Category Archives: Zawahiri

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.

 

 

 

 

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

Terror Alert issued for 9/11 anniversary

We don’t have the color-coded alert system any more, but that hasn’t stopped the Department of Homeland Security from issuing vague alerts about the possibility of terrorist attacks.

Astonishingly enough, the alert this weekend, the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, has nothing to do with the Iraq war veterans and angry white men that Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security have been insisting are the major terrorist threat to America. The alert is about Jihadists targeting New York City and Washington, D.C.

Who would have thunk it!? Jihadists targeting New York and Washington! How novel!

Pardon us for this bit of sarcasm, but we are more than a little disgusted by Ms. Napolitano’s incompetence and political correctness. In fact, Napolitano was apparently caught flatfooted yet again by this latest threat. Just days ago she publicly proclaimed that there were no threats associated with the anniversary of 9/11 and it took reporters asking her at a news conference if that was still true for the truth to slip out. True to form, Napolitano gave a halting, cryptic reply. Later that night (Thursday), the Feds issued an advisory.

Unconfirmed reports are that the advisory came from a tip from an intelligence asset in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/08/authorities-find-possible-credible-threat-to-us-homeland-around-11-anniversary/

The NYPD, which is more respected in law enforcement circles than the federal Department of Homeland Security, issued its own advisory, which was much clearer than Napolitano’s utterance. Jim Kouri over at the Law Enforcement Examiner has an article on that…

http://www.examiner.com/law-enforcement-in-national/breaking-nypd-terror-alert-claims-threat-is-credible-and-specific

Speaking of New York, here is an interesting article on the extensive measures that the Big Apple has taken to safeguard its people and vital infrastructure. An attack on New York is an attack on the entire USA and there is no target more important, both in the minds of the Jihadists and from America’s perspective.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/09/08/exclusive-elaborate-new-york-city-post-911-security/

Finally, here is an article from the New York Daily News with further unconfirmed details about the threat. The main worry, according to this report anyway, seems to be 3 Al Qaeda terrorists who were dispatched by Ayman al-Zawahiri to set off car bombs near transit points on Sunday, September 11th…Frankly, this seems odd to us because, even with the commemoration on Sunday, the transit assets would still be much more crowded on a normal business day…

Zawahiri

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/09/08/2011-09-08_911_anniversary_terror_plot_federal_officials_receive_credible_threat_aimed_at_n.html

LATE ADDITION: A new report just came out from The Daily with additional details on the threat. According to this report, Zawahiri planned the alleged 9/11 anniversary operation himself. Two of the three terrorists are said to be U.S. citizens. They are said to have traveled to Pakistan through Iran. (It is worth remembering that several of the 9/11 hijackers also transited through Iran, which will often not stamp passports, thus concealing the travel of terrorists.) The Daily article is not entirely clear, but the terrorists are then said to have traveled back to the USA through Saudi Arabia or Dubai.

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/09/09/090911-news-zawahiri-intraday/

Let’s all hope and pray that this is nothing but chatter and no incident occurs…

Joe Wilson joins with Al Jazeera to perpetuate baloney about Saddam and Al Qaeda

It’s been a long time since anyone cared about Joe Wilson, the erstwhile career diplomat selected by his wife to travel to Africa to find out about Saddam Hussein’s quest for uranium. Things must be slowing down for poor old Joe and that government pension courtesy of US taxpayers must not be providing the life style that he so richly desires. So, Joe is talking with Al Jazeera, the news network of Jihad and Islamofacism.

Joe is playing Al Jazeera’s tune, perpetuating the narrative that Saddam Hussein had no ties to Al Qaeda. Al Jazeera even trotted out some former Army National Guard soldier named Geoff Miller who they quote as saying that Al Qaeda in Iraq had no connection to Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.

Make no mistake about it. That is a bald-faced lie. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would beg to differ. But, according to Al Jazeera, Miller says the US created Al Qaeda in Iraq. Well, the moron conspiracy theorists in the Islamic world are at least getting more creative. They didn’t blame this one on the Mossad for a change. Al Jazeera gives no indication of what Miller’s qualifications are, nor do they cite any evidence at all to back up this incredible statement.

It appears that despite their efforts at a makeover, Al Jazeera still really is the propaganda arm of Al Qaeda.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/the911decade/2011/09/201197155513938336.html

This gives us an opportunity to revisit the subject of Saddam Hussein’s involvement with Al Qaeda and its allied Jihadists. The facts are very different from what most people have heard. It just so happens that this blogger wrote on this very subject for Human Events a few years ago shortly after the Pentagon commissioned a report on the subject based on analysis of intelligence gathered on the ground in Iraq. The reality doesn’t match Al Jazeera’s narrative and the US news media actively sought to smother the evidence in this report when it came out over 3 years ago. I have reproduced my original article here:

The Truth About Saddam and Terrorism

by Christopher Holton

Human Events, March 21, 2008

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had extensive ties to terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, according to an official report published by the Pentagon’s Institute for Defense Analyses and released through the Joint Forces Command.

That report, Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents, came up with some startling revelations in its 59 pages:

• Saddam’s Iraq trained terrorists for use inside and outside Iraq and in 1999 sent 10 terrorist-training graduates to London to carry out attacks throughout Europe. (Page 1)

• Saddam’s Iraq stockpiled munitions (including explosives, missile launchers and silencer-equipped small arms) at its embassies in the Middle East, Asia and parts of Europe. (Pages 3-4)

• In September of 2001, Saddam’s Iraq sought out and compiled a list of 43 suicide-bomb volunteers in a “Martyrdom Project.” (Pages 7-8)

• The report contains language from a captured Iraqi document which references an attempted assassination of Danielle Mitterand, wife of French President Francois Mitterand, by car bomb. (Page 11)

• The report’s authors describe Saddam’s Iraq as a “long-standing supporter of international terrorism” including several organizations designated as international terrorist organizations by the US State Department. (Page 13)

• Among the organizations that captured Iraqi documents indicate were supported by Saddam’s Iraq were: (Pages 13-15).

Fatah-Revolutionary Council (Abu Nidal Organization). (Author’s note: Abu Nidal was generally considered the world’s most dangerous terrorist in the late 1980s.)

Palestine Liberation Front (led by Abu al-Abbas). (Author’s note: Abbas was the mastermind of the Achille Lauro hijacking and the murderer of American Leon Klinghoffer.)

Renewal and Jihad Organization, which the Iraqi documents describe as a “Secret Islamic Palestinian Organization” that “believes in armed jihad against the Americans and Western interests.”

Islamic Ulama Group, a radical Islamist group in northern Pakistan.

The Afghani Islamic Party, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. (Author’s note: Hekmatyar is an Afghan mujahideen warlord who is worked with Osama Bin Laden during the 1990s. US intelligence agencies have lost track of Hekmatyar, but believe that he was trying to join Al Qaeda in 2002 when he released a video message calling for armed jihad against the United States. Reports from BBC-TV and CNN claim that Hekmatyar helped Osama Bin Laden escape from Tora Bora in 2002.

> Islamic Jihad Organization (Egyptian Islamic Jihad). This is perhaps the most startling revelation in the report. Egyptian Islamic Jihad was founded and led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, now Al Qaeda’s co-leader. The group is most infamous for the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Zawahiri is known to have worked in the Al Qaeda organization since its inception, while he was still leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad in fact. Al Qaeda was started around 1989 and Zawahiri is said to have been a senior member from its earliest days. He was present in Afghanistan with Bin Laden at the time and later he was in Sudan with Bin Laden until being expelled in 1996 and eventually returning to Afghanistan. In 1998, Zawahiri formally merged Egyptian Islamic Jihad with Al Qaeda and has served as co-leader of Al Qaeda ever since. Iraq’s relationship with Egyptian Islamic Jihad was so close that captured documents indicate that Iraq was able to request that the group hold off on operations against the regime in Egypt in 1993.

In other words, Saddam’s Iraq had a longstanding relationship with the co-leader of Al Qaeda.

• Captured documents show that Saddam’s Iraq was training non-Iraqis in Iraqi training camps a decade before Operation Desert Storm, including fighters from the following nations: Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Eritrea, and Morroco. (Pages 15-16)

• A captured memorandum shows that Saddam’s Iraq had an agreement with an Islamist terrorist group to conduct operations against Egypt during the first Gulf War. (Page 16)

• A detailed, captured document from 1993 “illuminated how the outwardly secular Saddam regime found common cause with terrorist groups who drew their inspiration from radical Islam.” (Page 17)

• In January 1993, as the American military’s humanitarian mission was begun in Somalia, Saddam directed that Iraq “form a group to start hunting Americans present on Arab soil, especially Somalia.” (Page 18) Interestingly, Osama Bin Laden was setting up identical operations at the same time.

• Saddam’s secret intelligence service (IIS) hosted 13 conferences in 2002 for various terrorist groups. (Page 19)

• Captured Iraqi documents say that the IIS issued passports to known members of terrorist groups. (Page 19)

• Saddam’s Iraq had close ties and provided funding to Hamas, the Palestinian jihadist organization. Captured documents indicate that Hamas offered to carry out attacks for Saddam’s Iraq in return for his support. In fact, Hamas representatives informed the Iraqis that the organization had 35 armed cells around the world hidden among refugees, including in France, Sweden and Denmark. (Pages 24-25).

• Saddam’s IIS manufactured bombs in the early 1990s for terrorist Abu Abbas to conduct attacks against American and other interests. Three instances of these bombs failing are evidently the only thing that prevented terrorist attacks against these interests: (Page 30)

“A bomb intended to destroy the American ambassador’s residence in Jakarta, Indonesia failed.”

“Bombs designed to destroy the American Airlines office and Japanese embassy in the Philippines exploded prematurely and damaged only the front of the office, while killing one and wounding another of the terrorists transporting the explosives.”

• Saddam’s Iraq carried out terrorist attacks on members of humanitarian organizations operating in the Kurdish areas of Northern Iraq, including Doctors Without Borders, Handicap International and UN-affiliated organizations. (Pages 31-33)

• The IIS was willing to reach out to jihadist terrorist groups, including those known to be affiliated with Al Qaeda. This includes the “Army of Muhammad” in Bahrain, which had threatened Kuwaiti authorities and had plans to attack American and Western interests. (Pages 35-36)

• The report concludes with the following question: “Is there anything in the captured archives to indicate that Saddam had the will to use his terrorist capabilities directly against the United States?” The Institute for Defense Analyses then provides the answer:

Yes.

Conclusion

Those who claim that Saddam had no “direct, operational ties” to Al Qaeda are attempting to narrow the definition of “terrorist-sponsoring nation” to an impossible scope. By this definition, a nation, like Saddam’s Iraq, can provide money, arms, safe haven and cooperation to jihadist terrorist groups and not have “direct, operational ties” to terrorists.

This was never the standard by which a nation found itself on the US State Department’s list of terrorist-sponsoring nations and implies that, unless a dictator is found directly ordering a terrorist attack, that dictator cannot be considered as linked to a terrorist group.

The “direct, operational ties” standard was invented after the overthrow of Saddam and is a ridiculous standard that can never be met.

Five years after United States forces overthrew Saddam Hussein, the Pentagon has produced a blockbuster report that has been both misrepresented and ignored. That report shows that Saddam’s Iraq had extensive ties to international terrorist groups, both Islamist and secular, including organizations that were part of Al Qaeda. No ginned up definition invented for domestic political consumption can change the truth.

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’s Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri Justifies WMD Terrorist Attacks With The Quran and a Hadith

Al Qaeda’s leaders yearn to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction against the United States; if they acquired a nuclear bomb, they would not hesitate to use it.

The evidence for those intentions aren’t hidden in encoded communications or classified intelligence. Quite the opposite: They’re hidden in plain sight. Just as Osama bin Laden issued a fatwa to declare war on the United States in 1998, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issued a fatwa a decade later to herald a prospective next stage in the conflict. If we take him at his word, some day jihadists will use weapons of mass destruction to change history once and for all.

Of course, al Qaeda leaders have spoken of acquiring weapons of mass destruction for well over a decade. They have had little observable success in achieving their goals of producing a nuclear bomb or biological weapon capable of producing mass casualties. Fortunately, it is extremely difficult, but not impossible, for a terrorist group to acquire a strategic weapon of mass destruction (WMD). Nonetheless, the al Qaeda core has kept at it over the years, in the hopes that time and opportunity will enable it to overcome the daunting challenges in this regard.

What has changed recently is that the goal is no longer theoretical, but operational — a change spurred by Zawahiri’s intervention. Rather than follow bin Laden in issuing a religious edict, Zawahiri chose to release a book in 2008 titled Exoneration. In it, he resurrects a fatwa issued by senior Saudi cleric Nasir al-Fahd in May 2003 — notoriously, the only such treatise that ever endorsed the use of WMD. Zawahiri adopts Fahd’s ideas wholesale. He uses the same ideas, thoughts, examples, and scholarly citations to reach the same conclusion: The use of nuclear weapons would be justified as an act of equal retaliation, “repaying like for like.”

Zawahiri raises key Quranic themes to sweep away all potential objections to the use of WMD. He offers answers to questions about the legality of killing women, children, and the elderly; the justice of environmental destruction; the morality of harming noncombatants; the tactical prudence of attacking at night; and analyses of deterrence. Zawahiri adopts Fahd’s examples verbatim: The Prophet Mohammed’s attack on the village of al-Taif using a catapult, for instance, permits the use of weapons of “general destruction” incapable of distinguishing between innocent civilians and combatants.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/11/16/al_qaedas_nuclear_ambitions

Zawahiri predicts Al Qaeda victory in Iraq and Afghanistan

A man identified as Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s No. 2 man, promises his followers victory in Afghanistan and Iraq, vowing that these wars will eventually lead to a battle to liberate Jerusalem, in an audio message posted Monday on jihadist websites.

Radical Islamists often use the Arab-Israeli struggle as a propaganda tool to recruit militants because they believe that Israel has no right to exist on what they consider to be Muslim and Arab land.

In the message, the speaker also says mujahedeens — Islamic militants backed by the Taliban and al Qaeda — are moving from one victory to another in Afghanistan against U.S.-led forces….

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/07/al-qaedas-second-banana-says-victory-coming-for-the-jihadists-in-iraq-and-afghanistan.html

The Toledo Blade Gets it Half Right: Bin Laden, Al Qaeda and World War IV

In an editorial column published on 18 December, the editors of The Toledo Blade point out that capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden would not defeat Al Qaeda and capturing or killing Mullah Omar would not defeat the Taliban.

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091218/OPINION02/912180305

They are correct in this but their notions do not go far enough.

The fact of the matter is, Al Qaeda and the Taliban could cease to exist tomorrow and the U.S. and Western civilization would still face a Jihadist threat. This overall war–which we at TTB believe should be properly called World War IV–goes way beyond Al Qaeda.

Already, there are spin-offs of Al Qaeda in the Asia-Pacific Region, Southwest Asia, North Africa, Europe and the U.S. These are loosely formed groups which are inspired by Al Qaeda and model themselves in some way off of Al Qaeda, but are not operationally attached to Al Qaeda in the classic sense. Bin Laden and Zawahiri don’t command them and those two Jihadi leaders could be vaporized by a JDAM tomorrow and the global offshoots would still exist.

(Incidentally, we believe that Osama Bin Laden is dead and has been for some time. More on that in a future posting.)

The Jihad extends beyond Al Qaeda as well. When the Jihadist terrorists attacked Mumbai in November of 2008, it was automatically assumed that they were Al Qaeda. When it was surmised that they were in fact Lashkar-e-Taiba, that organization was labeled as an Al Qaeda affiliate.

Now, it turns out that, while both Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba are both Salafist Jihadist terrorist organizations and ideological allies, they are separate groups. One could be wiped off the face of the earth this afternoon and the other would still be waging Jihad.

Then there is the whole issue of Jihadist groups who are certainly NOT part of Al Qaeda. Hezbollah is the prime example of this. Hezbollah is Shia and, while they have cooperated with Al Qaeda in the past, they are definitely not part of Al Qaeda. Moreover, Hezbollah is perhaps even more dangerous than Al Qaeda due to their backing from Iran and a robust infrastructure set up on every continent, with the possible exception of Antarctica.

The fact that some of these groups are not actively engaged in ongoing operations against the U.S. or the West on a day-to-day basis should not be construed to mean that they are somehow not waging Jihad against us.

On one of the laptop computers uncovered in the investigation of Lashkar-e-Taiba after the Mumbai attacks, it was discovered that the group had a global list of 320 possible targets for attack. And the recon man for the Mumbai attacks turns out to have been a guy from Chicago.

It has been falsely and widely stated that Hezbollah has not been engaged in operations against the U.S. since the late 1980s. They have. Not only did Hezbollah help Al Qaeda set up the two East Africa embassy bombings in 1998, but Hezbollah was extremely active in the Iraq insurgency. Senior Hezbollah operatives were captured by U.S. forces in Iraq in the past few years and Hezbollah fighters were killed by U.S. G.I.s right along with members of Al Sadr’s “Mahdi Army” in Iraq:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/28/world/middleeast/28military.html

http://defensetech.org/2007/07/02/hezbollah-in-iraq/

http://www.voanews.com/uspolicy/2007-07-16-voa4.cfm

America is, unfortunately, largely in denial about the war we are in and that makes victory all the more elusive. Too many believe that “killing Bin Laden” will end it or that wiping out Al Qaeda will mean victory. This is simply untrue.

There is a global Jihad being waged against America and its allies. It is being waged in Afghanistan and Iraq to be sure. But it is also being waged in Israel, Algeria, Somalia, Sudan, Western Europe, Russia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines, Central and South America and, yes, right here in North America.

Noted Islamist continues to be critical of Al Qaeda

Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies has an interesting column in the Washington Times today about Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, aka Dr. Fadl. “Dr. Fadl” was an original ideological supporter of Al Qaeda who has since become critical of the terrorist organization. He has just written a book with some sharp attacks on Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man we are pretty sure heads Al Qaeda.

Here are some interesting quotes from the article, which is linked in full below:

Now Dr. Fadl has returned fire with a new book: “Exposing the Exoneration.” In it, he comes to a conclusion that would not make him popular at Hollywood parties. “Every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and [al] Zawahri and their followers,” he writes. “Was it not al Qaeda that lit the fuse of sectarian civil war in Iraq, through [the actions of al Qaeda in Iraq commander] Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who killed the Shi’ites en masse? … Can the mentality that caused the loss of an Islamic state that existed in reality, in the Taliban’s Afghanistan – can this mentality be expected to establish an Islamic state in Iraq – in reality, and not on the Internet? And have the Islamic peoples become guinea pigs upon whom bin Laden and al-Zawahri try out their pastime and sport of killing en masse?”Dr. Fadl also faults the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Ramming America has become the shortest road to fame and leadership among the Arabs and Muslims,” he observes. “[T]o cross the ocean to go to your enemy in its own home and destroy one of its buildings, and [in retaliation] it destroys the Taliban state – and then you claim to be a mujahid – only an idiot would do such a thing.”

*************

The number of Muslims whose death and dispossession al Qaeda has caused in a number of years, in Kenya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Pakistan, and elsewhere, is far greater than the number killed or dispossessed by Israel in Palestine and neighboring countries in 60 years. So all the talk of al Qaeda defending Muslims is a tall tale.”

**************

Finally, Dr. Fadl provides what may be a key insight into how we should fight this war. He says that whenever infidels defeat Muslims, there can be only one explanation: Allah has allowed that as a punishment for the Muslims’ sins. Worth remembering the next time someone tells you that winning battles gets us nowhere, that it only makes martyrs of the militants.

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