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Need 250 response with 1 cited reference #1 (529)

1) What were the key factors and conditions that allowed Osama Bin Laden to create al Qaeda and build it into a global jihadi terrorist powerhouse network?

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s was instrumental in setting the stage for Osama Bin Laden to create al Qaeda. The war seen as an Afghan jihad among many devout followers of Islam in the region as it was viewed as an international jihad by many Muslims in and around the region. Bin Laden was able to leverage his family’s wealth as a means to train, equip, and advise his newly formed jihadi terrorist group. He was also able to network his al Qaeda organization with other Islamic fundamentalist organizations in Africa, the Asian pacific, and the Middle East. In the late 1980’s Bin Laden was able to successfully open a jihadi training center in Afghanistan. This was the beginning of the metamorphosis of al Qaeda into a linked in, trained, equipped, and capable terrorist network with transnational reach (Farrall, 2017). Victories in small skirmishes with the Soviets increased morale and garnered popularity for the al Qaeda fighters leading to an increase in popularity for Bin Laden’s training center. Recruitment numbers saw an increase as al Qaeda was able to leverage its successes on the battlefield into an effective public relations campaign among Muslims in the region. Gaining notoriety and enjoying successes against a larger, well trained, and equipped Society army saw al Qaeda’s allure grow causing Bin Laden to transform the group from a motley crew of fighters to a complex and secretive organization with a hierarchical leadership body.

2) Compare and contrast the core al Qaeda group (AQ central) with that of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS?

Al-Qaeda is the more reasonable (wow, there’s no way that comes out right) of the two. They are playing the long game when it comes to establishing their caliphate. At their core they are a fundamentalist group that believes they are fighting to establish their caliphate in the distant future. Al-Qaeda came to prominence during and after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan composed of experienced fighters of their so called jihad as well as would be warriors that were lured by the fundamentalist beliefs and success on Afghani battlefields. Al-Qaeda for the most part terrorizes the western societies such as the United States and England as well as their allies.

ISIS is the more extreme brand of radical Islam and believes the present is the end times therefore, they are seeking a caliphate now and by any means they deem necessary. They argue that they are more effective than al Qaeda as they have albeit briefly, established a caliphate. ISIS will argue that they have actually produced something tangible with the Islamic caliphate they created in Iraq. ISIS was borne of the 2003 American invasion of Iraq as a result of the power vacuum created with the toppling of Saddam’s military and the invasion being seen as western occupation of Muslim lands (Holbrook, 2015). ISIS is more barbaric in nature and does not limit its terror to western nations with Muslims often on the receiving end of ISIS’s terror and brutality.


Farrall, L. (2017). Revisiting al-Qaida’s Foundation and Early History. Perspectives on Terrorism, 17-37.

Holbrook, D. (2015). Al-Qaeda and the Rise of ISIS. Survival Global Politics and Strategy, 93-104.

Thomas, C. (2018). Al Qaeda and U.S. Policy:. Washington D.C.: Congressional Research Service.

Need 250 response with 1 cited reference #2 (529)

The most wanted man in the world and widely known terrorist that has ever stepped on this earth is Osama Bin Laden. Born on March 10, 1957 and died in Pakistan May 2, 2011 by they highly trained and effective Navy Seal Team Six. He is best known for masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks on United States soil. This man also created Al Qaeda which built into a global jihadi terrorist powerhouse network. Now there are many key factors and conditions which have allowed this to happen.

Now the first key event which needs to be noted is the Soviet-Afghan War. This was a guerrilla war between the Mujahideen and Maoist against the Democratic Party of Afghanistan and Soviet Army. This war lasted for nine years from December 1979 to February 1989. The following citation allows you to understand the importance of these dates. “1979 Bin Laden graduates from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah with a degree in public administration and economics. He goes to Afghanistan to join the “jihad,” or “holy war,” against the Soviet Union. He remains there for a decade, using construction equipment from his family’s business to help the Muslim guerrilla forces build shelters, tunnels and roads through the rugged Afghan mountains, and at times taking part in battle. 1980 – 1989 Bin Laden raises money for the mujahedeen fighting in Afghanistan and provides them with logistical and humanitarian aid. During these years, he also personally fights in battles against the Soviet Union” (2011). During this event in 1988 Osama Bin Landen founded the terrorist group known as Al Qaeda. The next following event which added fuel to the fire for Bin Laden was Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Bin Laden was angry and showed this all over media because of the United States presence in holy sites such as Mecca. This is in turn allowed his terrorist group of Al Qaeda to gain more followers. Another key factor to mention is money. I mention this because having followings, weapons, bombs and equipment can cost a lot of money. In 1991, it was Bin Laden and Al Qaeda relocated Sudan with their assets which was equal to $20 million dollars. The final key thing to mention that made this successful was the events of 9/11. This was a horrific attack that successfully be fear in the citizens of United States. Being successful with attack the powerhouse of the United States gained great pride and many more followers for Al Qaeda.

Two of the main terrorist groups which a greatly affecting the world are Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. These groups have many things in common but also differ from each other. Now the first key difference to mention is their origins. Al Qaeda started after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and its leader which already stated above was Bin Laden. The Islamic State started as an Iraq organization whose leader was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with funding from Bin Laden. Another key difference to mention is tactics that these organizations use. “The Islamic State does not follow Al Qaeda’s “far enemy” strategy, preferring instead the “near enemy” strategy, albeit on a regional level. As such, the primary target of the Islamic State has not been the United States, but rather “apostate” regimes in the Arab world” (Byman, 2016). ISIS has spread and is now a major issue for not only the world but the United States.

Works Cited

Byman, D. L. (2016, July 28). Comparing Al Qaeda and ISIS: Different goals, different targets. Retrieved February 25, 2020, from…

Timeline: Osama Bin Laden Over The Years. (2011, May 2). Retrieved February 24, 2020, from…

Need 250 response with 1 cited reference #3

Terrorists often identify critical infrastructure in communities as their primary target as damaging critical infrastructure to the point that it becomes inoperable causes the most disruption to the targeted community. Common example of these infrastructure targets may be power substations, water treatment plants, cell and radio towers, and government buildings. While dependent on the design of the building, buildings that are impacted by internal explosions may be susceptible to progressive structural collapse, whereby, the integrity of the buildings is impacted by an initial source causes other areas to collapse due to a loss of structural integrity. An example of a critical asset with a high potential susceptibility to progressive structural collapse would be a high-rise apartment building, as they are high density populations with a limited number of exits; in comparison to a shopping center where there are multiple exits and more space to escape. The attacks on the world trade center on September 11th, 2001, not only transformed the field of homeland security but also provided significant development in architectural design of high-rise buildings such as: the design of building egress routes; fire proofing of key structural elements of buildings; designing against progressive structural failure; and planning for effective placement of stairwells and fire escapes (Atlas, 2013).

As seen in the after-action review of 9/11, preventing progressive structural collapse can be integrated into building design, with key methods being the change in design to fireproof key elements for structural integrity and designing structures to withstand internal explosions will also provide a significant strength in planning/design. Another suggestion to prevent structural collapse would be implementing a strict access control system that would restrict unauthorized personnel and, for facilities of high criticality, having metal detectors/search on points of entry. Actively working to prevent structural damage in the first place would be the most successful form of prevention, while also putting in restrictive barriers to preventing vehicular collisions. This can be done in a soft/aesthetic way through large brick flower beds, fountains, or rock formations outside key entry and structural elements of the critical infrastructure facility.

Three glazing system countermeasures that could be used to protect against blasts are: Heat-strengthened glass, fully tempered glass, and laminated glass (Vigener and Brown, 2016). Heat-strengthened glass has double the strength of standard glass from wind, meaning that it may stay intact if it felt peripheral impact from a blast. Fully tempered glass is believed to be four times the strength of standard glass, limiting the potential for shattering and providing a layer of protection to people either side of the glass, depending on the location of blast, whether it be internal or external. Finally, Laminated glass is found to be four times stronger than much more resistant to shattering than standard glass, with a common use being skylights and overhead glass due to it having much less potential to shattered and cause significant secondary injury to victims from falling glass shards.


Atlas, R. I. (2013). 21st century security and CPTED : designing for critical infrastructure protection and crime prevention. Boca Raton, Fl: Crc Press.

Vigener and Brown. (2016). Glazing | WBDG – Whole Building Design Guide. Retrieved February 26, 2020, from website:

Need 250 response with 1 cited reference #4

tlas defines progressive structural collapse as an event that occurs “when building structural elements disconnect from their connections, a failure of primary structural elements leads to a collapse of the adjoining members, which in turn leads to additional collapse” (Atlas, 2008, p. 191). Atlas offers several considerations for preventing progressive structural collapse including implementing a secondary perimeter as far away from the building as possible, using seismic detailing a connection points, installing windows that comprise no more than 15% of the wall area between support columns, install blast curtains inside windows that can capture shards of glass, and use flower planters as concrete barriers to deter vehicle traffic. Also, Atlas suggests to build new buildings in a geometric rectangular layout to minimize diffraction created when blast waves bounce from U-shaped and L-shaped buildings since the shape of the building, “L”, “W”, or “U”, are likely to trap shockwaves in the vortexes, which can enhance the effect of the blast.

Three types of glazing system countermeasures include wire-reinforced glass, laminated glass, and polycarbonates. Wire-reinforced glass consists of annealed glass with an embedded layer of wire mesh that is primarily used as a fire-resistant and forced-entry barrier. Laminated glass is a pliable pane with multiple layers contained between the glass. Laminated glass is commonly used with other materials to make blast-resistant and ballistic-resistant glass. The interlayer acts as a glue that holds the bond of multiple layers together and may retain glass fragments during a blast. Polycarbonates are used for blast-resistant and forced-entry resistant window designs but are subject to degradation when exposed to the natural weather elements (Purpura, 2010).

An example of progressive structural collapse and its subsequent reconstruction is the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In seconds, half of the building fell from damage sustained from a truck bomb. Also, 70 buildings in a 25-block area sustained structural damage from which glass lacerated more than 80% of the people who sustained injuries during the incident. According to Pollalis, “in approximately 75% of bombings, the most significant damage to people and property comes from the failure of architectural glass” (2006, p. 14) To prevent structural failure in the newly constructed federal building, designers incorporated more steel in the frame and window walls to maintain the building’s structural integrity. Designers also used laminated glass, which can withstand massive blows and absorb energy. In addition, the reinforced building structure used blast-resistant laminated glass, which doesn’t fragment during blasts, unlike the previous building which no glass from any building within a two-block radius survived intact (Pollalis, 2006).


Atlas, R. (2008). 21st Century Security and CPTED. New York: Auerbach Publications,

Pollalis, S. (2006). Oklahoma City Federal Building. Retrieved from

Purpura, P. (2010). Security: An Introduction. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

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