Libyan Civil War (2011)
The First Libyan Civil War referred to as the Libyan Revolution or 17 February Revolution, was an armed conflict in 2011 in the North African country of Libya fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Zawiya on 8 August 2009 and ignited by protests in Benghazi beginning on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security forces that fired on the crowd; the protests escalated into a rebellion that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing an interim governing body, the National Transitional Council. The United Nations Security Council passed an initial resolution on 26 February, freezing the assets of Gaddafi and his inner circle and restricting their travel, referred the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation. In early March, Gaddafi's forces rallied, pushed eastwards and re-took several coastal cities before reaching Benghazi. A further UN resolution authorised member states to establish and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, to use "all necessary measures" to prevent attacks on civilians, which turned into a bombing campaign by the forces of NATO against military installements and civilian infrastructure of Libyia.
The Gaddafi government announced a ceasefire, but fighting and bombing continued. Throughout the conflict, rebels rejected government offers of a ceasefire and efforts by the African Union to end the fighting because the plans set forth did not include the removal of Gaddafi. In August, rebel forces launched an offensive on the government-held coast of Libya, backed by a wide-reaching NATO bombing campaign, taking back territory lost months before and capturing the capital city of Tripoli, while Gaddafi evaded capture and loyalists engaged in a rearguard campaign. On 16 September 2011, the National Transitional Council was recognised by the United Nations as the legal representative of Libya, replacing the Gaddafi government. Muammar Gaddafi evaded capture until 20 October 2011, when he was killed in Sirte; the National Transitional Council "declared the liberation of Libya" and the official end of the war on 23 October 2011. In the aftermath of the civil war, a low-level insurgency by former Gaddafi loyalists continued.
There have been various disagreements and strife between local militia and tribes, including fighting on 23 January 2012 in the former Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, leading to an alternative town council being established and recognized by the National Transitional Council. A much greater issue has been the role of militias which fought in the civil war and their role in the new Libya; some have refused to disarm, cooperation with the NTC has been strained, leading to demonstrations against militias and government action to disband such groups or integrate them into the Libyan military. These unresolved issues led directly to a second civil war in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi was the head of the Free Officers, a group of Arab nationalists that deposed King Idris I in 1969 in a "bloodless coup." He abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951. From 1969 until 1975 standards of living, life expectancy and literacy grew rapidly. In 1975 he published his manifesto The Green Book, he stepped down from power in 1977, subsequently claimed to be a "symbolic figurehead" until 2011, with the Libyan government up until also denying that he held any power.
Under Gaddafi, Libya was theoretically a decentralized, direct democracy state run according to the philosophy of Gaddafi's The Green Book, with Gaddafi retaining a ceremonial position. Libya was run by a system of people's committees which served as local governments for the country's subdivisions, an indirectly elected General People's Congress as the legislature, the General People's Committee, led by a Secretary-General, as the executive branch. According to Freedom House, these structures were manipulated to ensure the dominance of Gaddafi, who continued to dominate all aspects of government. WikiLeaks' disclosure of confidential US diplomatic cables revealed US diplomats there speaking of Gaddafi's "mastery of tactical maneuvering". While placing relatives and loyal members of his tribe in central military and government positions, he skillfully marginalized supporters and rivals, thus maintaining a delicate balance of powers and economic developments; this extended to his own sons, as he changed affections to avoid the rise of a clear successor and rival.
Both Gaddafi and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, however denied that he held any power, but said that he was a symbolic figurehead. While he was popularly seen as a demagogue in the West, Gaddafi always portrayed himself as a statesman-philosopher. According to several Western media sources, Gaddafi feared a military coup against his government and deliberately kept Libya's military weak; the Libyan Army consisted of about 50,000 personnel. Its most powerful units were four crack brigades of equipped and trained soldiers, composed of members of Gaddafi's tribe or members of other tribes loyal to him. One, the Khamis Brigade, was led by his son Khamis. Local militias and Revolutionary Committees across the country were kept well-armed. By contrast, regular military units were poorly armed and trained, were armed with outdated military equipment. By the end of Gaddafi's 42-year rule, Libya's population had a per capita income of $14,000, though a third was estimated to still live below the poverty line.
A broadly secular society was imposed. Child marriage was banned, women enjoyed equality of equal pay for equal work, equal rights in divorce and access to higher educa
Ansar Dine known as Ansar al-Din is a militant Islamist group led by Iyad Ag Ghaly, one of the most prominent leaders of the Tuareg Rebellion, suspected of having ties to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, led by his cousin Hamada Ag Hama. Ansar Dine seeks to impose strict Sharia law across Mali; the group's first action was in March 2012. The organization is not to be confused with the Sufi movement Ançar Dine, started in Southern Mali by Chérif Ousmane Haidara in the 1980s, fundamentally opposed to militant Islamism. Ansar Dine is opposed to Sufi shrines. Ansar Dine has its main base among the Ifora tribe from the southern part of the Tuaregs' homeland, it has been linked with Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb because its leader Iyad Ag Ghaly is the cousin of AQIM commander Hamada Ag Hama. In April 2012, Salma Belaala, a professor at Warwick University who does research on jihadism in North Africa said that this association was false, claiming that Ansar Dine was opposed to Al Qaeda.
Ag Ghaly was previously associated with the 1990 Tuareg rebellion. The group's members are reported to be from Mali and Nigeria. Omar Ould Hamaha, who served as Ansar Dine's spokesman after April 2012, became the military leader of the AQIM-affiliated Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa in August 2012. On 24 January 2013, a faction calling itself the Islamic Movement for the Azawad split from Ansar Dine; as of January 2013, this group was led by prominent Tuareg leader Alghabass Ag Intalla. In March 2013 it was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U. S. Department of State, classed as a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council. In Mopti, the Ansar Dine fighters obtained access to heavy construction equipment from fleeing construction workers and used them to build fighting positions; the fighting positions include an elaborate tunnel vehicular obstacles such as trenches. Ansar Dine has put together at least one convoy of 100 vehicles carrying soldiers equipped with small arms.
There have been rumors that fighters may have been able to obtain weapons from Libya's weapons depots after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. The Ansar Dine arsenal includes anti aircraft weapons which can be mounted on pickup trucks; the group seeks to impose sharia law including the Azawad region. Witnesses have said that Ansar Dine fighters wear long beards and fly black flags with the Shahada inscribed in white. According to different reports, unlike the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, Ansar Dine does not seek independence but rather to keep Mali intact and convert it into a rigid theocracy. On 21 March 2012, the group claimed control of Mali's vast northeast regions; the Agence France-Presse reported that Ansar Dine claimed to occupy the towns of Tinzaouaten and Aguelhok, all close to the Algerian border, that they had captured at least 110 civilian and military prisoners. France accused the group of summarily executing 82 soldiers and civilians in capturing Aguelhok, describing the group's tactics as "Al-Qaeda-style".
On 22 March, mutineering Malian soldiers unhappy with Amadou Toumani Touré overthrew the Malian government in a coup d'état. Taking advantage of Malian disarray, Ansar Dine and MNLA proceeded to take the towns of Kidal and Timbuktu within the following ten days. According to Jeremy Keenan of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Ansar Dine's military contribution was slight compared to the much larger MNLA: "What seems to happen is that when they move into a town, the MNLA take out the military base—not that there's much resistance—and Iyad goes into town and puts up his flag and starts bossing everyone around about sharia law". On 3 April, the BBC reported; that day, Ag Ghaly gave a radio interview in Timbuktu announcing that Sharia would be enforced in the city, including the veiling of women, the stoning of adulterers, the punitive mutilation of thieves. According to Timbuktu's mayor, the announcement caused nearly all of Timbuktu's Christian population to flee the city. On 6 April, the MNLA issued a declaration of independence.
However, the military wing of Ansar Dine rejected it hours. Ansar Dine was responsible for the burning of the tomb of a Sufi saint, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on 4 May in Timbuktu; the group blocked a humanitarian convoy bringing medical and food aid from reaching Timbuktu on 15 May, objecting to the presence of women in the welcoming committee set up by city residents. In Gao, the group banned video games and Western music and football. On 26 May, the MNLA and Ansar Dine announced a pact in which they would merge to form an Islamist state called the "Islamic Republic of Azawad". However, some reports indicated that the MNLA had decided to withdraw from the pact, distancing itself from Ansar Dine. MNLA and Ansar Dine continued to clash, culminating in the Battle of Gao on 27 June, in which Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa and Ansar Dine took control of the city, driving out the MNLA; the following day, Ansar Dine announced. In the summer of 2012, members of Ansar Dine broke down the doors of the Sidi Yahya Mosque, according to legend, were not to be opened until the Last Days.
They claimed that reverence for the site was idolatrous, but offered $100 U. S. dollars to repair the mosque. Ansar
Algeria the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the world's largest Arab country, the largest in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, to the north by the Mediterranean Sea; the country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 1,541 communes. It has the highest human development index of all non-island African countries. Ancient Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Carthaginians, Vandals, Umayyads, Idrisid, Rustamid, Zirid, Almoravids, Spaniards and the French colonial empire. Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. Algeria is a middle power.
It supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest defence budget on the continent. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations and is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union. On 2 April 2019, president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after nearly 20 years in power, following pressure from the country’s army after mass protests against Bouteflika's campaign for a fifth term; the country's name derives from the city of Algiers. The city's name in turn derives from the Arabic al-Jazā'ir, a truncated form of the older Jazā'ir Banī Mazghanna, employed by medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi. In the region of Ain Hanech, early remnants of hominid occupation in North Africa were found.
Neanderthal tool makers produced hand axes in the Levalloisian and Mousterian styles similar to those in the Levant. Algeria was the site of the highest state of development of Middle Paleolithic Flake tool techniques. Tools of this era, starting about 30,000 BC, are called Aterian; the earliest blade industries in North Africa are called Iberomaurusian. This industry appears to have spread throughout the coastal regions of the Maghreb between 15,000 and 10,000 BC. Neolithic civilization developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean Maghreb as early as 11,000 BC or as late as between 6000 and 2000 BC; this life, richly depicted in the Tassili n'Ajjer paintings, predominated in Algeria until the classical period. The mixture of peoples of North Africa coalesced into a distinct native population that came to be called Berbers, who are the indigenous peoples of northern Africa. From their principal center of power at Carthage, the Carthaginians expanded and established small settlements along the North African coast.
These settlements served as market towns as well as anchorages. As Carthaginian power grew, its impact on the indigenous population increased dramatically. Berber civilization was at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing and political organization supported several states. Trade links between Carthage and the Berbers in the interior grew, but territorial expansion resulted in the enslavement or military recruitment of some Berbers and in the extraction of tribute from others. By the early 4th century BC, Berbers formed the single largest element of the Carthaginian army. In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber soldiers rebelled from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War, they succeeded in obtaining control of much of Carthage's North African territory, they minted coins bearing the name Libyan, used in Greek to describe natives of North Africa. The Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic Wars.
In 146 BC the city of Carthage was destroyed. As Carthaginian power waned, the influence of Berber leaders in the hinterland grew. By the 2nd century BC, several large but loosely administered Berber kingdoms had emerged. Two of them were established behind the coastal areas controlled by Carthage. West of Numidia lay Mauretania, which extended across the Moulouya River in modern-day Morocco to the Atlantic Ocean; the high point of Berber civilization, unequaled until the coming of the Almohads and Almoravids more than a millennium was reached during the reign of Masinissa in the 2nd century BC. After Masinissa's death in 148 BC, the Berber kingdoms were reunited several times. Masinissa's line survived until 24 AD, when the remaining Berber territory was annexed to the Roman Empire. For several centuries Algeria was ruled by the Romans. Like the rest of No
Battle of Konna
The fighting began when rebel fighters disguised as passengers on a public bus infiltrated the town. The bus was stopped at a Malian army checkpoint on the outskirts of Konna; as soldiers entered the bus to search it the Islamists opened fire. Additional rebels poured into the town. After several hours of fighting the Malian army was routed to its base, abandoning the town to the rebels and leaving several heavy weapons and armored vehicles behind. Around 25 Malian soldiers were killed. An estimated 1,200 Islamist fighters advanced to within 20 kilometers of Mopti, a Mali military garrison town; the January 1, 2013, the representatives of Ansar Dine pointed two main requests to the Malian government through Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore, who mediated during the negotiations. Ansar Dine demanded that "the Islamic character of the State of Mali be proclaimed solemnly in the Constitution" and called for the autonomy of the Azawad; the Malian government refused. In January 3, 2013, Iyad Ag Ghali denounced in a statement the "bad will" of the Malian government during the negotiations and declared the suspension of his offer of cessation of hostilities.
On the 4th, Ansar Dine handed over a document to the Burkinabè mediator and president Blaise Compaoré in which he called for the autonomy of Azawad and the application of Sharia law in northern Mali. But since 2 January, from the regions of Gao and Timbuktu, the jihadist forces of Ansar Dine, MUJAO, AQIM and Boko Haram were gathering in Bambara Maoudé. On the 7th, about fifty of their vehicles passed Douentza and positioned themselves at Dangol Boré, facing the Malian army. For added discretion, jihadist pickups avoided forming in columns, instead opting to move in wooded areas in small groups in scattered formation so as not to be signaled by plumes of smoke; the pickups were camouflaged by being covered with mud and the fighters hid under tent cloths to escape the infrared visions. Malian forces expected to fight in the region of Mopti; the command was provided by Colonel Major Didier Dacko. Commander Abass Dembele headed the Malian forces of the Volunteer Commandos Group. Kassim Goïta, Gao's regiment, Elysé Daou, the National Guard and Captain Pascal Berthe, the artillery.
The Malian forces consisted of soldiers of the 62nd Motorized Infantry Regiment, as well as elements of the 35th Armored Regiment and the 36th Artillery Regiment. In December 2012, Jeune Afrique reports that according to a military source more than 2,000 soldiers were present in Konna; the number of Salafist fighters was not known precisely. Shortly before the offensive, the DGSE estimated that the jihadists were 1,500 near the demarcation line, including 300 men from AQIM and 500 to 600 from MUJAO. 30 pick-ups form the vanguard, supported by a reserve of 40 other vehicles in Douentza while 80 other pick-ups were ben detached to take part in the Battle of Diabaly. Malian services estimated the jihadist forces at about 5,000 men. According to a report from the French Senate in April 23, 2013, 1,500 to 3,000 jihadists were mobilized for the offensives in southern Mali; the strength of the Salafist rebels was estimated at 1,200 men according to RFI and Al Jazeera. On the night of 9 January to 10 January, a teacher near Dangol-Boré said he had counted more than 300 jihadist vehicles.
For the reporter Jean-Paul Mari, the assailants gathered 70 vehicles around Bambara Maoudé engaged 150, including 70 from Ansar Dine in the assault on Konna. For Laurent Touchard, the jihadist forces gathered north of the demarcation line were 1,500 to 2,500 men with 300 vehicles, their forces were made up of some of the most seasoned and well-equipped combatants, with new recruits left behind to hold the cities. Shortly before the attack, various chiefs met at Lere Iyad Ag Ghali, emir of Ansar Dine, as well as Djamel Okacha and Abu Zeid who took command of the detachment which would attack the city of Diabaly. Iyad Ag Ghali was the main initiator of the offensive, the leaders of AQIM and MUJAO agreed to join but without enthusiasm, they had decided to consolidate their positions in the north. However, the Salafist objective iwas not known with certainty, two hypotheses are emitted by the DGSE. According to the first, the goal of the jihadists was to seize Bamako and take control of the country, according to the second the offensive was only aimed at the cities of Mopti and Sévaré and the international airport of Mopti Ambodédjo, the only airport in the country in the center of Mali whose takeover would handicap the deployment of a possible international intervention.
In January 8, 2013, jihadists were near the demarcation line in the Mopti region. Malian soldiers carryed out some warning reinforcements were sent. For their part, the fighters of Ansar Dine performed some artillery rockets in the night. On the 9th, at the end of the afternoon, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamadou Samaké made a reconnaissance mission with a dozen BRDM-2 armored vehicles; the Malian soldiers do not therefore turn around. But on the way home, they fall into an ambush. All of the Islamist forces attacked the city of Konna; the jihadists reached Konna in the night of 9 to 10 January. On the 10th, the clashes ended at 4 pm; the jihadists attacked from three directions, the first column attacked north, by the road of Korientzé, a village in the municipality of Korombana. A second column attacked to the east, by the road of Douentza, while a third bypasses by the south to cut the retreat of the garrison. To the west, the Niger River makes the area impassable. According to the Malian government, a bus filled with infiltrated jihadists managed to enter the city.
According to Jean-Paul Mari, around 1 pm, two buses entered the city aft
Tuareg rebellion (2012)
The Tuareg Rebellion of 2012 was an early stage of the Northern Mali conflict. It was led by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and was part of a series of insurgencies by traditionally nomadic Tuaregs which date back at least to 1916; the MNLA was formed by former insurgents and a significant number of armed Tuaregs who fought in the Libyan Civil War. On 22 March, President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état over his handling of the crisis, a month before a presidential election was to have taken place. Mutineering soldiers, under the banner of the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State, suspended the constitution of Mali, although this move was reversed on 1 April; the Islamist group Ansar Dine, began fighting the government in stages of the conflict, claiming control of vast swathes of territory, albeit disputed by the MNLA. As a consequence of the instability following the coup, Northern Mali's three largest cities—Kidal and Timbuktu—were overrun by the rebels on three consecutive days.
On 5 April, after the capture of Douentza, the MNLA said that it had accomplished its goals and called off its offensive. The following day, it proclaimed Azawad's independence from Mali. After the end of hostilities with the Malian Army, Tuareg nationalists and Islamists struggled to reconcile their conflicting visions for the intended new state. On 27 June, Islamists from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa clashed with the MNLA in the Battle of Gao, wounding MNLA secretary-general Bilal Ag Acherif and taking control of the city. By 17 July, Ansar Dine had pushed the MNLA out of all the major cities. On 14 February 2013 the MNLA renounced their claim of independence for Azawad and asked the Malian government to start negotiations on its future status. For decades prior to the 2012 rebellion, Tuareg political leaders had asserted that the nomadic Tuareg people were marginalized and impoverished in both Mali and Niger, that mining projects had damaged important pastoral areas. Issues such as climate change and a rooted background of forced modernization onto the northern Nomadic areas of Mali have caused much tension between the Tuareg peoples and the Malian government.
Tuareg separatist groups had staged previous unsuccessful rebellions in 1990 and in 2007. Many of the Tuaregs fighting in the rebellion have received training from Gaddafi's Islamic Legion during his tenure in Libya. Hence many of the combatants are experienced with a variety of warfare techniques that have posed major problems to the national governments of Mali and Niger; the MNLA is an offshoot of a Tuareg political movement known as the National Movement for Azawad prior to the 2012 insurgency. After the end of the Libyan Civil War, an influx of weaponry led to the arming of the Tuareg in their demand for independence for Azawad. Many of the returnees from Libya were said to have come back for financial reasons such as losing their savings, as well as due to the alleged racism of the NTC's fighters and militias. Another commentator described the US as a catalyst for the rebellion, citing the training of Tuareg rebels by the U. S. and the overthrow of Libya's government in 2011. The strength of this uprising and the use of heavy weapons, which were not present in the previous conflicts, were said to have "surprised" Malian officials and observers.
Such issues arise from an illicit weapons trade around the Sahel region, linked to a variety of factors, including the funneling of weapons from Libya. Though dominated by Tuaregs, the MNLA claimed to represent other ethnic groups as well, was joined by some Arab leaders; the MNLA's leader Bilal Ag Acherif said that the onus was on Mali to either give the Saharan peoples their self-determination or they would take it themselves. Another Tuareg-dominated group, the Islamist Ansar Dine fought against the government. However, unlike the MNLA it does not seek independence but rather the impositions of sharia across united Mali; the movement's leader Iyad Ag Ghaly, part of the early 1990s rebellion, is believed to be linked to an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, led by his cousin Hamada Ag Hama. Iyad Ag Ghaly was said to have been affiliated with Algeria's Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité since 2003. There were reports of an Algerian military presence in the area on 20 December 2011.
Though Mali said they were in coordination against AQIM, there were no reported attacks in the region at the time. Locals believed that the presence was due to the MNLA's promise to root out AQIM, involved in drug trafficking with the connivance of high-ranking officers and threatened to turn Mali into a narcostate. According to Stratfor, the first attacks took place in Ménaka on 16 and 17 January, which left 2 Malian soldiers and 1 rebel dead On 17 January attacks in Aguelhok and Tessalit were reported; the Mali government claimed to have regained control of all three towns the next day. On 21 January, a Malian convoy bringing army reinforcements and an arsenal of weapons to the garrison in liberated Aguelhok was ambushed near the village of In-Esmal, killing between 50 and 101 Malian soldiers including several captains. On 24 January the rebels retook Aguelhok after the Malian army ran out of ammunition/ On 24 January, after the rebels captured Aguelhok the Islamists group AQIM summarily executed 97 Malian soldiers after they surrendered.
The next day the Mali gov
Al-Qaeda is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda operates as a network of Salafist jihadists; the organization has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and various other countries. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on non-military and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, the 2002 Bali bombings; the United States government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the "War on Terror", which sought to undermine al-Qaeda and its allies. The deaths of key leaders, including that of Osama bin Laden, have led al-Qaeda's operations to shift from the top down organization and planning of attacks, to the planning of attacks which are carried out by associated groups and lone-wolf operators.
Al-Qaeda characteristically employs attacks which include suicide attacks and the simultaneous bombing of several targets. Activities which are ascribed to al-Qaeda involve the actions of those who have made a pledge of loyalty to bin Laden, or to the actions of "al-Qaeda-linked" individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Iraq or Sudan. Al-Qaeda ideologues envision the removal of all foreign influences in Muslim countries, the creation of a new caliphate ruling over the entire Muslim world. Among the beliefs ascribed to al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam; as Salafist jihadists, members of al-Qaeda believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned. This belief ignores the aspects of religious scripture which forbid the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting. Al-Qaeda opposes what it regards as man-made laws, wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law. Al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks on targets.
Al-Qaeda is responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims. Al-Qaeda's leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias and other sects as heretical and its members and sympathizers have attacked their mosques and gatherings. Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings. Following the death of bin Laden in 2011, the group has been led by Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Qaeda's philosophy calls for the centralization of decision making, while allowing for the decentralization of execution. However, after the War on Terror, al-Qaeda's leadership has become isolated; as a result, the leadership has become decentralized, the organization has become regionalized into several al-Qaeda groups. Many terrorism experts do not believe that the global jihadist movement is driven at every level by al-Qaeda's leadership. However, bin Laden held considerable ideological sway over some Muslim extremists before his death.
Experts argue that al-Qaeda has fragmented into a number of disparate regional movements, that these groups bear little connection with one another. This view mirrors the account given by Osama bin Laden in his October 2001 interview with Tayseer Allouni: this matter isn't about any specific person and... is not about the al-Qa'idah Organization. We are the children of an Islamic Nation, with Prophet Muhammad as its leader, our Lord is one... and all the true believers are brothers. So the situation isn't like the West portrays it, that there is an'organization' with a specific name and so on; that particular name is old. It was born without any intention from us. Brother Abu Ubaida... created a military base to train the young men to fight against the vicious, brutal, terrorizing Soviet empire... So this place was called ` The Base', as in a training base, so this name became. We aren't separated from this nation. We are the children of a nation, we are an inseparable part of it, from those public *** which spread from the far east, from the Philippines, to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to India, to Pakistan, reaching Mauritania... and so we discuss the conscience of this nation.
Bruce Hoffman, sees al-Qaeda as a cohesive network, led from the Pakistani tribal areas. Al-Qaeda has the following direct affiliates: Al-Qaeda's indirect affiliates includes the following, some of which have left the organization and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: Osama bin Laden was the Senior Operations Chief of al-Qaeda prior to his assassination by US forces on May 1, 2011. Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was alleged to be second in command prior to his death on August 22, 2011. Bin Laden was advised by a Shura Council; the group was estimated to consist of 20–30 people. One such member is thought to have been Sayed Tayib al-Madani. Ayman al-Zawahiri had been al-Qaeda's Deputy Operations Chief and assumed the role of commander after bin Laden's death. Al-Zawahiri replaced Saif al-Adel. On June 5, 2012, Pakistani intelligence officials announced that al-Rahman's alleged successor Abu Yahya al-Libi had been killed in Pakistan. Nasir al-Wuhayshi was said to have become second in command in 2013.
He was the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, until he was killed in a US airstrike in June 2015. Al-Qaeda's network was built from scratch as a conspiratoria