Al Qaeda illusions

Strategy Page:

"Al Qaeda continues to make terrorist attacks in the Middle East. Five suicide bombings on April 21st, including one in Saudi Arabia, killed nearly 80 people and wounding nearly 400. But two dozen children were killed in the four Iraqi bombings. Killing children is what made it possible for the government to drive the Moslem Brotherhood terrorists out of Egypt in the 1990s. The Brotherhood was cut from the same cloth as al Qaeda, and the leadership of the Brotherhood organization, at least the ones that got out of Egypt alive, staffed the senior ranks of al Qaeda.

...

"Taking the war to the infidels (non-Moslems) seemed a good idea at the time. With training camps in Afghanistan and thousands of supporters in Europe and North America, the possibilities appeared endless. But after September 11, 2001, it was discovered that the infidels were dangerous when angry. Afghanistan’s radical Islamic government was tossed out by a few hundred American troops within a few months in late 2001. Two years late, Iraq’s pro-terrorist government was removed in a three week campaign. Thousands of al Qaeda members and supporters were arrested world wide.

"There has not been another attack in the United States since September 11, 2001, and European police have caught dozens of attacks in the planning stage. Except for the March 11 attack in Madrid. But even before the Madrid bombing, the arrests of terrorism suspects were increasing. The reasons for this cannot be discussed openly because it involves new intelligence gathering methods that have successfully tapped into communications methods used by the terrorists. Some information on this has leaked out; such as reporting on intercepted emails and cell phone calls, as well as tips from within the Moslem community. But others can only be guessed at, like the infiltration of the remaining terrorist networks and the interrogation of the thousands of terrorist suspects in custody.

"The March 11 attack showed that al Qaeda still wants to kill infidels, but the much larger number of attacks in Moslem nations, killing Moslems, shows that the urge to kill has overwhelmed any other scruples. The al Qaeda leadership knows that blowing up Moslems, especially Moslem children, will turn more Moslems against them. The experience in Egypt has not been forgotten. But the inability to get attacks organized in Western nations, in the face of more energetic counter-terrorism efforts, leaves the terrorists with the choice of doing nothing, and appearing to be a failure, or attacking where they can, even at the risk of losing some public support. The terrorists are fighting a media war. They need to appear potentially successful if they are to have new recruits, donations and support from portions of the population that support them.

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"Al Qaeda is based on a set of grand illusions, which are being eroded by the reality of death and destruction to no effect. This is sinking in among many Moslems who have been cheering on al Qaeda. The cheers have turned to tears, and that means less support for those who kill for the cause."

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