Does Anyone Remember Al-Qaeda?

A good question.  It seems these days if AQ is not blowing up buildings in NYC then we do not care what is going on…..which is a defeatist attitude.

I tried to keep AQ in the minds of my readers…….I wrote a post over a year ago…..https://lobotero.com/2017/07/26/where-oh-where-has-al-qaeda-gone/

So to help my readers get the feel of what is happening with AQ……

A comparative analysis of al-Qaeda messaging from the Osama bin Laden-era to today demonstrates continuity. Such messaging indicates that al-Qaeda continues in the well-worn path of bin Ladenism, even with the seventh anniversary of his death, still adamantly focusing on the United States as enemy number one.

In 1996, bin Laden faxed an Arabic message from Afghanistan to newspapers titled in part, “Expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula[1].” Included in this message was a call for all Muslims to defend the Ummah, or the global Islamic community, from the United States. Bin Laden commanded, “Clearly after Belief there is no more important duty than pushing the American enemy out of the Holy land[2]…” Then, in 1998, bin Laden co-authored a fatwa, or Islamic legal ruling. This message demonstrates al-Qaeda’s anti-United States point of view, thereby framing the killing of Americans under bin Laden’s leadership as a legitimate strategic goal.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/06/25/assessment_of_al-qaedas_enduring_threat_113551.html

I wish I could say that Americans were concerned but they are not…..that is until another terrorists strikes in downtown Chicago and then they will do what they always do….blame others for their stupidity.

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ISIS: The Rest Of The Story

There is a name that we seldom hear any more…..ISIS.  You would think that the lack of information would signal the demise of this barbarous group, right?  You would be mistaken.

While ISIS may be dying slowly in Iraq and Syria that does not mean the this group is dying out completely……not at all…..

Since ISIS has slipped from the headlines maybe now would be a good time for a refresher course…..

Bottom Line: The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has experienced significant territorial losses in its former self-declared caliphate that once spanned large swaths of eastern Syria and western Iraq. However, the group remains a potent international threat as it increasingly adopts conventional insurgent tactics, increases its focus on executing terrorist attacks in the West and doubles down on supporting affiliate organizations across the globe as well as lone wolf actors pursuing inspired attacks in their home countries.

Background: ISIS is the third reincarnation of al-Qaida in Iraq, a group that was originally formed in the aftermath of the Iraq War in 2004 and later changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2006.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/threat-report-2018-isis-spotlight#.Wvnnf6psq-0

Before ISIS there was al-Qaeda (AQ)……with ISIS getting most of the press for the last several years ….has AQ disbanded?  Has AQ decided to play nice?

What happened to AQ after the death of Osama?

And I have found an answer to your questions……

In the past five years, only one attack in a Western country — the Kouachi brothers’ attack against Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 — can be connected to al-Qaeda. Why did the once infamous and feared group halt its terror campaign in the West? Part of the explanation is that al-Qaeda has indeed suffered from targeted killings of senior operatives, making it harder for the group to plan and execute international attacks, and that regional events in the Middle East have enhanced the attractiveness of a local focus as opposed to conducting attacks in the West. Equally important to understand al-Qaeda’s changing priorities, however, is the rise of the Islamic State as a competing jihadi outfit and its ensuing terror campaign in the West. Intra-jihadi dynamics affect rival jihadi groups’ priorities for attacks. I outlined this argument in a recent article, Jihadi Competition and Political Preferences, which contends that intra-jihadi competition has played an important role in the changing enemy hierarchies of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State since 2014. Now, with the decline of the Islamic State, will al-Qaeda once again focus on launching attacks in (and not just against) the West?

https://warontherocks.com/2018/04/with-islamic-state-in-decline-whats-al-qaedas-next-move/

As you can see if you have read these reports…..these groups may be out of mind but they are not gone……

Do not let our attention be diverted…..please.

ISIS And The Future

ISIS is a subject that we seldom hear about anymore….it just cannot seem to break through the news cycle there are just too many lawyers standing in the way….I revisit this subject because…well someone needs to keep the public focused on real threats and not the manufactured crap we have daily…….

We have had some “good” news lately it is reported that ISIS is on their back foot and we could expect their total defeat any day now…..it is not that cut and dry……

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), which oversees the coalition to defeat the Islamic State, warned today that “much work remains to defeat” Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization in Iraq and Syria. The U.S.-led coalition’s statement is at odds with the Trump administration’s stated position earlier this week.

The White House claimed on Apr. 4 that the “military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed.” The remaining ISIS presence in Syria is “small,” according to the White House’s statement, which did not mention Iraq.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/04/09/us-led_coalition_says_much_work_remains_to_defeat_to_isis_113298.html

The neocon think tank, The Brookings, has something to say about the possibility of an ISIS 2.0……..

American and international strategy towards the horrific conflict in Syria is at a crossroads. ISIS has been largely defeated militarily on the physical battlefield. The top goal of both President Obama and President Trump has been partially achieved, through a strategy they both helped develop and implement. The temptation for Americans in general, and the Trump administration specifically, may be to declare victory and go home—as in fact Trump has just signaled he would like to do, as soon as possible.

That would not be a good idea. Trump deserves credit for his success in Syria, but it represents an interim goal, not a durable achievement. Withdrawing U.S. forces, security assistance, economic aid and diplomatic engagement risks allowing a war that has killed half a million and displaced 12 million to continue—or worse, to expand into a truly regional war.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/04/07/how-do-we-prevent-isis-2-0-withdrawing-from-syria-is-not-the-answer/

The topic to keep in mind is that ISIS can be beaten by defeat, a total defeat, is another thing all together.

ISIS is dwindling but do not forget them….that would be disastrous.

Closing Thought–10Apr18

As we prepare for yet another massive strike in Syria……

It is no secret that I am against the massive use of drones that the USA has come to depend on…….I was against is use by Bush and then Obama and since Trump has taken office he has stepped up the use of these killers.  My objection is that the US is killing more civilians with drones than terrorists.

I read a report that Trump is upset with our drones attacks….why you may ask……

On the 2016 campaign trail, President Donald J. Trump famously stated he would not only bomb the sh*t out of ISIS’ oil fields but that he would also kill the terrorists’ families.

“We’re fighting a very politically correct war,” Trump said at the time. “And the other thing with the terrorists — you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families! They care about their lives, don’t kid yourselves. They say they don’t care about their lives. But you have to take out their families.”

http://theantimedia.com/trump-drone-strikes-killing-civilians/

His original statement made me dislike this person from the get go…..there is NO excuse for deliberately targeting and/or killing civilians.

Days done….Peace Out…..chuq

Remember ISIS or Al-Qaeda?

Just two years ago you could not sling a dead cat and not hit stories and blogs about those bastards in terrorism…..and yet today few have nothing to say….the terrorists have been replace by porn stars and lawyers…..and that is why I am here to remind my readers that these bastards have not gone away.

According to most uninformed people ISIS has been defeated……not really accurate…

Nearly three years on from the Islamic State’s high water mark in the summer of 2015, there are several lessons that the United States and its allies can discern from the terrorist group’s meteoric rise to control large parts of Iraq and Syria to the loss of its physical caliphate late last year. The steady decline in ISIL’s fortunes is striking given the palpable fear its rise in the summer of 2014 sparked across Washington, when a common question circulating within the policy community was whether Baghdad itself might fall. Many of these takeaways will be relevant to U.S. policymakers as they attempt to prevent the group from reconstituting itself in the coming months.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/03/10-takeaways-from-the-fight-against-the-islamic-state/

The thing to keep in mind is that ISIS is not a global force….they have tentacles in many places but that does not mean they are a global force……

The killing of three people in the south of France by a man claiming allegiance to Isis will make people doubt if this murderous cult is as dead as governments had announced and people had hoped. The answer is that the attack in the Carcassonne region by a single gunman, said to be a Moroccan petty criminal from the area, proves very little about the strength of Isis as a continuing threat.

It will always be easy for a single killer, who in this case has been named as 36-year-old Redouane Lakdim, to shoot down passers-by chosen at random or trapped in a supermarket. Lakdim demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, a survivor of the Isis gang which killed 130 people in Paris on 13 November 2015, but there is no evidence so far that the killer, who has been shot dead by police, was part of a cell or that this was an attack organised from above or from outside the country.

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/isis-inspired-terrorism-gives-impression-its-a-global-force-its-not/

ISIS is licking its wounds but that does not mean it has been defeated or eliminated.

Eyes wide open!

Then there is a term we do not hear much for a couple of years now….Al-Qaeda…

Many people thought that with the death of their leader Osama bin Laden that the group had lost the head of the snake and it would fade away.

It faded but not away.

After the deaths of Osama bin Laden and several other leaders in 2011 and 2012, followed by the rise of Islamic State, many considered al-Qaeda ‘a spent force’. But in an important brief, (with an expanded version for the Lowy Institute), leading terrorism scholar Bruce Hoffman argues that Ayman al-Zawahiri has used the past seven years to rebuild al-Qaeda. So while counterterrorism specialists have celebrated the rolling up of Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’, al-Qaeda’s resurgence shows that much work remains to be done.

Zawahiri cut his teeth in Egypt’s jihadi culture—he was arrested at 15, joined the Muslim Brotherhood and later led Egyptian Islamic Jihad—but he’s no charismatic leader. Following the death of Osama bin Laden and the rise of the Islamic State, Zawahiri opted to focus on three key objectives.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/03/22/al-qaeda_3_turning_to_face_the_near_enemy_113237.html

There…you, my reader, have been caught up as best I can without top secret clearance……please do not think this fight is over…..far from.

Do The Same Thing Over And Over

Most of us know the quote by Einstein…..it is a profound quote….it can be applied to just about everything the US does on the world stage.

As a student of war I visit many sites, even some neocon and pro war sites….it helps me get a perspective on the subject….that is to look at both sides of the subject…..

In 2001 Bush proclaimed the War on Terror, although we have been fighting terror heavily ever since the USS Cole and the embassy bombings of the late 1990’s….but with all our resources we are not making much headway….why is that?

Today, we struck back,” the president said after the United States conducted a military strike against terrorists and their sanctuary. But which president? George W. Bush, who declared war on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks? Barack Obama, who subsequently took charge of that war? Or Donald J. Trump, who carries the mantle today?

Really, it could have been any of the three—but it was none of them. President Bill Clinton uttered those words on August 20, 1998.

Clinton made the statement after ordering a military strike against al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and the al-Shifa pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Sudan in response to two, nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks perpetrated by al-Qaeda against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed twelve Americans (and more than two hundred others). With a foreshadowing of the future to come, Operation Infinite Reach could be seen as the counterterrorism strike that started it all.

https://mwi.usma.edu/strategic-counterterrorism-failure-continue-thing-expecting-different-results/

Part of the problem is that Bill Clinton was a wimp.  He had major terrorists in his sights but failed to act.

Plus our “leaders” are not keeping up with the times….most are working off definitions from 1970….I hate to be the one that pisses on their parade but the world has changed and so has the definition of terrorism and terrorist.

Until they get a grip on that one simple problem they will continue to use outdated tactics that will do more harm than good.

Why not look at Afghanistan?

Data the Pentagon issued last year to spotlight the success of operations against militant groups in Afghanistan were inaccurate, raising questions about the real progress of the secretive counterterrorism campaign being conducted by the U.S. and Afghan military.

Key figures in the by-the-numbers look at U.S. and Afghan counterterrorism missions in the second half of 2017, which have been published by prominent news outlets, were wrong, defense officials confirmed after Stars and Stripes pointed out discrepancies. The incorrect data — including a breakdown of independent and joint raids and a body count of enemy fighters — were released in an unclassified December report to Congress titled “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/03/07/numbers-us-counterterrorism-efforts-afghanistan-dont-add.html

Our efforts are not doing the job they were intended to do….we are sadly spinning our wheels…….

Clinton And Terrorism

On that fateful day in September of 2001 when the Twin Towers came down from a terrorist attack we have been fighting terrorists wherever we find them…..but years before the attack there were many terrorist attacks that involved the US….the Twin Towers in the 1990’s, the Embassy attack in Kenya….these attacks were on Bill Clinton watch and he had several opportunities to give terrorists a black eye but he backed down time and time again…..

When it comes to Bill Clinton’s record on terrorism, there’s no need to invent fictional scenarios to show how ineffective he was; the truth is bad enough.  A few months after 9/11, Byron York went through the record — including the former president’s habit of taking polls to see how he should respond to terrorist attacks — and came up with this report, from the December 17, 2001 issue of National Review:

June 25, 1996, a powerful truck bomb exploded outside the Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, tearing the front from the building, blasting a crater 35 feet deep, and killing 19 American soldiers. Hundreds more were injured. When news reached Washington, Presi dent Bill Clinton vowed to bring the killers to justice. “The cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished,” he said angrily. “Let me say again: We will pursue this. America takes care of our own. Those who did it must not go unpunished.” The next day, leaving the White House to attend an economic summit in France, Clinton had more tough words for the attackers. “Let me be very clear: We will not resist” — the president corrected himself — “we will not rest in our efforts to find who is responsible for this outrage, to pursue them and to punish them.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/2006/09/facts-about-clinton-and-terrorism-byron-york/

There were several occasions where Clinton could have ordered a strike that would have killed Osama and for whatever reason that he had he chose not to act…..and possibly that failure to act lead to the massive attack on 9/11.