Al Qaeda's crack up?

Ray Robinson:

There are signs that the global Islamic jihad movement is splitting apart, in what would be a tremendous achievement for American strategy. The center of the action is in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the very territory which is thought to harbor Usama, and from which Al Qaeda was able to launch 9/11. Capitalizing on existing splits, a trap was set and closed, and the benefist have only begun to be evident.

There were already signs of a split, but recent events strengthen the that trend. In March and again in May of this year I reviewed relevant South Asian media reporting to predict that the global Islamic jihad movement was cracking up. That theory focused on a split between the leadership of al Qaeda and the jihad groups that secure them in Pakistan such as the Taliban

NBC News reports that a large operation is ongoing at the Tora Bora fortress in the mountains along the Afghani-Paki border and we may have just missed Usama bin Laden. I must admit that this caught me off guard. The US media has not been talking about a fight there at all, much less a large scale battle with al Qaeda leadership. So I perused one of my favorite anti-terror blogs The Jawa Report. Jawa has a link to another blog called the Internet Anthropologist which has been tracking what is going on in Tora Bora.

Let me summarize the fantastic work that the Internet Anthropologist has been doing. You may remember a couple of months ago a report that al Qaeda and its' affiliates had abandoned their training camps in Pakistan along the Afghan border. The initial report caused quite a blog storm but soon the mystery was forgotten. According to AI, which links to references for all of this, the US got fed up with not being able to reach al Qaeda inside Pakistan. Then a few months back the US government told the Pakistani government that we had the coordinates for twenty-nine terror training bases and in a week we will be destroying them (perhaps on Cheney's visit this summer). The intent was to drive the terrorists from those camps so we could get to them.

It worked. That's why those camps emptied out.

So the US left the terrorists an escape route into Tora Bora. Once they had detected a large group of al Qaeda at the fortress and the likelihood of High Value Targets as determined by large scale security detachments, the US dropped the curtain on the escape routes back into Pakistan. We have been pounding the hell out of them for weeks in near complete secrecy.

...
There is much more.

We are only beginning to see information about the operation near Tora Bora and even the NBC report is still pretty sketchy. I have been arguing well before that report that the Uzbeks who were chased from the tribal areas were probably the target in Tora Bora. There were probably some high value targets with them, but al Libi the al Qaeda military commander is more likely to be their than bin Laden or Zawahiri. It is just not a good location for producing video and the back ground noise would be pretty distracting. I suspect they are hiding in a quieter location.

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