Al Qaida(redirected from Al Qæda)
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A terrorist organization founded in the late 1980s. It was established in Pakistan to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Its ideology is based on a certain interpretation of the writings of Sayid Qutb, who argued that "true" Islam had been lost over the years and has to be recovered. It is best known for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which, among other things, destroyed the World Trade Center in the United States and served as the impetus for subsequent American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 2001, Al Qaida has become more decentralized, with various otherwise unrelated groups claiming the name as they conduct terrorist or other activities in different countries.