9/11 ten years later: they’re still trying to kill us

September 10, 2011

With the tenth anniversary of the September 11th atrocities coming tomorrow, there’s reasonable fear that Al Qaeda could attempt an attack in New York or elsewhere in the US for their own “celebrations.”

But don’t think they or other jihadist groups have been quiet in the meantime, just waiting for an anniversary to strike us. Far from it, for they see it as their religious duty to attack us. As this chart from the Heritage Foundation shows, there have been at least 40 domestic terror plotsan average of four per year— foiled since September 11th, 2001:

(Click the image  for a larger vesion.)

Never forget, and always be on guard. They’re still trying to kill us.

via The Jawa Report

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Al Qaeda #2 sent to meet his virgins, courtesy of the USA? Update: He’s not dead yet?

August 28, 2011

BOOM:

Atiyah Abd al Rahman, a top al Qaeda leader who long served Osama bin Laden, was reportedly killed on Aug. 22 in Waziristan, Pakistan, according to multiple press reports. Both the Associated Press and Reuters cite US officials as saying that Rahman has been killed. Matt Apuzzo of the AP reports that a US official would not confirm how Atiyah had been killed, but the AP story notes that on same day, the CIA launched a drone strike in Waziristan.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal would neither confirm nor deny Atiyah’s reported death. One senior US intelligence official observed that verifying the deaths of top terrorists is difficult and the US has gotten it wrong in the past. Atiyah himself, the official pointed out, was reportedly killed in 2010. Still, this official said, it is certainly possible that the new reports of Atiyah’s demise are accurate.

(…)

Atiyah has been described as al Qaeda’s “operations chief” in some press reports, and his role in plotting terrorist attacks has been repeatedly noted. But according to one senior US intelligence official contacted by The Long War Journal, Atiyah was al Qaeda’s “general manager” and also served as Osama bin Laden’s “chief of staff.”

While Atiyah was involved in plotting attacks, the official said, he was not really the “operational commander.” In the nascent plot to attack the US on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, for example, Atiyah would pass messages back and forth between Osama bin Laden and operatives elsewhere, but the tactical details of the plot were left to other al Qaeda commanders.

Atiyah was also given a senior role in managing al Qaeda’s finances, the official said. Only the most loyal and trustworthy terrorists would be given such a role.

You can read more about this thankfully dead medieval lunatic glorious martyr to Allah’s cause at The Long War Journal.

As TLWJ points out, this surely hurts Al Qaeda by killing another senior leader, disrupting operations and spreading fear and mistrust — did a traitor give Atiyah’s location away? Are there spies in their midst?

But we should keep in mind that Al Qaeda is a deliberately decentralized organization, with branches (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and franchises (Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb) that are fully capable of planning and carrying out operations on their own. Indeed, the attempted Christmas bombing over Detroit and the jihad attack at Ft. Hood were both planned or supported by AQAP, while AQIM has been linked to plots to launch a Mumbai-style attack in Europe. Striking a blow at Al Qaeda-central, while important, shouldn’t be and I’m sure isn’t our sole focus. (See also and also.)

Coming back to the probably-late Mr. Atiyah, if he is dead, it’s almost certain that this is one fruit of the intelligence haul we made when we looted bin Laden’s compound after killing him last May. You can bet there have been and will be others, as we exploit that trove of information for all it’s worth. And one has to wonder about the reaction of the next guy to be promoted to second-in-command: give thanks to Allah or run shrieking in terror? It doesn’t seem to be a job with much future in it…

UPDATE: From TLWJ’s blog, Threat Matrix, doubts are being cast on reports that Atiyah is really dead. This is a reminder that many such reports of prominent AQ and Taliban casualties have turned out to be premature. Perhaps Al Qaeda’s number two isn’t quite ready to go on the cart, yet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Seal Team 6, you have your next target

May 20, 2011

According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, the refugee from a medieval lunatic asylum al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri has been named the jihad-terror group’s leader:

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that it has read classified documents from the Dutch secret intelligence organization (AIVD).

According to the documents, Al-Zawahiri was appointed as Al Qaeda’s new leader during a meeting on May 9, a week after the death of OBL.

“On May 9, the leadership of Al Qaeda elected Al-Zawahiri during a meeting in the tribal areas, between Afghanistan and Pakistan”, an intelligence source told the newspaper.

And that’s not all: according to Dutch intelligence, the monster from Maadi (Egypt) himself proposed to elect Sa’ad bin Laden, one of Bin Laden’s sons. He refused, however. Al Qaeda’s leaders then proceeded to appoint Al-Zawahiri.

All those present swore an oath of allegiance to the Egyptian terrorist (bayat).

Apparently bin Laden’s spawn, Sa’ad bin Laden, was named to al Qaeda’s governing council, perhaps as an eventual successor to Zawahiri.

While this report hasn’t been confirmed yet (earlier information named Saif al-Adel as al Qaeda’s interim head), Public Secrets would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the good doctor on his promotion to admiral:

SEAL Team 6 should be by with the Welcome Wagon, shortly.


Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hizbullah: the boys in Brazil

April 6, 2011

It’s been noted before by myself and others that our porous southern border poses not only a problem of illegal immigration, but an avenue of opportunity for terrorists trying to get into the United States.  Hamas has been trying to set up operations in Mexico, Hizbullah has become involved in the Colombian drug trade, and an Iranian book celebrating suicide bombers was found in the Arizona desert, probably not dropped by a Mexican looking for day-work in Phoenix.

Now comes word via a Brazilian periodical that al Qaeda operatives are in Brazil, plotting and organizing:

Al Qaeda operatives are in Brazil planning attacks, raising money and recruiting followers, a leading news magazine reported Saturday, renewing concerns about the nation serving as a hide-out for Islamic militants.

Veja magazine, in its online edition, reported that at least 20 people affiliated with al Qaeda as well as the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, the Palestinian group Hamas and two other organizations have been hiding out in the South American country.

The magazine said these operatives have been raising money and working to incite attacks abroad. The magazine cited Brazilian police and U.S. government reports, but did not give details on specific targets or operations.

This isn’t the first word we’ve had of Islamic jihadists in South America, of course. As the article mentions, the United States has long believed that the lawless area where the Brazilian, Paraguayan, and Argentine borders meet harbored terrorists and Iranian agents. But this latest news from Brazil is a salutary reminder that our enemies are not just in the Hindu Kush: they are much closer, they are making plans, and we are a very likely target. (Though not the only one…)

via Fausta, who provides links to articles about the activities of Hamas and Hizbullah in the land of the samba, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Libya: the art of war, Smart Power-style

April 1, 2011

If anything illustrates the half-baked manner in which the administration took us into war kinetic military action in Libya, it’s this quote from Politico’s Roger Simon:

We are currently doing everything we can to bomb, strafe and use missiles to carry the rebels into power in Libya. We want them to win. We just don’t know who they are.

This is not merely my opinion. It is the statement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, our point person in meeting with the rebels.

Emphases added.

But, don’t  worry; we’ve finally –weeks after the Libyan revolt began and days after we went to war on the rebels’ behalf– told the CIA “Hey, maybe it’s a good idea we find out who these guys are!

The Obama administration has sent teams of CIA operatives into Libya in a rush to gather intelligence on the identities and capabilities of rebel forces opposed to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, according to U.S. officials.

The information has become more crucial as the administration and its coalition partners move closer to providing direct military aid or guidance to the disorganized and beleaguered rebel army.

Although the administration has pledged that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed to Libya, officials said Wednesday that President Obama has issued a secret finding that would authorize the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and other support to Libyan opposition groups.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, insisted that no decision has been made.

Because, Lord knows, there’s no way you need this information before taking sides in a civil war, deciding to drop (so far!) a billion dollars  of ordnance on a country, and putting our pilots at risk. I wonder how our flyboys like knowing they weren’t worth the effort of a little advance work?

Maybe I’m overreacting. We do know some things about our new Libyan BFFs. For example, apparently some of them are al Qaeda. That shouldn’t be surprising since eastern Libya provides, per our Secretary of State, a large number of al Qaeda’s recruits. But, are they are a serious threat, or a minor nuisance? We just don’t know, since we’ve only started looking into it.

In other words, does this mean we’re fighting for al Qaeda in Libya and fighting against them around the rest of the world? Now that’s flexible, smart power!

Oh, one other thing Secretary “I know nothing! Nothing!” Clinton and her boss, the Smartest President with the Best Judgment Ever, might liked to have known or at least had a good estimate of before starting this little adventure: there are only around 1,000 of these rebels. No wonder they can’t hold any territory unless we bomb the tar out of Qaddafi’s army — this isn’t a revolution: it’s a tribal uprising!

If there’s any bitter satisfaction to be taken from this, it’s that the Democrats and the Left (but I repeat myself) are stumbling and rushing blindly into war in just the way they falsely accused George W. Bush of doing in Iraq.

It’s not that they were wrong so much as they were predicting their own future.

RELATED: If Secretary Clinton would like to know more about these people for whom we’ve gone to war, she couldn’t do much better than starting with Michael Totten: Who are the Libyan Rebels? If, as Totten’s colleague suggests, the majority of rebels are “…mainly young, educated, middle class, urban people with a powerful wish for democracy…”, then maybe we should be taking steps to make sure they come out on top in a post-Qaddafi government, rather than the aggressive, experienced al Qaeda cadres. I’d like to think that’s what we’re doing, but with this bunch in charge… .

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Al Qaeda plotting to kill French First Lady?

November 9, 2010

Not surprising. The last thing the Religion of Misogyny can tolerate is a self-confident, independent woman who doesn’t dress like a shapeless lump:

Why France banned the burqa

 

From Daily News and Analysis:

Security services believe President Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife is now “high up” on al-Qaeda’s hitlist of potential VIP victims in France, it was revealed.

Fears for Bruni’s safety come after Osama bin Laden issued a chilling personal threat to kill French citizens in revenge for France backing the war in Afghanistan and their new law banning the burqa.

The al-Qaeda terror chief released an audio tape last week warning, “It is a simple equation, if you kill, you will be killed.”

(…)

“Security has always been high around the First couple, but we have learned that it has now been heavily increased around Ms Bruni herself,” the Daily Mail quoted the website as saying.

“There is no question of her ever going out without an armed escort and details of all her movements are being kept secret until the very last moment.

It’s still a war, folks, and they’re still trying to kill us.

LINKS: My earlier posts on Islamic misogyny. And here’s a good book on the topic.

Via The Jawa Report.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Should America have an assassination list?

October 6, 2010

Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen. He is also a high-ranking al Qaeda propagandist and spiritual leader who counseled the Fort Hood shooter on his murderous mission. He inspired Feisal Shahzad, the Muslim jihadist who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square. He approved the Christmas Day attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit. He has called for jihad against his own country.

Not surprisingly, the American government wants him dead.

This troubles Jonah Goldberg, one of my favorite authors. Not because of the orders against Awlaki, himself: Jonah agrees this medieval sociopath needs to be reduced to his component parts as quickly as possible. But  other questions trouble him:

There’s ample precedent — and common sense — to support the claim that the executive branch can kill American citizens when they are sworn members of enemy forces and avowed traitors working with the enemy.

But those precedents start to fray at the edges when the whole world is the war zone and the war doesn’t end until a diffuse, committed, and often camouflaged army of suicidal religious fanatics defy their god and agree to leave the Dark Ages. And the common sense starts to drain away like water through your fingers when you contemplate that we may be facing these kinds of problems for half a century. So while it strikes me as a no-brainer that al-Awlaki should go, what about the next guy? Or the next?

Goldberg’s problem comes not with the targeted-killing policy, per se, but with its secret, ad hoc nature in a society based on democracy and the rule of law. Rather than having this question fought out in the courts (not surprisingly, the ACLU has sued the Obama administration in court to have the order to kill Awlaki blocked), the policy should be debated openly and settled democratically by the elected political branches in a way that meets our traditions: voted on in Congress in agreement with the President. Not the specific targets, mind you, but a set policy on what happens when a citizen joins a non-state actor to wage war against his own country.

I agree, both with Goldberg and with the Obama administration: Anwar al-Awlaki has sided with our deadly enemy and thus needs to die himself, citizen or not. But  we need clear rules for for future cases.

Because we know there will be more.

This is the kind of genuine national issue Congress should be dealing with, the very kind of question for which the federal government was created. Not regulating the air we breathe or the kinds of light bulbs we can buy.

Very frustrating.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)