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Old 09-08-2007, 10:21 AM   #1
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An exercise in analysis - Bin Laden

So, imagine yourself an intelligence analyst, not a politician, not a citizen voting in an election, not a Bush lover/hater, not a hawk or dove, no position on whether our troops or stay in Iraq - just an analyst trying to make sense of the latest Bin Laden video release --

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...glrdYA5IqvQ6hQ

What's your take?
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:49 PM   #2
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The change in the beard is interesting at a surface level, why does he feel a need to look younger? That seems to be Western influence getting to him.

Secondly, the call to conversion. Some say there is no threat in the tape, but anyone who has studied the history of Islam, when someone is being almost coerced into conversion and they refuse, they are then attacked.


I could be wrong, but I believe this needs to be taken much more seriously.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat


I could be wrong, but I believe this needs to be taken much more seriously.
I agree. That tape, along with the "special gift" message makes me worried. I've got a bad feeling about the next few days. Hopefully I'm wrong. Who knows, maybe the "special gift" was the videotape.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:18 PM   #4
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ETA fine, analytically it means zip.

Al Qaeda has released tons of transcripts, and videos over the past few years which mean nada.

Carry on as normal.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:28 PM   #5
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Originally posted by trevster2k
And Bin Laden is specifically targeting one country, not democracy despite his rhetoric.
Huh?

No, Bin Laden is attacking Democracy, not just the US. Have you forgotten about the attacks in Spain, London, Scotland?...
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:34 PM   #6
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The U.S is bogged down in Iraq in a quagmire it created which had nothing to do with 9/11 while Bin Laden is still free to ramble on with the opposite side of the coin rhetoric we hear from extremists in the west. Will there be another attack in the U.S? Probably? Can it be prevented? Probably not. And Bin Laden is specifically targeting one country, not democracy despite his rhetoric. All that stuff about conversion is just like Bush appealing to the evangelicals, he has to say it to show his love for his "base". Assuming the tape is legitimate.
Only two posts and we broke the rules.

That's why I labeled it an exercise, I guess. I didn't think we'd have the dicipline.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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What would be your expertise?
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:07 PM   #8
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We've had attacks without warning, and we've had warnings without attacks. Terrorist groups operating in the West are not lead by Bin Laden, but inspired by him. These videos are little more than public relations.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:23 PM   #9
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Originally posted by DrTeeth
We've had attacks without warning, and we've had warnings without attacks. Terrorist groups operating in the West are not lead by Bin Laden, but inspired by him. These videos are little more than public relations.
Precisely.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
What would be your expertise?
? Me? I have none. Why would you be asking?
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:54 PM   #11
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You started the thread and asked other non-experts to give their hypothetical.
So I was curious if you had one.
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:34 PM   #12
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Ok, now I understand. Expertise, as opposed to "analysis". I was going to wait a bit but here goes...

It's been 3 years since he's released a tape. He could have been ill, or just simply playing it very safe, and had little or no contact with his network. I don't believe he is involved in day to day operations, but is notified of large operations, and gives his blessing and encouragement to such. This message, in general, can be considered both a "calling to" to encourage those that are planning to strike and a "warning" to the citizens of America to accept Islam, the only true religion.

Although he dyed his beard in an attempt to present a younger appearance, he is obviously aged, and not as physically robust as in previous tapes. His absence might have been from recovering from an injury or his illness had weakened him. Regardless, the whole attempt to appear younger (beard) is to remind his followers and enemies that he is alive and kicking.

He is more than pleased with America's inability to achieve peace in Iraq. He likens it to Breschnev and Russia's failure in Afghanistan. He makes the very simple, yet true statement, that the lives of the 19 hi-jackers have caused such severe damage to the US, well beyond the twin towers.

This time, though, he plays on the current political environment, and clearly lays the blame on the US people (as opposed to Bush) for electing him to a second term. For this reason, the people of the United States are to blame, as well as the Democrats, not just Bush.

As far as impending attacks and warnings:

One of my favorite books on the subject: Imperial Hubris, by Michael Scheuer has this to say:

Quote:
The Intel Center, an independent analysis group which has studied the tape, said that bin Laden makes no overt threat, no indication of an impending attack upon America or its citizens. Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff has also said there is no reason to push the panic button now.

But Scheuer is not convinced.

"The Intel Center is almost always right," he said. "I think there's an overwhelming threat in it. Bin laden, again, offered us a chance to convert to Islam, which is required in their religion before they attack us. So to say there's no threat in this message is just 180 degrees incorrect."

And the timing of the message, on the eve of the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, "is not a coincidence at all."

"He is gloating. They think they're winning, and I think they're probably correct at the moment."
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:45 PM   #13
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Re: An exercise in analysis - Bin Laden

Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
So, imagine yourself an intelligence analyst, not a politician, not a citizen voting in an election, not a Bush lover/hater, not a hawk or dove, no position on whether our troops or stay in Iraq - just an analyst trying to make sense of the latest Bin Laden video release --



What's your take?

I have not read it in detail

I will try to do that later.

But, my impression so far?
It seems more rational than previous releases.

The call for conversion?
Does not seem much different from the Bush's call for conversion.
Bush has said he wants to convert the whole Middle East into something that more resembles the West (US).

So far, Bush has used more violence and killed more people.

Well, this is how I think many observers outside of U S politics might view this.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:08 PM   #14
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OK, I didn't know there was so much of a difference in the two words, expertise and analysis.

I don't think any video, be it Bin Laden who speaks or one of the other leaders, is any more an indicator for a terrorist attack than no video.
Last week they have caught terrorists in Denmark and here in Germany. Both groups have planned their attacks on their own, receiving training and instructions from the Middle East.
The guys in Germany planned on attacking a US facility here in Germany, and a few weeks ago a person from Pakistan the group leader spoke to set him a time limit of fourteen days in which to carry out the plot.
If they indeed followed that order they would have carried it out last month.

This video is propaganda, showing the world that he is alive, and also showing his followers that morals are high. They are, indeed, in a strong position, and he obviously enjoys it.

We shouldn't ever feel too safe, and the next attack, if not prevented, doesn't have to happen with any warning, or video, or around any anniversary or holiday. And eventually, there will be another attack we won't prevent from happening.
I'm sure we will see videos around September for the next few years. And it won't stop once Bin Laden got caught.

He might have been ill, but even if he dies it does not mean anything will change. He is not the one and only leading person in AlQuaida.

But he should have given some proposals what to do about global warming.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:41 PM   #15
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If I were an intelligence analyst I would conclude that this video is largely been dispensed for propaganda and morale-building purposes.

I would tend to think the issue of whether it is a "threat" is moot. It's not as if we thought Bin laden might have had a change of heart in the intervening time since his last statement. Bin laden is plotting against the U.S. That's not exactly fresh news. Another more disturbing reason that the video's possible "warning" doesn't matter it that, previous so-called "warnings" apparently did no good to the intelligence community in helping them prevent another attack.

A video that gave us clues about where,when,and how? Now that would be useful.
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