Where, Oh Where Has Al-Qaeda Gone?

Does anyone remember Al-Qaeda?

That was the group that masterminded the 9/11 attacks that killed thousands of Americans.

Their leader Osama evaded the US troops for years before we tracked him down and removed his face…..

What has AQ been up to since 9/11 attacks and the death of Osama?

I am so glad that you asked that question.

Despite ostensibly being the United States’ “Public Enemy No. 1” following the 9/11 attacks, the international terror group al-Qaeda has instead been a beneficiary of U.S. military aid in the post-9/11 world, particularly in Syria. With the Syrian conflict well into its sixth year, al-Qaeda’s active branch in that war, widely known as Jabhat al-Nusra or the al-Nusra Front, has continually received arms and military protection from the United States, an outcome that is clearly counterproductive to the U.S.’ global “War on Terror.”

Yet, while the arming and propping up of al-Qaeda in Syria may not serve the U.S.’ fundamental goal of eradicating terrorism, it certainly has helped the U.S. political establishment pursue a decades-old goal of regime change in regionally strategic Syria.

Source: Al-Qaeda And The United States An Unlikely Alliance In The War On Terror

That’s right sports fans…….the US arch enemy is now our butt buddy in the fight against ISIS….

But a decision made by the cracker jack foreign policy team of the Trump admin has decided to end one of their many successful programs….

President Trump has decided to halt the CIA’s years-long covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Russia had long pushed the United States to end the program, per the AP. The phasing out of the secret program was reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday. Officials told the newspaper that ending the operation reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia. The program was a key component begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to relinquish power, but even its supporters have questioned its usefulness since Moscow sent forces to Syria two years later.

Russia long saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests. Ending the plan is in part an acknowledgment of the United States’ limited ability to remove Assad from power. The White House had previously condemned Assad and just three months ago Trump launched dozens of airstrikes against a Syrian air base after the United States accused the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons on its own people. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on the report and said she did not know if the move was discussed during a pair of conversations—including one just revealed on Tuesday—that Trump had with Putin at an international summit earlier this month.

With this program ending will the US return to the sights of AQ?

Think about it!

AQ in Syria is fighting Assad….Russia is an alloy of Assad….Trump recently had an impromptu meeting with Putin

As I have said on numerous occasions…the Middle East will get messy in the months and years to come…..even with the defeat of ISIS.

Whatcha think?

It’s Looking A Lot Like “Groundhog Day”

I am referring to our wars of conquest of those barbaric groups AQ and ISIS…..

We have been fighting one or the other for about 20 years…the other is a fairly recent add to the War on Terror…..

The problem is that we keep doing the same thing over and over and spinning our wheels in the process….kinda like the movie “Ground Hog Day”…..only with guns, bombs, death and destruction.

The current situation in Syria reminds us again that we are failing in our post-9/11 wars. We have accomplished neither the strategic objectives set forth by the Bush administration nor those of the Obama administration. Both administrations have had notable successes and achieved periodic tactical and operational progress, but neither created sustained strategic success. The jury on the current administration is still out, but on the campaign trail the President suggested we can defeat ISIS with military force alone—bombing the *@#! out of them. To put it kindly, this approach misses the mark. America has led a concerted leadership decapitation campaign against both al Qaeda and ISIS for a decade and a half. Such a campaign is necessary, but not sufficient. How much longer will we take this approach before we learn that we are waking up to the same day over and over again?

Source: U.S. Strategy for al Qaeda and ISIS: It’s Groundhog Day | RealClearDefense

I keep waiting for all those brilliant minds in the government to come up with something new and innovative…..so far there is NOTHING new under the table at the Pentagon.

And this new administration is definitely not the group to end this war with a victory….they, like their predecessors, are nothing more the hammer to help the M-IC nail down massive profits with NO intention of ever ending this gravy train.

6 Of One And A Half Dozen Of The Other

Every American knows how barbaric ISIS can be and that AQ was the bastards that lead to the 9/11 attack and the horrific actions since that fateful day…..

Our troops are fighting both organizations at the same time……all across the world ISIS and AQ affiliates are attacking and killing…..

But “what if” the two terror groups started working together and coordinate their attacks?

The leader of so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) has spoken to al Qaeda about a ‘possible alliance,’ according to Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi. The talks come as Iraqi troops close in on IS fighters in the city of Mosul.

Allawi told the Reuters news agency in an interview on Monday that he had the information from Iraqi and regional contacts knowledgeable about Iraq that “the discussion has started now.”

“There are discussions and dialogue between messengers representing [IS leader Abu Bakr] Baghdadi and representing [the head of al Qaeda, Ayman] al Zawahiri,” he said.

It is unclear how the two groups would work together, Allawi said.

Source: ′IS′ in talks with al Qaeda on ′possible alliance′ – report | News | DW.COM | 18.04.2017

Right now the talks are for Iraq and Syria….but if that is a success would that lead to a worldwide affiliation?

This is something that our counter-terrorism boys and girls should keep a close eye on this situation for this could lead to a much more dangerous world…..of course it could be just a ploy to make sure that the resources and cash keep flowing for years to come.

Any thoughts?

Is India Next?

America has had an off again, on again relationship with India….at one point we hated them for they were aligned with the USSR…then they were I buddies….now it is pretty much up in the air who likes who…..

Everyone knows how the US feels about AQ….well that is everywhere but in Syria……it looks like AQ is spreading its influence into the sub-continent, India to be more accurate….

: In the region, AQIS is a highly significant group. This is an assessment that’s shared by top officials within the U.S., such as General John Nicholson, Commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan, who talked about this recently in an interview with CTC Sentinel.

AQIS was formally announced in September 2014, but its origins go back before the formal announcement. Al Qaeda has had longstanding relationships in the region for some time, as is well known. The center of gravity for al Qaeda, and for its senior leadership, was in Afghanistan-Pakistan and South Asia for around 15 years, so the group maintained longstanding relationships, not just in the post-9/11 world but also prior to the 9/11 attacks. They were able to cultivate strong ties with sectarian and Kashmir-focused militant factions, and the network spans several countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

Source: AQIS Fits Into al Qaeda’s Global Strategy | The Cipher Brief

This could a conflict in the making especially after the president and his cronies have made it clear that the US would use troops wherever needed….does that mean that we will be sending special ops people to the sub-continent any time soon?

 

Avoiding Counter-Terrorism Pitfalls

The continuing saga of the fight against ISIS and AQ…..some say that Trump will defeat the bad guys……the fight is good but it must try to avoid any pitfalls that will make the situation worse…..

This report examines President Trump’s emerging counter-terrorism policies, the dilemmas his administration faces in battling ISIS and al-Qaeda across the Middle East and South Asia, and how to avoid deepening the disorder both groups exploit.

In pledging to destroy the Islamic State (ISIS), U.S. President Donald J. Trump looks set to make counter-terrorism a centrepiece of his foreign policy. His administration’s determination against groups that plot to kill Americans is understandable, but it should be careful when fighting jihadists not to play into their hands. The risks include angering local populations whose support is critical, picking untimely or counter-productive fights and neglecting the vital role diplomacy and foreign aid must play in national security policy. Most importantly, aggressive counter-terrorism operations should not inadvertently fuel other conflicts and deepen the disorder that both ISIS and al-Qaeda exploit.

The new U.S. administration has inherited military campaigns that are eating deep into ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliphate. Much of Mosul, its last urban stronghold in Iraq, has been recaptured; Raqqa, its capital in Syria, is encircled. Its decisive defeat is still a remote prospect while the Syrian war rages and Sunnis’ place in Iraqi politics is uncertain. The threat it poses will evolve in its heartlands and elsewhere, as fighters disperse. But ISIS is in retreat, its brand diminished. For many adherents, its allure was its territorial expansion; with that gone, its leaders are struggling to redefine success. Al-Qaeda could prove harder to suppress. Its affiliates fight across numerous war zones in coalitions with other armed groups, its operatives are embedded in local militias, and it shows more pragmatic adaptability to local conditions.

Source: Counter-terrorism Pitfalls: What the U.S. Fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda Should Avoid | Crisis Group

Our mission must stop the bleeding to propaganda making situations…..this will eliminate the only true weapon these “bad guys” have in the their recruiting methods.

We can win the battle but the war will continue….let’s try and not make it worse than it could be.

Closing Thought–10Feb17

I apologize for the spotty replies on my part but I have been dealing with a provider that is doing maintenance and the connection has been hit and miss for a couple of days….please bear with me.

In the words of Osama……

Recently the CIA released a massive amount of declassified documents gave an old researched something to do in his spare time…..and then another bonanza for researchers….the release of the works of Osama bin Laden.

After his death in Pakistan the SEALs collected many documents that were valuable intel source…..as a parting shot Obama has released the documents for all to see…..

From Thomas Joscelyn, The Weekly Standard: “The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released 98 additional items from Osama bin Laden’s compound Thursday. If the ODNI has its way, then these files will be the last the American people see for some time. The accompanying announcement is titled, “Closing the Book on bin Laden: Intelligence Community Releases Final Abbottabad Documents.” The ODNI says today’s release “marks the end of a two-and-a-half-year effort to declassify several hundred documents recovered” during the Abbottabad raid. But the total number of files released thus far, including today’s document dump, is just a drop in the bucket compared to what was found in the al Qaeda master’s compound.”

In its last day running the country, the Obama administration has released a final batch of documents once belonging to Osama bin Laden, the AP reports. The 49 documents made public Thursday were part of the hundreds taken during the 2011 raid that led to bin Laden’s death. Intelligence officials have been working for years to declassify them. Despite multiple releases over the past two years, there are believed to be between 100 and 200 documents still classified, according to CNN. It will be up to the Trump administration whether to release them.

The 49 documents released Thursday include letters to and from bin Laden, his mother, and his deputies. They include instructions to multiple sons about how to travel safely and without being detected by enemies, including the CIA, and a rare letter from one of his daughters, who discusses her multiple ailments. The documents show bin Laden arguing with an al-Qaeda splinter group that would become ISIS, whose methods he found “brutal and violent,” the Mirror reports. They also include memos about al-Qaeda “best practices,” complaint boxes, monthly revenues, and an “oversight committee.”

As a person who loves research this will be a valuable resource for me……for those interested in what Osama was thinking and how he was reacting…..

Source: Bin Laden’s Bookshelf

It is the researcher in me…..time to start the weekend…..please everyone thanx for all the visits and comments they are much appreciated….be well, be safe….chuq

In closing how about some classic rock?  5 Hours of sheer joy…..

The Slimy World Of PsyOps

Psy Ops or what is fondly called “brain games”……

The US is desperately searching for something that can counter ISIS/AQ techniques for recruitment of the disenfranchised…..

There is a branch in the military as well as the intel community that is tasked with dirty tricks…..one such trick recently came to light……a program of fake ISIS/AQ videos…….

It has already been well-documented that the Pentagon spent a substantial amount of money on propaganda during the occupation of Iraq, running pro-occupation commercials and also covertly getting pro-occupation news stories into the media around the region. It turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg.

It has now been revealed that there was a third program ongoing, in which a London-based PR agency was paid $540 million to make fake al-Qaeda propaganda videos for Pentagon use. The videos were intended to use existing al-Qaeda footage, and to be in RealMedia format, and burned onto CDs.

Then, during the many US military raids going on during the occupation, a few of the fake propaganda CDs were scattered around here or there in the wreckage of smashed-up houses and compounds. Officially, the goal was for al-Qaeda sympathizers to get ahold of them.

Unspoken within the reports as they’ve emerged so far, having “al-Qaeda propaganda” laying around in the wreckage of US raid targets was likely also an end unto itself, as anyone who came to investigate after the fact would see them and assume the raid was on an actual al-Qaeda target, never suspecting the US troops were planting the discs.

(antiwar.com)

Good idea?  How many of these “tapes” were found by those that had no idea about the program?  How many were turned over to the intel agencies as “actual” terrorists tapes?  How many raids were planned around faulty info?

Finally, just what did we get for the $540 million spent on this hair brain scheme?