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Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama's next test -- AQ threatens to hit US again; vows 9-11 will be nothing in comparison

Last week, the day after he won, Obama saw the tests mounting. Russia was threatening to stage missiles against our missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Hamas celebrated his historic victory by lobbing 35 missiles into Israel proper. Today, al Qaeda has vowed to hit us again, and make 9-11 look like child's play:

(HT to Vinnie running the AoS Open Blog)

OSAMA bin Laden is planning an attack against the United States that will "outdo by far" September 11, an Arab newspaper in London has reported.

And according to a former senior Yemeni al-Qaeda operative, the terrorist organisation has entered a "positive phase", reinforcing specific training camps around the world that will lead the next "wave of action" against the West.

The warning, on the front page of an Arabic newspaper published in London, Al-Quds Al-Arabi - and widely reported in the major Italian papers - quotes a person described as being "very close to al-Qaeda" in Yemen.

Is the threat credible? Jane Novak says "yes."

A few things in the statement make sense 1) the end of the truce (”the period of calmness”) in Yemen came as a result of an order from bin Laden, not because of agitation from returnees from Iraq, 2) the continuing importance of the original trusted network of Yemenis, 3) bin Laden’s ability to communicate with operatives in Yemen.

With regard to Yemen/Somalia: On April 26, an AQI statement said establishing naval terror cells and control of the seas around Yemen is a “vital step”. The Bab al Mandeb and Gulf of Aden were termed “of supreme strategic importance” in al-Qaeda’s campaign to establish a global caliphate. The statement highlights Yemeni jihaddists’ prior attacks on the USS Cole and the French tanker Limburg as proof the operations are possible. Since then dozens of ships have been attacked and 31 others highjacked for ransom. Several millions have been paid. The footprint of criminal gangs, enterprises and persons strongly intersects with al-Qaeda all over the globe, and this may be another example where criminal proceeds wind up in part funding terror. More of the April statement here. Within Somalia itself, the ICU and later al-Shahab were aided in large part with money, fighters and weapons shipped from Yemen.

The former “senior” leader who gave the statement would refer to one with connections dating back to the Afghan days. My first guess would be Abu al-Fida. He’s a very chatty guy, has given many prior interviews and was most definitely top echelon. He was in an executive position and there’s photos of him sitting with UBL. Now he is reformed (thank you Judge al-Hittar) and free in Yemen. Al-Fida was the prime negotiator for paroled al-Qaeda operatives with Yemeni president Saleh and Galib al-Qamish, head of Political Security. Al-Fida previously described the truce period that started in 2003 as centrally ordered by bin Laden and a strategic central decision. (Many Afghan Arabs describe it that way.) Al-Fida in February 2008 reported the line of sucession in al-Qaeda would pass to bin Laden’s son, Hamza, seemingly an officially sanctioned statement on behalf of the terror leadership. (Abu Jindal, Mr. Jihad Think Tank, on the other hand while a former close associate of UBL was not “senior”; he was a driver. Jindal has given some interviews through the years, but unlike al-Fida, he was never speaking on behalf of AQI. They were always Jindal’s interpretations.)

AQI may be on the ropes, but that doesn't mean they're down and out. They've been having limited success reestablishing themselves in Pakistan, but they seem to have better success in Africa. That is something that Frank Gaffney has been talking about for months. When they lose certain theaters, they return to the place they had the greatest success, which is Yemen, Somalia, Chad, etc.; the hot spots for terrorism in Africa.

What could they hit us with? Lord knows, but if they have the money we could only imagine what some of the thugs around the world would be willing to sell them. After all, can anyone see them getting their hands on a nuclear warhead, smuggling it onto a ship docking in New York, or possibly LA? Imagine the damage that could be wrought, and the people who would be killed regardless of the magnitude of the warhead itself.

Of course the above is simply speculation on my part. But I wouldn't ignore the AQ threat. They still hate us. They gambled a lot in Iraq, and lost badly. They're jumping the border from Pakistan to Afghanistan to strike at US and NATO forces. Only a fool would discount the damage they could unleash on this nation if we turned a blind eye to them.

Publius II


Blogger Matthew Avitabile said...

They're coming...

November 10, 2008 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger knowitall said...

Well thanks to him telling all of our secrets, they know what we're going to do. Hope some of the GOP help the left-wing illuminati, because they'll need it.

November 17, 2008 at 6:22 PM  

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