Comparison of Different Terrorist Groups
Taliban stands for a ‘student’, a political organization that ruled Afghanistan since 1996 up to when it was overthrown. It’s now a strong insurgency body prevailing Pashto areas and fighting against the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the NATO International security Assistance Force (ISAF). The boss of this movement is Mullar Mohammed Omar. Taliban is a fundamentalist grouping of the Muslims. This group hasn’t been in control for years but it remains a force in the region that runs parallel governance structures with the intention of undermining the U.S backed central government (Bruno and Kaplan, 2009).
The second terrorist force is the Shia terror outfit. It’s an Iranian-supported terror group that has remained a threat to the US forces in Iraq. It incorporates fighters and leaders from Hezbollah Brigades, a group supported by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The group has done training in Iran and is currently stepping up attacks on US forces (Roggio, 2010)
Differences between Shia and Taliban Islamic terrorist groups
The Taliban terrorist force has its main operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It has got a mixture of mujahedeen who fought the soviet attack of the 1980s and Pashtu tribesmen. Taliban conquered Kabul, Afghan capital, and took over the national government (Bruno and Kaplan, 2009). Contrary to Taliban, the Shia terrorist group has its operation base mainly in Iraq and Iran. The Shia terror organization is backed by the top ranks of Iran’s government. Ordierno, the commander of US forces wonders whether the Shia group is directly connected to the Iranian government. But he argues that the group is connected to the IRGC that reports directly to the to peak of Iranian government’s highest leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Roggio, 2010).
Another pronounced difference between Taliban and Shia Islamic terrorist groups is in their location and area of operation. The Taliban is based in Pakistan and Afghanistan fighting governments in these respective countries with the aim of destabilizing them. On the other hand the Shia Islamic terrorist group is based in Iran and carries out its operations in Iraq with an ulterior motive of causing havoc and destabilizing the country and the US forces (Roggio, 2010).
Relationship between Taliban and Al-Qaeda Islamic terrorist groups
These two groups originate out of Islamic roots and seem almost the same but there is a lot of mismatch between the two. For instance, while Taliban was founded by Mulla Mohamed Omar, Osama bin Laden gets the credit for the origin and growth of the al Qaeda group (Differnecebetween.net, 2010)
Another outstanding feature that differentiates the two is the fact that Al Qaeda is made up of Sunni Muslims practicing wahabism considered to be far extreme from islam.Al Qaeda’s intention is to establish Islamic rule and replace all governments with Islamic leaders. While Taliban initially comprised of very conservative religious students. Taliban’s have a strong belief in sharia law. Also, Taliban is restricted to a particular religion which is of course Islam; Al Qaeda has got no boundaries meaning it can spread across all religions.
In essence, this indicates that in as much as Taliban and Al Qaeda may share some of the intentions and aspirations, they are very different terrorist groups with ultimately different intentions.
Relationship between Shia and Al Qaeda terrorist groups
Hezbollah is predominantly Shiite and Al Qaeda mostly Sunni. It appears that Sunnis have Al Qaeda while Shiites have Hezbollah (Operation New Down, 2009). Operation New Down (2009) also notes that Al Qaeda is 99% Sunni.
Shiite is not AL Qaeda at all because Al Qaeda is Sunni when Shiite and Sunni don’t see eye to eye in Iraq. As a matter of fact, the Shiite is taking on revenge attacks on Sunni’s and foreign Al Qaeda militia due to the oppression they underwent during the Saddam Hussein regime. In essence, Shia terrorist group is not by any chance linked to the al Qaeda apart from the Islamic faith that they both proclaim (Differencebetween.net, 2010)
Similarities between Shiites, Taliban and the al Qaeda
Despite the differences between different Islamic terrorist groups, the Islamic sects have common traditions, beliefs, and doctrines. All Muslims deem that the Prophet Muhammad was the messenger of Allah (Arabic for God). All think that they must stand by the revelations given to the Prophet by Allah (as recorded in the Quran) and by the hadith which are the sayings of the Prophet and his companions according to the (Operation New Down, 2009).
Again since all the terrorist groups are based on the Muslim faith, they believe in ‘jihad’ a constant struggle to defend the rights to freedom of worship. Therefore they view the US and its relations as a common enemy out to frustrate their efforts.
The Shiites are by no means al Qaeda because from the findings, we have seen that Shiites and Sunnis are two antagonistic Islamic terrorist groups with Sunnis allied to the Al Qaeda. Again it should be noted with deep concern that Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda is a Sunni Muslim, pointing to the fact that al Qaeda cannot incorporate the Shiites.
However, it’s worthy noting that the Taliban activities are funded by the Al Qaeda terrorist group pointing to the fact that al Qaeda and Taliban is almost similar. Most of the attacks Al Qaeda carry out in the disguise of Taliban group.
The al Qaeda terrorist group seems to be the umbrella body for all the terrorist groups but Shia is an independent one. Also it’s important to note that al Qaeda is distributed across the world and its difficult o locate it but. On the contrary, Taliban can be limited to Afghanistan and Pakistan while Shia can be traced to its origin in Iran and its operations in Iraq
Bruno, G., & Kaplan, E. (2009, August). Taliban in Afghanistan. Retrieved from http://www.cfr.org/publication/10551/taliban_in_afghanistan.html
Differencebetween.net. (2010). Difference between Taliban and Al Qaeda. Retrieved from http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-taliban-and-al-qaeda/
Operation New Down. (2009, July). Insurgency. Retrieved form http://www.usf-iraq.com/?option=com_content&task=view&id=729&Itemid=45
Roggio, B. (2010, July). Remains Iranian-backed Shia terror group a threat in Iraq: General Odierno. The Long War Journal. Retrieved form http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/07/iranianbacked_shia_t_1.php