The confrontation with Al Qaeda is first and foremost-a battle of ideas. Ideas are one of the most important exports of Saudi Arabia in its quest for Islamic dominance as it regards itself as the spearhead of the Muslim world as the Guardian of the two Holy Places committed to taking care of Muslim communities and minorities around the world. Al-Qaeda’s intellectual origins are a synthesis of two interlinked and equally important sources of influence first, by Abdullah Azzam. Second, from the Saudi Wahhabi purist doctrine, arose in the early 1990s and sought to Islamize Saudi society in response to a perceived Western "cultural attack" on the Muslim world. The Saudi Ulama (Islamic Religious Scholars) have designed to conduct a two-pronged plan to thwart the perceived "Western conspiracy": in the inner arena they sought to purgeSaudi Arabiaof any Western influences and Islamize all aspects of Saudi life, including its judiciary, media, financial institutions, and educational systems. On the external transnational borderless Ummah level, the Saudi Ulama sanctioned—backed by the Saudi establishment–a state sponsored international counterattack campaign in which they attempted to influence the Western world, mainly via Muslims living around the world.
The Means of Combating the Intellectual Attack on the Muslim World, a book published in Mecca by the Saudi-controlled, pan-Islamist Muslim World League, is a typical manifestation of this conception. The author, Hassan Muhammad Hassan, describes the Western intellectual attack as a tumor whose timely detection is critical to the body's recovery. He argued that the West planned a three-stage offensive: first, the West would seek to convince Muslims that Islam is not a complete way of life but merely folklore; then Muslims would doubt their faith, before lastly, abandoning it.