Maktab al khidamat, The Office for Services in Arabic, was established by Osama Bin Laden and Dr’ Abdullah Azzam in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 1982, with full coordination of the CIA and ISI, the Pakistani Military Intelligence, in order to facilitate the flow of thousands Muslim volunteers to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Russians. Volunteers that considered themselves as ” Mujahidin” – Islamic holy warriors.


 The CIA helped to construct a world wide network to recruit Muslim volunteers al over the Western world and, through the services of Maktab al Khidamat, send them to fight in Afghanistan. The Maktab al Khidamat represented itself as an ordinary travel agency for young people who wanted to travel to the exotic places in Pakistan and Central Asia.

With time the Maktab al Khidamat provided also basic military training to the Mujahidin, medical care and treatment to those wounded in the war. Maktab al Khidamat also raised money all over the Muslim World for the war and for the needy in Afghanistan.

In 1987 Osama Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan with Dr’ Ayman Al Zawahiri and the Maktab al Khidamat expended its activity and provided the Mujahidin a safe haven in Peshawar, Pakistan, where they could regroup after the battles, re supply and find a place to rest. With time the Mujahidin began to call the Maktab al Khidamat – Al Qaeda , “The Base” in Arabic.

All later activity of Al Qaeda relied on the world wide connections established through Maktab al Khidamat during the 80S’ in Pakistan and Afghanistan and on the network of recruiting new volunteers in the Mosques, Islamic charities and wealthy Muslim donors, especially in the rich  Western Democracies .


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