Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jordan releases the man "more influential than bin Laden" from prison

HT to Captain Ed.

Abu Mohammad al-Maqdisi was a leading figure in al Qaeda, and is considered by US intelligence more influential than bin Laden himself. And now the animal is free once again to wage jihad on the West:

Jordanian authorities on Wednesday released Jordanian Sheikh Abu Mohammad al-Maqdisi, a leading al-Qaeda mentor, after several years imprisonment without trial, security sources said.

They said Maqdisi, who was regarded as the spiritual mentor of slain al Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had been in solitary confinement since he was rearrested in July 2005 following his acquittal at a trial of al Qaeda sympathizers.

"He was released," said one security source without elaborating on the circumstances of the release of Maqdisi.

The militant Jihadi shared a cell block with Zarqawi for four years between 1995 and 1999. Both were freed in an amnesty. Zarqawi later went to Afghanistan then Iraq.

U.S. intelligence officials say Maqdisi is a major Jihadi mentor who wields more influence over Islamist ideology than leading militants such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri.

He was initially released, and then rearrested after giving an interview on Al-Jazeera, at the behest of the US government. What would cause us to make that request? The interview? No, not necessarily. It was what as said in that interview. He criticized Zarqawi for murdering indiscriminately in Iraq. Many casual observers might have believed he was telling Zarqawi to stop, but that's not true according to Walid Phares:

The "story" was loaded with an interesting dramatization. "Hours before his arrest, al-Barqawi preached restraint to Iraq 's insurgents." The AP release, citing his interview on al Jazeera, quotes him: "The number of Iraqis killed in suicide operations has become a tragedy for Iraq's people ... the mujahedeen (holy fighters) must revise their tactics and I must stress that I have reservations about these actions." And to add some ethics to the Jihadi talk, AP stated that Al-Barqawi said he preferred al-Zarqawi reduce suicide attacks so that "no harm would befall Islam, but he did not elaborate," concluded the international news service.

Now, if you are the average American and Western reader or viewer, the story would teach you that a cleric, who was the mentor of a dangerous Terrorist, al Zarqawi, was trying to reason the latter on al Jazeera. But, suddenly the US President pressured his ally the King of Jordan to jail the "moderate cleric." Al Maqdisi, as presented in the AP story is condemning suicide attacks because they are harming the image of Islam. And to stop any question, the news item closes with "he (al Maqdisi) did not elaborate." Voila!

In fact he did elaborate, and did it very well, with all the nuances that come with his smooth but highly ideological Arabic language. Al Maqdisi wasn't primarily convincing al Zarqawi to limit, reduce or stop suicide operations. He was -through al Jazeera- trying to inform others around the Arabic speaking world about the ultimate goal of suicide attacks.

In Salafi strategic thinking, you are allowed to criticize the 10% of the action to legitimize its 90%. Al Maqdisi indeed stated that his “brother” Abu Mus’aab is going “too far” in waging “amaliyat istishadiya” (suicide operations) without a central plan. When you follow the interview thoroughly (and it can be done by going back to the tape), you understand that the main message sent by al Maqdisi is to regroup, re-center and articulate better road maps. The bottom line of his media burst is to address all Salafis worldwide and retrace the path.

In other words, Al-Jazeera helped him get the message to Zaraqawi that he had to change up the strategy. Continue the killing, but make it tactically sound, and strategically fit. Don't be indiscriminate, and simply murder for murder's sake. Captain Ed notes that after that interview Zarqawi did change up his strategy. He targeted that Al-Askari mosque, and nearly touched off a civil war that, if things were continuing down that path today, Democrats would have had the perfect opportunity to scream for troop withdrawals. They would have had the civil war they claimed we were in in 2005 (some still claim today that Iraq is in a civil war). But the Surge was envisioned and implemented, and we are seeing a much different Iraq now. Granted, the uptick in car bombings is a little disconcerting, but we have faith that General Petraeus will deal with that particular issue.

Publius II


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