Al Qaeda's operational difficulties in Iraq

Strategy Page:

"The US commander in Iraq admitted that a known al Qaeda member, Hassan Gul, was captured along the Iranian border. Gul is known to work for al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was involved in planning the September 11, 2001 attacks. There has been no official comment on al Qaeda presence in Iraq, other than to admit that the suicide bombing tactics were typical of al Qaeda and that hundreds of foreigners had been captured in Iraq. Because of the careful, and slow, way al Qaeda has to communicate, it's necessary for the coalition to keep quiet about which al Qaeda people they have and, of course, what they know. It's believed that American intelligence forces are trying to get agents into the al Qaeda network. The many al Qaeda captives, and somewhat chaotic situation inside Iraq, provide many opportunities for intelligence agencies."

In "Fighting Dirty, The Inside Story of Covert Operations from Ho Chi Minh to Osama bin Laden," Peter Harclerode describes the frustration of the US and UK in trying to get agents into rebelious areas of the Soviet Union shortly after World War II. It is a story of failure at every turn, because of turncoats in the UK and Soviet penetration of insurgent operations. Time after time agents are either immediately caught and killed or they are turned setting up the next group for failure. Perhaps al Qaeda is starting to experience the same problem.

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