Category Archives: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood Working Toward Same Goal As ISIS

There is a great deal of confusion about the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the global jihadist insurgency.

The best way to describe the MB’s role is to say that it is the political wing of the insurgency and groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda, HAMAS and others are the military wing of that insurgency.

In terms of their goals, they are the same.

ISIS has established an Islamic state in parts of Iraq and Syria. Al Qaeda seeks to to the same globally and regionally (in the Arabian peninsula and the Maghreb for instance). HAMAS seeks to replace Israel with an Islamic state. It goes without saying that these Islamic states are to be ruled under Shariah.

The Muslim Brotherhood has the same goal: the establishment of Islamic states ruled by Shariah, culminating in the (impossible) dream of a worldwide caliphate.

If you want evidence of this, just view the recent screen capture from the Muslim Brotherhood’s official web site.

The main headline reflects that the MB seeks to overthrow the regime in Syria–the same goal as ISIS.

Further down, a smaller headline expresses support for Jihadists fighting the regime in Yemen.

 

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Terror Alert Sign of Resurgent Al Qaeda

The terror alerts issued by the US State Department, Interpol and the foreign offices of Great Britain, France and Germany should worry Westerners very much.

US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen

US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen

 

If there is indeed specific information about a credible threat that closed down US embassies in 22 nations, grounded 6 international airline flights (so far) and resulted in the most serious global travel advisory put out by the US State Department in several years (covering an entire month) then it is an indication that Al Qaeda is not only NOT “on the run,” but is evidently more prolific than ever in terms of its reach.

Under such circumstances, it’s not a question of “if” Western targets will be struck again, but “when.”

We have been lied to about the magnitude and scope of the Jihadist terrorist threat. That is the unmistakable conclusion.

Some cynics and skeptics seem to think that the whole issue has been contrived by the Obama administration for political purposes, but this makes no sense at all.

Obama has repeatedly declared victory over Al Qaeda. He essentially declared that the killing of Osama Bin Laden placed the terrorist organization on the ropes and all but announced an end to the war on terror, complete with a re-orientation of the US military toward a significantly smaller force primarily focused on the Asia-Pacific region.

Moreover, his policy of drone strikes was supposed to have decimated Al Qaeda’s leadership structure.

Apparently none of what Obama told us was correct.

So for Obama now to use that same terrorist threat to improve his political fortunes makes no sense at all.

Think about it: So when Obama repeatedly says Al Qaeda is on the run and for all practical purposes defeated—-it’s regarded as propaganda for the masses. And then when the State Dept issues a global travel advisory and closes 22 embassies because of a threat from Al Qaeda, that’s also propaganda for those same masses?

It doesn’t add up.  I think Obama lied about Al Qaeda in the first place. It was in his best interests to remove a major national security threat from the public sphere and, with the aid of a compliant media, he successfully did so. But it was never anything more than words on paper and talk in pretty speeches.

Al Qaeda isn’t on the run. They aren’t defeated. And this terror alert, unfortunately, isn’t phony.

The alert coincides with the end of Ramadan, a holy month in Islam in which America has often restrained itself in fighting Islamic enemies, but during which Jihadists have actually escalated their attacks. The closure of the embassies comes on the Ramadan “Night of Power.” Without getting into obnoxious detail about Islamic doctrine, all you really need to know about the “Night of Power” is that it was the day on which the USS Cole was attacked in Aden harbor in Yemen in 2000. And this is the same week during which the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in east Africa were bombed back in 1998.

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So, when intelligence emerges suggesting that US targets will come under attack at this time, it is something to take seriously, especially given the fact that Al Qaeda leader Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri released a statement in the past week instructing Al Qaeda’s followers to attack US targets now.

Perhaps the most significant evidence that this terror alert should be taken seriously comes from the fact that France, Germany and Great Britain have all shut their embassies in Yemen down as well and issued travel advisories to their citizens. Unless they’re in on some scheme to help Obama’s approval rating, my guess is there is a real threat out there.

German diplomatic post in Yemen

German diplomatic post in Yemen

Al Qaeda is real, folks. They’ve been real for decades now and they’re deadly. To assume otherwise is suicidal. To make matters worse, there is evidence to indicate that they are now as capable as they have been at any time since 1998.

Consider the fact that in the past month there have been large-scale prison breakouts in nine Islamic nations, including Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. The timing and scale of these breakouts in which mostly Jihadi fighters made their escapes, is unprecedented. Interpol suspects Al Qaeda involvement and coordination and has issued an advisory to that effect. On 22 July, 500 Jihadis, including senior level Al Qaeda operatives, escaped from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Five days later, on 27 July, 1100 inmates escaped from a prison near Benghazi, Libya. And four days after that, on 31 July, the Taliban led a breakout from a prison in Pakistan in which an unknown number of Jihadis escaped.

Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq

Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq

These operations were almost certainly orchestrated and coordinated, most probably with help from the inside in each country. This was a massive undertaking that demonstrates Al Qaeda’s military as well as political power in the Islamic world. With so many Jihadis back on the loose, Westerners better brace themselves.

 

 

 

 

Hostage Status Update from IntelCenter

 

James Foley, held hostage in Syria since November 2012 by an as yet unknown gunmen who captured him near the Turkish border

James Foley, held hostage in Syria since November 2012 by as yet unknown gunmen who captured him near the Turkish border

IntelCenter is an invaluable resource for information and updates on Jihadist terrorism. We highly recommend their services:

http://www.intelcenter.com/

Their latest email bulletin included this update on hostages held by Jihadist terrorists around the globe, in places like Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Syria, Mali, Afghanistan, Niger, Iran and Iraq. The overwhelming majority of hostages are Western; 8 are Americans:

• French national Tanguy Moulin-Fournier held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French national Albane Moulin-Fournier held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier family uncle held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier Child, age 5, held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier Child, age 8, held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier Child, age 10, held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier Child, age 12, held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• Canadian Jernoc Wobert held hostage by ELN in Colombia for 1 month, 21 days
• Austrian national held hostage in Yemen for 2 months, 18 days
• Finnish female national held hostage in Yemen for 2 months, 18 days
• Finnish male national held hostage in Yemen for 2 months, 18 days
• French national Francis Collomp held hostage by Ansaru in Nigeria for 2 months, 20 days
• American journalist James Foley held hostage in Syria for 3 months, 17 days
• French national Alberto Rodriguez Leal held hostage by MUJAO in Mali for 3 months, 19 days
• Ukrainian journalist Anhar Kochneva held hostage by Abu Husayn Squadron in Syria for 4 months, 27 days
• American journalist Austin Tice held hostage in Syria for 6 months, 26 days
• Canadian Astrid Shel held hostage in Somalia by al-Shabaab for 8 months, 11 days
• Canadian Korat Sadazi held hostage in Somalia by al-Shabaab for 8 months, 11 days
• Filipino Glenn Costes held hostage in Somalia by al-Shabaab for 8 months, 11 days
• Norwegian Stephen Denis held hostage in Somalia by al-Shabaab for 8 months, 11 days
• Saudi diplomat Abdullah Mohammed Khalifa al-Khalidi held hostage by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen for 11 months, 11 days
• German/American Michael Scott Moore held hostage in Somalia for 1 year, 1 month, 18 days
• Australian Warren Richard Rodwell held hostage by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Philippines for 1 year, 3 months, 6 days
• Swedish national held hostage in Mali 1 year, 3 months, 14 days
• Dutch national held hostage in Mali 1 year, 3 months, 14 days
• British national held hostage in Mali 1 year, 3 months, 14 days
• French national Serge Lazarevic held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Mali for 1 year, 3 months, 15 days
• French national Philippe Verdon held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Mali for 1 year, 3 months, 15 days
• Spaniard Blanca Thiebaut held hostage by al-Shabaab in Somalia for 1 year, 4 months, 26 days
• Spaniard Montserrat Serra held hostage by al-Shabaab in Somalia for 1 year, 4 months, 26 days
• American aid worker Warren Weinstein held hostage by al-Qaeda in Pakistan for 1 year, 6 months, 26 days
• Canadian tourist Colin Rutherford held hostage by Taliban in Afghanistan for 2 years, 4 months, 7 days
• French national Marc Feret held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Niger for 2 years, 5 months, 23 days
• French national Thierry Dole held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Niger for 2 years, 5 months, 23 days
• French national Daniel Larribe held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Niger for 2 years, 5 months, 23 days
• French national Pierre Legrand held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Niger for 2 years, 5 months, 23 days
• American soldier Bowe Bergdahl held hostage by Taliban in Afghanistan for 3 years, 8 months, 11 days
• Brit Murray Watson held hostage by al-Shabaab in Somalia for 4 years, 11 months, 10 days
• American Robert Levinson held hostage in Iran for 6 years, 2 days
• German Sinan Krause held hostage by Arrows of Righteous Brigade in Iraq for 6 Years, 1 month, 5 days
• South African Johann Enslin held hostage in Iraq for 6 years, 3 months, 1 days
• South African Hardus Greef held hostage in Iraq for 6 years, 3 months, 1 days
• South African Callie Scheepers held hostage in Iraq for 6 years, 3 months, 1 days
• South African Andre Durant held hostage in Iraq for 6 years, 3 months, 1 days
• American Jeffrey Ake held hostage in Iraq for 7 years, 11 months
• American Dean Sadek held hostage by 1920 Revolution Brigades in Iraq for 8 years, 4 months, 9 days
• American Aban Abdel Malek Mahmoud Elias held hostage in Iraq for 8 years, 10 months, 8 days

Al Qaeda Publishes Jihadi Guidebook; NBC’s Mike Brunker Sees it as “Positive”

Alleged-Al-Qaeda-magazine-Inspire

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula recently published its latest edition of “Inspire” online magazine. Included in this edition is a kind of Guidebook for Jihadis. It’s called the “Lone Mujahid Pocketbook,” and it contains instructions for “lone wolf” actors in the US as to how they might create chaos through acts of sabotage and violence.

Among other things, it offers detailed instructions for torching parked cars, causing vehicular accidents by pouring motor oil on highway curves, starting forest fires, “making a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom” and using a pickup truck with blades welded on the front “as a mowing machine, not to mow grass but (to) mow down the enemies of Allah.”

Lone wolf terrorists are not to be scoffed at. Major Nidal Hassan was a lone wolf terrorist. Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Muhammed, was a lone wolf terrorist. John Allen Mohammed, the mostly forgotten DC Sniper, was a lone wolf terrorist. All three men killed and wounded innocent Americans in the name of Islam.

The ideas and tactics outlined in the Lone Mujahid Pocketbook are also not to be dismissed as harmless.

Nevertheless, in the the article linked below, NBC News Investigations Editor Mike Brunker sees the recommendations in the guidebook in a “positive light.” Now, Brunker tries to assign that thought to terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann, but no where does Kohlmann even infer that he views the guidebook as a positive development. In fact, Kohlmann says just about the opposite:

“Homegrown terrorism costs al-Qaida nothing, and it garners the same amount of public attention as “real” terrorism. It’s a no-brainer.”

Kohlmann does comment on the production quality of the latest issue of “Inspire,” but he most assuredly does not dismiss the publication of this magazine and guidebook as “positive.” Brunker was irresponsible to infer otherwise. But we’ve come to expect such poor standards of journalism from what NBC has become.

http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/03/17161026-new-al-qaida-terror-guidebook-urges-young-extremists-to-think-small?lite

 

Obama Doubles Down on His “Al Qaeda is Defeated” Meme, Sort Of

Despite the fact that Al Qaeda is conducting active operations around the world, including recent operations in which Americans were killed in Libya and Algeria, President Obama continues to spread the myth that Al Qaeda is defeated.

He has, however, changed his tune a little bit.

Ever since the killing of Osama Bin Laden, Obama has been declaring that Al Qaeda has been defeated or is “on the run.”

Now he qualifies his statement: he now says that the “core” of Al Qaeda is “on the path to defeat,” what ever that means.

Actually, it means nothing. It is meaningless political babble.

Judging from the article linked below, Obama seems to think that if the US withdraws from combat with the Jihadists, the war will be over. This attitude isn’t just naive, it’s downright dishonest and dangerously irresponsible…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/core-of-al-qaeda-on-path-to-defeat-barack-obama/articleshow/18414243.cms

CAIR’s New Disinformation Campaign on “Jihad”

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By Christopher Holton

The internet has literally been littered with news reports about a new propaganda campaign being waged by the head of the Council on American Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Chicago director.

The man’s name is Ahmed Rehab and his methodology has been to run advertising on buses to change the public perception of the word “Jihad.”

Rehab has chosen two of the most liberal cities in America in which to conduct his campaign so far: Chicago and San Francisco.

The name of the campaign is “MyJihad” and it aims to convince Americans that Jihad only means “to struggle” or, more specifically, an internal, personal struggle. Rehab claims that this is the “true” meaning of Jihad.

Unfortunately for Rehab, he is only partially correct and any campaign that claims that the term Jihad only means an internal, personal struggle amounts to disinformation. The dualistic nature of Islam, in this case as it applies to the meaning of “Jihad,” is well documented both in historical Islamic doctrine and in contemporary use of the term.

And Jihad definitely does not only mean an internal, personal struggle. In fact, the most widespread meaning of the term that is of particular interest to Westerners who are threatened by Jihad does in fact entail violence.

A false and misleading statement has been attributed to the San Francisco chapter head of CAIR, Zahra Billoo:

“A common misconception of the word jihad is that it means armed struggle or holy war, and that is something that has been perpetrated by many who’ve made careers out of pushing anti-Muslim sentiment.”

Such a meaning for Jihad has nothing to do with anyone with an “anti-Muslim sentiment.” It has everything to do with Islam itself.

Let us examine definitions of Jihad from two authoritative sources.

 Jihad According to the Quran

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The first is the Quran itself. In this case, specifically The Noble Qu’ran, translated into English by two scholars: Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, PhD, professor of Islamic Faith and Teachings at the Islamic University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia and Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan of the same institution. The Noble Qu’ran was published by Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It has been catalogued by King Fahad National Library. On page 818, in a glossary accompanying the text of the Quran, The Noble Qu’ran provides the following definition of Jihad:

“Jihad: Holy fighting in the Cause of Allah or any other kind of effort to make Allah’s Word superior. Jihad is regarded as one of the fundamentals of Islam.”

Can the Quran itself be promoting “anti-Muslim sentiment” as CAIR’s Zahra Billoo asserts?

Jihad According to Shariah

Our second source is Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.

RELIANCE OF THE TRAVELLER

Reliance of the Traveler is one of the world’s most widely read manuals of Shariah law. It has been endorsed by a variety of Islamic authorities, including Al Azhar University in Cairo, IIIT (International Institute of Islamic Thought) in Herndon, Virginia, the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Mufti of the Jordanian Armed Forces andthe Imam of the Mosque of Darwish Pasha in Damascus, Syria.

These can hardly be termed as those pushing “anti-Muslim sentiment” as Billoo claims.

On page 599 of Reliance of the Traveler, readers can find the following passage:

o9.0 JIHAD

(O: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion…

The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:

(1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);

(2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);

(3) “Fight the idolators utterly” (Koran 9:36);

and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah”;

and the hadith reported by Muslim,

“To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.”

Jihad According to Terrorists

If Jihad truly means to “struggle” and not warfare to establish the religion, how does CAIR explain the names of all these terrorist organizations?

Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India)

Islamic Front for Armed Jihad (Algeria)

Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine (Lebanon)

Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (Israel)

Islamic Jihad Organization (Lebanon)

Islamic Jihad Union (Uzbekistan)

Jama’at al-Jihad al-Islami (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia)

Laskar Jihad (Indonesia)

United Jihad Council (India)

Contemporary Video Evidence of Widespread Use of the Term “Jihad”

Finally, there is a mountain of video evidence which illustrates vividly the widespread contemporary use of the term Jihad:

First, we have a 10 minute video from a Palestinian Authority TV children’s show using the term Jihad:

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Next we have a 1-minute video of female terrorists from the group Islamic Jihad:

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Here is a 2-minute news report on Taliban fighters vowing to continue to wage jihad after the death of Osama Bin Laden:

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Then there’s this 6-minute tribute to the “Lion of Jihad,” Osama Bin Laden:

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A 24-second sound byte from British-based Imam Amjen Choudary on Jihad in Islam:

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More from Choudary; in this case a 2-minute warning that Jihad is on its way.

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A 2-minute segment from Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of Al Qaeda, on Jihad:

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A 40-second call by Zawahiri to Pakistanis to rise up in Jihad:

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A 3-minute news report on Somali Al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab using Social Media to call Muslims to Jihad:

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A 4-minute posthumous call to Jihad by American-born Anwar al Awlaki. Keep in mind that, before he became head of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Awlaki had been an Imam at mosques in San Diego, Denver and northern Virginia and was regarded as a great “moderate” who was a favorite show pony for “outreach” programs. He was invited to the Pentagon. He delivered sermons to the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association on Capitol Hill. Prominent CAIR officers, employees and members attended these sermons. At least one former CAIR employee who attended Awlaki’s sermons on Capitol Hill in Washington DC is now in jail on terrorism charges:

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A call to Jihad by Yasir Arafat–three years after signing the Oslo Accords…

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A 5-minute call to Jihad by the Chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Syria:

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A 4-minute call to Jihad from the Sudanese Minister of International Cooperation:

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So, the Obama State Department declares the “War on Terrorism” Over

Late last week a State Department spokesman uttered “The war on terror is over.”

That utterance was followed  up by President Obama’s surprise trip to Afghanistan (“coincidentally” on the anniversary of the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, or so we are told…). While in Afghanistan, Obama gave a political speech aimed at folks back home in America in which he echoed the sentiments of his State Department spokesman in essentially declaring Al Qaeda beaten.

Before we deconstruct this politically motivated fantasy, we should probably point out that we are not now, nor were we truly ever engaged in a “war on terrorism.” We don’t want to belabor the point because many observers have pointed out this reality over the years. Terrorism is a method, not an enemy. As the late philosopher and columnist Jeff Cooper said shortly after President Bush named this struggle the “war on terrorism:” “Give us an enemy we can shoot at, Mr. President.”

But it was not to be. Obama stopped referring to the war on terrorism as soon as he came into office, his administration floating the term “overseas contingency operations” instead.

That drew instant and widespread ridicule and we haven’t heard the term mentioned much since it was originally floated after Obama got into office.

We should have paid closer attention. This wasn’t just about changing names. This was about ending the war effort. The goal in changing the name was to prepare the American people for an end to the war. Obama came into office knowing he was going to end the war–unilaterally. The fact is, the war and the threat of terrorism don’t help liberals get elected. There was a reason why the word “terrorism” was never uttered at the 2004 Democratic National Convention when the Democrats nominated Senator John Kerry.

The DNC did the polling and the focus groups and found out that the issue was a loser for them. Ever since, the hard left has been hell bent for leather on ending the war effort.

Obama’s State Department spokesman claimed last week that “since most of Al Qaeda’s is now dead” Islamists have other places to turn for legitimate inclusion in the political process.

There is so much to comment on here that we hardly know where to begin.

First of all, most of the original members of Al Qaeda were dead before Obama even got into office. Most estimates were that some 75% of Al Qaeda’s leadership had been killed or captured in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom. The killing of Osama Bin Laden just over a year ago likely did not add much to the operational degradation of Al Qaeda. Despite claims to the contrary, it is highly unlikely that Bin Laden still exercised operational control over Al Qaeda around the globe at the time of his death. So, this is hardly a new development as the Obama State Department spokesman implies.

We now know from seized documents and from former intelligence operatives that Bin Laden had, for years, limited his communications with the outside world, including Al Qaeda, to a single human courier. There is simply no way he could possibly have maintained operational authority or control over the organization in such circumstances.

This suggests that his death did not add substantially to the degradation of Al Qaeda’s operational capability.

Bin Laden was barely involved any more. He wasn’t even in a position to raise money–his chief role for years in the past. Nor did he find it necessary to issue frequent videotaped messages to his followers or to the world at large, something he took great pride in doing earlier in Al Qaeda’s war against the West.

Because of this, Bin Laden’s death cannot be accurately  described as ending Al Qaeda. Perhaps we are on the cusp of defeating Al Qaeda in the Afghan-Pak theater of operations, but that is not due to Bin Laden’s death. Bin Laden’s death was in reality a byproduct of the campaign against Al Qaeda in that region over a period of years, starting way back in 2001.

Moreover, Al Qaeda globally is far from finished. The organization has evolved into an umbrella group for Jihadists around the globe. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is active in Africa. Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula is locked in an active, violent insurgency in Yemen. Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s successor and always the organization’s ideologue, is still at large. His Jihadist brother, released from prison in the so-called “Arab Spring” is back in operation in Egypt.

Then there are the Al Qaeda affiliates that don’t identify themselves as Al Qaeda, but certainly operate in a similar fashion. There’s Aby Sayyaf in the Philippines, which has kidnapped and murdered Americans in the past. There’s Al Shabaab in Somalia, which recruits heavily from the Somali refugee community here in the USA. There’s Boko Haram, which is making life in Nigeria a living hell for Christians. There’s Jemaah Islamiyah in Malaysia and Indonesia, which has attacked Westerners, including the 202 deaths in the Bali, Indonesia bombing in 2002. And of course, the Taliban themselves, who are allied with Al Qaeda and gave them a launching pad for operations in the 1990s.

All of these organizations still exist. We are told now that Bin Laden did not have a high regard for these affiliates, but that doesn’t necessarily make them any less of a threat.

But let’s not forget the Jihadist terrorist organizations that operate and who are not overtly aligned with Al Qaeda. These serve as a reminder that the enemy isn’t just “Al Qaeda,” despite what the Obama administration wants you to believe. We should not take too much comfort in the fact that most of these organizations operate overseas and don’t regularly target Americans. They don’t view Americans any differently than they view other Westerners or kafirs.

There is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines, which, like Abu Sayyef, has targeted Americans in the past. There’s Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the horrific Mumbai attacks in 2008. Keep in mind that LeT used an American to conduct reconnaissance for that operation and their captured literature showed plans to target the American homeland. There are the Islamic Jihad Union in Uzbekistan and Jaish-e-Mohammed in Kashmir. There’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has known operatives in the US. And, along those same lines, we have HAMAS, which currently only targets Israel, but which has an extensive network in the US.

Most ominously, given the threat from Iran, is Hezbollah, described by more than one US official as the “A” team of terrorism. Congressional investigations estimate that they have thousands of supporters and hundred of operatives here in the US. A very recent report indicates that Hezbollah has a network centered on Shia mosques here in the US as well.

But this all misses the basic point. We are on the receiving end of a global Islamic insurgency. It’s not a homogenous insurgency by any stretch. Many of the insurgent groups are completely unrelated and some even hate each other. But they are all united in one goal: establishment of Islamic rule under Shariah law.

This war did not start on September 11th, 2001, with Al Qaeda’s attacks on the US homeland; it had been raging on a lower level overseas for decades. And the war will not end with the death of Osama Bin Laden, or the outright defeat of Al Qaeda, or the inevitable NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The declaration of victory is purely for domestic political consumption, which is very sad and dangerous indeed.

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Center for Security Policy Vice President Christopher Holton is available for speaking engagements on the subjects of terrorism, terrorism financing, Shariah, Shariah-Compliant Finance and Jihad. For more information, contact him at chris@christopherholton.com

Osama Bin Laden moved around a lot while on the run

We have always been skeptical that Osama Bin Laden maintained operational control over much of Al Qaeda while he was on the run, dodging US forces.

When US Special Operations forces caught up with Bin Laden and killed him in a compound in Pakistan, it was initially assumed, or at least reported, that he had been laid up there for almost the entire time he was on the run.

It was also widely reported that because Bin Laden was in a secure location for so long, he likely maintained operational control over Al Qaeda globally. That simply did not ring true to us then and it doesn’t now that it has been revealed that Bin Laden in fact lived a vagabond life, moving to five safe houses in widely separated parts of Afghanistan and then Pakistan.

The meme that Bin Laden maintained operational control over Al Qaeda while he was evading US forces was touted to essentially turn the killing of the terrorist leader into an “end-game” event in the so-called “war on terror.”

The Left in particular has promoted that narrative, but some neo-isolationists on the right have subscribed to it as well.

We buy into that rubbish at our peril. Assuming that the Jihadists will end their war against the West in general, and the US in particular, because the SEALs killed Bin Laden is irresponsible.

It defies belief that Bin Laden could possibly have maintained operational control over Al Qaeda given the conditions which he was forced to endure post 9/11.

Al Qaeda has become decentralized and its followers and admirers around the world, such as Mohammed Merah in France, will continue to act with brutal violence. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda “affiliates” continue to be active in Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Mali and Niger to name a few.

The death of Bin Laden at the hands of US Navy SEALs was a great thing. But to assign “victory” to that single act would in fact be to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2122752/Osama-living-version-Kardashians-Abbottabad-Bin-Laden-fathered-FOUR-children-lived-houses-years-run-Pakistan-9-11.html

Was Bin Laden in Charge and Will his Death Defeat Jihad?

In the wake of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, there is a debate as to the extent that Bin Laden was operationally in charge of Al Qaeda. There have also been those who have naively speculated that Bin Laden’s death means an end to the war on terror or even Jihad altogether.

It seems apparent that Bin Laden was actively communicating with Al Qaeda elements, but it wasn’t in real time. He used a system of couriers to relay messages via email and the internet, but went to great pains to securely communicate. This means no direct internet connection and no phones, cellular, satellite or landline.

This would preclude any real dialogue with operators and cells. It seems as if Bin Laden was able to communicate in general terms about his “commander’s intent,” but was in no position to take part in detailed planning. Bin Laden wanted his followers to carry out mass casualty attacks, he wanted the attacks to occur on important anniversaries and holidays, and he was especially interested in attacks on trains, which is not hard to believe given that Jihadists have been targeting trains in the UK, Spain, France, Germany and India in recent years.

Unfortunately, what this probably means is that the loss of Bin Laden will not operationally hinder Al Qaeda. It may hurt the group’s morale and it may erode some of the group’s financial and moral support, but it might also energize those who seek to avenge Bin Laden’s death at the hands of US special operations forces.

Al Qaeda doctrinal leader Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri still lives and he has been by far more active in communicating in recent years than Bin Laden was. Anwar Al-Awlaki is still at large in Yemen and he has been the one who has successfully trained and inspired Jihadi attacks on US targets in recent years, such as the Fort Hood Jihadi murderer, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Underwear Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Little Rock Jihadist murderer, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (aka Carlos Bledsoe) and the unsuccessful plot to send bombs embedded in printer cartridges from Yemen to the US on board cargo and passenger airliners.

Muslim Brotherhood apologist Peter Bergen maintains that Awlaki is a small player and that the war on terror should end with the killing of Bin Laden, but this is hardly surprising that Bergen essentially built a career around Bin Laden, including perpetuating the illusion that Bergen himself was some sort of expert on Jihad because he had managed to spend a few hours with Bin Laden in a tent 13 years ago or so.

On top of all this, there is the additional issue of groups and organizations sympathetic to Al Qaeda and allied with Al Qaeda, but not actually part of Al Qaeda. Two significant organizations fall into this category: the Taliban and Lashkar e Taiba.

The Taliban need no introduction, but many people do not realize two things about the Taliban: Taliban leader Mullah Omar specifically declined to merge with Al Qaeda and refused to take an oath of loyalty to Bin Laden. Because of this, Bin Laden exercised no operational control over the Taliban. Second, the failed Times Square bomb plot appears to have been a Taliban operation, vice an Al Qaeda operation: http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/new-york-times-square-car-bomb-bulletin/

The significance of this is that the Taliban are willing and able to attempt terrorist attacks here in America. Adding to this worry is the recent news that six American Muslims, including Imams at a Florida mosque, appear to have been raising money for the Taliban: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1387185/Imam-Florida-mosque-sons-arrested-charges-financing-Taliban-Pakistan.html  Moreover, there is no ignoring the Taliban’s recent bombing attack against a Pakistani paramilitary training facility in northern Pakistan, which was declared as vengeance for Bin Laden’s death–with the promise of more to come.

Unfortunately, the slaying of Osama Bin Laden will have no operational impact on Taliban operations.

Then there is Lashkar e Taiba, the Pakistani Jihadi terrorist group which carried out the horrific Mumbai attacks. Again, this is a group that is often misidentified as an Al Qaeda affiliate, but, like the Taliban, LeT is a separate, standalone organization that declined to pledge any oath to Osama Bin Laden.

What does LeT have to do with America? Two things:

1. The Jihadist who conducted recon ahead of the Mumbai attacks was an American from Chicago named David Coleman Headley:

http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/18-american-jihadist-terrorists/

In fact, Headley also conducted recon on an Indian nuclear power plant as well:

http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/chicago-jihadi-conducted-recon-on-nuke-plant-for-lashkar-e-taiba/

2. LeT is known to be active in America:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/927uxqry.asp

Members of the group fought against US forces in Iraq back in 2004. The group is known to have a presence in Germany and the UK as well.

These are just two examples of Jihadi organizations that pose a threat to America that will not be impacted at all by the death of Bin Laden.

Then there is the “lone wolf” threat, the so-called “sudden jihad syndrome” threat in which enraged Muslims commit acts of violence because they were inspired by organizations like Al Qaeda and people like Osama Bin Laden. There have been examples of this, the most recent being the case of a Yemeni-American who tried to storm the cockpit door of an American Airlines flight whilst screaming “AllahuAkbar!” Fortunately, the reinforced door was securely locked and there were a retired Secret Service agent and retired police officer on board who subdued the subject:

http://www.examiner.com/headlines-in-san-francisco/did-yemen-man-yells-allahu-akbar-incident-outside-cockpit-door-video

Officials have issued warnings about such “lone wolf” attacks in the wake of Bin Laden getting his brains blown out:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/05/10/bin.laden.attacks/

What of Al Qaeda itself? At least four Al Qaeda affiliates have either declared their intent to avenge Bin Laden’s death or issued veiled threats to carry on with the Jihad:

Somalia’s Al Shabaab, including Daphne, Alabama-born Jihadist, Abu Mansur Al-Amriki, mourned Bin Laden’s passing in a radio communication, confirming, incidentally, Al Qaeda’s role in fighting US forces in Somalia way back in 1993:

http://www.raxanreeb.com/?p=95817

In Indonesia, Jemmaah Islamiyah leader Abu Bakar Bashir, mourned Bin Laden and issued a veiled threat:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/jemaah-islamiyahs-abu-bakar-bashir-says-death-of-bin-laden-wont-kill-al-qaeda/story-fn3dxity-1226049072983

And, finally, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (which has been especially active in hostage taking in recent months and years) and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, both vowed to carry on with Jihad after Bin Laden’s death:

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.312069e9fc4253641862a854552f7c85.8b1&show_article=1

http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/05/al_qaeda_affiliates_weigh_in_o.php

None of this takes two other significant Jihadi terrorist threats into account: Hezbollah and HAMAS.

Hezbollah has not issued any comments on Bin Laden’s death, but a former Hezbollah leader mourned Bin Laden as a hero who defended Islam:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=45936

Hezbollah has not targeted Americans with terrorism in recent years, but they did take an active combat and advisory role against US forces in Iraq and they are believed to have a substantial presence inside the USA. Most recently, reports have once again surfaced of the group’s presence along the American-Mexico border:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4692389/terror-on-the-border/

What could touch off renewed attacks by Hezbollah? A confrontation with Iran for one.

The same can be said for the Palestinian Jihadist terrorist group HAMAS. Like Hezbollah, HAMAS is greatly dependent on Iran for financing, arms and training. Any confrontation with Iran carries with it the danger of HAMAS terror attacks. Many Americans do not remember that Palestinian terrorists used to target Americans with regularity. They stopped, not out of love for America, but to avoid being targeted by American power. HAMAS has the same basic goals as Al Qaeda and issued a eulogy honoring Bin Laden in which they bestowed upon him the honorific title “Sheikh:”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdDapb1rrvk

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8488479/Osama-bin-Laden-dead-Hamas-condemns-killing-of-bin-Laden.html

HAMAS is known to have conducted extensive fundraising inside America and, like Hezbollah, is believed to have a major presence inside our country.

So, we have no answers but certainly some educated guesses:

• Bin Laden was unlikely to have played an active operational role in Al Qaeda in recent times; most likely he was limited to expressing “commander’s intent” via intermediaries with little or no direct contact with operatives around the globe.

• The Jihad will of course continue.  Jihad is not limited to a few groups and it didn’t commence on September 11th, 2001. It’s been going on for a millennium and is based on Shariah doctrine, not just the personal philosophy of Osama Bin Laden. Jihad, however, can be made dormant for a period through strong resistance since, according to Shariah, Muslims are specifically not supposed to wage Jihad if they are not strong enough to do so, therefore the situation is far from hopeless.

Al Qaeda and its affiliates have pledged to continue the Jihad and allied Jihadist groups still pose an independent threat above and beyond Al Qaeda. In fact Bin Laden’s death may ironically spur them to action. This says nothing of the threat from Jihadists that were not aligned with Bin Laden, such as Hezbollah and HAMAS, who pose an ongoing, if dormant, threat to Americans.

Now is no time to rest or become complacent. Just the opposite.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Reported to Be Close to Launching Terror Attack

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen may be close to launching a terrorist attack, according to US intelligence agencies…

The threat from AQAP comes as counterterrorism operations in Yemen have evidently been interrupted by mass demonstrations against the 32-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

US officials have articulated worries that the unrest sweeping the Arab world could hinder counterterrorism efforts.

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1628871.php/Report-Al-Qaeda-branch-in-Yemen-planning-terror-strikes-US-says

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