On with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda

On September 11, 2001,19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked fouraeroplanes and carried out suicide attacks. Two of the planes hit the twintowers of the World Trade Center, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outsideWashington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.Almost 3,000 people were killed during these terrorist attacks, which triggeredmajor U.

S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of GeorgeW. Bush.It was these attacksthat ultimately took the U.S. into two of its longest and costliestwars—first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq—as well as bringing thephenomenon of radical Islamist terrorism to the forefront of the public consciencein the West.

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Ultimately it was 9/11 that set Al-Qaeda and, a decade later,the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), on their paths ofdestruction and bloodshed. Since that September morning in 2001, more than200,000 people have died in attacks on trains, markets, famous boulevards andconcert halls, military compounds, souks and mosques from Baghdad to Boston,Paris to Kabul. Terrorist attacks may be on the decline, but the worldlives now in a new era of unpredictability and insecurity,where danger feels omnipresent.After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bushadministration declared a worldwide “war on terror,” involving openand covert military operations, efforts to block the financing of terrorism, newsecurity legislation and more.

Bush called on other states to join in the fightagainst terrorism asserting that “either you are with us, or you are withthe terrorists.” Many governments joined this campaign, often adoptingharsh new laws and stepping up domestic policing and intelligence work.Pakistan’s relationshipto the “War on Terror” has been highly uncertain. Pakistan played a key role infacilitating the U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan from shortly after 9/11up to the present. It has permitted the transit of material across Pakistaniterritory to U.

S. forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan has also tolerated Americanmissile attacks launched from Afghanistan against Taliban and al-Qaeda targetsin Pakistan’s lawless border region with that country.While the United Statesand Pakistan have some common goals, their priorities differ markedly. The U.S.was concerned primarily with the Soviet threat during the Cold War, and hasbeen focused on the threat from al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies since 9/11.Pakistan, by contrast, has been primarily concerned with its struggle withIndia ever since the two became independent from Britain in 1947.

The fate ofKashmir, the Muslim-majority region that was divided between India and Pakistanduring the first war between them, has been Pakistan’s principal concern. Italso has many others, including which of the two rivals will have predominantinfluence in Afghanistan.Terrorism in Pakistanoriginated with supporting the Soviet war in Afghanistan, and thesubsequent civil war that continued for at least a decade. Fighters from allover the world to South Asia in the name of jihad. The “mujahedeen fighters”were trained by Pakistan’s military, American CIA and other westernintelligence agencies. The post 9/11 War on Terrorismin Pakistan has had two principal elements:·        The government’s battle with jihad groups banned afterthe attacks in New York ·        U.S. pursuit of Al-Queda.

Also, a major cause ofterrorism is religious extremism. The policies of Gen. Musharaf i.

e. Lalmasjid, murder of Akbar bugti was also a major cause of terrorism in Pakistan. Althoughskeptics question the sincerity of this pursuit in 2004, the Pakistani armylaunched an operation against Al-Qaeda members in the mountainous areaof Waziristan on the Afghan border.Waziristan War wasstarted because of the clashes that erupted with the Islamic militants and localtribesman.

A short-lived truce known as the Waziristan Accord was brokeredin September 2006.The Talibans misinterpreted the conditions of the truce thatled to the annoyance of Pakistani government and armed forces that launched amilitary operation known as operation “Rah-e-Rast” against Taliban.In 2012 Pakistanileadership sat down to sought out solutions for dealing with the menace ofterrorism and political parties unanimously reached a resolution on Monday 9September 2013 at the All Parties Conference (APC), stating that negotiationwith the militants should be pursued as their first option tocounter-terrorism.All attempts ofbringing the militants to table seemed to fail when terrorist attacks still continued.Because of this, in late 2013 the political leadership in Pakistan gave a greensignal to a military operation against terrorists which wasnamed Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Operation Zarb-e-Azb is a joint militaryoffensive operation being conducted by Pakistan Armed Forces against variousmilitant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan , Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,Jundallah, al-Qaeda, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, the Islamic Movementof Uzbekistan and the Haqqani network. The operation was launched by thePakistan Armed Forces on 15 June 2014 in North Waziristan as a renewed effortagainst militancy in the wake of the 8 June attack on Jinnah InternationalAirport in Karachi. Up to 30,000 Pakistani soldiers are involved in Zarb-e-Azb,described as a “comprehensive operation” to flush out all foreign andlocal militants hiding in North Waziristan.

 The operation has receivedwidespread support from the Pakistani political, defence and civilian sectors.Despite Islamic teachings against suicide and killing innocent people inbattle, terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and “ISIS,” have used a politicalform of Islam known as “Islamism” to justify an unholy war ofterrorism. In 1988, Osama bin Laden founded Al Qaeda. Even after his deathin 2011, Al Qaeda persists, and the more recently formed group ISIS hasattempted to provoke an apocalyptic war with the United States and the West.Over many years, AlQaeda committed terrorist acts killing many innocent men, women, and children.

On August 7, 1998, Al Qaeda terrorists almost simultaneously set off bombs 150miles apart at U.S. Embassies in the East African countries of Kenya andTanzania. The blasts killed 12 Americans and about 250 Africans, most of themMuslims.

The group was also responsible for the September 11, 2001, suicideterrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, whichmurdered close to 3,000 people. On May 12, 2003, Al Qaeda suicide terroristsset off bombs in three housing compounds in the capital of Saudi Arabia. Thebombs killed 35 people, including 12 Americans.Other terrorist groups,often linked to Al Qaeda, have been responsible for attacks and killings aroundthe globe. London underground subway bombing in 2005 killed 56 people, andshootings and bombings in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 resulted in over160 deaths. A bomber attempted to set off a car bomb in New York City’s TimesSquare in 2010.

In recent years, agroup calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIS, ISIL, orDaesh) has risen to power in the Middle East. ISIS is an Islamist organizationthat initially formed in Iraq and seeks to bring about a war against the Westcentered in Syria. Now a rival of its former allies in Al Qaeda, ISIS hasdeveloped an ideology even more extreme and brutal than other terrorist groups.  


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