Winning: Al Qaeda Score Card

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November 18,2008: Without revealing the detailed scoreboard they are known to maintain, the American CIA revealed that they believe al Qaeda has suffered major defeats in Iraq, North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Southeast Asia, Chechnya, Europe and North America. The terrorist organization is still present in all those areas, but in a much diminished state. In North Africa and Southeast Asia, al Qaeda is actually represented by like-minded groups like the GSPC (North Africa), Jemaah Islamayih (Indonesia and Malaysia) and Abu Sayyaf (the Philippines). All these groups have taken a beating in their own neighborhoods, and have pledged closer cooperation with al Qaeda out of desperation. There, as well in Iraq and Egypt, the Islamic terrorists have lost popular support by pursuing murderous tactics, killing many innocent civilians, and not showing much, if any, remorse about it.

In the West (Europe, North America, Australia) al Qaeda was done in by old fashioned police work, and hostility by many local Moslems, who feel shamed by the horrors the terrorists commit in the name of Islam. Al Qaeda has been using Europe as a base, as well as fund raising and recruiting. But that is becoming more difficult as counter-terror operations shut down more of their money making and recruiting operations. Although there are thousands of pro-terrorist web sites, these lose much of their effectiveness if al Qaeda is unable to catch the cash and recruits and put them to work.

The remnants of al Qaeda are taking refuge in the Pushtun tribal areas along the Afghan Pakistan border. Here, the terrorists are often hunted and killed by the local tribes. This hostile attitude was earned when al Qaeda tried their usual tactic of murdering tribal chiefs who refused to cooperate. Al Qaeda has been trying to make peace with all the Pushtun tribes, but even with their more accommodating attitude, they are still not welcome in much of the tribal territories.

In some areas, al Qaeda is making progress. Somalia is one area where al Qaeda can actually operate. But conditions there are primitive, and the atmosphere is just plain hostile. Al Qaeda is still active in India and Bangladesh, but both areas have aggressive counter-terrorist operations that make it difficult for Islamic terrorism to flourish. Al Qaeda activity is also showing up wherever there are significant Moslem, especially Arab, communities (South America, West Africa) and continues to be popular in the growing Moslem communities in Europe.

Al Qaeda, as an organization, has also been much diminished since September 11, 2001. The original leadership, especially Osama Bin Laden, no longer exercises much control. Communications are extremely difficult, with a few trusted couriers the only way to get messages in or out of the Pushtun tribal territory where these men have been hiding since late 2001. Al Qaeda has become an idea, a franchise, with little direction from the center. Based on historical experience, movements like this die out after a generation or two. Eventually al Qaeda will run out of young men willing to die for the cause of world-wide Islamic domination.

 

 


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