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Al-Qaeda and Suicide Terrorism: Vision and Reality

Keywords: Al-Qaeda , jihad , suicide attacks , suicide terrorism , istishhad , martydom , Unit for Attacks Abroad , 9/11 , terrorism

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Suicide bombings are not a new phenomenon in the annals of contemporary terrorism. What characterizes modern suicide terrorism and sets it apart from suicide attacks carried out from the rst century until the middle of the 20th is that it is perpetrated by means of explosives carried on the suicide attacker’s body or on some type of mobile platform driven by the suicide attacker into his target, which he detonates along with himself. Al-Qaeda adopted the weapon and made it into its trademark. The organization has re ned the technique and given it dramatic signi cance. The way al-Qaeda operates terrorism, with an emphasis on cultivating and disseminating suicide terrorism, derives from its ideological code and its corresponding administrative operational approach. Because al-Qaeda sees itself at the forefront of global jihad and a paragon for its af liates, it seeks to instill among Muslims around the world its militant worldview in general and the proper way to conduct the armed struggle via suicide terrorism in particular.


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