This article belongs to Australia - Land of the Free? column.

What does Al-Qaeda want? What are their aims? What will stop them from sending out their killers (or freedom fighters from their perspective) to cause havoc on the world?

The United States Department of Defense defines the organisation as –

A radical Sunni Muslim umbrella organisation established to recruit young Muslims into the Afghani Mujahideen and is aimed to establish Islamist states throughout the world, overthrow ‘un-Islamic regimes', expel US soldiers and Western influence from the Gulf, and capture Jerusalem as a Muslim city.

It is time the West made more of an effort to understand Militant Islamic motives. And, it is time moderate Islamic people made more of an effort to speak out against the militants. Or at least explain the motives of the militants in a language that is understandable.

Most in the West believe Islamic Militants want to kill us for who and what we are. That may be the rhetoric but what is the real reason? What is it about Westerners that Islamic militants don't like?

Perhaps in trying to understand the Militant Islamist motivation it becomes clearer when we consider Osama Bin Laden's anger at American soldiers being deployed in Saudi Arabia, the land of the two mosques (Mecca and Medina), which profaned sacred soil during the first Gulf War, shortly afterwards, the movement that became known as Al-Qaeda was formed.

USA and other Western Nation's support and nurturing of Israel are another reason for Al-Qaeda anger.

Al-Qaeda has a structure of semi-autonomous cells, and it's size and degree of responsibility for particular attacks are difficult to establish. For instance does Bin Laden have to approve operations in the name of Al-Qaeda or do the various groups have autonomy. The recent botched attacks in Great Britain would suggest the latter by their apparent amateurism. It also appears that neologism ‘Al-Qaedaism' is applied to the wider context of those who independently conduct similar acts through political sympathy to al-Qaeda ideology or methods or the copycat effect.

If that is correct, and the cart is pulling the horse, anyone who hates westerners and their ideology can describe themselves as Al-Qaeda. That means governments have to deal with groups in their particular regions and not with some central authority.

Despite the killing of innocent bystanders and a few targeted soldiers Al-Qaeda has made very little progress in fulfilling their aims if the above statement is in anyway accurate. Even if all Islamic Militants are loosely brought under the umbrella of Al-Qaeda the progress to create Islamic states worldwide has to be judged as not likely to happen.

Take Al-Qaeda's crowning achievement the Nine-Eleven attack – other than the publicity – it hardly caused a slight hiccup to the USA as a nation, except to make them extremely angry. Although it greatly affected those who were killed and lost loved ones. And if it wasn't for the Bush administration's preoccupation with Iraq instead of concentrating on Afghanistan if may be that Al-Qaeda would have brought about their downfall through this action.

The media paints the organisation as militant terrorists that have a lust for killing because they hate western white people and nothing will change their minds.The suicide bombers are coming because they are killing for God. To me that doesn't wash, there must be an agenda and a reason. What is it? It is essential that the West understand what will satisfy the militants. It may not be that those demands can be fulfilled but at least we will know.

It may be as simple as getting non-Islamist troops out of the Middle East.

Many in the West could understand and agree with Islamists on that one.

Source – Wikipedia Encyclopedia