Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Al Qaida: Spoiled Children Needing Attention

Early this morning as I wrote this post concerning my concerns re: possible terrorist strikes in the US and indicators/target patterns, I forgot one of the main indicators: whenever terrorists feel like they aren't being given their due by the media (ie, they drop off the radar while larger tragedies or more important things are going on), they are bound to strike in a major way to regain their prominence on the international media.

I can't believe that I missed this important indicator since it is one of the MAJOR plaints of Zawahiri in his book "Knights Under the Prohet's Banner".

Part ElevenA. The universality of the battle:
The western forces that are hostile to Islam have clearly identified their enemy. They refer to it as the Islamic fundamentalism. They are joined in this by their old enemy, Russia. They have adopted a number of tools to fight Islam, including:
(1) The United Nations.
(2) The friendly rulers of the Muslim peoples.
(3) The multinational corporations.
(4) The international communications and data exchange systems.
(5) The international news agencies and satellite media channels.

(6) The international relief agencies, which are being used as a cover for espionage, proselytizing, coup planning, and the transfer of weapons. [snip]

Choosing TargetsN. We must get our message across to the masses of the nation and break the media siege imposed on the jihad movement. This is an independent battle that we must launch side by side with the military battle.

Thus, the last indicator for an attack would be whenever the headlines do not have the words: Iraq, dead, suicide bombers, statement from "X" (choose one: Zawahiri, Zarqawi, OBL) for three or more days.

Just like spoiled children, they demand attention. Unfortunately, they are more like the spoiled children of Satan (al Shatan) who want their attention in bloody headlines.

Iraq the Model believes they are trying to avenge Tal Afar based on a statement released by Al Qaida in Iraq, but I believe it is more complex than that considering that large attacks with multiple suiciders and mass casualties are reserved for special strategic needs.

Zawahiri explains further the strategy for achieving multiple goals in any one attack:

L. Changing the method of strikes:
The mujahid Islamic movement must escalate its methods of strikes and tools of resisting the enemies to keep up with the tremendous increase in the number of its enemies, the quality of their weapons, their destructive powers, their disregard for all taboos, and disrespect for the customs of wars and conflicts. In this regard, we concentrate on the following:
1. The need to inflict the maximum casualties against the opponent, for this is the language understood by the west, no matter how much time and effort such operations take.
2. The need to concentrate on the method of martyrdom operations as the most successful way of inflicting damage against the opponent and the least costly to the mujahidin in terms of casualties.
3. The targets as well as the type and method of weapons used must be chosen to have an impact on the structure of the enemy and deter it enough to stop its brutality, arrogance, and disregard for all taboos and customs. It must restore the struggle to its real size.

The real size, he goes on to say, is global war.

Frankly, I wonder if any agency has taken the time to compare the news cycles and headlines in a given period to attacks by the terrorists? Instead of blithely assuming that a decrease in activity on the part of the terrorists signifies defeat?

Although, the other point that can be made is that as we see attacks whittled down to mostly spectacular, mass casualty affairs further and further apart, this may be a good indicator that human resources may be declining or that the mujihadeen are moving their leadership assetts to avoid capture and are reduced to setting off their main attack by well entrenched and hidden cells. The good news is, these cells don't get rebuilt over night and investigative and interrogation techniques have led to support personnel and groups being arrested or taken out of the equation, forcing the mujihadeen to rebuild, not just the cell, but entire support networks in location.

No easy task once the cover is broken.

I am also beginning to think, based on the amassing of forces and the attacks in Baghdad that Zawahiri or some other leadership element was being evacuated from the area of Tal Afar once again and these items were hopeful distractions for US forces.

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