Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Let Us Make It An Endless Bloody War

Today, Fox News reports that the group calling itself "Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade Europe", issued a warning on Friday to the Italians, Bulgarians, British and other European countries after the July 15 deadline for a truce with Al-Qaida expired:

"From here in Italy, and from Britain and Bulgaria, and all European countries, we call on all our people to mobilize and prepare to engage in the battle, a new type and style of battle. Prepare to shed blood, let us make it an endless bloody war"

I point this particular phrase out because I have noted several times that the enemy is wholly committed to this war. It is obvious that no country would accept any such truce from them. Previously, I wrote that the enemy is not willing to treat or negotiate. Their previous offer of a truce was tatamount to a demand for complete surrender and could not be taken as a serious offer to negotiate any terms. In which case, terms will not be negotiated with this group as they have already committed a number of unforgivable acts of war on unsuspecting civilians. This makes them an entity that must be defeated at all costs.

Western countries like Spain have withdrawn into their own borders in a defensive stance that will not, in the end, make them any safer than the other countries as they continue to investigate and capture dozens of suspected terrorists within their own borders. This will continue to make them targets as the enemy perceives them to be "making war on" or "persecuting" Muslims. At this time, they may have only bought themselves some time before the terrorist organizations decide that some other action they have taken puts them back on the list of actionable countries. Span's actions are short sighted to say the least.

"Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade Europe" issued a direct threat to Italy:

A Message to the Italian Government

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades

Al-Qaida Organization

Praise be to God, and prayers and peace upon God's prophet.

This is a message to the Italian Government, at the head of which is the despicable Berlusconi. We have previously warned the Italian people and the Italian Government to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible but we have yet to see anything. Therefore the language of blood is on its way to you. We are mobilizing our cells in Rome and all Italian cities. We are giving Berlusconi 15 days to withdraw from Iraq and then we will be absolved from the blood of every Italian everywhere and at all times. We will rock the entire country and burn everything..15 days may be the final opportunity for you and your people. The Madrid invasion is clear evidence of what we are saying and the Istanbul invasion remains engraved in the memories of the Turks.

Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades
Al-Qaida Organization
Saturday 14 Jumada al-Akhirah 1425 [Hegira] corresponding to 31 July 2004

This message has been questioned as several other messages and claims have not been proven correct. Further, in the case of Spain's train bombing, it is not clear that any such warning or ultimatum was given before the actual operation occurred although they did claim later to be responsible.

To we civilians, trying to figure out who is legitimate and who is fake, is damn near impossible. Couple that with the governments desire to keep their information sources confidential to insure continued operational ability, it could be easily construed as a hoax or just another political move by one side or the other. Post 9/11 and 3/11 would seem to make people be more aware and less ready to use this for political gain, but it hasn't. And this serves to make the populace, edgy, angry and sometimes disbelieving. From my perspective, this is as dangerous as the deep sleep we experienced in the '90s. A sleep that was punctured by the ugly reality of 9/11.

Let us hope that we are not asleep now.

North East Intelligence Agency

In addition, the Department of Homeland Security, issued an upgraded terror alert to "orange" based on information obtained from captured al-Qaida in Pakistan. The media and opponent politicos continue to emphasize the age of the materials captured. Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge, head of the department, was forced to make additional statements reminding people that Al-Qaida is notorious for making plans far in advance and that some of the information was updated this year. The targets are once again in the financial district of New York and would appear to be an attempt to bankrupt the US.

In review, this is an excellent strategy on the part of the enemy as the US in financial turmoil would be hard pressed to continue to support major operations in the middle east. I commented on this previously in my discussion Oil, Economy, Terrorism and National Security in which case, I put forth the theory that the Islamist groups, if capable of taking control of a country like Saudi Arabia, would use the control of the oil to bankrupt world economies and thus, give them the springboard to create the greater Pan Arab/Pan Islamic state.

Obviously, in order to put this plan forward, they would first have to destroy or severely cripple the United States. No other country has the ability to project the protection of these countries. Therefore, the first order of business is to make the US incapable of responding. After that, taking control of a country in the ME and then projecting that control on to the other states, would be relatively simple considering the condition these state's armies are in as well as a population well inundated with fundamental Islamic adherents.

The most important item to remember, in attempting to discern the enemies tactics, is that Osama Bin Laden studied Public Administration at King Abdul-Aziz university in Jeddah. There he would have learned about economics and finance, particularly, it's roll in supporting a solvent government. Other influencing factors were probably his father's ability to float the Saud Royal Family in the late 1960's which would have given him a sense of how vulnerable governments were to influence under financial crisis.

He also surrounds himself with other well educated members of Al-Qaida and other Islamic groups that have various attributes including analytical skills for finance, media and military.

To dismiss any information as "old" and possible unactionable is to place the country at risk. Any group planning to take action in the United States or even Europe cannot do so at the drop of a hat. In order for the group to be able to act, they must first blend in with the general population and allay any suspicion by neighbors and friends. Second, attempts to hi-jack planes and use them as suicidal missiles must be considered a one off action. Once this tactic was used, it became less reliable a the passengers on flight #93 proved that the terrorist would be opposed. As lax as some believe the security measures have been, groups of men with small knives are no longer a danger against a well educated flying population and the potential for armed air marshalls to interfere.

Further attacks on airplanes would most likely be a bomb inside the plane or a hand held missile device, fired from the ground. Both of these have their draw backs as the materials for such an exercise would have to be obtained and effectively hidden on the plane. This is a hit or miss operation and would not have a guaranteed outcome. Shoulder fired weapons that would be currently available on the US market would have to be obtained through a layered network that would protect the would be perpetrators from discovery. This takes some time and is still not a guaranteed operation as the airport security makes routine checks and cameras and sensors around the perimeter make it difficult to achieve the distance necessary for such an act. While this makes it less probable as an attack, it still cannot be ruled out.

What makes it even less probable is that it would not have the direct desired impact on the economy. A plane of passengers destroyed in flight could be absorbed at minimal financial cost. This is the calculation of the enemy whose desire is to place the US in financial crisis.

Based on these difficulties, the group is most likely to fall back on known successful tactics which would include car bombs and other suicidal attacks. The government has issued several warnings in the last year concerning stolen tankers and other large containers. This is an upgraded tactic from the first World Trade Center bombings which proved that a simple panel van, regardless of the amount of explosives, would not be able to inflict the necessary damage on a building to bring it down. It would take an unprecedented amount of explosives at the base of the building and this would have to be delivered in a large container.

Couple that with continuing evidence of operations to case financial buildings in the New York area and we have the enemy's plan, even if the government will not specifically lay it out in that manner. Additional information in relations to alerts for missing explosives make this option all too possible.

One area that must be considered, is the time such an operation would require to be put together. After 9/11, a person of Arab descent would not be able to simply walk into companies asking for said materials. These companies have been put on alert. Instead, the enemy will have to infiltrate certain groups and build several layers of cover, insuring that they are not directly involved in the purchase or transportation of these materials, to insure there continued anonymity. This alone could take years, let alone the discovery and obtaining of these materials.

Therefore, it is highly conceivable that information dated prior to 9/11 would be considered estimable intelligence. Based on the length of the last operation, it would be criminal not to.


Robert said...

When someone tells you they want to kill you- it is best to take them at their word.

ALa said...

They did promise that this would be the 'Summer of Blood'...
I wonder about my own constitution as I have trouble killing a spider --I usually end up catching them in a cup and taking them outside...
A professor once told me that was purely a 'cultural difference'...

Kat said...

Robert..I'm with you. If a guy tells you he is going to kill you and he ain't laughing and he tells you over and over, I think it's time to get a restraining order via the USMC, Army, Airforce, Navy and Coast Guard.

A very interesting thing happened to me yesterday while visiting Iraq the model in the comments. The little jihadi wannabe calling himself "redcoat" (as in blood), was making some rather bellicose comments about killing Americans and said something like, "Remember 9/11, 3/11 when you fly on 8/11".

Not suggesting that this was anymore than some kid with nothing better to do, but troll, but it did give me pause to consider that these guys, like all serial killers, seem to have started some sort of pattern. I'm sure it's not missed by the intelligence agencies. Although, it usually takes three such similar incidents for the FBI to consider the actions of the same serial killer or an established pattern.

But, it should be considered that they may not telegraph such a punch. It is only a thought about their actions to date.

Kat said...

Ala71...yes, it is only cultural differences. The question will remain whether it is our culture of life or their culture of death that remains.

I'm voting for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let's hope that the government is up to the same.

Anonymous said...

Kat--In your comments you mentioned "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." You forgot to mention free health care. After all, it too is a "right".

Dan in St. Louis