Al-Qaeda | Mapping Militant Organizations Narrative Summary Al-Qaeda (AQ) is one of the longest-operating jihadist militant organizations in the Middle East and Asia, with followers and support around the world. Founded by Osama bin Laden on August 11, 1988 after nearly a decade of training and organization against Soviet invasion into Afghanistan, al-Qaeda has carried out some of the most violent and brutal attacks in the last 25 years. AQ was founded around the individual ideologies of bin Laden, with minimal foreign influence permeating his command of the organization as it has grown into a global entity seeking to rid the Muslim world of foreign influence and establish a Shariah-based Islamic government. AQ was initially comprised of Afghan mujahideen fighting against Soviet influence in Afghanistan from the late 1970s through the 1980s. Leadership Ideology & Goals Islamist Sunni Name Changes Size Estimates The size estimates for core al-Qaeda members are relatively low. Designated/Listed Resources External Influences Major Attacks
Hijackers in the September 11 attacks The hijackers in the September 11 attacks were 19 men affiliated with al-Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. The others were from the UAE (2), Egypt and Lebanon. The hijackers were organized into four teams, each led by a pilot-trained hijacker with four "muscle hijackers" who were trained to help subdue the pilots, passengers, and crew. The first hijackers to arrive in the United States were Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, who settled in the San Diego area in January 2000. Background Selection Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi were both experienced and respected jihadists in the eyes of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. As for the pilots who would go on to participate in the attacks, three of them were original members of the Hamburg cell (Mohammed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah). "Muscle" hijackers Mihdhar and Hazmi were also potential pilot hijackers, but did not do well in their initial pilot lessons in San Diego. Attacks
Al-Qa‘ida - Terrorist Groups Al-Qa‘ida Established by Usama Bin Ladin in 1988 with Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, al-Qa‘ida’s declared goal is the establishment of a pan-Islamic caliphate throughout the Muslim world. Toward this end, al-Qa‘ida seeks to unite Muslims to fight the West, especially the United States, as a means of overthrowing Muslim regimes al-Qa‘ida deems “apostate,” expelling Western influence from Muslim countries, and defeating Israel. On 11 September 2001, 19 al-Qa‘ida suicide attackers hijacked and crashed four US commercial jets—two into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and a fourth into a field in Shanksville,Pennsylvania— leaving nearly 3,000 people dead. In 2005, Ayman al-Zawahiri, then Bin Ladin’s deputy and now the leader of al-Qa‘ida, publicly claimed al-Qa‘ida’s involvement in the 7 July 2005 bus bombings in the United Kingdom.
World military expenditures This article is a list of countries by military expenditure, the amount spent by a nation on its military in a given year. Military expenditure figures are presented in US$ based on either constant or current exchange rates. These results can vary greatly from one year to another based on fluctuations in the exchange rates of each country's currency. Such fluctuations may change a country's ranking from one year to the next. The first list is based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2013 which includes a list on the world's top 15 military spenders in 2012, based on current market exchange rates. SIPRI Yearbook 2013 – World's top 15 military spenders SIPRI military expenditure database Countries by military spending Military spending as percentage of GDP See also  Notes
Briefing on the Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 MR. VENTRELL: Okay. Good afternoon, everyone. We have with us today Ambassador Dan Benjamin, the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism. AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: All right. Of course, 2011 was an extremely significant year in counterterrorism. At the same time, I should underscore we have no illusions that the transition process that we are in the midst of will be painless or happen quickly. The report also notes that al-Qaida and its affiliates are not the only terrorist threat that the United States faces. Let me make a few points about the statistical annex, which is at the end of the report and which was prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center. Africa experienced 978 attacks in 2011, an 11.5 percent increase over the previous year. Well, let me end these brief remarks by noting that as a result of international pressure and events such as the Arab Awakening, both al-Qaida the organization and al-Qaida the idea are evolving. QUESTION: Two questions if I may. MR.
NATO Coordinates: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO; /ˈneɪtoʊ/ NAY-toh; French: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord (OTAN)), also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programmes. History Beginnings The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., on 4 April 1949 and was ratified by the United States that August. Cold War French withdrawal Détente and escalation
International Security Assistance Force ISAF was initially charged with securing Kabul and surrounding areas from the Taliban, al Qaeda and factional warlords, so as to allow for the establishment of the Afghan Transitional Administration headed by Hamid Karzai. In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorized the expansion of the ISAF mission throughout Afghanistan, and ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country. From 2006 to 2011, ISAF had been involved in increasingly more intensive combat operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan. Troop contributors include from the United States, United Kingdom, NATO member states and a number of other countries. The intensity of the combat faced by contributing nations varies greatly, with the United States sustaining the largest numbers of casualties in intensive combat operations, but with other contributors, especially the United Kingdom, Canada, and Denmark, sustaining relatively higher rates of casualties. History
Pulling the Teeth of the Tiger | Pundit Extracting information on military operations in Afghanistan from the New Zealand Defence Force is difficult at the best of times. The Christmas Eve NZSAS raid on the business premises of the Afghan Tiger Group in Kabul last year was not one of NZDF’s best times... The so-called “combined forces” Christmas raid on the head quarters of the Kabul company that supplies vehicles to the U.S. military seems to have been a messy operation from start to finish. International Security Assistance Force headquarters received credible intelligence that a bomb attack on the U.S. The Afghan Crisis Response Unit being mentored by our SAS was called out, and the Kabul police were alerted. Here in New Zealand, we remained blissfully ignorant of the whole schermozzle – until Jon Stephenson stirred the pot last May with his Metro article “Eyes Wide Shut”. What Jones did not mention was the uproar that the shooting of civilians in the raid caused in Kabul.
New Zealand Special Air Service The New Zealand Special Air Service, abbreviated as the NZSAS, was formed on 7 July 1955 and is the special forces unit of the New Zealand Army, closely modelled on the British Special Air Service (SAS). It traces its origins to the Second World War and the famous Long Range Desert Group that a number of New Zealanders served with. The NZSAS was accorded Regimental status in 2013 and presently has the responsibility of conducting domestic Counter-Terrorism operations, overseas Special Operations missions and performing the disposal of chemical, biological, radioactive and improvised explosive devices for both the military and civilian authorities. History The NZSAS can trace its roots back to the famous Long Range Desert Group, a British/Commonwealth army unit which fought in the North African desert in World War II. The NZSAS were granted the Freedom of the Borough of Thames on 27 September 1967. Unit Location Unit Designation Dress Distinctions Thailand 1962
NATO Member Countries Map, NATO Map The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance of 28 member nations, headquartered in Belgium, that unites the members in a defense pact. A military attack on one of these nations is considered an attack against them all, and each country contributes to the defense. Today, the nations together account for 70 percent of defense spending worldwide. NATO was formed on April 4, 1949, as a collective defense against a common enemy, the Soviet Union, which tried to expand its communist ideology using military might to central and east European countries after World War II. Major political events in Europe and the Balkans, including the coup d'etat in Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1948, became the immediate reasons behind the formation of NATO. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, NATO worked to redefine its role and responsibilities in the years after the fall of the common enemy and with the changing political and economic interests of its member countries.
Topic: NATO’s relations with partners across the globe The contributions from global partners and other countries to NATO-led operations have a direct, advantageous impact for international peace and security. In the Balkans, Argentinean and Chilean forces have worked alongside NATO Allies to ensure security in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Kosovo, Argentina has helped NATO personnel provide medical and social assistance to the local population and cooperated on peace agreement implementation since 1999. In Afghanistan, a number of global partners such as Australia, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, work alongside the Allies as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Pakistan’s support for the efforts of NATO and the international community in Afghanistan remains crucial to the success of the Alliance’s mission, despite past differences. The participation of partners in NATO-led peace-support operations is guided by the Political-Military Framework (PMF), which was developed for NATO-led operations.
Timeline: Nato A chronology of key events: 1949 April - Twelve states - Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States - sign the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington DC. 1950 - US General Dwight Eisenhower appointed supreme Nato commander. 1952 - Greece and Turkey join the alliance. 1955 - West Germany joins Nato; the Soviet Union and eight Eastern European states respond by forming the Warsaw Pact. 1966 - French President Charles de Gaulle announces France's intention to withdraw from Nato's military structure in protest at the dominance of US commanders. 1967 - Nato's new headquarters opened in Brussels. 1982 - Spain joins Nato. 1990 - Nato and Warsaw Pact states sign the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty (CFE) and publish a joint declaration on non-aggression. 1992 - Nato announces its readiness to support peacekeeping activities in the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia operation Expansion Afghan role Bosnia handover
Fast facts about NATO - World In April 2009, NATO marked its 60th anniversary as 28 world leaders converged in France. ((iStock)) The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed shortly after the end of the Second World War to counter the threat of Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Membership (year of entry in brackets): Albania (2009) Belgium (1949) Bulgaria (2004) Canada (1949) Croatia (2009) Czech Republic (1999) Denmark (1949) Estonia (2004) France (1949) (West) Germany (1955) Greece (1952) Hungary (1999) Iceland (1949) Italy (1949) Latvia (2004) Lithuania (2004) Luxembourg (1949) Netherlands (1949) Norway (1949) Poland (1999) Portugal (1949) Romania (2004) Slovakia (2004) Slovenia (2004) Spain (1982) Turkey (1952) United Kingdom (1949) United States (1949) As evidenced by Article One of the treaty, the authors took pains to respect and complement the principles of the United Nations charter, which was signed four years earlier: With the end of the Cold War, NATO was forced to change to suit the times. Structure
Afghanistan—Let's talk about the war | Pundit An investigation into the detention of over 50 Afghanis by New Zealand troops in 2002 has revealed that New Zealand may have failed to meet its obligations under the Geneva Conventions In August, Defence Minister Phil Goff told Radio New Zealand News that the Government was considering a paper that proposed an increase in New Zealand’s military commitment to Afghanistan. [Radio New Zealand News, 14 August 2008]. With the recent deterioration of security in Afghanistan and US Defense Secretary Robert Gates yesterday saying he needs 10-12,000 more troops to confront a resurgent Taliban, the military boost may come soon, and perhaps during Campaign 08. Goff’s problem starts with a letter he wrote to Parliament’s Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade in February 2007. Confronted with this news, Goff disavowed any knowledge of the SAS protest. So, detainees captured – no longer in custody – Red Cross in the loop - end of story. “None.”