Category Archives: Philippines

HOLTON: The Enemy Knows We’re In A World War, But We Don’t

Excerpt and LINK from my guest article in The Hayride…

The Islamic State is not simply an Iraqi problem or a Syrian problem. IS has metastasized into a worldwide organization with 20,000 recruits from Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, the U.S., Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Germany. Even worse, Jihadists from Boko Haram in Nigeria, Abu Sayyef in the Philippines, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Northwest Africa and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen have all pledged allegiance to IS.

There can no longer be any doubt that the global Islamic insurgency that some have been warning about for some time, amounts to a world war. Nevertheless, policymakers here in the U.S. continue to ignore or deny this reality.

Over the period of a generation, the West has allowed itself to be thoroughly infiltrated by a savage and barbaric belief system. This is evidenced by the global base of recruitment that the Islamic State has been able to take advantage of and the numerous public displays of support for IS in the West.

http://thehayride.com/2014/08/holton-the-enemy-knows-were-in-a-world-war-but-we-dont/

 

 

Abu Sayyaf Joins the Islamic State

At what point does Obama’s so-called “jayvee” become enough of a threat to mobilize action to put them down?

 

Thailand Breaks Up Hezbollah Plot to Target Israelis During Passover

Image from stop910.com

Image from stop910.com

Anyone who doesn’t realize that Hezbollah is a Jihadist organization with global reach hasn’t been paying attention.

There are too many Americans in particular who have come to view Hezbollah as strictly an organization limited to operations in Lebanon.

That just isn’t true. In fact, there can be no doubt that Hezbollah has operatives here in America, perhaps many of them. And we know that Hezbollah has supporters, including financial supporters, here in the USA.

But the latest story involving a Jihadist plot by Hezbollah comes from Thailand, a popular tourist destination for Israelis and other Westerners–and a country that is contending with an Jihadist insurgency of its own.

Thai authorities arrested two Hezbollah members who evidently confessed to a bomb plot targeting Israeli tourists.

The two Jihadis were identified as Daoud Farhat, a French-Lebanese national, and Youssef Ayad, who is of Lebanese-Filipino extraction.

Farhat held a French passport and Ayad carried a Philippines passport. Their passports indicated that both were born in Lebanon, but it is not yet certain that the passports are genuine.

Farhat was in Thailand for the first time, but Ayad has visited Thailand 17 times.

Thai investigators believe at least nine suspected foreign terrorists connected to Hezbollah are somewhere in Thailand and that one other possible co-conspirator may have already fled Thailand. One of the other suspects is said to be named Bilal Bahsoun.

More details are available at the counter terror site, stop910.com:

http://stop910.com/en/index.php

 

Islam, Jihad and Terrorism: A Gem From Mark Steyn

From the 2013 archives, specifically from October 2013, this might be the best article on Islam and Jihad during the course of the year…by the indomitable Mark Steyn:

http://www.steynonline.com/5809/whose-islam

 

Islam, Muslims, Violent Jihad and Shariah

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By Christopher Holton

The overwhelming majority of Muslims do not commit acts of violent Jihad, but that does not mean that there isn’t a doctrinal basis for it in Islamic scripture.

I am not talking about just a few violent verses in the Quran. The Islamic trilogy is replete with it: the Quran, the Hadith and the Sirah. (The Hadith are traditions and stories of the life of Muhammed and the Sirah is the biography of Muhammed). Moreover, in the Quran, the principle of abrogation bestows the most violent verses with the greatest strength as compared to earlier, peaceful verses.

These are facts, and if you read what the Jihadis themselves talk to each other about, EVERYTHING they do is based on contemporary interpretation of Islamic scripture.

We’re not talking about a fringe element here, folks. We’re talking about entire regimes (the Ayatollahs in Iran and Taliban Afghanistan are examples) and scores of violent Jihadist organizations around the world such as, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, Lashkar e Taiba, Abu Sayyef, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, Jemaah Islamiyah, Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Muslim Brotherhood…and many more.

To assign these beliefs to EVERY SINGLE Muslim of the 1.2 billion Muslims on the planet is wrong. But to deny the doctrinal basis in Islam for all of this violent Jihad is just as wrong and it is preventing the West from coming to grips with the global war with which we are faced, whether we want to believe it or not. There is a reason why we see Islamic terrorist organizations as well as individual Jihadis waging violent Jihad in places as geographically diverse as Boston, Los Angeles, Fort Hood, Little Rock, New York, Washington, Buenos Aires, London, Amsterdam, Toulouse, Madrid, Moscow, Beslan, Marrakech, Algiers, Benghazi, Damascus, Beirut, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Yaounde, Nairobi, Mogadishu, Timbuktu, Kaduna, Dar el Salam, Sana’a, Istanbul, Fallujah, Ramadi, Karachi, Islamabad, Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mumbai, Amritsar, Dhaka, Hat Yai, Yala, Bali, and Mindanao.

In warfare, your enemy’s reality becomes your reality. To defeat him, you better understand him. You better understand his motivations and his goals. In short, you need to know what makes him tick. We understood what made the Nazis tick, we had Mein Kampf as a doctrinal guide. We understood what made the communists tick, we had The Communist Manifesto and other works as a doctrinal guide. But we REFUSE to even TRY to understand what makes the Jihadis tick because we fear that the reality will be too frightening. We are in willful denial: “The violence simply cannot have anything to do with Islam because there are too many peaceful Muslims in the world.”

That is missing the point entirely. The fact that the majority of Muslims do not know Islamic doctrine and thus do not adhere to it is not particularly remarkable or surprising. How many Catholics are truly highly familiar with the doctrinal aspects of their faith?

The fact remains that there are violent Jihadists around the world who commit acts of war and they both justify it on Islamic scripture and carry out these acts to promote Islam. The doctrinal basis is found in Islamic law, known as Shariah. The Jihadists’ goal is to impose Islamic law and Islamic law is the code which they follow. (If you are skeptical of this, go pick up a copy of the excellent work by Raymond Ibrahim, The Al Qaeda Reader, and read what the enemy writes and says.) To deny the doctrinal basis in Islam for violent Jihad is becoming more and more suicidal as a civilization with each new incident that we in turn deny.

The latest example is of course in Boston. Two Jihadis, perhaps members of a Jihadist organization, or perhaps so-called “lone wolf” actors, committed atrocious acts of violent Jihad, killing several innocents and wounding many more. Despite evidence on social media and YouTube, as well as accounts of the Jihadis’ devout Islamic beliefs, the simpletons in the news media and even in our own government are pondering aloud what their motivation could possibly have been. Hours and hours of TV coverage in the so-called “mainstream” media go by with nary a mention of the word “Islam.” The elephant in the room is being ignored.

Some “experts” are quoted as taking comfort in the belief that the two Tsarnaev brothers may not have had any operational connection with any known terrorist organization, such as Al Qaeda. This is 180 degrees out from reality and these “experts” completely miss the point.

The fact that the Tsarnaev brothers may have “only” been inspired to commit Jihad on their own is not cause for celebration or relaxation. It is cause for alarm and it would seem to be part of a disturbing pattern that has been emerging over the years:

• Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, aka Carlos Bledsoe, apparently acting on his own after receiving terrorist training in Yemen, shot two US Army soldiers outside a Little Rock, Arkansas recruiting office, killing one, Private William Long and wounding another.

• Major Nidal Malik Hasan, apparently acting on his own, after years of conversing with Al Qaeda Imam Anwar Al Awlaki, shot and killed 13 fellow US Army soldiers and wounded 39 more.

These types of attacks are indicative of a revolutionary critical mass in which centralized direction and control is no longer necessary. Jihadis around the world are now waging violent Jihad in Al Qaeda-like fashion after reading web postings and listening to sermons. This presents a whole new series of challenges for security services and makes the use of military force much less effective. Infiltrating organizations such as Al Qaeda and Hezbollah has been extremely difficult. But how does one infiltrate lone wolf actors like the Tsarnaev brothers? Who does the US military go after in the wake of the Boston attacks?

This new reality makes identifying and understanding the Islamic doctrinal basis of our Jihadist enemies all the more important, yet with each passing attack, we seem to be getting further and further away from doing so.

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

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

Jemaah Islamiyah-trained demolitions expert plotting attacks in the Philippines

A Jemaah Islamiyah bomb expert is reported to have joined a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and is working to attack targets in the southern Philippines.

The breakaway faction is referred to as BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters).

The bombmaker, Abdul Basit Usman, also known as Abu Ahmad, is reported to have trained as many as 20 other Jihadist BIFF terrorists. BIFF is believed to number between 100 and 200 members and broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) when the MILF entered into talks with the government two or more years ago.

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/philippines/rebel-trained-bomb-expert-plotting-attacks-1.869830

 

Wikileaks: Saudi-funded Jihad in Philippines as serious as Afghanistan

Periodically here on TTB, we have covered the Jihadist insurgency going on in the Philippines:

http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/category/philippines/

Many people around the world are unaware of the war that has been raging in the Philippines. At the heart of the violence is the desire of Jihadist terrorist groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah to establish an independent Islamic state ruled by Shariah law on the island of Mindanao.

Along with the Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand, these Asia-Pacific Jihads illustrate the global war we find ourselves in. They also debunk the theory that US foreign policy, presence in the Middle East or support for Israel is the primary reason for Islamic terrorism.

No one can say that the Jihadists are killing innocent civilians in Thailand and the Philippines because the US supports Israel or because the US has troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Wikileaks documents have given us a clear view into just how serious the situation on the Philippines is, as well as the character of the global Islamic threat we face.

• US diplomats characterized the Jihadist terrorism on Mindanao as on a par with the insurgency in Afghanistan.

• US diplomats openly acknowledged in the secret cables leaked by Wikileaks the role Saudi Arabia was playing in funding the Islamic groups in the Philippines and declared that it must be stopped. This is a common theme around the world. Saudis fund Jihad with “private” donations (often from members of the royal family) while the Saudi government looks the other way and denies any support for terrorism. It’s called plausible deniability and the Saudis have been playing this double game for over 30 years. They fund Jihadist terrorism and claim they are our “allies” in the “war on terrorism.”

Read more at Philippine Daily Inquirer…

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/53639/us-cable-likens-mindanao-to-afghanistan


 

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.

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