Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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9/11 attacks anniversary: Al-Qaeda still capable of staging attacks across continents

Tuesday 19/September/2023 - 03:33 PM
The Reference
Nahla Abdelmonem

In the early days after its founding, al-Qaeda carried out violent attacks, the most famous and vicious of which were on 11 September 2001 in the US.

Years after that operation and the war the US launched to undermine this organization, some questions remain about the prospects of al-Qaeda and its ability to carry out long-range attacks.

Transient terrorism

The 9/11 attacks crystallized the concept of intercontinental terrorism with its offensive strategies, such as the far and near enemy, which are the strategies used by al-Qaeda in its kinetic shifts towards its opponents since its establishment.

Al-Qaeda became famous in Afghanistan (its main stronghold) during the Soviet invasion of the country (1979-1989).

The battle then shifted from politics to manipulating religion, which eventually led to the emergence of al-Qaeda with international data employing jurisprudence according to political visions.

The bombings of August 7, 1998 were the first high-profile international attacks of the organization, through which it chose to strike at the interests of the US in Africa.

The organization's elements carried out two simultaneous bombings against the American embassies in both the Kenyan capital Nairobi, and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people, and injuring thousands.

Three years later, the organization carried out the bombings of the World Trade Centres in Manhattan and attacked the Pentagon, killing thousands, and turning the strategies of the war on terrorism into foreign plans based on attacking terrorists in their own strongholds.

This led to the military intervention of Washington and NATO in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban which was ruling the country at the time, under the pretext of aiding al-Qaeda in the attack, as well as the fragmentation of al-Qaeda.

Organization capabilities

However, the military and organizational capabilities of al-Qaeda and the extent to which it is able to launch similar attacks remain the most prominent concern of American media, despite the continuous marketing of the threats of ISIS in the West.

Western media views al-Qaeda as an intellectual reference from which Takfiri organizations derive theories that justify attacks on Western interests.

Amid these challenges, the US withdrew in 2021 from Afghanistan, leaving the country to the Taliban to take over after years of fighting them, while the agreement concluded between the parties (Doha agreement) indicated that the prevention of attacks against American and Western interests would be the most prominent condition for the American exit from Kabul.

This exit was immediately followed by the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan.