OverviewAl Qaeda (al-Qaeda, al Qaida, al-Qaida, al Qa'ida, al-Qa'ida) is a terrorist organization being fought by the United States and others. They are generally believed to be behind the 2001-09-11 attacks.
The name "al-Qaida" was coined by the United States government based on the name of a computer file belonging to Osama bin Laden that listed the names of contacts he had made in Afghanistan and which referred to the organization as the "Qaida-al-Jihad" — the base of the jihad.
It is unclear whether al Qaeda is a real organization, or just a name used to connect largely unrelated groups having a similar mission (Islam extremism) under a single, more threatening umbrella in order to present a more frightening menace to the public. The organization does not use the name to refer to itself.
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