Al Qaeda believed that the presence of the United States in Muslim lands, such as North Africa, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, is an obstruction to the realization of a pan-Islamic nation. This is why the organization wants to drive out Westerners, Americans in particular, from these lands. Driving out the United States from the Muslim lands means executing campaigns of terror that will cause political, economic and physical damage. But the core leadership of Al Qaeda cannot do this. Thus it relies on local operatives and affiliates to carry out the operations.
Bin Laden and other core leaders of Al Qaeda believe that if they remove the American presence and power, it can create a power vacuum. However, this strategy is not just for the United States but all over the world (McCullough, Keats & Burgess, 2002). The goals of the organization mirror Osama bin Laden’s ambitions. One of the goals is removing the current Islamic leadership. Bin Laden’s organization recognized the leadership as promoting corrupted forms of Islam, secular, and guilty of letting foreign occupation. The other goal is removing U. S. influence in the Middle East and Islamic countries.
Another goal is weakening Israel (Zalman, 2007). Zalman also said that there were rumors about Al Qaeda’s establishing an Islamic caliphate. It consists of a transnational government of Muslims around the world which looks into the state affairs and religion. After the Al Qaeda realizes its short-term goals, it will restore Islamic rule in the Muslim lands. One of its tactics is to replace fallen regimes with an autocracy like that of the former Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Local Al Qaeda affiliates will form these autocracies and expand jihadi influence through them.
Al qaeda also plans to join all of the Islamic governments to restore the Caliphate and rule in the Muslim lands (McCullough, Keats, & Burgess, 2002). Aside from all of these, Al Qaeda uses many other tactics. They include car bombing, hijackings, suicide bombing, roadside bombing and paramilitary operations which target civilians and the military. The organization attacks are carefully planned and usually last for months or years. But Al Qaeda became known for its use of multiple suicide bombings, such as the November 2005 bombing in Amman and July 2005 bombing in London.
In a suicide bombing, two to five bombers synchronize their attacks. This tactic causes more damage and fatalities and creates panic among the victims. Al Qaeda also used the media for its goals. People watched its attacks on television and its taped messages are listened to by millions around the world (Anti-Defamation League, 2007). In Bergen’s (2002) editorial, he reported that Al Qaeda has new tactics, in the form of threats to the United States and other countries. Bin Laden has released taped messages about the continued war against the west. This was brought about by the organization’s loss of headquarters in Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda transformed into a less centralized, but more widely spread organization. Bergen (2002) added that the wave of attacks against the American embassies in Africa and in Yemen was intended to be on economic targets. In 2001, bin Laden again released a videotaped message about the drop in the value of the stock market, loss of jobs and physical damage to New York. Through this tactic of targeting the economy, the organization reached beyond American targets. A truck bombing in Tunisia killed German tourists. Al Qaeda also killed French defense contractors in Pakistan. Bin Laden believed that these attacks were done by “pious Muslims. ”