ISIS is a militant group that follows a Salafi Jihadism doctrine (Sunni Islamism seeking a Global Caliphate) that claims religious authority over all Muslims. The credit for the emergence of ISIS is given to Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda and a Jordanian jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who eventually became the head of the organization.
In this first part we are going to know about the inception of Al-Qaeda. The formation and rise of Al-Qaeda is traced back to the period of Cold war (between Soviet Union and US).
How Terrorists Possessed ARMS?
The growing insurgencies in Afghanistan between the Government and Mujahideen invited the 2 biggest economies of 1980s – Soviet Union (socialism) and United States of America (capitalism). In the Soviet-Afghan war (1979 to 1989), Soviet Union backed up Democratic Republic of Afghanistan Government against the Mujahideen.
Mujahideen are the tribal people of Afghanistan who practiced guerrilla warfare and fought against Communist Government of Afghanistan who used animals as vehicles and inferior weapons.
Mujahideen are supported by United States of America, Pakistan, UK, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China. U.S. supported Mujahideen just to stop increasing Socialist power in Afghanistan. Mujahideen also received support from Afghan Arabs, the Muslim volunteers who came throughout the world.
This war was considered as a Cold war by U.S. and CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) provided its financial and military aid to anti-socialist Mujahideen through Pakistan’s Intelligence (ISI). CIA named this operation as Operation Cyclone, which came to be known as the most expensive and longest operation ever undertaken by CIA.
The funding increased from 6,95,000 dollars in 1979 to 630 million dollars in 1987. The financial and arms aid by various countries armed nearly 1,00,000 Mujahideen and Afghan Arabs.
Conspiracy theorists argued that Jalaluddin Haqqani became the beneficiary of CIAs funding, he was praised with the titles of “Goodness Personified” and “Freedom Fighter” by US Officials and President, respectively.
In 1995, Haqqani swore his allegiance to Taliban and served as its military commander in 2001. He was also credited for recruiting Jihadists (Foreign fighters), Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden are notable and famous among Arabs.
Role of Osama Bin Laden:
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was one of the members of wealthiest family of Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam helped Mujahideen by establishing Maktab al-Khidamat in 1984 to provide funds, arms and fighters from Arab countries to Afghanistan and gained popularity among many Arabs.
So, by the end of Soviet-Afghan war most of the Mujahideen and Afghan Arabs possessed arms and missiles (surface-to-air) who are trained by Bin Laden. By 1988 Bin laden split from al-Khidamat and established Al-Qaeda. Although it remained unfunctional for several years.
After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia and offered his network of fighters against the threat of invasion posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. The Government not only rejected his request but relied on US troops during the Persian Gulf war.
By 1991 he left Saudi Arabia and settled in Sudan, later because of heavy international pressure (by U.S.) he was expelled from Sudan and took shelter in Afghanistan under Taliban. Osama now declared a Holy War against United States of America because of its interest in Middle East and occupying holy sites of Islam.
So, this was all about the rising of Al- Qaeda and Osama bin Laden powers. In upcoming part it will be all about emergence of ISIS, we are going to see the evolution of Al-Qaeda in IRAQ to Islamic State (IS).