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September 11
Al-Qaeda--"The Base"



Al-Qaeda--"The Base"
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.6

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    fatwas, mujahideen, non-Islamics, Osama, Pro-Western, regimes, oust, terrorism, jihad, havoc, happening, activate, publicity, al-Qaeda, petty, warfare
     content words:    Osama Bin Laden, Bin Laden, All Arab, Saudi Arabia, In March


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Al-Qaeda--"The Base"
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Have you ever watched the TV news and thought, "This just can't be happening"? September 11, 2001, was one of those times for many people. It was a day that brought home a cruel fact terrorism is a part of our world. The events of 9/11 made al-Qaeda (all-KY-dah) the most notorious terrorist group of our day.
 
2     What sort of group would cause such havoc? There is no simple answer. Experts have suggested that al-Qaeda is as much an idea as a body. Al-Qaeda means "the base" or "the camp." It has been described as a loose network of groups and causes. Cells in fifty or more countries around the world function under al-Qaeda's "umbrella."
 
3     Osama Bin Laden led the organization in 2001.. His circle of aides decided strategy, relayed orders, even handled publicity. But each small, separate group had its own system. The isolated cells had little contact with each other. Each financed its own operations. Petty crime or drug trafficking were some ways cells raised money.
 
4     The core of al-Qaeda was formed in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Bin Laden, son of a wealthy Saudi family, joined the fight to oust Soviet forces from Afghanistan. The Soviets did not follow Islam. Muslims considered the Soviet presence in the Islamic nation an offense against Islam. Bin Laden and other Arabs trained and equipped the mujahideen (moo-ha-DEEN), or holy warriors, in what was seen as jihad (GEE-hawd), holy war.

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