To mark Independence Day, al-Qaeda #2 Ayman Zawahiri (just another country doctor turned terrorist) has issued a 90 minute video with a stirring call for Muslims to back the terrorists in Iraq. In fact, the tape also includes a piece from the Islamic State of Iraq terror group - an al-Qaeda “inspired” outfit that Zawahiri seems to be supporting and urging the entire Muslim world to help. This despite assurances by some in the west that al-Qaeda has no presence in Iraq and that every time someone in the Administration says so, they are lying.
Who to believe? Those lying Bushies or the country doctor?
As Americans celebrate the 4th of July today, Al Qaeda’s top deputy Ayman Zawahiri is appearing in a new internet video praising jihadi fighters in Iraq and elsewhere. Dressed in all white and sitting before a news studio background, Zawahiri warns Americans that “Today, the wind - by grace of Allah - is blowing against Washington.”
In the hour and half long video, which surfaced today on the website Strategic Translations, a translation and terror analysis firm, Zawahiri urges his followers to hurry to Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Somalia.
He also offers a message of confidence to the jihadi fighters in prison saying that victory in Iraq and Afghanistan will come soon.
“You must be patient and steadfast,” he says. “Rejoice, for victory is near, with Allah’s permission, and the herds of crusaders have begun to split up and their sole concern has become searching for a way out.”
Entitled “The Advice of One Concerned,” the video has English subtitles and includes clips from other videos and news broadcasts, including one from Al Furqan, the video production arm of the Islamic State of Iraq.
Thankfully, we don’t have to “search” very hard for a way out at all. Just do what the Democrats want and all will be well.
Beyond the words on the tape - and coming on the heels of several botched terrorist attacks in the UK and here - there’s always the thought that this particular tape will trigger a cell somewhere to go into action. And given we’ve already had some warnings about attacks this summer, one certainly hopes that DHS Director Chertoff has a little different attitude about terrorists operating in this country than his rather laid back approach to illegal immigrants. Given some of his recent statements, I’m not so sure.
Meanwhile, the Brits are waking up to the fact that warnings about these recent failed attacks were coming from some very interesting sources. Canon Andrew White, the president and CEO of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East and the vicar of St. George’s (Anglican) Church in Baghdad came face to face with pure evil at a meeting in Jordan two months ago where a specific warning was issued regarding the most recent attacks in the UK:
Just over two months ago I wrote in my Update that I had the worst meeting in my life. I said I have seen the Devil today. I met this awful man in Amman prior to our last major meeting in Baghdad.
I referred to him as the Devil and I even refused to continue the meeting and told the Sheikh who had brought him to me never to let me meet him again.
He told me that they were going to start killing in the UK then the USA. One sentence I remembered but did not understand was “those who cure you will kill you”.
I did not understand this then but in the last two days since the terrorist activities in the UK were brought to a head I was not surprised when there were reports that those arrested were all involved in the health services.
Those terrible words “those who cure you will kill you” suddenly made sense.
The litany of planned killing was horrendous. I do not know why I was told this by an Iraqi Sunni living then in Syria. I passed on this information to our FCO. I then learned that this person was a senior Al Qaeda figure and so was indeed bent on the destruction of innocent lives.
I will never forget this meeting. It remains the worst I have ever had. I hope I never have one like it again.
I find it interesting that this gentleman of the cloth - a liberal’s liberal judging by his record of opposing US-UK actions in the entire Middle East - would easily make the leap of faith and have the intellectual honesty to identify this al-Qaeda agent as “the Devil.” That puts him one step beyond 95% of the liberals in this country who can never seem to make that determination of evil regarding the nature of the enemy. Such black and white concepts aren’t “nuanced” or complicated enough. And what’s the point of being a liberal if you can’t trivialize the momentous and complicate the obvious>?
And as information continues to emerge about the UK terror plotters, one is struck by the prescience of the last National Intelligence Estimate from Iraq that predicted these kind of “do-it-yourself” terror cells that would use al-Qaeda ideology as an inspiration rather than receiving direct aid from the terrorist groups. It should be noted also that the NIE predicted that terrorists trained or blooded in Iraq would begin to inspire and perhaps even advise these homegrown jihadis. Judging by some of the remarks by Zawahiri on this new video, it appears that the al-Qaeda leader is trying to claim these groups as al-Qaeda’s own despite the fact that they have not given them any assistance. What that portends for the future can only be guessed at.
This brings up an issue that I’ve wrestled with since the beginning of the War on Terror: Does confronting the terrorists in and of itself breed more terrorists?
This question has not received the attention it deserves from either the right or the left. At the heart of the query is a big “what if;” if we had not gone into Afghanistan and subsequently Iraq and either responded as a President Gore might have by lobbing a few cruise missiles into al-Qaeda training camps following the 9/11 attacks (Gore may very well have invaded Afghanistan also) or done virtually nothing, what would the state of the worldwide jihad be today? In other words, would it have been better to simply acknowledge that we are going to be attacked every once and a while and concentrate our efforts on policing and prevention?
I throw this out simply to start a discussion not as an indication of what I believe. Given the success we’ve had worldwide in cracking al-Qaeda cells in many major cities around the world, as well as stifling their funding mechanisms, would essentially non-violent methods have worked just as efficiently while, at the same time, not creating additional terrorists for us to deal with?
One might think this is a sophomoric intellectual exercise given we can’t go back and change history. But very soon, following at least a partial withdrawal from Iraq, we are going to have to take a step back and figure out “what’s next?” I doubt very much whether this current crew in charge of our security has done much thinking along these lines so perhaps we should goose them a bit to start seriously considering our options.
For myself, I have no doubt that once we are hit again - and hit again we will be - we will be faced with decisions perhaps more momentous than our decision to go for regime change in Iraq. If confronting terrorism will always breed more terrorists anyway, perhaps continuing to attack the state sponsors of terrorism would be an exercise in futility given the nature of jihad today - not centrally organized and largely home grown. But can the will be summoned to resist what will surely be enormous pressure to hit back at one of these terrorist sponsors?
I’m not the answer man here - just someone with a lot of questions and who is very uneasy given our experiences with fighting terrorism so far. I’d be pleased if as many of you as possible shared your thoughts on this.
I have removed comment moderation to get a discussion going.