Blogs > HNN > Do you know all of the myths and urban legends about al Qaeda?

Mar 7, 2010 2:52 pm

Do you know all of the myths and urban legends about al Qaeda?

[Tom Quiggin blogs for]

...One of the most quoted “facts” about al Qaeda is that the personal fortune of USD$300 million of Osama bin Laden was used to finance the organization. There is no $300 million personal fortune. This number was arrived at by taking the total estimated value of the Saudi bin Laden Group and then dividing it by 52 (the number of children conceived by the founder of the company, Mohamed bin Laden). The reality is that there is no evidence to show that the Saudi bin Laden Group was broken up and the assets divided among the children. Nor was any exception made for Osama himself, who was never a favoured son. By 1994 the break between the family, Osama bin Laden and the government of Saudi Arabia was nearly total in nature. By the time Osama bin Laden moved back to Afghanistan in 1996, most evidence shows that both he and his organization were nearly broke and had to reach out to private donors for money.

Another favoured urban legend is that al Qaeda has a “twenty year seven stage grand strategy for the jihadist struggle aimed at achieving a global Caliphate by the year 2020″ to achieve its goals. This is near total nonsense and has been repeated debunked. However, this “fact” still shows up on occasion. The basis of the rumour is a book written by the Jordanian journalist Faoud Hussein who reportedly interviewed two al Qaeda figures who told him about this grand plan. No one else has ever found evidence of this plan. The good news, however, is that we are in stage three of the plan now (if it is true) and there is nothing in the last four stages that calls for attacks on the West. If the “grand plan” is true, then the West is safe!...

comments powered by Disqus