TOP US intelligence officials believe al-Qa’ida or associated groups are “certain” to attempt a further terrorist attack on the US in the next three to six months.

Al-Qa’ida ‘poised to strike US again’

  • Brad Norington, Washington correspondent
  • From: The Australian
  • February 04, 2010 12:00AM

TOP US intelligence officials believe al-Qa’ida or associated groups are “certain” to attempt a further terrorist attack on the US in the next three to six months.

The director of US national intelligence, Dennis Blair, gave the dire warning in a Senate hearing yesterday as part of his annual threat assessment.

Questioned by senators, Mr Blair’s view was shared by other officials present, including CIA director Leon Panetta and FBI director Robert Mueller.

Although indicating no specific information about a pending attack, the intelligence chiefs singled out the evolving tactics of al-Qa’ida as the most serious threat to the US.

“My greatest concern, and what keeps me awake at night, is that al-Qa’ida and its terrorist allies and affiliates could very well attack the United States,” Mr Panetta told the Senate intelligence committee.

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The testimony of intelligence chiefs follows heightened anxiety about the prospect of further attacks on US soil after the failed attempt to destroy a domestic airliner on Christmas Day shortly before its arrival in Detroit.

According to Mr Blair and his colleagues, the biggest threat is unlikely to be a large-scale, highly co-ordinated attack similar to the hijacking of aircraft on September 11, 2001.

Instead they believe al-Qa’ida is adapting its methods to make them more difficult to detect.

Mr Panetta said US intelligence agencies believed al-Qa’ida was relying more on recruits with little history of involvement in terrorist organisations and giving them little training and using simpler devices.

Another increasing concern was “homegrown” extremists

acting alone, following the attack on fellow soldiers at the Texas military base in November by accused army major Nidal Malik Hasan.

“It’s the lone-wolf strategy that I think we have to pay attention to as the main threat to this country,” Mr Panetta said.

The elevated terrorist warning came as officials confirmed that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man accused of trying to blow up the jet in Detroit, had started co-operating again with investigators. After his arrest, Abdulmutallab provided information for almost an hour to interrogators about how he had been trained by an al-Qa’ida branch based in Yemen. But he stopped talking and asked for a lawyer when he was advised of his “Miranda rights” under US law, which allow the right to remain silent and to call a lawyer.

Yesterday’s Senate hearing degenerated into a bipartisan wrangle at one point as Democrat and Republican senators argued over whether accused terrorists should be read their Miranda rights and face justice in military rather than civilian courts. It emerged yesterday that Abdulmutallab agreed to start talking again to investigators last month after authorities flew two members of his family from Nigeria to the US to speak to him.

Officials are most interested in any contact he had with Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born radical Muslim cleric now in Yemen.

Mr Blair, who has previously said Abdulmutallab should have been questioned first by a special interrogation group that is not yet fully operational, changed his tune in the Senate hearing yesterday. Indicating he supported the FBI’s decision to read the suspect his rights soon after capture, he said: “The balance struck in the case was a very understandable balance. We got very good intelligence.”

He also said criminal courts or military commissions should be decided case by case.

Al Qaeda and the Election

Al Qaeda and the Election

By Raymond Ibrahim

Is al Qaeda trying to influence the American presidential election?

Former counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke recently suggested that al Qaeda may be trying to do so.  After describing al Qaeda’s recent attacks in the Middle East (Yemen, Pakistan), Clarke stated that these strikes may have been primarily geared at aggrandizing al-Qaeda’s capabilities via the media. 

 

He then concluded that “Even more likely is the possibility that al Qaeda would hope the [“media-amplified”] attack would benefit John McCain. Opinion polls, which, as noted above, al Qaeda reads closely, suggest that an attack would help McCain. Polls in Europe and the Middle East also suggest an overwhelming popular support there for Barack Obama. Al Qaeda would not like it if there were a popular American president again.”

 

Clarke does not, however, explain why it is that al-Qaeda eschews a “popular president”or what that even means.  Nor does he explain why al-Qaeda would want McCain, of the two candidates, the one who has been more forthright about associating Islamic ideology with al-Qaeda.

 

Moreover, the recent attacks in Yemen and Pakistan reveal very little: Islamist organizations have been attacking “apostate” governments from the beginning, well before 9/11; there is no reason to tie these events to American elections and certainly not see them as benefiting McCain.

 

That said, there is plenty of evidence that al-Qaeda has long been interested in influencing the outcome of American elections.  Their primary method is propaganda — those many chastising al-Jazeera communiqués by Osama bin Laden and his Second Ayman Zawahiri that have become mainstays over the years.  The most obvious example is when a long bin Laden video surfaced days before the 2004 presidential election (Bush and Kerry).

 

Then, bin Laden repeatedly portrayed Bush as a war-mongering racist (Bin Laden once even managed to sneak in a remark about the treatment of the American natives at the hands of the white man, and Malcolm X-quoting Zawahiri the treatment of his “black brothers” in America). Bin Laden further depicted Bush Sr as a wanna-be “monarch,” who established his sons on “thrones,” and was responsible for “the mass slaughter of [Muslim] children.”

 

Bush Jr was portrayed as being “blinded by the black-gold [oil],” which he killed “millions of children in Iraq” for.  Bin Laden even managed to mock Bush for the now infamous anecdote — thanks to Michael Moore — concerning the president reading a goat-story to children when the strikes of 9/11 commenced.  

 

Bin Laden concluded by saying that peace and security do not revolve around presidential candidates, but are rather in the hands of the people. But he also knew that the people’s will is made manifest in the president they elect.  In other words, by mercilessly bashing Bush, his father, and his party, with nary a word about Kerry, he simultaneously implied that, if anyone, only the latter has a chance of ushering in peace and security.

 

More interestingly, in this same pre-2004 election harangue, bin Laden voiced no complaints or grievances concerning the eight year interval separating the father from the son — the “Clinton era” — further fueling the notion that the liberal Clintonesque Democrats, ever celebrating diversity, tolerance, and equality, will set the world to right. 

 

At any rate, it is important to note that bin Laden’s pre-2004 election message offered nothing new, simply that long list of endless, ever-morphing grievances, with the usual assertion that if only Americans would vote for someone who ameliorates these grievances — not another “war monger” — the war would end. 

 

It should be clear by now (see the AQ documents in The Al Qaeda Reader) that the “grievance-mantra” is simply a smokescreen for a much more existential animus that has little to do with America’s temporal actions.  In other words, all foreign policy aside, bin Laden has made it perfectly clear that nothing less than submission to Islam, what Islamic law demands, will ever guarantee peace between the West and al-Qaedist radicals.  Al-Qaeda has repeatedly stated this in their clandestine writings to Muslims.

 

Even so, being utterly incapable of understanding theological doctrines and motivations, let alone apparently even appreciating textual evidence, the Left seems to still be convinced that the root problem is foreign policy, and that the solution is appeasement and concessions. Ex-Cia analyst Michael Scheuer, for instance, not only willfully chooses to ignore the blatant evidence contained in The Al Qaeda Reader concerning that organization’s ultimate motivations, but he dismisses it, that is, their own words, as a “neo-con” ploy — perpetrated by yours truly — while continuing to characterize bin Laden as, at once, Robin Hood, St. Francis of Assisi, and Thomas Jefferson.

 

Al-Qaeda and Islamists in general know and rely on such unbridled Western liberal guilt.  Indeed, it is not implausible to say that, based on history — from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton — al-Qaeda has reasoned that  it is always best to have a Democrat in office, someone who, while not taking radical Islam seriously, that is, not appreciating its metaphysical components, will try to appease by making “physical” concessions.  And above all, someone who will not wage an offensive war against the terrorists, thereby giving al-Qaeda types worldwide that one thing they desperately need: Time.  Time to regroup; time for the Western economy to falter (“We will bleed you like we did Russia”); time for Muslim nations to grow stronger, possibly acquiring nukes. Time to resurrect the caliphate.

 

Based on all this, what can one expect from al-Qaeda in regard to the upcoming presidential elections? 

 

For starters, it must be understood that al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack, followed by their many grievance-filled communiqués — which have only received more credence by the liberal Left’s assent — have already taken a toll on American society, mostly by making widespread the notion that “more of the same,” that is, another Republican WASP president, will only lead to more of the same strife and terrorism.  Hence that profound Democrat slogan: “Change.”

 

This may be precisely what al-Qaeda hoped for with the 9/11 strikes — to convince Americans that Muslims are really angry, and to reinforce this fact with a barrage of indoctrinating communiqués insisting that this anger is entirely related to US foreign policy.  Thus the need for “change,” the need to break away from Bush and his party, a popular if unconscious position that an increasing number of Americans from across the political divide seem to be taking.  And while al-Qaeda may have planted this seed, the Left has run with it.

 

Enter Barack Hussein Obama, the ultimate representation of change, literally and figuratively: not only is he a liberal Democrat (i.e., “tolerant,” “peace-minded,” even “enlightened”); he is black (i.e., understands what it means to be a minority, to be the “other”); and his name is Barack Hussein Obama (i.e., as opposed to yet another George or John — very Christian names — he has a decidedly Arab/Muslim name that will surely endear Muslims to America). Who better to make peace with the rest of the, especially Muslim, world? Who better to make them like us?

 

This notion was most recently articulated by Jesse Jackson who “promised ‘fundamental changes’ in US foreign policy [if Obama wins], saying America must ‘heal wounds’ it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the ‘arrogance of the Bush administration.”’  Concluded Jackson: “Barack is determined to repair our relations with the world of Islam and Muslims. Thanks to his background and ecumenical approach, he knows how Muslims feel while remaining committed to his own faith.”

 

Lest anyone assume that al-Qaeda is not sophisticated enough to connive such a feat of reverse psychology to their benefit, the Madrid bombings of 2004 should be recalled: three days before Spain’s general elections, explosions in Madrid commuter trains planted by al-Qaeda operatives killed 191 people and injured approximately 1,460.Three days later, Jose Zapatero and his ultra-liberal Socialist party — which also went on to legitimize gay-marriage in Spain — won the election.  There is good reason to believe that the Socialist party received a big boost in votes precisely because of the Madrid bombings, as many people were convinced the attack came in response to their involvement in Iraq.

 

The very day after winning the elections, Zapatero promised to withdraw Spain’s 1,300 troops from Iraq, saying, “The war [in Iraq] has been a disaster [and] the occupation continues to be a disaster. It has only generated violence.” One month later the last of Spain’s troops left Iraq. Bin laden must have been delighted, evinced by the fact that he often indicated this Spanish response as a step in the right direction. More telling is the fact that the first question Jamal Zougam (one of the arrested suspects of the Madrid bombings) asked upon arriving at the Courthouse on 15 March 2004: “Who won the election?’ He must’ve been pleased to know that the terrorist attack achieved the desired result.

 

Yet while bin Laden’s 2004 “political campaigning” worked in Spain, it failed in the US.  (After all, Kerry — not to mention Obama’s running mates — were all white.) Will al-Qaeda try again to influence this year’s elections?  It may well have reasoned that it’s not necessary; the leftist media has already done the job.

 

Bottom line: without 9/11, the meteoric rise of Senator Obama would have been inconceivable.  In this sense, then, Osama paved the way for Obama.

Raymond Ibrahim is the translator and editor of The Al Qaeda Reader.

Whistling Past the Graveyard

Whistling Past the Graveyard

By John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | 7/25/2008

Last week, columnist Paul Weyrich reported that there is credible evidence that Osama bin Laden has acquired twenty suitcase-sized nuclear bombs from Chechen rebels in the former Soviet Union and smuggled them into the United States by way of the Mexican border. If that is true, the al Qaeda kingpin has laid the groundwork for an “American Hiroshima” plan that he intends to carry out in the very near future. Once bin Laden gives the signal, his henchmen will proceed to detonate their explosives in a number of separate U.S. cities, leaving them in irreparable ruins and killing tens of millions of people in the process.

In other words, while the Left, ever since 9/11, has argued passionately against sealing the southern U.S. border on grounds that such an initiative would constitute “racism,” “xenophobia,” a violation of “human rights,” a repudiation of “American values,” and a “threat to the environment,” bin Laden has quietly and happily exploited our national insanity and set the stage, from his cave somewhere in the remote mountains of Pakistan, for the cataclysmic end of the most powerful nation in world history.

If bin Laden indeed has been able to set in motion this nightmare scenario, he succeeded for one very simple reason: America’s military might has been offset by a weakness of spirit that has become a hallmark of the modern Western world. It is a frailty that derives entirely from the leftist worldview that has infected America over the past half-century. This view identifies Western (especially American) culture as a uniquely evil, exploitative player in the story of mankind, and depicts all acts of barbarism against the U.S. as wholly understandable reactions to American transgressions. It is a mindset that has gradually, incrementally, and inexorably made its “long march through the institutions,” — the schools, the seminaries and churches, the media, the entertainment industry, the courts, and the political sphere — just as the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci prescribed in the 1920s.

Gramsci understood that by poisoning the culture from within, and by so degrading and undermining the culture’s faith in itself, the American people could be compelled to believe, to their very marrow, that their heritage was in fact unworthy of defending against those who would destroy it under the banner of so-called “multiculturalism.” Gramsci and his successors were patient enough to allow this time-consuming process to unfold, knowing that the American way of life could be bled to death ever-so-slowly, almost imperceptibly, without the firing of a single shot until the time was just right. The fact that the person who ultimately may fire that shot is a seventh-century-style savage whose fanatical “religious” worldview bears no resemblance whatsoever to the ideals of Gramsci and his fellow Marxists, is not as strange as one might think. As bin Laden himself declared in a fatwa issued on Al-Jazeera Television just before American and British troops entered Iraq in March 2003: “The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders.”

Given that bin Laden’s agents of nuclear holocaust apparently were smuggled into our country by way of the Mexican border, it is worth recalling what some of the luminaries of the Left have had to say, in recent years, vis a vis defending that border by means of increased surveillance and the construction of a fence to repel illegal invaders:

      American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser attributes the concerns that many Americans have about illegal immigration to a “wave of anti-immigrant hysteria.” Wade Henderson of the ACLU’s Washington, DC office claims that the desire to regulate immigration can be traced directly to “hostility motivated by nativism, racism, and red scare.” In May 2008, the ACLU produced a tearjerker advertisement lamenting how a fence somewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border had ruined Mother’s Day for a Mexican woman and her daughter by keeping them apart.

American Friends Service Committee
(AFSC):  Viewing the United States as the world’s primary agent of evil and exploitation, this group has posted on its website a detailed list of strategies by which illegal aliens — in the event that they are interrogated, detained, or arrested — can avoid cooperating with immigration authorities or police. According to AFSC, a border fence would “disrupt” area residents’ “way of life” and “has never proven to be a long-term, practical solution to the immigration dilemma.” The organization further contends that such a fence would constitute “a form of violence to the environment” because “it is expected to cause irreversible damage to the Tijuana River Estuary environs as well as cause erosion and flooding in Tijuana.”

Border Action Network
(BAN): This neo-Marxist group seeks “to ensure that those who are most impacted [i.e., illegal aliens] by border and immigration policies are at the forefront of movements calling for human dignity and civil rights …” Advocating the dissolution of American borders, BAN calls for unchecked, unregulated migration into and out of the United States. The organization has filed lawsuits against what it calls “an ugly movement of armed, militia-style civilian groups” and “anti-immigrant, white supremacist groups” — such as American Border Patrol and Ranch Rescue — for their practice of detaining illegal aliens and calling government border agents to arrest them. BAN co-director Jennifer Allen said in 2002: “They [illegal immigrants] have civil rights and human rights that take precedence over defending the country.” Former BAN spokesman Chris Ford, for his part, expresses concern that “this [fence] plan will cause massive environmental destruction” affecting in particular the Sonoran Pronghorn, an animal that resembles an antelope and is considered an “endangered species.”

National Council of Churches
(NCC): A longtime enemy of the United States, NCC in the 1950s and 1960s, under the rubric of charity, provided financial assistance to the communist regimes in Yugoslavia and Poland. In the 1970s it helped finance Soviet-sponsored guerrilla incursions into Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, and Angola. It the 1980s it contributed large sums of money to the Marxist Sandinista Party in Nicaragua and communist guerrillas in El Salvador. Moreover, the organization has supported Fidel Castro’s (and now his successor’s) regime in Cuba for decades.

In April 2008, NCC co-signed an interfaith letter to Congress expressing “grave concern over the environmental destruction currently occurring in the U.S.-Mexico border region” as a result of the “hasty construction of hundreds of miles of fencing along the border.” “The current path of the border fence,” NCC explained, “cuts through places like Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, home to over 500 species of plants, 50 species of mammals, and nearly 300 species of birds. Construction of the fence is severing migration routes and destroying thousands of acres of wildlife habitat. In Arizona alone, 39 species protected or proposed to be protected under the Endangered Species Act are being adversely affected by Border Patrol activities, including construction of the fence….”

Defenders of Wildlife
(DOW): This environmentalist group has warned that the erection of a border fence will have “serious and lasting” effects on the region’s wildlife, water, and air. According to DOW associate Jenny Neeley, such a fence will significantly impact biological diversity along the border by preventing desert animals from moving around freely. “Right now,” she says, “on the U.S.-Mexico border there are 47 endangered species, including the jaguar, the ocelot, the lesser long nosed bat and numerous bird species.” Neeley further complains that the bright lights used by border patrol officers during overnight hours can cause great harm to “nocturnal animals.”

National Council of La Raza
(NCLR): This organization favors amnesty for illegals already residing in the U.S., and open borders henceforth. In NCLR’s calculus, any restriction on the free movement of immigrants constitutes a violation of their civil liberties, and any reduction in government assistance to illegal border-crossers is “a disgrace to American values.” Thus NCLR supports continued mass Mexican immigration to the United States, and hopes to achieve, by the sheer weight of numbers, the re-partition of the American Southwest as a new state called “Aztlan” — to be controlled by its alleged rightful owners, the people and government of Mexico. In October 2006, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía said that the prospect of a border fence “doesn’t solve the immigration issue, it makes it worse.”

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
(MALDEF): Over the course of its 40-year history, MALDEF has undertaken numerous legal campaigns to abet the cause of illegal immigration. In 1994, for example, the organization condemned Operation Gatekeeper, a U.S. government program intended to restore integrity to a particularly porous stretch of the California-Mexico border. Claiming that this initiative was callously “diverting” illegal border-crossers “from California to the harsh and dangerous Arizona desert,” MALDEF charged that Americans opposing unrestricted immigration were motivated largely by “racism and xenophobia.”

In 2006 MALDEF’s Interim President and General Counsel John Trasviña called the prospective border fence “a travesty” that “will take years to complete and does nothing to address America’s immigration or labor needs.” An official MALDEF statement said that such a fence would “make illegal crossings more deadly and dangerous” and would cause hardship for “American families who want to be reunited with loved ones.”

League of United Latin American Citizens
(LULAC): In December 2005 LULAC created a website titled “WeAreRacists.com,” which portrayed the Minuteman Project — a nonviolent organization of U.S. citizens who alert the Border Patrol to the presence of unauthorized border-crossers in the American Southwest — as “an anti-immigrant group” composed of “racists, cowards, un-Americans (sic), vigilantes, [and] domestic terrorists” who are “often affiliated with white supremacy groups.”

LULAC opposes border-patrol policies that would authorize the U.S. military to prevent illegal immigration, on grounds that “military personnel are not trained for border patrolling and might easily violate the civil rights of those they intervene with.” José Velez, who headed the League from 1990 to 1994, has said that the U.S. Border Patrol is “the enemy of my people and always will be.” In 2006 LULAC National President Hector. M. Flores condemned the prospective security fence as “an affront to immigrant communities [that] will create a permanent scar in the relationship between the United States and our southern neighbors.” “Building a ‘Berlin’ style wall between ourselves and our neighbor,” he added, “is un-American, undemocratic, and unacceptable in a free society.

Democrats
: In April 2008, fourteen House Democrats, including eight committee chairmen, said they would file a brief supporting a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s plans to finish erecting nearly 500 miles of fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the year. Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers said, “Our responsibility to be stewards of the earth cannot be thrown aside for the sake of an ill-conceived border fence.”

If indeed Osama bin Laden’s nuclear holocaust looms just over the horizon, life as we have known it in this country will soon be gone forever. All that remains to be seen is how far the Islamists will go to humiliate and degrade us before striking their lethal blows. And we can trace this awful fate directly to the imbecilic, catastrophic policies of organizations and individuals like those listed above. While they have lectured us on stupidities like the “rights” of “undocumented” border-crossers and the plight of “endangered” long-nosed bats, our enemies were not nearly as timid as we were.

What distinguishes a large proportion of the American population from bin Laden’s Islamists goes far beyond the genocidal ambitions of the latter. The most vital distinction is that the Islamists believe, with every fiber of their being, in the legitimacy (indeed, the supremacy) of their culture and the nobility of their mission. Nothing can deter them from their single-minded quest to conquer and murder in the name of Allah.

By contrast, many tens of millions of Americans have been conditioned, by decades of leftist assaults on the legitimacy of their history and traditions, to doubt that those traditions even merit a stiff defense. Only in such a culture would so many people — from anonymous men and women on any street corner to the occupant of the Oval Office — be so preoccupied with reiterating, ad nauseam, the notion that authentic Islam is, at its essence, a “religion of peace” that unfortunately was “hijacked” by a “small minority of extremists.” Only in such a culture would it be widely understood, as it is in America, that any deviation from these absurd talking points opens one up to charges of “Islamophobia” and “bigotry.”

Thus Americans have voluntarily placed themselves in a rhetorical and ideological straight jacket, fearing to admit that they can even perceive the plain reality that Islam’s predominant teachings and emphases — as set forth in the trilogy consisting of the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sira — differ greatly from those of Western religious traditions.

Their fear of stating this simple, inarguable truth closely parallels their fear of demanding that our nation strengthen its border security to the point where illegal entry is made impossible — lest they be smeared as “racists” and “nativists” who are unconcerned with the “dignity” and the “common humanity” of “impoverished undocumented workers,” blah, blah, blah.

This type of trembling population — echoing dutifully the cacophony of empty platitudes uttered by all manner of America-hating, know-nothing leftists in the political arena, in the media, in the pulpit, and in the university classroom — have provided Osama bin Laden with more than enough assurance that he is facing an enemy ripe for slaughter on a scale never before seen.


John Perazzo is the Managing Editor of DiscoverTheNetworks and is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at wsbooks25@hotmail.com

Dear Iranians: Have the Courage to Say No to Islam From Amil Imani

http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=91&Itemid=2

Dear Iranians: Have the Courage to Say No to Islam  
Monday, 21 January 2008
Nearly 1400 years ago, a group of nomads from across the scorching Arabian Desert conquered Iran (Persia), the greatest empire known to the history of mankind. With that, they injected their Islamic virus into the veins of their victim: the Iranian people.Isn’t it time for all Iranians, in a show of solidarity, to stand shoulder to shoulder with the civilized free people of the world to defeat this virulent disease of Islam?
 

In most other lands conquered by Islam, the conquered peoples have lost their identity and heritage and embraced the ways of their new rulers, under an “Arab” identity. Conversely, in Iran a band of indigenous victims, “infected” by Islam, has mindlessly turned on their Iranian countrymen and tried to rob them of their remaining ancient heritage. It is exactly this savage minority that has established an oppressive tyrannical rule and wields power against the Iranian people. Yet even under the rule of Islamofascism, the overwhelming majority of Iranians of various ethnicities and religions remain faithful to their ancient creed – a creed that was given to the world by Zoroaster.

The twenty-first century presents great challenges and opportunities that demand new ways of thinking and behaving. The doctrine of Islam may have been appropriate for the desert dwellers of Arabia some 1400 years ago, for the very people stigmatized in Islamic literature as “Jahil” (ignoramus). But it is dysfunctional today, to say the least. As a matter of fact, Islam went astray from the very beginning and inflicted a great deal of suffering on both its followers as well as those who resisted its advance.

All pre-Islamic achievements that may strengthen the attraction on the part of the Iranian populace are de-emphasized and sometimes even falsely attributed to Islam, to prevent the average Iranian and the world at large from finding out the historical truths about the destruction and retardation Islam has brought to the region. Islam continues to take credit for the arts and sciences produced by the peoples it has conquered — and they were mostly Iranians, Egyptians, Syrians, Mesopotamians, and Babylonians.

Keep in mind that Islamists go by their 1400-year-old charter of Allah –the Qur’an– the same charter that they held in one hand while slashing the throats of millions of innocent Iranians and yelling joyously “Allah is the greatest” the whole time.

Dear Iranians, I am compelled to write this today and the words just stream through me without any outline or preconceptions. I am talking about this today, partly because it is timely, partly because it is good to know what Islam has done to our precious culture. Some things did not have to turn out as they did. Truth and provocative ideas ought to be welcomed by all of us. “A Slave is he who cannot speak his thoughts” said Euripides. Yet provocative ideas by themselves may not be enough. Actions are needed to correct the past mistakes and that starts with you.

Dear Iranians, as long as you remain a “Muslim” (as you are by default and not by choice), you will remain enslaved by a violent foreign creed and culture. You are unable to think for yourselves and break free.  As long as you remain Muslim, you cannot possibly be called an Iranian. Being Iranian is defined by a state of mind, not by a place of residence, your language, your dialect, or even your genetic makeup or race. The barbaric Islamist mullahs and their mercenaries presently ruling Iran are not Iranians by any definition, except by virtue of an identity card. They are Islamofascists who have betrayed their magnificent heritage and have enlisted themselves in the service of a most oppressive and demeaning ideology, Islam.

The detoxification of Islam must start with you. It is you who should pick up the flag of freedom and march in the streets and defend your ancestors who were brutally murdered by the hands of the Arab invaders and forced you to become like them.

Remember, life is precious. It is to be protected, nurtured and celebrated. Humankind is moving, perhaps at a glacier pace, toward reconciliation, ever-expanding inclusiveness without any group or ideology imposing itself on others. Any attempt against this trend of unity in diversity is doomed to failure, as exemplified by the demise of fascism and communism. The charter of Islam, the Quran, for the most part, preaches discrimination, death and imposition of its dogma on everyone. Islam, just like fascism and communism, is a dysfunctional ideology that needs to be abandoned.

Humanity has matured considerably since the time of Muhammad. In order to continue its forward march, mankind must follow a roadmap appropriate for its age and state of development. It is foolish to insist that a book, which demands terrorism and was written over 1400 years ago, must serve as the one and only guide for humanity.

Let us remember that the Arabs who sallied out of the deserts of Arabia did not fan out to the outside world with the Quran in one hand and flowers in the other, preaching love and peace from street corner to street corner, aiming to capture the hearts and minds of the people. Islam was forced on every culture it encountered at the point of the sword. The kinder, gentler alternative was death or imposition of the backbreaking “jizyah” (poll tax) levied on those who were spared the sword and allowed to retain their religious beliefs as “infidels”. In spite of paying the heavy jizyah, non-Muslims were consistently treated, at best, as second-class citizens in their own homelands all across the Middle East.

Iran is our beloved motherland. She deserves love and respect from all her children. Iran is not a land of the evil, even though presently it is in its yoke. Persians often take great umbrage at being confused with Arabs. Authors like Robert Kaplan and V. S. Naipaul have documented the Persian antipathy toward the Arabs, all the while espousing the Arab religion enthusiastically.

Dear Iranians, you have a dilemma. You require reconciliation with the self. You are either the children of Cyrus the Great, who was the founding father of Iran and symbolized justice and respect for diversity, or you can claim to be the descendent of a man who was not an exemplary prophet. In other words, you are either a “Seyyed” (itself a laughable farce), which is another word for an Arab “lord”, or you are a magnificent Iranian who believes in the lofty tenets of Good Words, Good Thoughts and Good Deeds. You cannot be both. It is time to reconcile. The choice is yours.

My aspiration for my motherland is to see it freed from the evil that has been visited upon it ever since our people bought into a most depraved version of Islam. Whether people become Baha’is or Zoroastrians or Christians, it should be a free choice by each person. Even if a person insists on remaining Muslim, that is his or her prerogative. Yet, imposing the suffocating intolerant Islam on an entire nation is something that neither I, nor any freethinking person can accept. Our beloved Iran deserves to be a country where, once again, we take pride in being its children instead of the present when we often do all we can to conceal our nation of birth when visiting abroad.

Those of you who are still entrapped in the cult of Muhammad of the 7th century are victims of the Islamic virus that has destroyed in you the traditional respect for diversity.  Iran is now a nation whose residents are most rapidly abandoning Islam as they learn the truth about it. It is the fundamental ancient Iranian belief in the validity and value of diversity that has held the nation together over the millennia.

Islam, with its barbaric exclusionary and primitive Bedouin Arab dogma, overtook Iran and brutally strove to replace the traditional lofty Iranian belief in human rights and diversity. Regrettably, the forced subjugation of the Iranians succeeded to some degree in transmitting the Islamic psychosocial virus to many Iranians—the virus that transforms the person into a bigot who sees only his way and his belief as the right way and the only right mandate. Any and all people who do not see things “his” way are wrong and must be reformed by whatever means, including eradication, if the bigot sees fit.

The diverse people who give Iran its enduring strength include Persians, Azaris, Kurds, Baluchis, Turkmen, and more. One and all have their allegiance to Iran as an idea and a nation and they all have shaped Iran into a unified nation. Iranians are the spiritual children of Cyrus the Great and adherents to his Charter—the first Charter of Human Rights—that clearly proclaims the equal rights and worth of the beliefs and practices of all peoples.

Iranians are ashamed by the appearance of Ahmadinejad, “the Monkey”, on the international scene and his declared intent to wipe the Jewish homeland from the face of the earth. Ahmadinejad is not an Iranian. Just look at the numerous photos showing him proudly donning the Arab headscarf around his neck—a Palestinian headscarf that presently stands as a symbol of the Arabo-Islamic genocidal hate campaign against the “non-believers” of all stripes. One quick look at his willingness to give away territorial and political rights of Iran is another testament to his “un-Iranian” nature.

This shameless Ahmadinejad and his cronies, the criminal mullahs, are personifications and agents of Ahriman “evil”. Nothing whatsoever is beyond their evil intentions. Keeping themselves in power by devastating our land, heritage and people is a small price that they are more than happy to pay. Shame, eternal shame on them. Iran shall rise again. It shall rise from its ashes. I am certain of that.

We do recognize that the dysfunctional Islamic “software” is deeply engrained in the minds of its victims who opt to remain in mental bondage rather than purge their minds of the Islamic “blueprint of destruction” and join the rest of the human family with a new emancipating program for life—that of liberty and progress. However, you must avoid any and all Islamic propaganda and join the forces of liberty and gain your freedom from this dark and alien cult of death. For 1300 years, the Islamists have forced you to choose and celebrate death over life, to cry instead laugh and to mourn instead of dance. The crown jewel of Islam simply does not fit the Persians. It never has and it never will.

Keep in mind that Islam hates the power of the individual. Islam hates the achievements of women. Islam hates progress. Islam hates the religious freedom of others. Islam hates the pre-Islamic heritage of Iran and other nations. Islam hates the light of truth. Islam is against free will and hates democracy, liberty and justice for all. Islam simply loves to crush and eat you alive. That is what Islam does and that is what Islam is. Are you going to worship that? Just Say no, because you are not a robot, you are a human being.

Now, “praise be to the core of goodness” that binds all of us together as devoted lovers of our ancient heritage of respect and diversity. Our motherland is bleeding under the dark cloaks of the oppressive mullahs. Yet, our people shall overcome the poison that courses in their veins and will choose to turn away from the doctrine of death and destruction to, hopefully, pursue life and construction. All of you hold the key and promise for our homeland’s revival and its complete freedom from the centuries old yoke of the barbaric rule of Islam and its “Sharia”.

The light of freedom must be preserved for humanity. To save the motherland, all Iranians must unite and JUST SAY NO to Islam and SAY YES to liberty.

The conundrum of countering terrorism

The conundrum of countering terrorism

  • June 02, 2007

THE US and its allies, bogged down in Iraq, are at a dangerous

crossroads in the war on Islamist terrorists as al-Qa’ida regroups and

re-organises its global operations.

That’s the view of US terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman of Washington’s Georgetown University. “Two years ago we believed we really had them on the run and that their command and control was essentially fractured. But during this period they were actually marshalling their forces to carry on the struggle,” Hoffman tells Inquirer.

The Oxford-educated Hoffman, who has spent 30 years studying terrorism, says he believes the West is in a dangerous situation. He arrived in Australia last month to speak to NSW police at a conference.

“Iraq has not just preoccupied our attention but enervated our militaries,” he says. “While this is occurring, al-Qa’ida and its affiliates have been able to regroup. They are not the same as they were on September 10, 2001. But nonetheless they are stronger now than they were two years ago and present a more serious threat.”

According to Hoffman the most compelling evidence of al-Qa’ida’s resilience is the plot, uncovered by British authorities last year, that involved plans for simultaneous attacks on 10 airliners from Britain en route to the US. Almost all the actual and disrupted attacks in Britain since 2003 have involved al-Qa’ida command elements operating in Pakistan, Hoffman says.

Iraq remains the greatest single counter-terrorism challenge for the US. Resolving that conflict is the only way to make progress, he contends. “One thing is indisputable: Iraq has become an enormous accelerant in radicalisation worldwide, and it’s being used by our opponents as a rallying cry. No progress is going to be made without resolving Iraq,” Hoffman says.

“Every martyrdom video talks about Iraq. It’s become a very formidable propaganda tool.”

This week, al-Qa’ida in Iraq continued to mount spectacular bombing attacks, with coalition military commanders warning that the next few months could see a surge in the group’s attacks as US and Iraqi forces try desperately to secure Baghdad.

Hoffman doesn’t like the phrase “war on terror”, arguing the notion has been characterised very effectively by the US’s adversaries as a war on Islam.

“Our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere has given them the opportunity to capitalise on the war on terrorism as a rallying cry,” he says.

The Iraq conflict has already had a spillover effect with tactics and weaponry honed in the Sunni Triangle now being routinely employed in Lebanon and Afghanistan.

Hoffman says Afghanistan is poised on a razor’s edge in terms of the counter-terrorism struggle as the lessons of Iraq are absorbed by the Taliban and al-Qa’ida fighters using the internet.

“Two years ago we were far more optimistic about Afghanistan. The fact that it has slipped back so dramatically is enormously worrisome if we take a net assessment of where the war on terrorism is going.”

There are not only Pakistani jihadist bases that are assisting the Taliban in Afghanistan but al-Qa’ida training camps in north Warizistan are also aiding insurgents and planning attacks much further afield. While NATO and its allies, including Australia, are taking the fight to the Taliban, Hoffman says they have to invest more in the fundamental tenet of counter-insurgency warfare: achieving local stability and security.

This involves not just a long-term commitment but building up indigenous security forces as quickly as possible to take the lead role: the same challenge that faces the US-led coalition in Iraq.

Hoffman argues al-Qa’ida’s ability to regenerate its forces is the biggest challenge facing the US and its allies, who are locked into a multi-generational struggle. Although there have been successes in disrupting networks, such as Jemaah Islamiah in Indonesia, new generations of Muslim youth are being radicalised. There are more than 5000 internet sites devoted to terrorism, an exponential increase compared with three years ago.

Hoffman points out there is “a tremendous youth bulge” that presents an enormous demographic challenge across north Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Many of these societies have a high proportion of their populations under 17 years of age.

“These people that are growing up in these environments are going to be grist for the terrorists’ and insurgents’ mill. We continue to kill and capture but alongside the use of kinetics (conventional military operations), we have to develop means that much more effectively counter the resonance of the terrorists’ message. We do almost nothing to counter that.”

At the same time US government budget cutbacks are affecting the very programs that allow the US to engage the Muslim world. According to Hoffman the Voice of America, the US Government’s main overseas broadcasting arm, devotes only 6 per cent of its budget to internet communications, yet that medium is the main means of radicalisation and recruitment for terrorist groups.

“It is inexplicable that we devote a paltry amount of resources to countering it,” he says.

An emerging threat highlighted by Hoffman and other terrorism experts is the proliferation in other societies of so-called stand-off weapons and improvised explosive devices such as the powerful roadside bombs seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We seem to be now fixated on suicide terrorism spreading from Iraq and I am sure it will. But I think we will see more of these improvised explosive devices and stand-off weapons because it is a low-risk means of attacking your enemies. It’s low-cost and you preserve your assets and your personnel.”

A key change in al-Qa’ida’s strategy during the past two years is its recently adopted penchant for the use of unconventional weapons – chemical, biological and radiological – not necessarily for their killing potential, but for the corrosive psychological impact they can have on society at large. In Iraq this has involved the use of truck-mounted chlorine gas cylinders combined with high explosives.

“Al-Qa’ida is still constantly scanning the horizon to identify new gaps in our defences. I think over a decade ago their identification of their diaspora communities as a source of new recruits was a strategic investment that paid off, given the kind of plots we have seen in the UK,” Hoffman says.

He argues the challenge posed for the US by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates is a new paradigm that demands a far greater focus on long-term political strategies. Conventional military responses not only cannot defeat the enemy but may even be counterproductive.

“We still think of terrorism as something that’s perpetrated by actual organisations or groups,” Hoffman says.

“What we see is that it is something that’s more akin to a mass movement that’s really facilitated by a system ofnetworks. We need a different military approach that’s about winning hearts and minds and building capacity more effectively in countries threatened by terrorism.”

Hoffman says the Western intelligence community is fully aware of the evolving spectrum of threats coming from al-Qa’ida and associated Islamist groups but nevertheless is struggling to keep abreast or in front of a highly adaptive enemy.

Australia, he observes, has a great deal of geographical advantage in confronting the terrorism challenge given that the nation occupies a continent and has arguably the world’s best border control regime.

“Long before many other countries, Australia had very strict visa policies,” Hoffman says.

“It’s a tremendous advantage but no country can think of itself as immune to the heady currents of radicalisation and the clarion calls to violence.”

Al Qaida suspects sue Boeing, with ACLU’s help

American al Qaeda warns of attacks ‘worse than 9/11’…

Al-Qaida recruiting black American bombers

Al-Qaida recruiting black American bombers

“I want blacks in America to know that we are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind,” said al-Zawahri. This presents another occasion to combat the case that the jihadists are against any kind of oppression, but this is an occasion that will, like all the others, be missed.

“Al-Qaida recruiting black bombers: Pitch to African-Americans invokes ‘martyr’ Malcolm X,” from WorldNetDaily.com, with thanks to WriterMom:

Al-Qaida is aggressively recruiting black Americans for suicide operations against the homeland, say FBI analysts who have reviewed recent videotaped messages from the terror group’s leaders.A speech released May 5 by Osama bin Laden’s deputy confirms earlier fears that African-Americans are the No. 1 recruiting target for the next generation of attacks. Al-Qaida has been trying to lower its Arab profile to reduce the odds that its terror cells will be subjected to security scrutiny.

“Federal and local law enforcement authorities should be aware that al-Qaida terrorists may not appear Arab,” warns a recent Homeland Security intelligence report obtained by WND. “Non-Arab al-Qaida operatives could find it easier to avoid unwanted scrutiny since they may not fit typical profiles.”

In the latest message, al-Qaida No. 2 Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri clearly seeks to sow political and racial discontent among African-Americans. He makes frequent references to what he calls the “martyr” C, and says “I want blacks in America to know that we are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind.”

Unraveling Al-Qa`ida’s Target Selection Calculus

Unraveling Al-Qa`ida’s Target Selection Calculus  

From the Horse’s Mouth: Unraveling Al-Qa`ida’s Target Selection Calculus

Al-Qa`ida’s primarily selects economic targets to derail the American economy, to sever American and Muslim alliances, and to remove all Western influence from the Middle East.

By Sammy Salama and David Wheeler

The topic of al-Qa`ida’s choice of targets has been the subject of much conjecture and speculation in open source literature. Some analysts argue that al-Qa`ida’s modus operandi is similar to traditional terrorism in that it is a form of “political theater” meant to bring attention to the group and its objectives by attacking targets of high importance. Others have diverged from this view, arguing that unlike traditional terror organizations, the al-Qa`ida network is more interested in the mass killing of Western civilians as revenge for perceived historical injustices against Muslims. In some cases, the debate concerning al-Qa`ida’s target selection is based on the assumption that al-Qa`ida targets symbolic facilities within the United States to demonstrate its military prowess and long-reach capability. Others argue that al-Qa`ida attacks soft targets due to the difficulty of attacking military and security facilities in the West. Yet an examination of primary al-Qa`ida operational manuals and published open source literature reveals a much different set of considerations in the group’s target selection. Such an analysis of what al-Qa`ida tells the world—and, most importantly, what it instructs its recruits and would-be cell members—indicates that al-Qa`ida’s target selection calculus is motivated by a far more ambitious, sophisticated and sinister motive: to destroy the economy of the United States and other Western powers by striking economic targets in the West and in the Muslim world. The network asserts that doing so curtails the American presence and influence in the Middle East and will end Western military and diplomatic support to regimes in the region. This ambition serves the final objective of severing American and Muslim alliances and bringing about the removal of all Western influence from the Middle East, as well as the overthrow of current Muslim regimes.

To best understand al-Qa`ida target selection, it is important to keep in mind al-Qa`ida’s foremost strategic objective, which is to “bleed” [exhaust] the United States economically and militarily by forcing the U.S. to spend enormous amounts of money to protect its numerous sectors and facilities. Al-Qa`ida’s primary literature and manuals affirm that the United States draws its formidable military power and political influence from its superior economy. Therefore, if the American economy is derailed, the United States will crumble and will not be able to sustain its military hegemony and presence overseas. One al-Qa`ida member stated that hindering Western economies is “the most dangerous and effective arena of Jihad, because we live in a materialistic world.”[1] Accordingly, al-Qa`ida cells are encouraged to attack targets that have a high economic value and will cause the United States severe economic losses.

The calculus of primarily attacking western targets of significant economic value is bluntly discussed in al-Qa`ida’s political publications which aim to “educate” the Muslim world about al-Qa`ida’s objectives and methods. These publications elaborate in sinister detail the network’s intention to empower individual cell members with the training and skills required to sustain al-Qa`ida’s global Jihad. The following excerpts from Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Jihad), the official publication of al-Qa`ida in Saudi Arabia, illustrate the rationale behind al-Qa`ida’s target selection:

What Else Is There to Say about September 11?

Since September 11th America has been spending billions of dollars to protect its infrastructure and interests around the world… The attacker determines the timing of the strike. He will carry out a concentrated strike one time at a weak point and then sit in ambush again. So the enemy will look for a gap and close it, not necessarily where he was hit but all other similar targets. So striking the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania means protecting every American embassy in the world. Striking the [U.S.S.] Cole at sea means protecting all American assets in the seas. Diversifying targets means protecting all American things in every land that may have terrorists!!

If the enemy has used his economy to rule the world and hire collaborators, then we need to strike this economy with harsh attacks to bring it down on the heads of its owners. If the enemy has built his economy on the basis of open markets and free trade by getting the monies of investors, then we have to prove to these investors that the enemy’s land is not safe for them, that his economy is not capable of guarding their monies, so they would abandon him to suffer alone the fall of his economy.

This is about Jihad against the Crusader enemy, so what about the September 11th operation? Hijacking planes is a well known tactic, which was used by various fighters and freedom fighters, so what’s new about this operation? People used to hijack planes and consider them a target, but those willing to put in the extra effort turned these planes into a method only, a projectile shot in the heart of the enemy …The enemy used to protect his external interests and spend enormous sums for this protection, so he was surprised when he was struck inside his borders. The enemy was used to protecting a thousand interests outside his county, now he has to protect a million interests inside his country that need continuing protection!! The attack on the Trade Center forced America since that day to spend billions to protect the huge economic infrastructure that runs the American economy. Using planes in this attack has forced America to spend billions to protect the planes and airports in all possible ways. This protection is not limited to the hundreds of American airports but also to every airport in the world. Anyone related to the aviation field is spending excessive amounts to guard air travel; the matter has reached protecting the skies…This is how America was transformed after one strike, protecting all that can be struck, and they guard all that can be used to strike with! [2]

Another al-Qa`ida text authored in late 2005 clearly articulates the network’s emphasis on attacking economic targets. In October 2005, Abu Mus`ab al-Najadi, a Saudi supporter/member of al-Qa`ida, authored a seven page document titled “Al-Qa`ida’s Battle is Economic not Military.” In late 2005, this document was circulated on numerous Jihadi websites, elaborating on the logic for attacking soft targets of high economic value. As stated by al-Najadi:

The Islamic nation has entered through al-Qa`ida’s war with America a new period that is different from all the other periods experienced by Muslims against their enemies. This period is based on economic war due to the peculiar nature of the adversary in this ferocious battle. Usually, wars are based on military strength and victory belongs to those who are militarily superior on the battlefield…But our war with America is fundamentally different, for the first priority is defeating it economically. For that, anything that negatively affects its economy is considered for us a step in the right direction on the path to victory. Military defeats do not greatly effect how we measure total victory, but these defeats indirectly affect the economy which can be demonstrated by the breaching of the confidence of capitalists and investors in this nation’s ability to safeguard their various trade and dealings.

In light of this matter, the difficulty and ease of the task becomes apparent. In addition, it becomes apparent why additional al-Qa`ida strikes inside the United States have been delayed. When thinking about military strikes, it is not difficult to carry out an attack that would kill a good number of American civilians, but in my opinion this is a waste of resources without much benefit. However when directing these resources against economic targets, it is more effective and can get us many steps closer toward victory. An attack that kills a large number of Americans can not achieve a tenth of this effectiveness. This reveals the importance of the blessed September 11th attacks, which is not that it killed a large number of infidels, but what is more important, the economic effect that this strike achieved…I will not be exaggerating if I say that striking the Pentagon was purely symbolic and had no noticeable effect on the course of the battle. It is symbolic for it shows the Americans that their foremost military facility can be destroyed by handful of individuals, which is a blow to their morale and a point of pride for the Islamic peoples who have been drowning in defeat for many years.

Any operation targeting an area of infrastructure in a new country that does not have a history of countering these operations is considered as bleeding (exhausting) to the greater enemy America and the targeted nation itself. It is so because these nations will be required to protect all similar potential targets which results in economic exhaustion (bleeding)… For example, if a hotel that caters to western tourists in Indonesia is targeted, the enemy will be required to protect all hotels that cater to western tourists in all countries which may become a target of similar attacks. You can say the same thing about living residences, economic establishments, embassies, etc.[3]

Based on al-Qa`ida’s own description of its calculus and explanation of its targeting rationale, one must assume that this network is most likely to target facilities and establishments of high economic value on the U.S. mainland. Such facilities include but are not limited to airports, bus stations, train stations, subways, ports, financial districts, financial buildings, malls, markets, resorts, planes, ships, oil installations, hotels, sports arenas, theaters and embassies. As illustrated previously, al-Qa`ida’s stated objective is to cause the greatest possible economic damage as well as force the United States to spend excessive resources on guarding and protecting facilities all over the United States in order to ultimately bring down the U.S. economy, the source of American military power and hegemony.

In addition to statements in al-Qa`ida publications that articulate the networks’ strategy, the calculus of attacking western targets of high economic value is also elaborated in al-Qa`ida’s operational manuals that teach individuals cell members how to attack and exact severe losses on the West. For example, a detailed online manual entitled Al-Mubtakkar al-Farid: Li Irsaal al-Safah al-Athiri Ila al-Kafir al-`Anid [The Unique Invention: To Deliver the Gaseous Killer to the Stubborn Infidel], teaches the reader how to manufacture a hydrogen cyanide dispersal device. The manual provides would-be terrorists with step-by-step instructions, in explicit detail, on utilizing various precursors and procuring readily available components to assemble the dispersal device. The al-Mubtakar manual primarily guides al-Qa`ida members in using this crude hydrogen cyanide dispersal device to attack mostly civilian targets of high economic value that are abundantly available in Western societies. It specifically highlights the following targets:[4]

  • Brothels
  • Theaters
  • Markets and Shopping Malls
  • Synagogues
  • Dancing Halls
  • Trains
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Bars and Restaurants
  • Banks and Loan Facilities
  • Cinemas
  • Gyms
  • Casinos
  • Churches in Muslim Lands
  • Government Offices (especially security and intelligence related)

Another short document dealing with radiological terrorism posted on a prominent Jihadi operational website also emphasized the network’s desire to exact severe economic losses on the United States and its allies. The short posting entitled “Instances of Radiation Pollution from 1945-1987” specifically encouraged the Jihadi community to attack western cities with Radiological Dispersal Devises (RDDs or dirty bombs) in order to cause acute economic losses. It explicitly states the following economic benefits to such attacks:

The important thing is to disperse radioactive material in a large commercial area so the government is forced to shut down this area which will cause this country massive economic disruption due to the following reasons:

  1. The high costs of decontamination of radioactive areas.
  2. The high economic losses in this large commercial area due to closure.
  3. Subsequent unemployment and loss of jobs.
  4. Stoppage of general life in that area.
  5. Large compounded problems are to follow due to these losses.

Suggested cities: Las Vegas (the city of fornication and gambling that does not sleep) — New York — London — Sydney — Tokyo — Moscow — Other large tourist cities — and commercial capitals of all infidel nations.[5]

In addition to attacking economic targets in the United States and other western nations, another stated objective of the network is to hinder Westerners from conducting commerce and business in the Arab and Muslim world. In al-Qa`ida’s world view, Western commerce in Muslim and Arab countries has resulted in Western military support for corrupt and “apostate” regimes in the region (specifically Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco). It has also contributed to the corruption of Muslim societies through imported Western values and the “theft” of Muslim natural resources, including oil. In the past few years, we have seen the al-Qa`ida network repeatedly attack Western interests, facilities and citizens in numerous Muslim and Arab countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Indonesia.

Attacking American interests in these countries further serves to “bleed” the United States economically and deny Westerners commercial opportunities in the Arab and Muslim world. Also, of equal importance, it serves to hinder an alliance between the United States and its regional allies. The terrorist tactics aim to isolate the regional governments that al-Qa`ida considers “apostates” and ultimately wishes to overthrow as it seeks to re-establish the global caliphate. As a matter of operational expediency, the al-Qa`ida network intends to carry out attacks against American interests in the Muslim and Arab worlds continuously. This is stated clearly in a widely circulated al-Qa`ida operational manual that trains prospective Jihadis in urban operations in the Arab and Muslim world. “Military Sciences — Targets Inside the Cities” directly identifies the following targets:

Economic targets:

The objective of attacking these targets: breaching the security and climate of stability that is necessary for economic growth, such as the bombing of oil pipelines in Iraq, which has made it less appealing for foreign corporations.

Additional objectives include:

Removal of foreign capitalists from domestic [Islamic] markets; also [to exact] negative economic consequences on their native lands as occurred very quickly following the blessed strikes in Madrid, which affected the entire European economy. Among these are double strikes that affect the economy of the Crusader or Jewish or apostates regimes.

Among the Examples of such Strikes:

  • Striking Jewish Crusader investments in Muslim lands.
  • Striking international corporations.
  • Striking international economists and business experts.
  • Striking imports from Crusader nations through military means (as occurred in the bombing and burning of certain American restaurants), or through political means like boycotts.
  • Striking raw materials stolen from Muslim lands, such as the strike on the French oil carrier or the strikes on Iraqi oil pipelines. These kinds of economic strikes are determined by the high leadership who wait for the appropriate time and place.
  • Assassination of Jews who work in business and disciplining those who cooperate with them economically following a proper warning. Only those who are proven to be collaborating apostates should be assassinated.[6]

In addition to instructing the Jihadi community and individual al-Qa`ida cell members to concentrate their attacks on economic targets inside the Arab and Muslim world and beyond, this manual also breaks down in vivid detail the nationality, religion and profession of al-Qa`ida’s prime “human targets.” In this, the operational instructions to cell members are consistent with previous political arguments put forth in al-Qa`ida’s open source publications. It tells would-be al-Qa`ida terrorists to concentrate on Western businessmen as they represent the foremost candidates. It states unambiguously:

Human targets:

… The priority in these operations should be given to Jews and Christians with official connections to Muslim lands. It is advisable to start with targeting unprotected, easy targets. Priority is given to the dependants of infidel nations that are directly involved in supporting local apostates. For example, in Saudi Arabia, first target Americans, then the English. In Iraq, the Americans. In Afghanistan, the Americans. In Algeria, the French. In Indonesia, the Australians, etc.

Categorizing Human Targets by Importance:

  • Jews: they are divided into various degrees by importance. First American and Israeli Jews, then British Jews, then French …etc.
  • Christians: they are categorized by order of importance as follows:
    • Americans
    • British
    • Spanish
    • Australians
    • Canadians
    • Italians

These groups are further divided into:

  • Businessmen. For business has global importance in this age.
  • Diplomats, politicians, intellectuals, analysts, and political emissaries.
  • Scientists and experts.
  • Military commanders and soldiers.
  • Tourists, visiting entertainers, and all who have received a warning from the Mujahideen to abstain from or to evacuate Muslim lands.
  • Apostates: They are categorized by order of importance as follows:
    • The most important targets are those who are close to Jewish and Christian governments, such as Husni Mubarak and the rulers of the Arabian Peninsula and their advisors.
    • Secularists and modernists who criticize believers and ridicule religion.
    • Intelligence professionals and spies, they are the armor and protective fence of the Jews and Christians. They are also the striking arms of the apostates. [7]

These instructions given to prospective Jihadis further demonstrate that the primary targets of the al-Qa`ida network are American entities of high economic value such as businessmen and corporations. It should be noted, in particular, that American military targets and soldiers are relegated to secondary importance as potential targets. However, the network does not usually specify in print which specific Western companies or sectors are to be targeted. It is probable that the leadership of al-Qa`ida is being intentionally vague on this matter to make it possible for individual cell leaders to choose appropriate targets on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the availability of targets in their respective theaters of operations.

Two sectors which are sure to be in the sights of al-Qa`ida operatives are the oil and tourism industries. In the past two years the leaders of al-Qa`ida, including Usama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, have specifically called on their operatives to target oil installations in the Gulf to hinder what they refer to as the ongoing “theft of Muslim resources,” and have likewise called for attacks on tourist resorts in the Muslim world.[8] Clearly, the message has been received by al-Qa`ida’s rank and file and other terrorists inspired by the network, as can be seen from the recent bombings in Egyptian tourist resorts and the constant attacks on oil facilities in Iraq (as well as attempted attacks in Saudi Arabia). In the future, al-Qa`ida operations outside the U.S. mainland are likely to concentrate on similar facilities, in addition to financial districts, buildings of high economic value and Western embassies.

One more primary objective of the September 11th attacks is important to note: the goal of dragging the United States into a wider war through which al-Qa`ida and its allies hope to scatter, isolate and bleed the United States militarily and economically [this is referred to as Harb Istinzaf—a long term war of attrition, i.e., “dragging” and “bleeding” the enemy]. The U.S. invasion of Iraq has provided al-Qa`ida with a prime opportunity to attack U.S. troops within the Arab world, as was stated explicitly by Usama Bin Laden in his message to his supporters in 2005, “Bleeding the United States, which is currently in Iraq economically, militarily and morally, is a golden opportunity that you should not miss or you will regret it . . . concentrate your operations on it, especially in Iraq and the Gulf. This will be their end.”[42] The American presence in the Gulf states, coupled with the American occupation of Iraq, is being exploited by al-Qa`ida to rally its supporters to concentrate their efforts on American and Western targets in Iraq, the Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman), Yemen as well as in Jordan.

Nevertheless, al-Qa`ida is still likely to attempt to attack the American homeland. Attacking U.S. territory offers al-Qa`ida many advantages, primarily through its symbolic value as well as its indication of the network’s reach and perseverance. More importantly, as discussed previously, such an attack would further the goal of stressing the United States economically. Continuously attacking the American homeland also causes further rifts between the United States and its Arab and Muslim allies, an objective which is among al-Qa`ida’s foremost strategic goals. This point was argued by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the network’s second in command in 2001:

The masters in Washington and Tel Aviv are using the [Muslim] regimes to protect their interest and to fight the battle against the Muslims on their behalf. If the shrapnel from the battle reaches their homes and their bodies, they will trade accusations with their agents about who is responsible for this. In that case, they will face one of two bitter choices: Either personally wage the battle against the Muslims, which means the battle will turn into clear-cut jihad against infidels, or they reconsider their plans after acknowledging the failure of the brute and violent confrontation against Muslims. Therefore, we must move the battle to the enemy’s grounds to burn the hands of those who ignite fire in our countries.[43]

Al-Qa`ida’s leadership argues that only when military and economic alliances between the United States and its Arab and Muslim allies are broken will the network be able to weaken and overthrow these “apostate” regimes and impose an Islamic state, which is the eventual goal of al-Qa`ida. This is the main reason why al-Zawahiri and bin Laden decided to embark on an external Jihad against the “Far Enemy,” i.e., the United States and the West. They opted to attack the West to severe its military and economic support for Arab and Muslim leaders in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and other states seen to have close ties to the United States. Al-Qa`ida’s leadership reasoned that direct attacks on U.S. and European territory will force Western leaders to doubt their alliances with Muslim and Arab leaders and will eventually force the West to abandon their regional allies.

This approach was a clear departure from the traditional Jihadi strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood and its various offshoots in the Middle East, who in previous decades have opted to wage a long term internal Jihad against the “near enemy,” Arab and Muslim regimes. Al-Qa`ida also aims to stretch the United States thin, knowing full well that even superpowers have limited financial and military resources. It is the objective of this network to pull the United States into a third quagmire, in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, in order to drag, exhaust and further “bleed” the U.S. As stated in a communiqué released in July 2004:

Our Goals in the Next Period . . .

  1. Increasing the scope of the conflict by spreading operations all around the world. Dragging America into a third quagmire in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan; let it be Yemen god willing. We have mentioned this in our communiqué of March 11, 2004: “we tell the company of Abu Ali al-Harithi, the leadership has decided that Yemen will be the third quagmire for the hegemon of our era, America. More so, to discipline the collaborating infidel government that is second only to Musharaf.”
  2. Shaking the confidence of investors in the American economy.
  3. Exposing the Crusader Jewish project.
  4. Scattering and bleeding [exhausting] the enemy.

Following these steps comes the awaited strike that will break the will of America, who in return will abandon its collaborators and agents, so we can settle our scores with them. Then we launch the caravan to Jerusalem with god’s permission.[44]

The Various Phases of al-Qa`ida’s Global War and Path to the Caliphate

Ongoing analysis and examination of al-Qa`ida’s vast published literature, abundant manuals and endless statements imply the following eight successive phases in the network’s plan for a long-term battle against the United States and its allies in the Middle East and Muslim world:

  • Awakening the Masses: In this phase the network aims to increase the consciousness of the global Muslim community by “exposing” the alleged inherent American and western hostility to Islamic peoples. The network argues this will lead to increased hatred of western influences in Muslim lands and swell the ranks of al-Qa`ida and its affiliates with new volunteers and sympathizers. As important, in this phase “apostate” governments will reveal their alleged “collaborative” nature when they are forced to side publicly with their western “masters” in the aftermath of al-Qa`ida attacks. Furthermore, in this phase other political trends in the Middle East (nationalists, leftists, liberals…etc) will be shown as weak and indecisive, thereby enhancing the image of the Salafis as the only entity in the Arab and Muslim world that is willing and capable to fight on behalf of the Muslim masses and take the fight to the west and to the corrupt “apostate” regimes.
  • Harb Istinzaf — A long term war of attrition”: In this phase the network aims to “bleed the enemy” until it crumbles. In short, their goal is to make the United States “bleed” economically, militarily, and politically until it loses the desire and the means to fight and withdraws militarily, politically and economically from the Middle East and other Muslim lands.
  • Severing Western/Muslim alliances: In this phase, an American withdrawal from the Middle East will lead to the severing of American alliances with secular and moderates regimes (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc). This will entail the end of American military and economic support to Arab and Muslim regimes. Absent American military and economic aid, these regimes will be greatly weakened and will eventually lose their grip on their populations and will lack the ability to resist the global Jihadi movement.
  • Tasfiyat Hisabat — Settling Scores”: Once Arab and Muslim regimes are weakened, al-Qa`ida and its affiliates aim to overthrow them, and “settle scores” by eliminating the leaders and their security forces.
  • Idarat al-Tawahush — Management of Barbarism”: Prolific al-Qa`ida thinker Abu Bakr Naji considers this phase the most dangerous. In this phase the network and its sympathizers will aim to administer and manage Arab and Muslim lands in the intermediary period immediately following the collapse of apostate regimes. At this fragile period rampant chaos will ensue in Muslim lands due to lawlessness and lack of authority.[45]
  • Establishing Shari`a Law: In this phase the network aims to establish pious Shari`a governments that will rule individual Arab and Muslim states by Islamic law for a temporary period, while awaiting the return of the Muslim caliphate.
  • Removal of All Western Influences from the Region: This phase entails the full liberation of all Muslim lands including Palestine [i.e. the destruction of Israel] and Kashmir, and the retrieval of lands once ruled by Muslims, including al-Andalus [Andalusia, Spain].
  • Reestablishment of the Caliphate: The final phase will ensue once Shari`a rule has been established in all individual Arab and Muslim states, and following the full liberation and retrieval of all historic Muslim lands. At this juncture the global Jihadi network and its sympathizers intend to reestablish the historic Caliphate which ruled the Muslim community as a single entity for many centuries. The Caliphate is viewed by many Islamists as the golden age of Islamic power.

Currently, we are still in the first three phases of this long and protracted conflict, which the al-Qa`ida network wishes to expand and intensify. In these concurrent initial three phases, the al-Qa`ida network aims to exhaust the United States, sever its alliances with Muslim and Arab governments, and simultaneously escalate anti-Western animosity in the region. The al-Qa`ida network reasons that the best way to achieve the goal of exhausting the United States is through repeated attacks against American and Western targets of high economic value. Some prominent analysts of the global Jihadi movement argue that al-Qa`ida’s quest for the reestablishment of the historic Caliphate and the removal of all western influences from the Muslim world is a step toward the networks ultimate goal of establishing” Hakimiyyat Allah — God’s rule over the world”, whereby the Caliphate dominates the rest of the world.[46]

In sum, al-Qa`ida’s target selection is neither arbitrary nor impulsive. Continuing examination of al-Qa`ida’s primary literature and operational manuals reveals that their target selection calculus is governed by a sinister desire to bring down the economy of the United States and other western powers. This targeting strategy is an integral part of the network’s overall objective of “bleeding” and exhausting the United States in order to force it to leave the Middle East and abandon its regional allies. To do so, al-Qa`ida will primarily attack facilities of high economic value. The al-Qa`ida network is likely to continue to focus on targets that cause economic disruption within the United States and worldwide, as al-Qa`ida’s strategy is to engage the United States and its allies in a long-term war of attrition. As noted in a network communiqué, “The enemy may be patient, but it cannot endure. As for us with our doctrine, belief, and our love for meeting God, we can endure until the enemy crumbles. If this takes decades or centuries, we are charged with fighting them come victory or martyrdom.”[47]


Note: This article is drawn in part from the piece entitled “Unraveling al-Qa`ida’s Target Selection Calculus,” written by Sammy Salama for the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy, West Point, in December 2006.
Sources:
[1] Nur al-Din al-Kurdi, “The Arenas of Jihad,” Dharwat al-Sunam (Peak of the Camel’s Hump), Volume 3, p. 27-28 [translation by author].
[2] Akhu Man Ta`a Allah, “What Else is There to Say About September 11,” Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Jihad Magazine), Volume 26, p. 35-42 [translation by author].
[3] Abu Mus`ab al-Najadi, “al-Qaeda’s Battle is Economic not Military,” October 3, 2005 [translation by author].
[4] “Al-Mubtakkar al-Farid: Li Irsaal al-Safah al-Athiri Ila al-Kafir al-`Anid — The Unique Invention: To Deliver the Atheric Killer to the Stubborn Infidel,” al-FirdawsJihadi Website, October 2005 [translation by author].
[5] Abu al-Usood al-Faqir, “Instances of Radiation Pollution from 1945-1987,” al-FarouqJihadi Website, October 2005 [translation by author].
[6] Abi Hajer Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin, “Military Sciences — Targets inside the Cities,” Mu`askar al-Battar (al-Battar Camp) Magazine, Volume 7, p. 23-27[translation by author].
[7] Ibid.
[8] “The Complete Text of Sheikh Usama Bin Laden’s Call Especially to the Muslims of Saudi Arabia and General Muslims Elsewhere,” al-Tawhid wal-Jihad Website, December 15, 2005 [translation by author].
[9] Jane Corbin, Al-Qaeda: In Search of the Terror Network That Threatens the World (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003), 81-82; “Verdict Reached in U.S. Embassy Bombings Trials,” CNN, May 29, 2001.
[10] Ibid., p. 199.
[11] Jason Burke, Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam (New York: IB Taurus, 2004), 199.
[12] Jane Corbin, Al-Qaeda: In Search of the Terror Network That Threatens the World, p.95
[13] Peter L. Bergen, Holy War, Inc: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (New York: Free Press, 2001), 27-28.
[14] Jason Burke, Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam, p. 265.
[15] “Bin Laden ‘inspired Bali attacks,'” BBC, July 10, 2003.
[16] “Al Qaida Trained JI Hotel Bombers,” Sunday Mail (SA), August 10, 2003; Simon Elegant, “A New Wave of Terror?” Time, August 10, 2003.
[17] “Hambali caught in Thailand,” New Straits Times (Malaysia), August 16, 2003.
[18] Toby Harnden and Amberin Zaman, “Synagogue bombs were ours, says al-Qa`eda group,” The Daily Telegraph (London), November 17, 2003; “Istanbul rocked by double bombing,” BBC, November 20, 2003.
[19] Damien McElroy and Philip Sherwell, “Bomb attacks were planned in internet cafe,” The Sunday Telegraph (London), November 23, 2003.
[20] “Turkey: Charges in Istanbul Bombing,” New York Times, February 26, 2004; Sebnem Arsu, “Turkish court sentences militants for 2003 bombings,” International Herald Tribune, February 16, 2007.
[21] Hugh MacLeod, “Syria Hands Over Suspects who Fled After Quadruple Suicide Bombings in Turkey,” The Independent (London), December 1, 2003; James C. Helicke, “Turkish synagogue bombers ‘met bin Laden,'” Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2004.
[22] “Turkish bomb gang defused,” The Weekend Australian, December 27, 2003.
[23] “Truck bombs rock Istanbul,” Jerusalem Post, November 21, 2003.
[24] Marianne Kearney and Sebastien Berger, “Car bomb explodes outside Australian Embassy in Jakarta,” Ottawa Citizen, September 10, 2004.
[25] “Full text: ‘Al-Qaeda’ Madrid claim,” BBC, March 14, 2004; Al Goodman, “Madrid bombings trial: Key defendant denies involvement,” CNN, February 15, 2007.
[26] Michael Scheuer, “The London Bombings: For al-Qaeda, Steady as She Goes,” Terrorism Focus, Volume 2, Issue 14 (July 22, 2005) p. 5-8.
[27] “Explosion rocks Red Sea resorts,” BBC, October 8, 2004.
[28] Roger Hardy, “Tracking down Egypt’s bombers,” BBC, July 26, 2005; Diaa Rashwan, “Was it Al-Qaeda?,” Al-Ahram Weekly, 28 July-3 August 2005.
[29] “‘Bomber confession’ shocks Jordan,” CNN, November 14, 2005; “Bomber’s wife arrested in Jordan,” BBC, November 13, 2005.
[30] Sharmila Devi and William Wallis, “Al-Qaeda says it unleashed Amman bombers,” Financial Times, November 11, 2005.
[31] “Aircraft bomb plot thwarted,” Telegraph, October 8, 2006; “‘Airlines terror plot’ disrupted,” BBC, August 10, 2006.
[32] John Ward Anderson and Karen DeYoung, “Plot to Bomb U.S.-Bound Jets Is Foiled,” Washington Post, August 11, 2006.
[33] “Details emerge on alleged plot to bomb airliners,” MSNBC, August 10, 2006.
[34] David Batty and Mark Oliver, “‘Mass murder terror plot’ uncovered,” Guardian, August 10, 2006.
[35] Op. cit.; John Ward Anderson and Karen DeYoung, “Plot to Bomb U.S.-Bound Jets Is Foiled,” Washington Post, August 11, 2006.
[36] “‘Airlines terror plot’ disrupted,” BBC, August 10, 2006.
[37] John Ward Anderson and Karen DeYoung, “Plot to Bomb U.S.-Bound Jets Is Foiled,” Washington Post, August 11, 2006.
[38] “Triple blasts rock Egypt resort,” BBC, April 25, 2004.
[39] “Egypt bomb suspects ‘surrender’,” BBC, May 13, 2006.
[40] “Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 – Statistical Annex,” United States Department of State, April 7, 2006,<http://www.state.gov/documents/ organization/65489.pdf>.
[41] Ibid., p. 131.
[42] Ibid.
[43] Marc Sageman, Understanding Terror Networks. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), p. 22.
[44] Abu Hafez al-Masri Brigades [al-Qaeda in Europe], “A Communiqué.” July 1, 2004 [translation by author].
[45] Abu Bakr Naji, “Idarat al-Tawahush: The Most Dangerous Phase That The Islamic Nation Will Go Through,” The Center for Islamic Studies and Research, as viewed on al-Firdaws Website, October 2005; Stephen Ulph, “New Online Book Lays Out al-Qaeda’s Military Strategy,” Jamestown, March 18, 2005; an excellent English translation of the book “Idarat al-Tawahush” by William McCants is available from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, at: http://www.ctc.usma.edu/ Management_of_Savagery.pdf.
[46] Dr. Bassam Tibi, discussion with author, Monterey, Spring 2005; Bassam Tibi, “Jihadism’s roots in political Islam,” International Herald Tribune, August 30, 2005.
[47] Abu Hafez al-Masri Brigades [al-Qaeda in Europe], “A Communiqué.” July 1, 2004 [translation by author].

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Al Qaeda’s Pakistan Sanctuary

Al Qaeda’s Pakistan Sanctuary
By Bill Roggio
The Weekly Standard | March 27, 2007

The security situation in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province continues to deteriorate. Once again, Western pressure on the government of President Pervez Musharraf has failed to prevent Pakistan from handing over territory to the Taliban, this time to a group called the Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws. On March 17, a Pakistani “peace” committee struck a verbal agreement with the Mohmand tribe, under which the government promised to cease military activity in Bajaur in exchange for the tribe’s promise not to shelter “foreigners” or allow cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

A look at the players shows this agreement to be another pact with the devil. The tribal militants are led by Faqir Muhammad, government sources told Dawn, an English-language Pakistani newspaper, the day the agreement was made. Faqir Muhammad is a senior leader of the Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws, which provided the ideological inspiration to the Afghan Taliban in the 1990s. Faqir’s group sent over 10,000 fighters into Afghanistan to fight U.S. forces during Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001. His two sons and two cousins were arrested by Pakistani authorities after returning from Afghanistan.

The Jamestown Foundation refers to Faqir Muhammad as “al-Zawahiri’s Pakistani ally.” His home in the village of Damadola was targeted by a joint U.S.-Pakistani airstrike in January 2006 after al Qaeda senior leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was believed to have been there. Zawahiri and Faqir escaped death, but Abu Khabab al-Masri, the chief of al Qaeda’s WMD program, and several other senior al Qaeda leaders were killed in the attack.

In October 2006, Faqir called Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar “heroes of the Muslim world” and vowed joint efforts to fight the “enemies of peace” in Bajaur. Days later, the Chingai madrassa, which doubled as an al Qaeda and Taliban training camp, was hit by a U.S. airstrike, killing 84 Taliban, including Faqir’s deputy, Liaquat Hussain. Faqir responded by attacking the Dargai military base with a suicide bomber.

Under the leadership of Faqir Muhammad, whom the Pakistani government refuses to arrest, Bajaur has become an al Qaeda command and control center for launching operations into eastern Afghanistan. Kunar, the adjacent Afghan province, is one of the most violent in the country.

None of this will come as a surprise to anyone tracking the situation in northwestern Pakistan. Since the signing of the Waziristan Accord on September 5, 2006, essentially ceding North Waziristan to the Taliban and al Qaeda, attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan have skyrocketed. Afghanistan has seen an increase in attacks of more than 300 percent, and battalion-sized groups of Taliban fighters have been hit while crossing the border from Pakistan. Cross-border raids are up more than 200 percent, and NATO forces have repeatedly engaged in hot pursuit across the Pakistani frontier. U.S. artillery has begun to strike at large Taliban formations in Pakistani territory. Suicide bombings in Afghanistan increased fivefold from 2005 to 2006. This year, there have already been more suicide attacks in Afghanistan than in all of 2006.

The situation has gotten so bad that in February, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, outgoing U.S. commander in Afghanistan, called “a steady, direct attack against the command and control in sanctuary areas in Pakistan” essential to preempt the expected Taliban spring offensive. Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voiced similar concerns last month, saying, “Long-term prospects for eliminating the Taliban threat appear dim so long as the sanctuary remains in Pakistan, and there are no encouraging signs that Pakistan is eliminating it.”The rise of North and South Waziristan as hubs for Taliban and al Qaeda activity has not only damaged Afghan security and reconstruction. Unwilling to confine its activities to the border areas, the Pakistani Taliban also has designs on the settled regions of the North-West Frontier Province, an area the size of Florida. This was clear as long ago as March 2006, when Aftab Khan Sherpao, the Pakistani interior minister, sounded the alarm. “The Taliban’s sphere of influence has expanded to Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, and the Khyber Agency, where clerics of the area have started to join them,” Sherpao said. “There has been a sharp increase in attacks on heavily defended military targets in these areas as well.”

Asfandyar Wali, leader of the secular, democratic Awami National party, has also been trying to arouse concern about the Taliban’s growing power in the North-West Frontier Province. Wali recently went on Pakistani television and reported that the district of Kohat is now under Taliban control.

And in the last six months, the Taliban has conducted a concerted roadside and suicide bombing campaign in the settled regions of Pakistan. Suicide bombings have occurred in Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Mir Ali, Dera Ismail Khan, and Dera Adamkhel. Pakistani security forces were attacked by the Taliban with roadside bombs and ambushes in Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Bajaur, and North and South Waziristan. A Pakistani military base in Dargai was hit by a suicide attack, which killed over 45 recruits exercising outside the base. Faqir Muhammad was responsible.

Throughout the North-West Frontier Province, schools, nongovernmental organizations, foreign banks, barber shops, and music and video stores have received notices ordering them to shut down or face attacks–a standard Taliban modus operandi. Some shut down, others were destroyed by bombs.

All the while, the Taliban is working to consolidate its power by removing anyone who remotely opposes its radical agenda. Tribesmen are routinely found murdered, often with their throats cut, stabbed multiple times, or beheaded. They always have a note pinned to their body identifying them as a “U.S. spy.” More than 250 “spies” have been murdered in the past year. The network of pro-Western tribal leaders in the region has essentially been dismantled, according to an American military intelligence official.

The mastermind of this terror and bombing campaign is Baitullah Mehsud, the most powerful Taliban leader in South Waziristan. He is estimated to have an army of over 30,000 trained fighters. The Pakistani government negotiated yet another of its “peace” deals with Baitullah back in 2005, in which he agreed to cease attacking Pakistani security forces and sheltering “foreign fighters.” Baitullah never lived up to the agreement.

In January, one of Baitullah’s training camps in the small town of Zamazola was hit by an airstrike, purportedly by Pakistani security forces. It is widely accepted, however, that U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted the attack. Baitullah then embarked on the recent suicide campaign, killing scores nationwide. “They launch airstrikes on us and we respond with suicide attacks,” Baitullah told a crowd after the strike on Zamazola. He also promised to continue the fight in Afghanistan, saying, “The holy warriors will give a tougher fight this year than last year.” Pakistani police traced the string of suicide strikes directly to Baitullah–yet the Pakistani government sent negotiators to meet with him, and they accepted his protestations of innocence. Baitullah is untouchable.

To illustrate just how badly the Waziristan Accord has failed, last week a powerful Taliban commander fought with an al Qaeda-linked Uzbek group in South Waziristan. More than 160 Uzbeks and Taliban are reported killed. The Pakistani government was quick to represent this fight as proof that the accord was working: In the government’s version of events, pro-government tribes had battled foreign jihadists to enforce the agreement. But nothing could be further from the truth. The fighting began after Uzbeks killed an Arab al Qaeda fighter supported by the Taliban. To settle the conflict, the Taliban sent in senior commanders, including Baitullah Mehsud and Mullah Dadullah Akhund, military leader of the Afghan Taliban, to negotiate a truce between the factions.

Now, the Taliban and al Qaeda openly rule in the tribal lands. Terror training camps are up and running, secure from harassment by Pakistani security forces. Al Qaeda leaders are thought to be sheltered in the region, as Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, confirmed in February.

The Bajaur agreement signals once again that the Pakistani government is unwilling to police its own borders, and is prepared to hand over even more territory to the Taliban and al Qaeda. Behind the agreement is the hidden hand of General Hamid Gul, the former chief of Pakistan’s shadowy intelligence service, the ISI.

Gul, an Islamist, is credited with laying the groundwork for the establishment of the Taliban and is said to be friends with Mullah Omar. The 9/11 Commission believed he had warned Osama bin Laden prior to the 1998 missile strike launched by President Clinton, allowing bin Laden to escape. Last year, Gul sought an injunction from the Pakistani supreme court to prevent Pakistani military action in Bajaur. President Musharraf’s dismissal of the chief justice on March 9 is rumored to be related to this case.

The United States smashed al Qaeda’s base of operations in Afghanistan in 2001, only to see it transferred to northwestern Pakistan. The refusal of the Musharraf regime to deal with this situation, and the active participation of elements of the Pakistani military, intelligence, and political elites in supporting our enemies, are worrisome for our efforts in the war on terror–and threaten the very existence of a non-jihadist Pakistani state.

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