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Al Qaeda

Last Updated: Tuesday May 03 2011 10:24 GMT

What is al-Qaeda?

Al Qaeda fighters

Al-Qaeda is an armed network of Sunni Muslims with very extreme views.

They have been blamed for a lot of attacks and bombings in different countries all over the world.

They are opposed to a lot of western governments, who have called them a terrorist organisation.

They want countries like the US to stop having influence in the Middle East - particularly in places like Iraq and Israel.

Their leader was a man called Osama Bin Laden. However in May 2011 he was killed by American soldiers.

Although the group claims to be on a holy war, many Muslims say what they are doing is very wrong.

It's thought they are loosely organised, with one al-Qaeda group, or cell, not really knowing very much about another.

The name al-Qaeda means "the base".

Guide to Al Qaeda