Thursday, May 15, 2008

Demise of al-Qa'eda in sight, US official says.

A senior United States counter-terrorism official has declared that the demise of al-Qa'eda is in sight, as the terrorist group's failure to adapt its violent ideology and tactics has provoked growing dissent across the Islamic world. The uprising by Sunni tribes against al-Qa'eda in Iraq, combined with protests in northern African countries against suicide bombings and dissent from clerics and former terrorists have put the group's leadership on the defensive as never before, said the official.

...Well, I think this guy is talking out of the back of his arse! The global situation changes daily and to talk up the small daily advances in the war against terror is naive. The Sunni al-Qa'eda militants in Iraq have changed sides only because the Americans are paying them wages to become security guards. The Sunni militants in Iraq still hate the Shia's and do not mind who is paying them. The highest bidder generally gets the support and manpower, everywhere in the world. In Afghanistan the Taliban simply buys in local support as and when it is required.

al-Qa-eda will always recruit people who are disillusioned in the same way that diet clubs recruit new members every week. The message and the motivations are similar, with their charismatic leaders preaching to their new recruits about how they have suffered in their struggle against fat or the infidels. Diet clubs have their quiet periods when membership drops but they also have their big surges, when the cause becomes popular again. The weather can change quickly, just like their support but they are never far away and somebody local to you will always show you how easy it is to join. That is the way people are, the world over - dieters or terrorists. Movements go in phases but are never forgotten. To claim that the demise of al-Qa'eda is in sight, is simply naive. Anybody with any knowledge of Islam will understand that this is just a quieter time in world history.
"In Afghanistan the Taliban simply buys in local support as and when it is required."

Buying in local support is only one option used by the Taliban more often locals are "persuaded" to help. The usual form of persuasion involves cutting heads off family members, burning homes etc. The new "volunteers" are then given a few minutes training with an AK before being set off to engage well trained and professional soldiers against which they are going to end up worse. Of course the lead flies both ways and every one is at risk.

Not that the Taliban care, life is cheap in Afghanistan. Whilst there I heard of a story where some village children had been hired to lay some IEDs on a bridge in wait for a passing patrol. The patrol was early so the Taliban blew the bridge whilst the kids were still on it.

It's a Godforsaken country, don't go there.


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