al-Qaeda (alternatively spelled al-Qaida and sometimes al-Qa'ida) is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden at some point between August 1988 and late 1989. 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 States, the United Kingdom, various other countries, the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, and NATO (see below). Al-Qaeda has attacked civilian and military targets in various countries. For example, it carried out the September 11 attacks, 1998 US embassy bombings and the 2002 Bali bombings. The US government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the War on Terror. With the loss of key leaders, culminating in the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's operations have devolved from actions that were controlled from the top-down, to actions by franchise associated groups, to actions of lone wolf operators. With the death of key
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