Bin Laden was advised by a Shura Council, which consists of senior al-Qaeda members, estimated by Western officials to consist of 20–30 people.
Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was alleged to be second in command prior to his death on August 22, 2011. al-Qaeda clearly has the ability to provide training... and I think that is what has occurred here." On August 13, 2005, however, The Independent newspaper, quoting police and MI5 investigations, reported that the July 7 bombers had acted independently of an al-Qaeda terror mastermind someplace abroad.
When asked about the possibility of al-Qaeda's connection to the July 7, 2005 London bombings in 2005, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said: "Al-Qaeda is not an organization. What exactly al-Qaeda is, or was, remains in dispute.
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As Salafist jihadists, they believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned, but they ignore any aspect of religious scripture which might be interpreted as forbidding the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting.
It is thought that al-Qaeda's leadership, following the War on Terror, has "become geographically isolated," leading to the "emergence of decentralized leadership" of regional groups using the al-Qaeda "brand".
Many terrorism experts do not believe that the global jihadist movement is driven at every level by al-Qaeda's leadership.
Participant in the Global War on Terrorism, War in Afghanistan, War in North-West Pakistan, Somali Civil War, Insurgency in the Maghreb, Iraq War, Iraqi insurgency, al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen, Syrian Civil War, Arab Spring, and other conflicts It operates as a network made up of Islamic extremist, Salafist jihadists.
It has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the United States, Russia, India, and various other countries (see below). government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the "War on Terror".
Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on civilian and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 U. embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, and the 2002 Bali bombings. With the loss of key leaders, culminating in the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's operations have devolved from actions that were controlled from the top down, to actions by franchise associated groups and lone-wolf operators.
Characteristic techniques employed by al-Qaeda include suicide attacks and the simultaneous bombing of different targets.
Although bin Laden still held considerable ideological sway over some Muslim extremists before his death, experts argue that al-Qaeda has fragmented over the years into a variety of regional movements that have little connection with one another. We are the children of an Islamic Nation, with Prophet Muhammad as its leader, our Lord is one... created a military base to train the young men to fight against the vicious, arrogant, brutal, terrorizing Soviet empire...
Marc Sageman, a psychiatrist and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, said that al-Qaeda is now just a "loose label for a movement that seems to target the west. We like to create a mythical entity called [al-Qaeda] in our minds, but that is not the reality we are dealing with." ... and all the true believers [mu'mineen] are brothers. So this place was called 'The Base' ['Al-Qa'idah'], as in a training base, so this name grew and became. We are the children of a nation, and we are an inseparable part of it, and from those public *** which spread from the far east, from the Philippines, to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to India, to Pakistan, reaching Mauritania... Osama bin Laden was the most historically notable emir, or commander, and Senior Operations Chief of al-Qaeda prior to his assassination on May 1, 2011 by US forces.