[al-key-duh, ‐kahy-duh] /ælˈkeɪ də, ‐ˈkaɪ də/
a radical Sunni Muslim organization dedicated to the elimination of a Western presence in Arab countries and militantly opposed to Western foreign policy: founded by Osama bin Laden in 1988.
Also, al-Qaida.
< Arabic al-qa'ida, literally, the base
British Dictionary definitions for al qaeda
al-Qaeda or al-Qaida (ælˈkaɪdə, ælkɑːˈiːdə, ælˈkaɪdə, ælkɑːˈiːdə)
a loosely-knit militant Islamic organization led and funded by Osama bin Laden, by whom it was established in the late 1980s from Arab volunteers who had fought the Soviet troops previously based in Afghanistan; known or believed to be behind a number of operations against Western, especially US, interests, including bomb attacks on two US embassies in Africa in 1998 and the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York in 2001
[C20: from Arabic al-qā`ida the base]
al-Qaida or al-Qaida
[C20: from Arabic al-qā`ida the base]

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Word Origin and History for al qaeda
al Qaeda
alternative Eng. transliteration of Arabic al Qaida (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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al qaeda in Culture
Al Qaeda [(ahl-kay-da)]

An Islamic terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden. It is generally believed to have been responsible for the September 11 attacks.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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