EXPLAINER: What was, and is, al-Qaida?

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The terror group al-Qaida under Osama bin Laden grew into a generational threat to America that culminated in its Sept. 11, 2001, attack that brought down the World Trade Center in New York. It was born out of the 1980s war against the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan. It also represented a new kind of danger, a war not against a nation per se but a shadowy network of financiers, acolytes and suicide bombers that continues even after bin Laden’s killing at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs in 2011 in Pakistan. Others have followed their model to even-more horrific results.