Jihad in Islam and Its Manupilation by Terrorist Organizations: Example of Al-Qaeda

Terrorism has existed in all ages and will continue to exist. However, it can be seen that the source of its motivation, which has taken place in the background, has changed in the historical process. The contemporary terror wave has been called “religious terror” in a study carried out by David C. Rapoport to reveal this motivation. It can be seen that the basis of this wave was based on the resistance movement that emerged in Afghanistan following the Soviet occupation at the end of 1979. However, the development that caused an alarming situation in the international environment regarding this terror wave was undoubtedly the September 11 attack. Following this attack, attempts were made to launch Islamic, Islamist or Jihadist concepts of terror as a concrete indicator of the link between Islam and terrorism. And jihad, which is seen as the legitimizing element of terrorism in Islam, was brought to the forefront in this framework and started to be used for this purpose. However, it is seen in the verses that the concept of jihad is used in the Qur’an as a tool of legitimate defense, which is one of the basic principles of international law. Based on the example of Al- Qaeda, this study, in essence, aims to evaluate whether Islam and its jihad doctrine can be a reason for terrorism.