Feb 22, 2007 12:36 pm


This is the year of the Golden Pig. It should be an especially good year - it does not seems so at the moment though the Chinese seem indeed to be doing exceptionally well and the economy is humming along. What else could it do with additional hundreds of millions of new consumers?

The trouble is that Al Qaeda is reorganizing. Do note the following article published TODAY:

The certainly non alarmist New York Times reports that North Africa Feared as Staging Ground for Terror:

The plan, hatched for months in the arid mountains of North Africa, was to attack the American and British Embassies here. It ended in a series of gun battles in January that killed a dozen militants and left two Tunisian security officers dead. . . .

Counterterrorism officials on three continents say the trouble in Tunisia is the latest evidence that a brutal Algerian group with a long history of violence is acting on its promise: to organize extremists across North Africa and join the remnants of Al Qaeda into a new international force for jihad.

The Jihadists have training camps in Syria reports the Washington Times:

One major foreign fighter camp exists in the Latakia province in northern Syria, a mountainous area replete with Syrian Military Intelligence facilities and wide swaths of ostensibly government property closed to the public. The Iraqi officer in charge there is one Maj. Gen. Majid Sulayman. Yet another such camp exists 40 kilometers to the west of the border town of Qamishli, which lies in the Kurdish area in the northeastern tip of Syria bordering Iraq and Turkey; it is run by Maj. Gen. Qays al-Adhami. The al-Shaybani camp lies 30 kilometers south of Damascus and also trains foreign fighters. The al-Ikhals camp lies in the heart of the Qaysun mountain range near Damascus.

The al Qaeda connection is not that far removed. Arab papers report that the recent movement of large numbers of al Qaeda in Iraq fighters from Syria into Palestinian refugee camps in northern Lebanon and Beirut are sounding alarm bells that the Syrian security services are preparing to use these heavily armed and visibly well-funded cells to launch attacks against the anti-Syrian democratic government of Lebanon.

The latest train bombing in India demonstrates that Pakistan is at least as dangerous. As Dr. Tariq Rahman writes in the Beginning of a new Trend terror is striking back at Pakistan just the way it struck back at the PA. In the PA Islamist Hamas benefited. In Pakistan Al Qaeda is benefiting. Manoj Joshi explains:

Pakistan has certainly played a major role in lighting the fires of terrorism in the region. There is enough evidence in the writings of courageous Pakistani journalists, which suggest that elements of the Pakistani system continue to support some groups in the name of the freedom struggle in Kashmir. Yet, fact is that Pakistan is itself teetering on a slippery slope.

Of late, there have been a spate of suicide bomber attacks in and around Islamabad. On January 26, a terrorist killed himself and a security guard at a hotel where the Indian High Commissioner was to host a reception. On February 6, a suicide attacker blew himself up in the car park of Islamabad airport, injuring 10 people. Nine days later, on February 17, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a Quetta court, killing 17 people and wounding 37.

Ever since 9/11, the draconian US-led counter-terrorist operations have led to the mutation of Pakistani terrorist groups. Older ones like the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-e-jihad-e-Islami have gone underground and newer ones like the Jundullah have emerged with deep links to the al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan’s biggest failure has been its inability to control the Waziristan region. American officials now say that al-Qaeda and the Taliban have been able to re-establish significant control over their worldwide network and create a new infrastructure of training camps in this tribal region. Over the past year, insurgent tactics from Iraq have migrated to Afghanistan, where suicide bombings have increased five-fold and roadside bomb attacks have doubled. Last Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry charged that on February 16 Sunni terrorists with Pakistani links had struck at the south-eastern city of Zahedan — through which logistical aid to Afghanistan is routed.

What can I say, it does not look good. For the stronger they appear, the more they will recruit. As Bin Laden so correctly said, people prefer the strong horse and his enemies have been much too busy fighting each other to prevent his forces from reorganizing. Just note Joshi's derision for the American"draconian counter terror operations." Perhaps if India and Pakistan had taken similar"draconian" measures, their citizens would not have been blown up in their sleep on the PEACE TRAIN.

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