|07-12-2007, 07:05 AM||#1|
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Join Date: May 2002
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Many of the mujahideen who relocated to Afghanistan to resist the Soviet invasion found themselves recruited and funded by Saudi intelligence, equipped and tasked by U.S. intelligence and managed and organized by Pakistani intelligence. This exposure not only leveraged the Afghan resistance's paramilitary capabilities but also gave the mujahideen a deep appreciation for, and understanding of, the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. and Soviet intelligence systems. When the Cold War ended, some of those mujahideen reconstituted their efforts into what came to be known as al Qaeda, and those deep understandings became part of the organization's bedrock. Such knowledge enables al Qaeda to operate beneath the radar of nearly all intelligence agencies.
Strategically, these men envisioned a world in which the caliphate would rise anew as a consequence of events they would set into motion. The chief obstacle to this goal was not the United States but the panoply of secular, corrupt governments of the Middle East.
The purpose of the 9/11 attack:
By al Qaeda's logic, an attack of sufficient force against the Americans would lure the United States to slam sideways into the Middle East on a mission of revenge, leading to direct and deep U.S. collaboration with those same secular, corrupt local governments. Al Qaeda's hope was that such collaboration with the Americans would lead to outrage -- and outrage would lead to revolution.
Al Qaeda got the war it wanted, but so far no revolution:
Al Qaeda has not only failed in its attempts to trigger region-wide uprisings against the Middle East's secular governments, it has also lost the ability to launch strategically meaningful attacks -- that is, attacks resulting in policy shifts by its targets. By the only criterion that matters -- successful attacks -- al Qaeda has slipped from readjusting global priorities (9/11) to contributing to the change in government of a middling U.S. ally (the March 2003 Spain attacks) to affecting nothing (the 2005 London bombings). No attacks since can be meaningfully linked to al Qaeda's control, or even its specific foreknown blessing.
The original Al Qaeda has been decimated. But it lives as a movement of loosely-connected organizations:
In the common lexicon, al Qaeda is no longer that core of highly trained and motivated individuals who tried to change the world by bringing down the World Trade Center, but a do-it-yourself jihadist franchise that almost anyone can join. Some nodes are copycats who look to the real al Qaeda for inspiration; others are existing militant groups -- such as Algeria's Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, now called the al Qaeda Organization for the Countries of the Arab Maghreb -- that can identify with their ideological brethren. But few to none have any real connections to al Qaeda.
But the Bushie invasion of Iraq continues to encourage these Al Qaeda wannabes:
The ongoing war in Iraq has provided potential militants across the Islamic world with the motive to do something and the opportunity to gain some serious on-the-job training. Just as Soviet operations in Afghanistan created a training ground for a generation of Middle Eastern militants in the 1980s and 1990s, the Iraq war is in part a crucible for the next generation of Arab militants. Add in al Qaeda's offer of open association and we will be hearing from dozens of "al Qaedas" in the years to come. No public link for Stratfor publications
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