Terrorism is a term that strikes fear into the nerves of most people. Humankind has practiced terrorist acts since the beginning of recorded history. The acts have made kingdoms rise, fall, and enabled individuals to gain authority. Terrorist acts are increasingly becoming a major difficulty in the current unsteady world. The al Qaeda training manual, found in May 2000 by British investigators in Manchester, England, provides guidelines for training operations of potential terrorists (Thetulsan.com, n.d.).
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At the beginning of the manual, I am shocked to find out that even women are potential al Qaeda recruits. Moslem women are most of the time regarded as inferior to men; hence, it shocks me to find out that they can take part in responsibilities endowed to men. I feel that Moslems should not look at other religions as sabotaging their existence. This is because, in reference to Adam, Moslems are able to trace their ancestry to a similar sources as the Christians and Jews. The manual indicates that the overall purpose of al Qaeda is to get rid of ‘godless regimes.’ The strategy is to employ covert agents to commit terrorist acts.
Sanctioned activities of the terrorist organization vary from small, destructive acts to causing death, to reckless use of weapons (Gaines, 1987; Townshend, 2002). In this, I get the hint that the manual was made to be used mostly in developing countries. This is because the performance of acts is motivated to look at tourists and some uncomplicated pieces of infrastructure as worthwhile targets. The goal of the jihadis not just to form a united country of Moslems, but a global community of adherents declaring loyalty to one individual. The terrorist group intends to have a leader whose decrees will be absolute and reckoned as though from God himself (Marc, 2004).
I think that by referring to the ‘Afghan armies,’ dates the manual to the early ’90s. The noticeable absence of any reference to digital information is also proof that the manual was written then. This is the period when the Taliban overthrew the Russian puppet government in Kabul. The manual has made me realize that the recruitment process for terrorists follows strict rules since certain qualifications are closely looked at. The terrorist organization has a separate Finance Committee. This committee is responsible for collecting, dispersing, and recovery of the funds of the organization. I think that this committee might have contributed to the writing of the section of the manual about finances. In communicating, the organization adheres to strict tenets of secrecy.
In conclusion, this manual gives the inner workings of al Qaeda, and its discovery is a remarkable effort towards preventing future terrorist acts. I am a little bit amazed at the elaborate structure of al Qaeda. The group has well laid down procedures to ensure that they carry out their purposes with immense accuracy. However, if so much is known about al Qaeda, why then do we allow them to continue with their training operations in broad daylight? From the manual, it is evident that terrorists are committed to fulfilling their purposes. The threat of terrorism in our world is still a huge problem (United States Marine Corps, 2007). Therefore, concerted efforts must be made to reduce these acts by implementing adequate initiatives for prevention, detection, and action. It is my belief that the global War on Terror can only be won by enacting appropriate counter-terrorism measures to suppress the training activities of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
Gaines, P. (1987). Terrorism Past, Present and Future. New York: Bantam.
Marc, S. (2004). Understanding Terror Networks. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Thetulsan.com. (n.d.). The Declaration of Jihad against the county’s tyrants. Web.
Townshend, C. (2002). Terrorism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
United States Marine Corps. (2007). Individual’s Guide for Understanding and Surviving Terrorism. New York: Cosimo Publications.