Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So our enemy is harmless? They're on the ropes?

There is a problem with armchair quarterbacks. They know as much about that which they speak as they do a hole in the ground. A lot of people who like to click their tongues and claim our enemy has been vanquished seem to think that they know all there is to know about al Qaeda, and that AQI's defeat in Iraq was enough to finish the terrorist group off.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Al Qaeda is in North Africa, in Asia, is still within the heart of the Middle East, and even in Europe. They're not dead and gone. They're wounded, and nothing more. And in today's Washington Times, Eli Lake looks at their continued efforts to gain a WMD:

The official, who spoke on the condition he not be named because of the sensitive nature of the issue, said he could not confirm press reports that the accident killed at least 40 al Qaeda operatives, but he said the mishap led the militant group to shut down a base in the mountains of Tizi Ouzou province in eastern Algeria.

He said authorities in the first week of January intercepted an urgent communication between the leadership of al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda's leadership in the tribal region of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. The communication suggested that an area sealed to prevent leakage of a biological or chemical substance had been breached, according to the official.

"We don't know if this is biological or chemical," the official said. ...

Al Qaeda is believed by U.S. and Western experts to have been pursuing biological weapons since at least the late 1990s. A 2005 report on unconventional weapons drafted by a commission led by former Sen. Charles Robb, Virginia Democrat, and federal appeals court Judge Laurence Silberman concluded that al Qaeda's biological weapons program "was extensive, well organized and operated two years before the Sept. 11" terror attacks in the U.S.

Another report from the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation, released in December, warned that "terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain and use a biological weapon than a nuclear weapon."

British authorities in January 2003 arrested seven men they accused of producing a poison from castor beans known as ricin. British officials said one of the suspects had visited an al Qaeda training camp. In the investigation into the case, British authorities found an undated al Qaeda manual on assassinations with a recipe for making the poison.

The late leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi, was suspected of developing ricin in northern Iraq. Then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell referred to the poison in his presentation to the U.N. Security Council in February 2003 that sought to lay the groundwork for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Roger Cressey, a former senior counterterrorism official at the National Security Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told The Washington Times that al Qaeda has had an interest in acquiring a poisons capability since the late 1990s.

"This is something that al Qaeda still aspires to do, and the infrastructure to develop it does not have to be that sophisticated," he said.

This is something that needs to be drilled into everyone's head. Al Qaeda isn't done, by a long shot, in this war. They still want to hurt us, and our Western allies. They still want to punish the Western world for it's decadent ways, for not turning to Islam, for resisting them. Now everyone knows that al Qaeda has tried it's hardest to acquire a nuclear weapon, and they haven't gotten one (thank God) yet, and with a little luck they'll never get one.

But that doesn't mean they're not open to trying to get their mitts on another WMD. Why something like a weaponized bubonic plague? Because by the time it's released, and people are infected, locating "Patient Zero" will be nearly impossible, and Ground Zero wold be devastating. Why? Because, as Mr. Lake points out above, it spreads like wildfire.

Anyone recall the Iraqi document dump in 2004 where our soldiers brought back tons and tons of documents from Mukhbarat headquarters? We do because we were among a group of bloggers going through those records until the NY Times blew the lid off of that. (They reported that those files contained schematics for a nuclear warhead.) In those records was evidence that Saddam Hussein had been working on biological and chemical weapons. Among these weapons was something known as "blackpox." That is a hybrid strain of Ebola and smallpox. And while the symptoms of infection mirror that of the flu at first, it quickly becomes apparent that it is anything but the flu.

Let's face facts, folks. They don't even need something like the plague or "blackpox." If they were to release something as simple as smallpox, they could unleash an epidemic not seen since 18th Century Europe. But the simple fact that they are looking to these weapons speaks a great deal on their resilience and determination to keep this fight up.

That means we can't let our guard down on these animals. They're still out there, and they still want to hurt us in ways we can only imagine.

HT to Hugh Hewitt

Publius II


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