global militant Islamist organization
- Quotes by al-Qaeda members.
- Terrorism can be commendable and it can be reprehensible. Terrifying an innocent person and terrorizing them is objectionable and unjust, also unjustly terrorizing people is not right. Whereas terrorizing oppressors and criminals and thieves and robbers is necessary for the safety of people and for the protection of their property.... The terrorism we practice is of the most commendable kind for it is directed at tyrants, the traitors who commit acts of treason against their own countries and their faith and their own prophet and their own nation. Terrorizing those and punishing them are necessary measures to straighten things and to make them right.
- It's enough that the two honorable sheiks, Sheik Osama and Sheik Ayman, remained like a lump in Bush's throat, and he tastes their bitterness morning and night. Secondly, the Jihad continued until Judgment Day.
- The famous nuclear strategist Herman Kahn likened deterrence to a game of chicken played by reckless teenagers who drive their cars at each other and wait for the "loser" to swerve. Kahn wrote that perhaps the best way to win is to "get into the car quite drunk" and, when your opponent is watching, to "[take] the steering wheel and [throw] it out the window" -- a pretty solid, if irresponsible, way of convincing your enemy that you are willing to act against your own best interest...
...Despite these problems, Israel has regularly tried to deter Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups. The record has been mixed. Fearing the Israeli response, these groups have at times limited attacks or refrained from them altogether, but they (and Israel) have resumed violence when their internal politics changed or because they believed the other side was behaving too provocatively. In addition to their use of terrorism, these groups also have mini-armies, run political parties, and operate schools and hospitals, making them more like quasi-states than a group like al Qaeda -- which isn't deterrable because it has no territory, is ideologically extreme, and has fewer constituents to lose. (Al Qaeda is always the drunk guy pushing the gas pedal down all the way after having thrown the wheel out the window.)
- An Eye for a Tooth, Daniel L. Byman on the Brookings Institute Website
- al-Qaeda means Bush and Blair. Who established al-Qaeda? You are the ones who should be put on trial. You were the mother of al-Qaeda.
- To begin to bring troops home before our commanders tell us we are ready … would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al-Qaeda, risking a humanitarian catastrophe, and allowing the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq and gain control of vast oil resources they could use to fund new attacks on America.
- It's wrong to claim, as some do, that the motivation of al-Qaeda and its allies is some desire to seek justice in the middle east [...] al-Qaeda and its allies have no clear demands for the middle east. The only common thread in their approach is a violent and destructive opposition to democracy in any form. They find democracy in Palestine abhorrent and seek to destroy it.
- Al-Qaeda and its allies have no clear demands for the middle east. The only common thread in their approach is a violent and destructive opposition to democracy in any form. They find democracy in Palestine abhorrent and seek to destroy it. … Al-Qaeda finds democracy in Israel abhorrent and seeks to destroy it. It finds democracy in Afghanistan abhorrent and seeks to destroy it. Now it finds the democracy in Iraq, which the United Nations is trying to support and establish, so abhorrent that it does whatever it can to try to destroy it. … Al-Qaeda's methods, too, are different. It recognises no common bonds with people who have different beliefs and its members are prepared to kill indiscriminately. Indeed, mass murder is their explicit objective — the measure of success in their terms. Their methods of recruitment bear more comparison to self-destructive cults than political movements. However, we must acknowledge that their modern nihilism is innovative, flexible and cunning. al-Qaeda and the networks that are inspired by it approach the task with all the resources of modern technology and all the focus of modern zealotry. The most important conclusion to draw from this analysis is that there is no particular Government policy decision, or even an overall policy stance, which we could change in order somehow to remove our society from the al-Qaeda firing line. Its nihilism means that our societies would cease to be a target only if we were to renounce all the values of freedom and liberty that we have fought to extend over so many years.
- It shows how this group with 7th Century ideology is exploiting 21st Century media capabilities.
- Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University commenting on al-Qaeda's open interview plan, BBC News (19 December 2007)
- Al Qaeda video death call May 2007
- Al-Qaeda Presents New Leader in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid, Who Threatens to Carry out Attacks against Turkey May 2007
- Abu Yahya al Libi; about 1 hour and 30 minutes; Sept. 2007