free water and electricity: Al Qaeda embraces civic duties and courts hearts and minds in South Yemen.
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Al Qaeda finally noticed something is going on in Egypt. They phoned in their response:
A top al-Qaida figure–who is also a native son of Egypt–appeared in a videotaped statement released Friday warning that his home country had “deviated from Islam” and warned that democracy “means that sovereignty is to the desires of the majority, without committing to any quality, value or creed.”
In the 34-minute tape, Ayman al-Zawahri appeared to be warning Egypt’s liberal, secular activists who agitated for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak that they were likely to repeat the sins of the long-time leader if they failed to pursue an Islamic state.
It’s like they aren’t even trying anymore.
Pear-shaped and Pete Tong:
Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.
Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters — many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military — appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Beyond that, officials say that even many of the Awakening fighters still on the Iraqi government payroll, possibly thousands of them, covertly aid the insurgency.
aziz, thabet, and Dan are discussing. Toggle Comments
‘Al-Qaeda tirade against Turkey’:
Dan is discussing. Toggle Comments
worth highlighting: 85% of Al Qaeda’s victims are muslims.
My op-ed in the Washington Post “On Faith” blog, about Molly Norris and the now infamous fallout of “Draw Muhammad Day”.
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Like a snake backed into a corner, however, a weakened al Qaeda isn’t necessarily less dangerous. In the first comprehensive look of its kind, Foreign Policy offers the Almanac of Al Qaeda, a detailed accounting of how al Qaeda’s ranks, methods, and strategy have changed over the last decade and how they might evolve from here. What emerges is a picture of a terrorist vanguard that is losing the war of ideas in the Islamic world, even as its violent attacks have grown in frequency.
It’s not because the United States is winning — most Muslims still have extremely negative attitudes toward the United States because of its wars in the Muslim world and history of abuses of detainees. It’s because Muslims have largely turned against Osama bin Laden’s dark ideology. Favorable ratings of the terrorist leader and the suicide bombings he advocates fell by half in the two most-populous Islamic countries, Indonesia and Pakistan, between 2002 and 2009. In Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s ruthless campaign of sectarian violence obliterated the support al Qaeda had enjoyed there, deeply damaging its brand across the Arab world.
Al Qaida was planning to fly planes into the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, and possibly other targets (presumably the Imam Husain shrine in Karbala. Security forces have foiled the plan, thankfully.
Enemy combatant or American citizen?
Military tribunals or civil courts?
The charge against him, treason, is a death penalty offense for which no one has been executed since the 60s. This is going to be high in the news for a long time and will prompt some major constitutional questions.
Gadahn was just in the news yesterday for a new tape calling on Western Muslims to attack their own countries and suggesting targets. It will also probably feature prominently in media coverage.
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