mujahideen” are now threatening the state of Pakistan.
 Ironically, Taliban violence has been justified by the sympathizers of Jihad as a reaction against US policies in the tribal areas and Afghanistan, and all the terrorist activities as a conspiracy against Pakistan by its enemies.
Thus, a generation and a half has been socialized  into religious orthodoxy and militancy, and has internalized the hard-line Islamist discourse on national and international affairs to the exclusion of other perspectives.
How far the Islamists can go to achieve their ultimate objective depends on how well they do in retaining and expanding their political power in the unfolding dynamics of Pakistan’s internal and geo-political situation.
There is thus, the paradox that while many people in Pakistan want religious leaders to play a larger role in politics, and even more believe schools should put more emphasis on Islam, they do not vote for them during elections.
The religious parties are nevertheless positioned to maintain their street power as measured by their ability to organize demonstrations.
Pakistan at present faces the challenge of reinventing itself both at state level as well as societal level. But more so, it needs to have a top-down approach to reform, and reconstruct the conceptual and ideological orientation to undo the official enforcement of Islam of a particular sect.
If the society appears indifferent about the nature of religiosity, it is not because people want it the way it is today, but because there is a great deal of confusion and it can only be removed if steps are taken officially to de-radicalize society through education syllabus, media programs and free intellectual discourse on religion and the cultural fabric of Pakistani society.
The real clash is not between Islam and the west, as projected, but between the orthodox and the moderates.
The key question is how far the new generation will be different from the one lost to orthodoxy and militancy.
Pakistan’s inability to control radicalization limits its capacity to engage in a sustained struggle to control extremism and terrorism and revive the pluralist and tolerant spirit of Pakistan.
Nonetheless, there are substantial signs that society is now slowly breaking free of the Islamist spell of the Zia era.
This trend is likely to take a decade to crystallize. Meanwhile, the government will have to contend with divided societal orientations, polarization on counter-terrorism and the American role in the region.
It is also noteworthy that the orthodoxy of the Islamist political establishment in Pakistan, particularly the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) brand of Wahabi- Deobandi Islam, does not have its roots in Pakistani soil.
This brand of Islam is doctrinaire, virulently intolerant of diversity, and obsessed with jihad as opposed to the faith and spirituality of the ordinary people of Pakistan, which is tolerant, devotional and has blended within it the mystical spirituality of the Indus Valley and its languages.
This populist tradition was suppressed to establish the supremacy of the orthodox, normative Islam in Pakistan.
The way forward is to realize the fact that given the nature of our geography, the South Asian states need to let go of their trust deficit and devise a comprehensive strategy by identifying the enemy as the one who in the guise of different religions is creating havoc in the region.
Separating the enemy as a Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, or Sri Lankan terrorist will not work. The basic ingredient of the “regional approach” is to look beyond the national boundaries. If we do not recognize this, we will continue to engage in declaring, exposing and trying the “terrorists” in each other’s countries just to teach a lesson to the other.
The time, resources and energy and media attention wasted on such an exercise will only benefit the terrorists and help them achieve their objectives.

Pakistan needs to emphasize the synthesis of culture and religion rather than be influenced by “Arabization” to prove its true Islamic credentials. De- Arabization can help Pakistan be at ease with its immediate South Asian neigbours with whom its relations have been severely affected due to deliberate attempts to associate itself with the Middle East.
Interestingly, the more Pakistan tries to associate itself with the Arab world, the more it is reminded of its non-Arab credentials and its South Asian roots.
In the short-term, military action against the militants is a must and the government should continue to stand by the decision it took against the militants in Swat. With a firm resolve to eliminate all those who are challenging the writ of the state, Pakistan will successfully deal with the policy shift that is required for the survival of the state.
Pakistan can only pay attention to its internal problems when its borders are at ease. The western
border with Afghanistan is the main battle field and in such a situation tensions along the eastern border will only multiply the problems. India-Pakistan relations, based on trust, will benefit both countries.
India will have to be more accommodative of the friendly gestures from Pakistan because an aggressive posture adopted by India will only encourage a hostile environment between the two countries and become a reason for Pakistan to continue maintaining its links with extremists, which in turn will allow the militant enclave to continue operating and recruiting young men from Pakistani society.
Given Pakistan’s strategic importance and its potential to disrupt South Asian peace, the international community has high stakes in ensuring a positive turnaround. Investing in youth development and education is the immediate solution to prevent the indoctrination process by the extremists through certain religious seminaries.
The long-term solution to religious extremism and militancy would require massive changes in the fundamental agents of socialization of the polity.
While some changes have been made in state education since 2004-05, madrassa education needs to be regulated and courses should be in line with an arrangement of theology as well as modern education, not only in natural sciences, but social sciences as well, which will expose the youth to multiple political and social discourses.
Also, modern colleges and universities should have theology as a subject to produce experts in Islamic theology that would help prevent extremist interpretation due to their political or ideological association.
The government of Pakistan and outside nations must work together to support the most vulnerable in society.
The "real war" must be the control of "education and welfare services." At the same time, all moderate Sunni religious leaders must work alongside the government to stop the next generation from being brainwashed by the strict wahabi/salafi doctrine.
Finally, the international community needs to be sensitive to the conservative nature of Pakistani society and their diplomatic jargon needs to be tailored accordingly.
The language of western liberalism must not be used to communicate with Pakistanis. For example, by conflating the notions of conservatism and extremism (which carry entirely different connotations for Pakistanis) and dismissing both, the international community inadvertently supports ‘secular’ ideals in a country where an overwhelming majority interpret it as the equivalent of atheism .
This leads to further resentment against the west in particular, which facilitates the acceptance of radicalism in the society.
More about Muslims : Sunni  Shi'a Sunni relation   Syiah   Wahhabi   
Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Saudi Arabia)

Its all about the Al Qaeda ( Western  Mirror ) : OSAMA LADEN

Al Qaeda was founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden to consolidate the international network he established during the Afghan war. Its goals were the advancement of Islamic revolutions throughout the Muslim world and repelling foreign intervention in the Middle East.

Bin Laden, son of a billionaire Saudi businessman, became involved in the fight against the Soviet Union’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, which lasted from 1979 to 1988 and ended with a Soviet defeat at the hands of international militias of Muslim fighters backed by the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Together with Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden ran one of seven main militias involved in the fighting. They established military training bases in Afghanistan and founded Maktab Al Khidamat, or Services Office, a support network that provided recruits and money through worldwide centers, including in the U.S.

Bin Laden and Azzam had different visions for what to do with the network they had established. Bin Laden decided to found Al Qaeda, based on personal affiliations created during the fighting in Afghanistan as well as on his own international network, reputation and access to large sums of money. The following year Azzam was assassinated. After the war ended, the Afghan-Arabs, as the mostly non-Afghan volunteers who fought the Soviets came to be known, either returned to their countries of origin or joined conflicts in Somalia, the Balkans and Chechnya. This benefited Al Qaeda’s global reach and later helped cultivate the second and third generations of Al Qaeda terrorists.

Following the first Gulf War, Al Qaeda shifted its focus to fighting the growing U.S. presence in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s most sacred shrines. Al Qaeda vociferously opposed the stationing of U.S. troops on what it considered the holiest of Islamic lands and waged an extended campaign of terrorism against the Saudi rulers, whom bin Laden deemed to be false Muslims.  The ultimate goal of this campaign was to depose the Saudi royal family and install an Islamic regime on the Arabian peninsula.  The Saudi regime subsequently deported bin Laden in 1992 and revoked his citizenship in 1994.

In 1991 bin Laden moved to Sudan, where he operated until 1996.  During this period, Al Qaeda established connections with other terror organizations with the help of its Sudanese hosts and Iran.  While in Sudan, Al Qaeda was involved in several terror attacks and guerrillaactions carried out by other organizations.  In May 1996, following U.S. pressure on the Sudanese government, bin Laden moved to Afghanistan where he allied himself with the ruling Taliban.

Between 1991 and 1996, Al Qaeda took part in several major terror attacks. Al Qaeda was involved in the bombing of two hotels in Aden, Yemen, which targeted American troops en route to Somalia on a humanitarian and peacekeeping mission. It also gave massive assistance to Somali militias, whose efforts brought the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1994. Bin Laden was also involved in an assassination attempt against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia in June 1995. Two major terrorist actions against the U.S. military in Saudi Arabia, a November 1995 attack in Riyadh and the June 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, also fit Al Qaeda’s strategy at the time, but their connection to Al Qaeda is not entirely clear. There is little evidence to suggest a significant connection between bin Laden and the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

After moving to Afghanistan, bin Laden escalated his anti-American rhetoric.  In an interview with the Independent in July 1996, bin Laden praised the Riyadh and Dhahram attacks on U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, saying it marked “the beginning of war between Muslims and the United States.”  He did not take responsibility for the attacks, but said that “not long ago, I gave advice to the Americans to withdraw their troops from Saudi Arabia.”  On August 23, 1996, bin Laden issued Al Qaeda’s first “declaration of war” against America, his “Message from Osama bin Laden to his Muslim brothers in the whole world and especially in the Arabian Peninsula: declaration of jihad against the Americans occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques (Saudi Arabia); expel the heretics from the Arabian Peninsula.”

In February 1998 bin Laden and several leading Muslim militants declared the formation of a coalition called the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders to fight the U.S.  Member organizations included Al Qaeda, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian Islamic Group, and organizations engaged in Kashmir and Bangladesh. Bin Laden was appointed to head the Front’s council (shura). The militants signed a fatwa (religious opinion) outlining the Front’s ideology and goals. The fatwa was published in a London-based Arabic paper, Al Quds Al Arabi; it called on all Muslims to “kill the Americans and their allies - civilians and military,” wherever they may be.

Subsequently, Al Qaeda escalated its war against the U.S. In August 1998, Al Qaeda bombed two U.S. embassies in East Africa (Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) killing more than 200 people, including 12 Americans. In retaliation, the U.S. attacked targets in Sudan and Afghanistan. In October 2000, Al Qaeda bombed the U.S.S. Cole, an American guided-missile destroyer at Aden, Yemen, killing 17 American servicemen. It committed its most devastating attack on September 11, 2001, when 19 Al Qaeda operatives hijacked four passenger planes and drove two into the Twin Towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon; a fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attack.

Radicalisme of wahabi/salafi - shi'a or  western doctrine  !!

Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden, the founder and leader of al-Qaeda and the face of global terror, was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1957.
He grew up amid wealth and privilege as the 17th of around 50 children of Mohammed bin Laden, a construction magnate with ties to the Saudi royal family.

Bin Laden, whose mother was Syrian, was raised as a strict Wahhabi Muslim and educated in Saudi Arabia. His father was died in an air crash in 1967.

He married his first wife, a Syrian cousin at the age of 17, and is believed to have fathered more than 20 children by at least five wives.

As a young man he joined his mentor, Abdullah Azzam, in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet invasion, establishing the Maktab al-Khadamat organisation and using the wealth he had inherited to inject funds and arms into the war.
Shunned by the Saudi government, and with his finances cut off, bin Laden headed for exile in Sudan in 1992, along with his loyal mujahideen fighters.

He was by then closely linked to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group led by Ayman al-Zawahiri.

When Egyptian Islamic Jihad tried to assassinate Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, in 1995 the group was expelled from Sudan.

Bin Laden then returned to Afghanistan where, protected by the Taliban regime of Mullah Mohammed Omar, he established training camps for al-Qaeda's global jihad.

According to the FBI's Most Wanted list he became known by aliases including The Prince, the Emir, Abu Abdallah, Mujahid Shaykh, Hajj, and the Director.

In August 7, 1998, the bombings of the US Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya killed more than 200 people.

US missile strikes followed against his camps in Afghanistan but bin Laden was not injured.

Other attacks linked to al-Qaeda followed including the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole by militants in Yemen.

Bin Laden then approved the September 2001 attacks and, after the worst terrorist atrocity in US history, immediately became the focus of the "War on Terror." An attempt to capture him at his Tora Bora cave complex in Afghanistan failed and he was able to escape over the border into Pakistan.

A reward of $25 million was put up for his capture, dead or alive, but bin Laden continued to frustrate US attempts to find him. Despite his distinctive appearance and 6ft 4in height the trail ran cold.

As the years went by the world's most wanted man became cut off from the command structure of his own organisation, but was still able to issue occasional video messages to his followers.

The fact he was still alive inspired other terrorists around the world and his death marked a momentous victory in the war on terror.

However, he was finally killed in a US-led operation in Pakistan, ending almost ten years of living on the run .

At the end of the 1980s he returned to Saudi Arabia as a mujahideen hero, having vanquished the Russians, and also formed his own secretive group called al-Qaeda, or "The Base." When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, Saudi Arabia turned to the US, leading bin Laden to denounce the country of his birth for allowing American troops onto its soil.

Osama bin Laden, also spelled Usama bin Ladin.

His full name was Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden. ("bin" means "son" in Arabic, so his name also tells his genealogy. Osama was the son of Muhammad, who was the son of Awad, and so forth).
Bin Laden was born in 1957 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capitol. He was the 17th of over 50 children born to his Yemeni father, Muhammad, a self-created billionaire whose fortune came from building contracting. He died in a helicopter accident when Osama was 11 years old.

Osama's Syrian born mother, born Alia Ghanem, married Muhammad when she was twenty-two. She remarried following divorce from Muhammad, and Osama grew up with his mother and stepfather, and their three other children.

Bin Laden was schooled in the Saudi port city, Jedda. His family's wealth gave him access to the elite Al Thagher Model School, which he attended from 1968-1976. The school combined British style secular education with daily Islamic worship.

Bin Laden's introduction to Islam as the basis for political, and potentially violent—activism, was through informal sessions run by the Al Thagher's teachers, as New Yorker writer Steve Coll has reported.
Early Adulthood:
In the mid-1970s, bin Laden was married to his first cousin (a normal convention among traditional Muslims), a Syrian woman from his mother's family. He later married three other women, as permitted by Islamic law. It has been reported that he has from 12-24 children.

He attended King Abd Al Aziz University, where he studied civil engineering, business administration, economics and public administration. He is remembered as enthusiastic about religious debates and activities while there.

Key Influences:
Bin Laden's first influences were the Al Thagher teachers who offered extra-curricular Islam lessons. They were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist political group begun in Egypt which, at that time, promoted violent means to achieve Islamic governance.

Another key influence was Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian-born professor at King Abd Al Aziz University, and a founder of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group. After the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Azzam solicited bin Laden to raise money and recruit Arabs to help the Muslims repel the Soviets, and he played an instrumental role in the early establishment of al-Qaeda.

Later, Ayman Al Zawahiri, the leader of Islamic Jihad in the 1980s, would play a significant part in the development of bin Laden's organization, Al Qaeda.

Organizational Affiliations:
In the early 1980s, bin Laden worked with the mujahideen, guerrillas fighting a self-proclaimed holy war to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. From 1986-1988, he himself fought.

In 1988, bin Laden formed Al Qaeda (the Base), a militant transnational network whose original backbone was Arab Mujahideen who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Ten years later, bin Laden forged the Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders, a coalition of terrorist groups intending to wage war against Americans and battle their Middle Eastern military presence.

Bin Laden expressed his ideological goals in both action and words, with his periodically videotaped public statements.

After founding Al Qaeda, his objectives were the related goals of eliminating the Western presence in the Islamic/Arab Middle East, which includes battling American ally, Israel, and overthrowing local allies of the Americans (such as the Saudis), and establishing Islamic regimes.

Osama Bin Laden's belief that violent attack on both Middle Eastern and Western targets is a legitimate political route stems from both his early influences and his own experience.

Bin Laden and the Muslim Brotherhood: Bin Laden grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, a period of great turmoil throughout the Middle East. Raised in a strict Islamic environment (like most of his peers), bin Laden was exposed at school to the ideas of his Muslim Brotherhood teachers. The Muslim Brotherhood, often considered the forerunner to contemporary Islamist terrorist groups, was founded in Egypt in the late 1920s, when Egypt was under British occupation. The group saw Islamic rule as necessary to counter Western influence. They advocated violence to achieve Egyptian independence.

Bin Laden paid attention to Muslim Brotherhood members in after-school sessions. In these sessions, they taught Islam both as a religion and as a political system that could be achieved through violence. By most accounts, bin Laden was a serious, studious youth who increasingly turned to religious ideas and texts in his teens, but there are no satisfactory explanations for his turn to unwavering extremism.
The Muslim Brotherhood is not on the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations list. It renounced violence in the 1970s and has no active militia (although a provocative martial arts demonstration in December 2006 raised some alarm that they may be regrouping a militia.)

Nevertheless, the Muslim Brotherhood or Ikhwan Al Muslimun in Arabic, is frequently mentioned in relation to groups such as Hamas and Al Qaeda. And, although today they may be best known as the largest independent bloc in the Egyptian parliament, they are nearly always invoked as the origins for extremist visions of Islam that root today's jihadist movements.

Founded In: 1928 by Hassan Al Banna

Home Base: Egypt

Objective: The establishment of a democratic state grounded in Islamic precepts. Quoting members from the mid 1990s, Sana Abed-Kotob, wrote that:

Muslim Brother Isam Al Aryan, for example, [says] "The Brothers consider constitutional rule to be closest to Islamic rule … We are the first to call for and apply democracy. We are devoted to it until death. Similarly, Brother Fahmi Huwaydi comments, "the Brothers support pluralism and reject democracy . . ." (from International Journal of Middle East Studies 27 (1995)).

Attitude toward Violence:The group has declared its renunciation of violence in Egypt. In the early 1940s, the group created a secret paramilitary wing known as the "secret apparatus," which operated somewhat independently of the main organization. In 1948, the group assassinated the Egyptian prime minister; group members fought in the 1948 war against Zionist forces in mandate Palestine.

Organization: The Muslim Brotherhood has gone through several incarnations. It was founded as a youth group that used education and propaganda to spread its messages. In 1939, the organization was organized as a political party. In 1942, the group created a created a militia called the "Secret Apparatus." that used terrorist tactics within Egypt. It was outlawed by the Egyptian government in 1948, recognized in 1950 as a religious group, and banned again in 1954. In 1984, it was recognized as a religious organization but it still has not been recognized as a political party (members in parliament ran as independents).

A number of groups and figures who espouse terrorist tactics were taught or influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood, such Ayman Al Zawahiri, who founded the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (in part because he wanted an organization that would make more effective use of violence in the service of jihad), and Hamas, the Palestinian group that began as a branch of the Muslim Brothers.

However, currently, as Robert Leiken and Steven Brooke point out in the March/April 2007 Foreign Affairs magazine, "jihadists loathe the Muslim Brotherhood … for rejecting global jihad and embracing democracy."

A Powerful Social Welfare Organization: The Muslim Brotherhood has always provided social welfare to poor Egyptians, from health care to books and subsidies for university students.

The power of the Muslim Brotherhood is such that every political leader of Egypt has outlawed the group. Following a Brotherhood assassination attempt in 1954, Gamal Abd Al Nasser outlawed the group and made Egypt extremely inhospitable to members. During his presidency, which lasted until 1970, many members in Egypt were imprisoned and tortured, which shaped their worldview. Many others left for surrounding states, in the Gulf or the Levant which helped spread the group's influence. Despite their illegality as a party, Brotherhood members won 20% of political seats in 2005 parliamentary elections.

Founder: Hasan Al Banna

Hasan Al Banna was born in 1906 in the Egyptian village north of Cairo. His father, an imam (prayer leader) was trained as a religious scholar by one of the most famous Islamic reformers of the time. Islamic reformers sought to make sense of new ideas of governance, such as democracy (which was a new idea in Western Europe as well, at the time), and figure out how they were compatible with Islamic ideas of governance.

Hasan was religious from an early age, and played substantial roles while still a teenager in groups seeking to make sure people adhered to Islamic ways. He was also opposed to the Christian missionaries and British occupiers he grew up with in his town. Hasan, training to be a schoolteacher, arrived in Cairo in the early 1920s, then went on to teach Arabic in a city near the Suez Canal, Ismailiya, in 1927, where he founded the Muslim Brotherhod.

Affiliations: The Muslim Brotherhood has branches throughout the Arab/ Islamic world including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian territories, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Sudan as well as Eurasia and Africa. There are Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the United States.

Who is Osama bin Laden?
Osama bin Laden is the founder and leader of the international terrorist network al-Qaeda, and the U.S. government's prime suspect in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. His precise whereabouts are unknown, but several audio and video tapes of bin Laden have surfaced since 2001, suggesting that he is still alive.
What is bin Laden's ideology?
Bin Laden and other militant Islamist leaders issued a 1998 manifesto denouncing the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia, U.S. support of Israel, and the economic sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf War against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. "To kill Americans and their allies, both civil and military, is an individual duty of every Muslim who is able, in any country," the manifesto reads, "until their armies, shattered and broken-winged, depart from all the lands of Islam." Bin Laden regards Western institutions—coed schools, MTV, Rotary clubs, democracy itself—as depraved.
Has bin Laden declared war on the United States?
Yes, in 1996. "Due to the imbalance of power between our armed forces and the enemy forces," he wrote, "a suitable means of fighting must be adopted, i.e., using fast-moving, light forces that work under complete secrecy."
Does bin Laden have the authority to issue Muslim religious rulings?
Technically, no. While he often invokes God and quotes the Quran, bin Laden is not a certified expert on Islam; he holds degrees in civil engineering and public administration. He consults with militant clerics who promote a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, but most Muslims do not follow their rulings.
Where does bin Laden come from?
Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia in 1957 to a Syrian mother and Yemeni father. He is one of fifty-odd children of the multiple wives of Mohammed bin Laden, a construction magnate who made his fortune building palaces for the Saudi royal family.
Is bin Laden rich?
Yes. Estimates of his inheritance range from $30 million to $300 million, but it's hard to say how much is left, since he has used his fortune to fund al-Qaeda and he keeps his assets hidden. His family, which controls the Saudi Binladin Group, a multibillion-dollar conglomerate, has distanced itself from Osama, but U.S. investigators suspect some family members continued to act as conduits to family accounts.
When did bin Laden first become radicalized?
As a student in Jeddah in the late 1970s, bin Laden fell in with the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical group devoted to establishing a pan-Islamic state.
When did bin Laden become involved with Afghanistan?
During the 1979-89 war against the Soviets. Bin Laden raised money and supplied heavy machinery for the anticommunist mujahadeen, or holy warriors, fighting the Soviet invasion. He also provided financing for the so-called Services Office, which recruited and trained a brigade of foreign Muslim militants that fought alongside the Afghan mujahadeen.
How did bin Laden found al-Qaeda?
Once the Afghan resistance—financed by the Saudis and the United States—began to wear down the Soviet army, bin Laden looked to extend the holy war beyond Afghanistan. Bin Laden forged an alliance with radical Islamist groups in Egypt and elsewhere, organizing al-Qaeda in 1988.
Wasn’t bin Laden on America’s side in Afghanistan in the 1980s?
Yes and no. The United States and bin Laden supported the Afghan resistance, but for different reasons. Containing Communism was the U.S. government's top priority. It gave support to the mujahadeen through the Pakistani ISI military intelligence service, which decided how to apportion aid among resistance groups. Bin Laden wanted to expel the atheist Soviets and install a fundamentalist Islamic regime. While CIA case officers knew of bin Laden's existence, the U.S. had no direct ties to his operations.
When did bin Laden begin to consider the United States his enemy?
In the 1980s, bin Laden disdained America for its alliances with Israel and moderate Muslim states, but it was the Gulf crisis that crystallized his hatred. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, bin Laden wanted Arab veterans of the Afghan war to help the Saudi army defend Saudi Arabia. He saw the arrival of American troops to confront Saddam—and the continued U.S. military presence in the Gulf after the war—as a violation of the sanctity of Muslim territory.
How has the Saudi government handled bin Laden?
When he returned from the Afghan war in 1989, bin Laden gave speeches accusing the Saudi monarchy of being corrupt, cruel, and un-Islamic. He was placed under virtual house arrest in 1991, and later that year went into exile. (Some accounts say his well-placed family helped him slip out of the country; others say the Saudi government wanted him to leave.) In 1994, the Saudi government stripped bin Laden of his citizenship and said it had frozen his assets.
How did bin Laden end up back in Afghanistan?
After he left Saudi Arabia in 1991, bin Laden settled in Sudan, where he established his own businesses and set up training camps for al-Qaeda. U.S. and Saudi pressure forced him to abandon Sudan in 1996; back then, the United States sought to keep bin Laden on the run, not to capture him. Bin Laden fled to Afghanistan, where the Taliban offered him a base in exchange for money to fund their fighters. Saudi Arabia attempted to pressure the Taliban into turning bin Laden over to them after the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. The Taliban's refusal to do so led to the recall of the Saudi ambassador and a break in diplomatic relations.
Before September 11, how did America pursue bin Laden?
In several ways, including military strikes, diplomacy, legal action, and intelligence work. The United States used diplomatic pressure and the threat of UN sanctions to get Sudan to expel bin Laden in 1996. For several years, the CIA paid agents in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan to monitor bin Laden's movements; after the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the United States used cruise missiles to hit his Afghan bases. Also in 1998, a federal grand jury indicted bin Laden and twenty-one other Qaeda members for conspiring to kill Americans abroad; four men were convicted in May of 2001.
Was bin Laden behind the September 11 attacks?
Many in the Arab world are dubious, but investigators have found financial records, communications among Qaeda members, and other evidence linking bin Laden to the September 11 attacks. Moreover, bin Laden and other Qaeda operatives have effectively claimed responsibility for the attacks. In a videotape recorded in Afghanistan in November 2001, bin Laden celebrated the strikes on the World Trade Center. "We had notification since the previous Thursday that the event would take place that day," he said. "We calculated in advance the number of casualties." In another tape released in April 2002, bin Laden and one of his top deputies were shown kneeling to praise their "great victory" on September 11.
What is bin Laden’s connection to Iraq?
The relationship between bin Laden's al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's Iraq is a murky one, and has been the subject of much debate. Saddam's regime, in fact, was precisely the kind of secular Arab government bin Laden abhorred. In making the case for the war against Iraq, the Bush administration argued there were ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, warning the dictator might supply the terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States—also known as the 9/11 Commission—however, concluded there was no U.S. intelligence supporting a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Peter Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al-Qaeda's Leader, has noted tenuous links between Iraq and al-Qaeda and "may have played footsie in Sudan," but is quick to add "nothing came of it." Today, al-Qaeda does have a presence in Iraq. In February 2003, bin Laden stated in an audio tape that "Muslims in general and the Iraqis in particular must brace themselves for jihad against this unjust [U.S.] campaign and acquire ammunition and weapons." In another tape in December 2004, bin Laden referred to the Jordanian-born terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and in a tape aired in January 2006, he claimed "Iraq has become a point of attraction and recruitment of qualified resources." In this same tape, he threatened future attacks against the United States and offered a so-called truce based on a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Where is bin Laden?
We don't know. Bush administration officials have concluded that bin Laden was at the December 2001 battle of Tora Bora in southeastern Afghanistan but escaped. Bin Laden might have then hid in a cave complex in Afghanistan, slipped into semi-autonomous tribal regions in north Pakistan, or fled the area. Nearly a year passed after the battle of Tora Bora without any communication from bin Laden, and some U.S. officials, as well as Pakistan's leader General Pervez Musharraf, publicly stated they thought he might be dead. However, in November 2002, an audiotape surfaced that U.S. intelligence experts say was a recent recording of bin Laden, calling for new attacks against the United States and its allies. Since then, several other tapes have surfaced, including the January 2006 tape that experts authenticated, and a tape released in September 2007, apparently to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Intelligence and military officials believe bin Laden is somewhere in Pakistan, not far from the Afghan border. The FBI reward for information leading to his capture has increased from $25 million to $50 million.

President Barak Obama came on television to tell us about the news Osama Bin Laden dead. There are many people that do not believe this is true now though. Some people are saying that there is not enough proof that this has really happened. There is a lot of confusion and people are trying to sort through the mess .
The world wants to see photographic evidence that Osama Bin Laden dead is true. There was one photo that came out but then it was proved to be a fake. Since this fake photo was put out people are even more confused about what is going on. People do make the point that our President would not put this information about Osama Bin Laden dead if he was not able to prove it.

Everyone is interested in making sure that Osama is in fact dead and gone.
The code name of the operation that took this top terrorist down was Geronimo .
Geronimo was the code name picked for the operation of the Navy Seals but why? As you know Geronimo was a well known Native American leader of the Chiricahua Apache who fought against Mexico as well as the US because of their expansion into the tribal lands of the Apache. Not only was this man known one that evaded the enemy but his name has also become a shout that many people shout before doing something big. If you parachute you may say Geronimo!

Some people think that the name of the operation is offensive. When the Seals killed Osama they send back a massage to their base “Geronimo EKI” and this meant that Osama had been killed. We will never know exactly what happened and who shot Osama Bin Laden but people are sure to speculate. What are your thoughts on operation Geronimo?

Geronimo. The Apache warrior's name conjures up an image of the American Wild West, the world over.

In the best-known photograph of him - taken in 1887 - he glares defiantly into the camera, gripping a rifle. It was this fearless warrior that led the last band of Apache resistance to the white Americans.

The fact that Bin Laden had been killed by US special forces was reported to President Barack Obama on Sunday with the words "Geronimo EKIA" - Enemy Killed In Action.

But US officials have not commented on why the name Geronimo was chosen - and may never do so.

Old West reincarnated

It was back in 2001 that the narrative for America's hunt for the al-Qaeda leader became strewn with Wild West imagery.

George W Bush's call for Bin Laden to be caught "dead or alive" mimicked the posters of the old Hollywood westerns, while borderland Pakistan became the Old West reincarnated in the minds of many commentators.

Bin Laden was referred to by one as a "21st-Century Geronimo, trying to elude the US military somewhere in a dry mountain range that could easily pass for the American West".

Afghanistan's cave-laced mountains, were easy to imagine using the template of the Sierra Madre mountain range thousands of miles away, where the original Geronimo managed to elude US troops for so long in the late 19th Century.

Referring to US military possibilities in the tribal areas of Afghanistan's mountainous regions, Allan R Millet, a retired Marine Corps colonel and Ohio State University professor, said in 2001: "It's like shooting missiles at Geronimo... you might get a couple of Apaches, but what difference does that make?"
The real Geronimo was born in 1829 in what is modern day New Mexico. As one of the Apache leaders, he inherited a tradition of resisting colonisation by both Spaniards and North Americans.

According to Ron Jackson writing in the Oklahoman in 2009, Geronimo's "legend is rooted in real deeds of bravery and bloodshed."

Eluding capture

He gained early notoriety for his fearless raids against Mexican soldiers. Mexican troops had killed members of his family after storming his village, and his revenge was to kill as many of them as possible.

"By 1872, US government officials were keenly aware of Geronimo's fighting exploits when they corralled him and hundreds of his fellow Chiricahua Apache people onto an Arizona Territory reservation," writes Mr Jackson.

"Four years later, Geronimo led a large band of Apache dissidents off the reservation and into the Sierra Madre mountains of Old Mexico, where they staged raids on anyone unlucky enough to cross their paths.

"Military officials soon branded Geronimo a renegade. During the next decade, Geronimo repeatedly returned to reservation life in peace only to bolt with others for the refuge of the Sierra Madres. They often left a trail of blood. Hidden in the myriad mountain passes and caves, Geronimo and his followers embarrassed military officers by eluding them time and again, at one point with as many as 5,000 US soldiers on their heels."

It was Apache scouts that helped track Geronimo down in 1886.

His struggle to resist the white Americans has led to him being depicted in a sympathetic light by many cultural historians.

Ironically, it is thanks to the Native American's legendary bravery that one of US army's elite units has the regimental nickname "Geronimo".

The link to the parachute division's moniker and the tradition of shouting "Geronimo" while diving out of a plane can be traced to Fort Benning in the state of Georgia.
According to reports, in 1940 soldiers from the parachute division were preparing to test a daring new manoeuvre, in which men jumped from the plane in rapid succession.

The night before the jump, a small group of soldiers left the base to watch film at the local cinema - a western featuring the fearless Geronimo. As the men later revealed their apprehension about the next day's jump, Pt Aubrey Eberhardt announced that he was going to shout "Geronimo" as he leapt from the plane to demonstrate his courage.

The story goes that as he jumped, "G-E-R-O-N-I-M-O" was clearly heard from the ground. It was copied by other servicemen and quickly became standard parachute regiment practice - and the favoured cry for little boys performing a daring leap.

The word "Geronimo" was eventually discontinued by the army in favour of a parachute opening count - "one-thousand, two-thousand, three-thousand" - but by this stage it was already the name of the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment.

The "Geronimos" have been operational in Iraq and Afghanistan. By adopting the tactics and techniques of al-Qaeda and the Taleban, they help to train other units to defend themselves.

The original Geronimo is buried at Fort Still in Oklahoma - but one branch of his descendants argue that he should be laid to rest in his tribal homeland of the Gila Mountains of New Mexico. Until the correct sacred rite is carried out, his spirit is still wandering.


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