Al Qaeda in Iraq "in dire need"

AP/Washington Times:

The new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq said in an audio message posted online yesterday that more than 4,000 foreign terrorists have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 -- the first apparent acknowledgment from the insurgents about their losses.
The message also called for experts in the fields of "chemistry, physics, electronics, media and all other sciences -- especially nuclear scientists and explosives experts" to join the terror group's holy war against the West.
"We are in dire need of you," said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir -- also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri -- the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. "The field of jihad [holy war] can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and the large American bases [in Iraq] are good places to test your unconventional weapons, whether biological or dirty, as they call them."
It was not clear why al-Masri would advertise the loss of the group's foreign fighters, but martyrdom is revered among Islamist fundamentalists, and could be used as a recruiting tool. The Arabic word he used, "muhajer," indicated he was speaking about foreigners who joined the insurgency in Iraq, and not coalition troops.
"The blood has been spilled in Iraq of more than 4,000 foreigners who came to fight," the man thought to be al-Masri said on the 20-minute tape. The voice could not be independently identified.
Al-Masri also offered amnesty to Iraqis who cooperated with their country's "occupiers," calling on them to "return to your religion and nation" during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which Sunnis began observing in Iraq on Saturday and Shi'ites on Monday.
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He recognizes his situation is desperate even if the Democrats do not. Al Qaeda is suffering a huge loss in Iraq and the Democrats are equally desperate to suffer a defeat in Iraq.

The Belmont Club's Wretchard also comments on his appeal for help:

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The essentials of al-Qaeda's message are that first: the radical Jihad has been at war with America for a long time, as shown by their cause celebre, the conviction of blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman in 1995, simply one of many American "crimes" going back for decades. Second, conventional warfare against America isn't working. They can boast of their willingness to lose 4,000 foreign fighters against the US, not counting their indigenous recruits, but they cannot pretend that losses equal victory. Third, since conventional war isn't working, it is time to ramp up the attack on America to include weapons of mass destruction. Chicago Boyz links to a RAND study on the effects of a nuke on the port of Long Beach, for anyone who interested in quantifying what this may mean.

As an aside, I am constantly amazed at how many of al-Qaeda's most strident demands are related to political issues related to friendly countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia. Maybe there is something to the argument that terrorism arises from a lack of functionality and freedom in the Arab/Muslim world. If that is the root cause, then America can retreat all the way back Long Beach without removing the fundamental driver of terrorism in the world.

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The "blind sheikh" embrace suggest he was associated with al Qaeda and the Clinton administration's lawfare approach has only fueled the rise in terrorism creating more jihadis. As silly as that sounds it is the same argument that the Democrats have used about the war in Iraq. You would think they would be more sensitive to hypocracy.

Wretchard also notes how "conventional" war has failed al Qaeda in Iraq. The casualty report certainly suggested that their numbers have been attrited. The facts on the ground also suggest that they have failed in their military objectives in Iraq. Since one of their underlying objectives has been to get anti war candidates elected in the US, their resort to WMD to be used against US troops suggest, they do not think the Democrats are going to win.

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