Through cowardly attacks against targets in the Americas, fundamentalist terrorism has made it clear that it is no longer a distant threat, becoming a serious issue of national security for all Western countries?one on which they all must cooperate in order to defeat. Nevertheless, it can be said that this is not a new conflict, rather the religious nature of the war has given the aggressors different appreciation of time and space, which has not been adequately understood by the West. The evolution and characteristics of this particular conflict can be examined from three perspectives, which, responding to different modes of action, attempt to explain the phenomenon of growing Islamic fundamentalism and its fanatic violence. First, the paper will discuss the rise to power of the Islamic revolution in Iran and fundamentalism, its global influence and actions taken as a result of its initiative. Second, the evolution of the fundamentalist guerrilla war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan will be examined, as well as Afghanistan?s participation in the holy war and the later development of the civil war. Finally, from a third perspective, the appearance of Osama bin Laden as the apparent global fundamentalist leader will be analyzed.
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