[eDebate] obama view on al-qaeda dated
Mon Oct 27 06:51:16 CDT 2008
they're packing their bags for indonesia, east turkestan, southern russia or tibet. even if the nest doesn't move like historically the nest has from sudan to afghanistan to pakistan to --- next country, the bush war on afghanistan already diversified the cell structure of the organization which unlike the coming obama administration hip on FISA is NOT A TOP-DOWN AUTHORITY STRUCTURE. slowing down the nest and minimizing large scale attacks is the best brzezinski and the council on foreign relations should be able claim if a vigorous debate on their campaigns foreign policy claims were allowed in the media. the salient absence of that debate allows obama to give rising paramilitary groups the impression that the last days of al-qaeda are on the horizon. what a joke? not one argument in a major news source that the pursuit of the al-qaeda nest could be proven futile by advance warning given to al-qaeda about clumsy, high profile military operations which allows the terrorist organization to do what historically it does --- find the next safe haven. and no major media speculation on where al-qaeda might go next while obama sends his hypnotized paramilitary commandos into a chimaera campaign "against al-qaeda".
Counterterrorism officials know destroying the Afghan command center will not necessarily disrupt al-Qaeda's operations, even if every one of the 50 countries where its spores have spread prevents "the base" from securing a new haven. Bin Laden trained 11,000 terrorists at his Afghan camps, and most of those alumni fanned out to other countries. Key lieutenants, like Abu Zubaydah, bin Laden's training-camp chief, and Mustafa Ahmed, the al-Qaeda paymaster, vanished in early September. Three alleged 9/11 accomplices based in Germany are still at large. And undetectable "sleepers" were implanted across the globe some time ago. Without a sanctuary like Afghanistan, the terrorists' capacity to conceive and carry out grand attacks in a centralized manner has clearly been undermined. Trouble is, not all the terrorism inspired by al-Qaeda needs to be handed down from the top. "They can be self-initiating at the grassroots level," says Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at St. Andrews University in Scotland. "Each individual member considers himself to have the authority to issue a fatwa. If we look only for the leadership and traditional nature of authority, it's a mistake."
One problem in the pursuit of Qaeda militants has been their ability to move and regroup outside of Afghanistan. For instance, al Qaeda is believed to be currently operating under the same infrastructure and leadership command in the Mirim Shah area of northern Pakistan that it used in Afghanistan. Other recent reports suggest al Qaeda is even attempting to move back to its former strongholds across the Afghan border.
While the al Qaeda network has certainly been dealt a serious blow by military operations in Afghanistan and joint efforts by governments worldwide, these same efforts have caused al Qaeda to diversify into even smaller cells around the world. These cells, though possibly currently limited in their ability to carry out "spectacular" large-scale terrorist attacks (albeit perhaps temporarily so) are, by the same token, more difficult to detect and eliminate. They can operate totally independently, organizing strikes according to their own whims and timetables and without the type of communication traffic that often warn authorities of impending attacks.
The same is true on the financial front. International measures to dam the flow of terrorist funding have been fairly successful in the formal financial sector. While millions of dollars in assets connected to terrorism have been seized or frozen, this has only served to drive al Qaeda to diversify. For example, the group has exchanged currency for gold and diamonds, which are easier to hide and smuggle across borders, and increased its reliance on informal money transfers, known as hawalas, that are virtually untraceable. Cells are also able to raise funds independently through legitimate and illegitimate businesses, drug smuggling, and other petty crimes.
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