The global jihad is the name given to the international network of Islamist terrorist organizations sharing Al-Qaeda's ideology. The global jihad was established in 1998, and its full name is the "World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders." It serves as an umbrella organization for coalitions of terrorist organizations and independent terrorist networks with common ideologies and sharing operational ties.
All the organizations in the global jihad strive to spread Islam and establish Islamic law in all the countries in the world through a jihad against the West and its allies (among them Israel and the pro-Western Arab states). Global jihad organizations advocate a total, uncompromising battle in which the ends justify any and all means. Some of the global jihad networks carry out independent terrorist attacks and others cooperate, at various levels, with Al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda is the dominant factor in the global jihad's umbrella organization. It was founded in 1988 in Pakistan, and until his death was led and financed by Osama bin Laden. Ideologically it is based on Salafi Islam, according to which jihad as the personal duty of every Muslim. Al-Qaeda has been behind a series of attacks against the United States, including the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. Osama bin Laden was killed by the United States Army on May 2, 2011. He was succeeded as head of Al-Qaeda by his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, born in Egypt and one of Al-Qaeda's founders.