Counter-Terrorism: Young, Clueless and Dead

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January 4, 2006: An unexpected ally in the war on terror is, increasingly, poorly trained terrorists who either kill themselves, or screw up their operations. The number of accidental or premature explosions by suicide bombers is increasing, as is the accidental detonation of bombs under construction. In Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been recent incidents of suicide bombs going off before the bomber reached their objective, Many bombers are intercepted by security personnel because of poor discipline and ignorance. In Pakistan and Iraq, bombs under construction have been going off so often that terrorists believe there is something more than their inexperience at work. Iraqi terrorist bomb makers have been eating up by rumors that the Americans now have an electronic device that can set off a bomb at will. Actually, such a device is under development, but it's already having an impact on the morale of the increasingly less skilled bomb makers. The United States has learned from the Israelis that one effective way to cut down on terrorist bombings is to go after the bomb makers and other support staff needed to carry out suicide bombings, or any kind of terrorist bomb attacks.

In Iraq, more and more bomber support personnel are either getting arrested, or getting out of the business to avoid a worse fate. Iraqi police have been forming death squads to just go out and kill suspected members of bombing gangs. As a result of that, the United States has been forced to more closely monitor Iraqi police, and persuade them to stick with legal police methods. In the meantime, the terrorists are getting terrorized, and that is reducing the number of terrorist attacks. Since most of the victims of the terrorist bombings and other attacks have been Iraqis, the Iraqi police feel justified in using whatever means they can to stop the carnage. Relations between the Iraqi Sunni Arabs, and the majority Shia Arabs and Kurds can't get much worse. American commanders increasingly have Sunni Arab leaders asking for protection from Iraqi security personnel.

It's pretty obvious that al Qaeda has lost much of the professionalism they had five years ago, after thousands of terrorists had received professional bomb making and weapons training in Afghan camps. Most of those terrorists are now dead, captured or out of the terrorist business. The new generation, inspired by terrorist propaganda on the Internet, or in the Arab media, are being killed off so rapidly that their fate is having an adverse effect on recruiting. Young Islamic radicals are no longer running off to join the war in Iraq with any prospects of coming back alive. Those that do come back in one piece, are often not much help for recruiting. They tell of deadly American troops, and a hostile Iraqi population.

 


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