July 26, 2012

Shocking News! al-Qaeda Active in Syria

The Age:

THE image has become a staple of the Syrian revolution, a video of masked men calling themselves the Free Syrian Army and with AK-47s. But there was one unsettling difference.

In the background are two flags of al-Qaeda. ''We are now forming suicide cells to make jihad in the name of God,'' said a speaker using the classical Arabic favoured by al-Qaeda.

Similar video here, note the AQ flag is the lesser known text only version

Posted on YouTube, it is one more piece of evidence that al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists are doing their best to hijack the Syrian revolution.

US intelligence officials are publicly concerned and Iraqi officials openly alarmed.

Of course al-Qaeda is involved. However since the deaths of UBL and al-Libi al-Qaeda is not quite what we think of as al-Qaeda in the 9/11 sense. The Pakistani core is much less relevant. The deaths of the core leaders have in effect given the green light for inspired lower level Jihadis who now know that there is no hope in waiting for al-Qaeda's core leadership to act.

al-Qaeda now is more of a Salafi state of mind rather than the defined group of Islamic mobsters that it once was. That state of mind gaining in popularity with the rise Arab spring conflicts and in spite of the deaths of the core leadership. The truth is that al-Qaeda and other Salafi Jihadi groups will be active in any conflict in the Middle East. There is no way around it.

So one might say that we've won the battles of Iraq and Afghanistan on the ground and al-Qaeda has lost. Many times al-Qaeda fighters lost favor in the areas they controlled by their own brutal hand more than by the force of our arms. But if the standard by which you measure al-Qaeda's success are its inspiration of Salafist Jihadi movements. Well, the results are much less clear.

The hard core Jiahdis will seek to impose their will on the population. Of course they will seek to insert themselves into any place where anarchy allows them to gain power by force. I'm even willing to tolerate a few Jihiadis helping Muslims fight to be free, given that its their business and its up to those in those nations to determine their future. Its given that the end result will be somewhat less radical than al-Qaeda. Also, so long as al-Qaeda is engaged there they are less likely to attack us in the west except in cases of extreme opportunity. I mean why would they need to attack us at home? We're not particularly in their way at the moment.

Afterward will come the real danger. When peace returns the dedicated Jihadi will once again turn his attention to Israel and its allies in the west. And with these new "Democracies" made up of 60 percent Islamists and 20 percent radical Jiahdis I'm not feeling particularly optimistic about it.

By Howie at 09:13 AM | Comments |