Thursday, August 10, 2006

Re-engage al Qaeda now

We should laud successful British efforts that disrupted a potentially catastrophic airline attack, CNN. But, there is plenty of open-source information that indicates al Qaeda has more command and control than we can or should allow.

Recall Ron Suskind's recent book in which it was reported, via the Christian Science Monitor:
By September 2003, government analysts concluded that American prevention efforts had nothing to do with the lack of "second wave" attacks. In fact, bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, had means and plans for a cyanide attack in the New York subway system but called it off for unknown reasons. Analysts told the president and others in a high-level briefing that the US is all but helpless against another Al Qaeda strike.
Michael Scheuer at the Jamestown Foundation:
Suskind's book will provide grist for the media mill and WMD experts for weeks, but the more important issue to consider is why al-Zawahiri decided to call off the attack. Suskind's sources suggest that al-Zawahiri decided that the subway operation was not a sufficient follow-up to the September 11 attacks [2]. This judgment seems to be on very solid ground. Since declaring war on the United States in 1996, Osama bin Laden has repeatedly underscored his preferred method of operation. Al-Qaeda, he says, will incrementally increase the pain that its attacks cause the United States until it forces Washington to change its policies toward Israel and the Muslim world. While the graphing of al-Qaeda attacks since 1996 would not display a straight ascending line, the clear trend of the line would be upward; each attack has indeed been more destructive to U.S. citizens and material interests than the last.
Abu Jandal, a former bin Laden bodyguard, told 60 Minutes in April that an attack on the United States was around the bend:
Simon asked Abu Jandal for his take on bin Laden's last audiotaped message. In January, bin Laden offered the Americans a truce. If Washington doesn't take him up on it, he said, there will be consequences.

"He made a similar proposal to the Europeans. He warned them and gave them six months," Abu Jandal says. "When there was no response, he started with the Madrid bombing, then London. So I believe Osama bin Laden is planning a new attack inside the United States. This is certain."

Asked if he is sure Osama is preparing a new attack, Abu Jandal said, "When Sheikh Osama promises something, he does it."
Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden maintain, it seems, a level of command and control that we should have denied them many years ago. Moreover, we should have denied them their lives many years ago. We were one part lucky and one part good with today's disrution of a devastating plot. However, a British general has warned today that the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, the Guardian. The situation in Iraq is catastrophic. It is imperative that the United States takes today's events as a warning and recommits to the war against al Qaeda.


Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

“I have really enjoyed this back-and-forth of ours.”

Likewise my dear old-school/rational- as opposed to neocon/trotskyite :) Republican friend.

Your humble servant is taking a few days off “far from the reach of crazy sorrows”…

I’m certain that you, Pierre Tristam, M. Bachir, Juan Cole, Sophie et al. will keep the Voltairian flame alive.

And, hopefully, we’ll resume of back-and-forth literary pas-de-deux end of August Allah and Zeus willing.

For now, so long Aleyqum as they used to say in the days of the First Crusade!


Dr. V.

1:10 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Enjoy your time away from the long arm of said sorrows.

1:12 PM  

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