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road to infamyx


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road to infamyx



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The War on Terror
Osama bin Laden – the road to infamy By Tony KlueOsama bin Laden turned his back on a life of comfort to become a self-roclaimed Islamic holy warrior, often living rough and on the run. A charismatic man, he used his inherited wealth to build al Qaeda, a ruthless network of Islamic extremists that spanned the world to launch terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies. Bin Laden’s privileged education exposed him to religious teachers who Image source: AFP | Photographer: BANARAS KHANpersuaded him that Islam was under threat from decadent Western influences. He chose to defend Islam by joining the Afghanistan resistance, the mujahideen, when Soviet Russian troops invaded that country in 1979. Military force became central to his defence of Islam. Russia withdrew, but the US then sent troops to the Middle East in 1991, to drive the invading Iraq army from Kuwait. Bin Laden now saw the US as the main threat to Islam, and made it his mission to drive US troops out and overthrow corrupt, Western-influenced Arab governments. He began to create al Qaeda, recruiting like-minded muslims from around the world, and taking guidance from a narrow and literal interpretation of key religious passages that some fanatics believe justify the slaughter of unbelievers and enemies of Islam. His strategy was inspired by the guerrilla “war of the flea”, where small forces launch surprise attacks against an enemy then withdraw before thecan be located and crushed. At first, attacks were launched against military and diplomatic targets. But military targets are well protected, and often reinforced. Slaughtering civilians, unsuspecting, unprotected and gathered in large numbers at cinemas and sportsgrounds, or flying in aircraft or working in large buildings – were seen as a far easier way to humiliate the West and turn US voters against intervention in Islamic countries. Bin Laden’s masterstroke was the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, by hijacking passenger aircraft laden with jet fuel and
Herald Education teaching and learning resourcesMay 2011