Friday, August 22, 2008

Al Qaeda's New Strategy

Oh, joy. NOT! From this August 21, 2008 article:
A newly discovered online Al Qaeda manual is giving intelligence officials new insight into how the group's leaders are training recruits to further move the organization from a centralized operation toward smaller global cells.

The manual, called “Method for Building the Personality of a Terrorist Mujahid” and written by an Islamist forum contributor nicknamed "Shamil al-Baghdadi," encourages militant followers to stop focusing on pulling off attacks on the scale of 9-11 and to start executing numerous smaller attacks.

It states that if for some reason the mission fails, the Jihadi must not abort, but instead carry on alone — as a one-man cell.

According to New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, it's a strategy of which domestic law enforcement agencies are well aware.

"If you can't do the big attacks, do the small attacks. Do smaller attacks and more of them," Kelly said.

The new manual, which allegedly surfaced on an Islamic Web forum sometime in March, outlines a number of lessons, from how to form a terror cell to fundraising efforts.

It advocates assassinations by shooting, poisoning and booby-trapping cell phones and computers. The manual prioritizes targets by ranking and lists categories such as "high profile," which represent presidents and prime ministers.

Targeted organizations have a similar ranking, in which state sponsored groups are listed as “high-potential” organizations.

Recruits are also told to organize credit card scams and to rob police stations in order to get weapons.

Most shocking are the lessons on kidnapping, with orders to slaughter hostages in a way that will terrify the public.

"I propose you start with those that have blood on their hands torturing and suppressing Muslims like high-ranking intelligence officers, the governor or any foreign official," writes al-Baghdadi.

Cell members are also persuaded to carry out attacks on cultural and business centers, taking warfare to the streets.

As Al Qaeda cells become localized and more autonomous, terror experts say the techniques outlined in the manual illustrate of changing the face of the organization itself.

Dr. Matthew Levitt, director of The Washington Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, said the structure has shifted.

"You know, it used to be that the face of Al Qaeda was bin Laden and the core. That is still the case, but now we are reminded about Al Qaeda on a regular basis more because of the activities of the local cells."

Levitt said the manual is specifically tailored to its audience.

"What this does more than anything else is provides people who are inclined to carry out such attacks with the sense that they now have some information and pushes them to actually go through with it," said Levitt...
Read the rest.

The further in time we move from 9/11, the more complacent we become. The more we tell ourselves that wannabe terrorists are buffoons not to worry about. For example, consider the recent facts about Saleman Abdirahman Dirie:
Saleman Abdirahman Dirie was a 29-year-old Canadian citizen, a Muslim, and a former refugee from Somalia with no visible means of support and no money. He came to Denver from Ottawa by bus and checked into an upscale hotel (where the least expensive rooms rent for nearly $250 a night) for which he paid cash. There are reports that several thousand dollars in cash were also found in his room. He was not seen again until his body was found six days later next to a one pound jar of sodium cyanide crystals.
Read the rest of the essay by Ilana Freedman. I guarantee it will give you pause.

Also, consider Dirie's final arrangements, handled by the Muslim Society of America, despite reports of the man's not being particularly religious nor active in the adult Somali community.

Was Dirie a member of Al Qaeda? We don't know, and we may never know. The authorities have closed the investigation.

Nothing to see here, move right along.

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda and other Moslem terrorists are adapting, adapting, adapting. The inevitability of at least small attacks seems apparent. And if spectacular attacks occur, this will be the reaction from those who have blithely chosen to ignore the warning signs:
At some point our collective heads will come up out of the sand, probably by the force of an explosion; and we'll stand, mouths agape like so many fish out of water, trying to comprehend a situation we've done our best to ignore.
-Anonymous, 2005
(Crossposted to THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS)


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posted by Always On Watch @ 8/22/2008 10:36:00 AM