Table of Contents
The Birth of Al-Qaeda
When the Soviets announced that they were about to leave from Afghanistan in 1988, and they actually did so in 1989, Osama bin Laden, a rich Saudi, together with his Arab comrades, were in Afghanistan fighting the Soviets. In 1988 Osama bin Laden, with his best Arab comrades founded Al-Qaeda. By reading the Al-Qaeda’s story one can easily understand why this organization was founded.
After the Soviets left Afghanistan, a civil war broke out between the Iranians and the Pakistanis. The Iranians were supported by the Indians and the Pakistanis were supported by the Arabs of the Persian Gulf. Obviously the first aim of Al-Qaeda was to help their Pakistani allies fight Iran and take control of Afghanistan.
When the Soviets left Afghanistan they agreed with the Americans that none of them would militarily intervene in Afghanistan. The Chinese had fought the Soviets in Afghanistan too, but they did not want to get involved in a Muslim war fought by Iran, Pakistan and the Arabs, because no matter who China would choose to support, the other parties would support the Muslim Uyghur separatists in Xin Jiang, the Muslim province of China, in order to retaliate for China’s involvement.
Remember that the Iranians, the Arabs and the Pakistanis were all fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, and therefore by supporting the Muslims the Chinese were safe during the period of the Soviet invasion. Safe in the sense that no Muslim militants would support Uyghur separatists in Xin Jiang. Actually during the Soviet invasion the Chinese were sending Uyghurs to their ally Pakistan, and Pakistan was training them to fight the Soviets.
Therefore the Americans, the Russians and the Chinese were not supposed to get involved in Afghanistan, at least not directly, and a civil war broke out when the Soviets left.
The Communist government that was left behind by the Soviets lasted from 1989 until 1992, when it was overturned by Iran’s allies in 1992, who were in turn overturned in 1996 by Pakistan’s allies, the Taliban, who were in turn overturned by the Americans in 2001, after the 9/11 attack and the refusal of the Taliban to allow the pipelines of Central Asia to reach India.
For the negotiations between the Americans and the Taliban for the pipeplines, and the Al-Qaeda attacks see “The Afghan Oil Pipeline and the US Negotiations with the Taliban”.
At the following map you can see the ethnic groups of Afghanistan.
Map Ethnic Groups of Afghanistan
With green you can see the Pashtuns, who were mainly supported by the Pakistanis and the Arabs. The Pashtuns are the larger ethnic group of the country. All of the Taliban are Pashtuns, or at least their overwhelming majority. But not all Pashtuns are Taliban.
With somon you can see the Shiite Hazara, a strong Iranian ally, and with brown the Sunni Tajics, who are of Iranian origin though, and normally they are Iranian allies too.
With purple you can see the Uzbeks of Afghanistan. Most Uzbkes have been part of the Northern Alliance, which was supported by Iran, India and Russia. But there were Uzbkes who allied with the Taliban too.
With blue, at the southern part of the country you can see the Baloch people. The Baloch people live in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, and there are many among them who are calling for an independent Balochistan.
From all the above it is evident that the original goal of Al-Qaeda to help the allies of the Arabs in Afghanistan to fight Iran once the Soviets left the country. As long as the Soviets were there, the Muslims could achieve a minimum level of cooperation, since none of them wanted a communist Afghanistan. But once the Soviets left Afghanistan, there was a civil war about who would control the post-Soviet Afghanistan.
Al-Qaeda as a Multinational
When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 1996, with the help of Pakistan and the Arabs, there were negotiations between the Americans and the Taliban, because the Americans were offering the Taliban international recognition if they were to allow the pipelines of Central Asia to be constructed.
Note that Turkmenistan is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural gas reserves, Kazahstan is one of the richest in terms of oil reserves, and Azerbaijan has descent amounts of both. Uzbekistan also has some descent reserves of natural gas.
However if the Taliban were to allow the pipelines of Central Asia to reach Pakistan and India, both the Arab and the Iranian exports would be hurt, and therefore Al-Qaeda sabotaged the negotiations with the bombings of the American embassies in 1998, and with the 9/11 attack in 2001. See “The Afghan Oil Pipeline and the US Negotiations with the Taliban”.
Therefore one goal of Al-Qaeda was to fight Iran in Afghanistan, and the other was to prevent the oil and natural gas of Central Asia to reach India and the Indian Ocean. Actually that second goal was a common goal for the Iranians and the Arabs, and it gave them plenty of space to cooperate against the Americans, because they both sell oil and gas to India and Pakistan.
Another goal of Al-Qaeda was to support the Pakistanis against India in Kashmir. Kashmir is a disputed region on the Pakistani-Indian borders, and If India was to take control of Kashmir the Indians could reach Central Asia bypassing Afghanistan, and they could export their merchandizes to Central Asia, while at the same time they could import oil and natural gas from Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan. Obviously that would be very bad for the Arabs and the Pakistanis, and Al-Qaeda started fighting India at Kashmir. That would also hurt China, because China is now monopolizing central Asia commercially, and she can buy the resources of Central Asia at very low prices, because these countries have nowhere else to sell their products, except Russia and Iran, which are competitors in the oil and natural gas markets. For more details see “Al-Qaeda VS India”
Another goal of Al-Qaeda was to block the oil and natural gas of Africa from reaching Asia through Kenya and Tanzania. China is spending billions of dollars in Kenya, trying to make Kenya an export hub, in order to send African raw materials to China, with oil and natural gas being the most important ones of course. With its alliance with the Somalian terrorist group Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda is attacking Kenya and Tanzania. See “What is Al-Shabaab, and what does it want?”, July 2015.
Al-Qaeda was also targeting the oil of North and Western Africa, through various terrorist groups it supported there. For example Al-Qaeda was supporting Boko Haram in Nigeria in order to attack the oil of Nigeria. See “Boko Haram’s Bin Laden Connection”, May 2014
Philippines and Malaysia are oil and gas exporting countries too, and Al-Qaeda was attacking these countries too.
With black at the following map you can see the countries that mainly export oil and natural gas. Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia in Latin America, Russia and the countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and Iran, Indonesia and Malaysia in South East Asia, and Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Chad, Nigeria and Angola in Africa. You can see that the black parts of this map match with the Al-Qaeda map.
Map Exports by Country
Map Al-Qaeda in the World
Al-Qaeda and Iran
Initially Osama bin Laden wanted to fight the Crusaders (NATO) and the Indians, and not the Muslim Apostates i.e. the Muslim leaders who were cooperating with the Crusaders, for example the Saudi King and the Egyptian President, who at the time was Hozni Mubarack.
That changed when the Saudi King invited the Americans in the Persian Gulf in 1991, in order to fight Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait and had taken its oil fields, having also “parked” his army at the Saudi borders near the Saudi oil fields. Then Al-Qaeda started cooperating with the Iranians against the Saudi King. We could assume that many people in Saudi Arabia wanted a closer cooperation with China, which was the new big customer in the Persian Gulf. Or maybe they just found a chance to fight the Saudi King. After all there is a war inside the Royal family of Saudi Arabia. See “The Hezbollah-Al Qaeda Axis”.
See also “The Assassination of the Saudi King in 1975”.
Osama bin Laden was no longer welcome in Saudi Arabia, and he was exiled in 1992. He went to Sudan, the stronger Iranian ally at the time. Iran and Sudan also have the same political system i.e. they are both socialist Islamic countries. In 1994 the Saudis will revoke Osama bin Laden’s citizenship, and in 1996 the Sudanese will ask Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda to leave Sudan, and bin Laden will go to Afghanistan.
I used to think that the reason the Sudanese asked bin Laden to leave their country was because they were afraid of the Americans. But I was probably wrong. After all the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania only happened in 1998.
It had probably more to do with the fight between the Taliban and the Iranian proxies in Afghanistan. And the Taliban were Osama bin Laden’s allies. The Iranians and Al-Qaeda were jointly fighting the Saudi King and the Americans, but they were fighting on opposite side in Afghanistan.
Saudi Arabia said she did not want Osama bin Laden extradited to Saudi Arabia, because an imprisoned Osama bin Laden could upset the Saudi people, because Osama bin Laden was a hero of the Afghanistan war. While this might be true, there is another reason the Saudis would prefer bin Laden in Afghanistan. For the Saudis it was important that Osama was not in Saudi Arabia, but if he was in Afghanistan he would not cause much problems for the Saudis, and he would prevent the Americans from sending the oil and gas of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. And the same was true for Iran.
And indeed with the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the 9/11 attack, Al-Qaeda sabotaged the US-Taliban negotiations and the construction of the Central Asian pipelines, both under the Clinton and Bush administrations, and did a favor to both the Saudis and the Iranians.
Therefore if you want to understand Al-Qaeda you should not try to see it as a Saudi or as an Iranian terrorist organization. Al-Qaeda received huge amounts from Saudi donors, but it was trained by the Iranians. Obviously the reason was that Al-Qaeda was fighting the Saudi King, and therefore the Saudi government would not provide Al-Qaeda with assistance, at least not in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Qaeda was also fighting the Americans, and therefore Pakistan would not be able to help Al-Qaeda because the Americans would be very angry with Pakistan. Of course the Pakistanis provided some indirect support to Al-Qaeda, through their support to the Taliban, because the Afghan Taliban were an ally of Pakistan, and the Taliban were an ally of Al-Qaeda. But Pakistan could not support Al-Qaeda attacks against the United States, because it was receiving billions in American and Saudi aid. See “Pakistan Between Al-Qaeda and USA”.
Therefore against the Saudi King and the Americans, Iran and its close allies Sudan and Hezbollah were the ideal partners for Al-Qaeda, even though in Afghanistan Al-Qaeda was probably supported by the Saudi King against the Iranians. Remember that terrorism is the Islamic and socialist way of doing business. That’s how socialists and Islamists close their deals.
You should see Al-Qaeda as a sum of gangs, who are loosely connected. These groups are guns for hire, and they are used by the Islamic oil cartel.
The cooperation between Al-Qaeda, a Saudi terror group, and Iran, seems strange, but remember that their interests overlap in Africa, in South Eastern Asia, and in Central Asia. They have opposite interests in Syria and Afghanistan, and elsewhere, but there is a lot of space for cooperation between them.
Therefore you should see Al-Qaeda as a terror group that protects the Islamic oil cartel from the “Crusaders”, but which is also very active in the internal wars of the Islamic oil cartel.
Now the Islamic oil cartel is threatened by the huge increases in the American oil and natural gas production, and it cooperates with the Communist oil cartel of Latin American too (Venezuela, Bolivia). The Communist oil cartel also finances Cuba, another Communist country, and therefore Cuba is also part of this unholy alliance between the Islamic and the Communist oil cartels. Very often the Russians join the cartel against the Americans too. Monsters like the Jewish Communist Bernie Sanders, the extremely pro-Islamist Jeremy Corbyn in Enlgand, Pablo Iglesias of Podemos in Spain, Alexis Tsipras in Greece, are supported by the unholy alliance between the Islamic and the Communist oil cartel. See “The Financing of Hollywood’s Socialist Propaganda”.
Al-Qaeda and Israel
Israel has traditionally been at the center of Al-Qaeda’s propaganda. But the truth is that Israel is not very important for Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is simply using Israel to demonize the United States. In the past Al-Qaeda has attacked some synagogues outside Israel, in order to take the credit of the war against the Jews, but it has avoided attacks within Israel, which would need a much greater amount of effort and money, because the Israelis spend their day thinking about terrorism.
Remember that a large part of Al-Qaeda’s financing comes from the Saudis, and Saudis are not interested in natural gas, because they are not as rich as the Russians, the Iranians and the Qataris in natural gas. The Saudis consume domestically their gas production. For the Saudis it is oil that makes the difference. And Israel is not very important for the oil industry.
Since the 1980’s the oil pipelines started losing their geopolitical importance, wherever there was easy access to the sea, because tankers became much larger, and as a result the transport of oil became much cheaper. Therefore the Saudis did not have to take suffer the terrorist attacks of the Egyptians, the Iraqis and the Syrians against their Trans-Arabian pipeline, which carried their oil to the Mediterranean Sea through Jordan and Lebanon.
Map Trans-Arabian Pipeline
Actually when the Israelis gained control of the Golan Heights during the 1967 War, a small part of the pipeline was under Israeli control. But of course the Israelis did not create any problems to Saudi Arabia.
In 1976 Saudi Arabia stopped the Trans-Arabian pipeline. It only left the part to Jordan, to have influence in Jordan. Egypt was now an American ally, and Saudi Arabia could count on the Suez Canal. Probably the Saudis wanted to support the Egyptians too, in order to have them as allies after many years of rivalry between the two countries. Gamal Nasser was fighting Saudi Arabia for decades. See “The Intra-Arab War for Oil : 1950-1970”.
Moreover in 1982 Saudi Arabia finished its East-West Pipeline (Petroline) which sent Saudi oil to the Red Sea.
Map East West Petroline
Contrary to what happens with oil, it is very expensive to carry natural gas with ships, because you need special ships, and also because the process of liquefaction and regazification are very expensive. And that’s why from the wars for the railroads we went to the wars for the oil pipelines in the 20th century, and in the 21st century we see the wars for the natural gas pipelines. But note that when there is no easy access to sea oil pipelines are very important too. Or when there are competing oil pipelines. What happens in Syria has to do with natural gas, and what happens in Iraq has more to do with oil.
Iran, Turkey and Qatar are very interested in natural gas pipelines, and therefore they are more interested in Israel, and that’s why Turkey and Qatar control Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood) in Gaza, and Iran controls Hezbollah at the borders of Israel and Lebanon. Al-Qaeda receives a lot of Saudi financing, and for Saudi Arabia natural gas is not important.
The presence of Hamas in Gaza and of Hezbollah in Lebanon make things even worse for Al-Qaeda, because neither Turkey and Qatar, nor Iran, want to see Al-Qaeda establishing a presence there. Because if Al-Qaeda was to go there it would also claim influence over the local populations.
Therefore Israel is not financially important for Al-Qaeda, and Al-Qaeda prefers to attack cheap targets outside Israel, like synagogues. These targets do not cost much, and Al-Qaeda avoids problems with Hamas and Hezbollah by not interfering in Gaza and South Lebanon.
But for Turkey, Qatar and Iran Israel is very important, and therefore Hamas and Hezbollah spend a significant part of their day thinking about Israel, and Israel in turn spends a significant part of its day thinking about Hezbollah and Hamas.
“The Afghan Oil Pipeline and the US Negotiations with the Taliban”.
“Al-Shabaab the Strongest Terrorist Organization of East Africa and its Funding”
“What is Al-Shabaab, and what does it want?”, July 2015
And Al-Shabaab has links to other organizations. In February 2012, the group’s leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, and al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahirireleased a video announcing the alliance of the two organizations.
“Boko Haram’s Bin Laden Connection”, May 2014
1st , 2nd , 3rd , 4th , 5th Paragraphs
In 2002, Osama bin Laden dispatched an aide to Nigeria to hand out $3 million in local currency to a wide array of Salafist political organizations there that shared al Qaeda’s goal of imposing Islamic rule.
According to an overlooked report from a well-respected international watchdog, one of those organizations was Boko Haram, the terrorist outfit that’s become globally infamous for its threat to sell girls into slavery. In other words, bin Laden helped provide Boko Haram’s seed money, this report maintains.
Officially, the U.S. intelligence community assesses that the group has only tangential links to al Qaeda’s north African affiliate, and that reports of bin Laden backing the Nigerian outfit are off-base. But inside the secret state, many analysts believe that the ties between Boko Haram and al Qaeda global leadership go much deeper—and are about more than a little seed money.
“There were channels between bin laden and Boko Haram leadership,” one senior U.S. told The Daily Beast. “He gave some strategic direction at times.”
At issue are still secret documents captured from Osama bin Laden’s lair in Pakistan in 2011. According to two senior U.S. intelligence officials, the trove of documents includes correspondence between leaders of Boko Haram and al Qaeda’s central leadership, including Osama bin Laden. Other U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast have stressed that the documents only include letters from Boko Haram to bin Laden—the terror leader never replied back.
“How al-Qaeda and Islamic State are competing for al-Shabaab in Somalia”, January 2016
“The Terrorist Groups Lashkar e Taiba and Haqqani Network”
“The Life of Osama bin Laden in Iran”