Al-Qaeda, translation: “The Base” and alternatively spelled al-Qaida and sometimes al-Qa’ida) is a global militant Islamist and takfiri organization founded by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, and several other militants, at some point between August 1988 and late 1989, with its origins being traceable to the Soviet war in Afghanistan. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global jihad and a strict interpretation of sharia law. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the European Union, the United States, Russia, India and various other countries. Al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks on non-Sunni Muslims, non-Muslims, and other targets it considers kafir. Amidst the Syrian civil war, Al Qaeda factions started fighting each other, as well as the Kurds and government.
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