On February 23, 1998, Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Ayman al-Zawahiri “and bin Laden merged their organizations with groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh to form the World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders, creating the organization now known as al Qaeda. The new front promised to wage jihad against all Americans–civilians and military alike–until the holy cities of Jerusalem and Mecca were liberated from Israel and the corrupt Saudi regime and all American military forces were expelled from the Islamic world.”

 – Bruce Riedel, The Search for Al Qaeda, Pages 23-24