In a chilling report to a US congressional intelligence
committee last week the CIA announced that al-Qaeda had been "reconstituted"."They
are coming after us. They want to execute attacks. The threat environment we
find ourselves in today is as bad as it was last summer, before 9/11," CIA
Director George Tenet warned. (AFP photo)...
Al-Qaeda rises from its ashes intent on revenge and more
terrorism. Until we address the core issues of these terrorist there will
be no end to terrorism
litte George has created a real dilemma for the United
States. Not only did little George not rid the world of bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda,
he destroyed Afghainstan in the process.
Now he wants to start a war in the Middle East with Iraq and
all its infinite repercussions including its potential for starting a worldwide
Christian Muslim war.
And in the middle of all of this North Korea steps up and says
that it has a nuclear bomb.
The world has already seen Al-Qaeda strike in Bali and
intelligent Americans are prepared for another strike in America.
How are we going to allow little George start another war in Iraq
when he cannot finish off Al-Qaeda. How many snipers in Iraq are going to
kill Americans one at a time. The sniper in the United States has proven
that one man can do almost unlimited damage to the American morale.
All the airplanes, bombs and ships and men cannot stop a few
determined terrorist. The bottom line is that we need to address the
things that are motivating the terrorists.
We must acknowledge that our support for Israel and the
refusal to create a Palestinian state are fueling a lot of the terrorist
anger. But in addition, little George's imperialist visions of
stealing Iraqi oil under the guise of Saddam having weapons of mass destruction
is also creating anger.
But most of all there is the arrogance of little George.
The belief that he is the king of the world. The belief that the developed
nations of the world can continue to pollute the environment and exploit the
world's natural resources at will and in the process refuse to acknowledge the
level of injustice that they are foisting on the world's lesser developed nations
and their people is stupid.
The world has become one community and the people of the world
are its citizens. Criminal acts not just by terrorists but terrorism by
Israel must be addressed. More than any other problem, the treatment of
the Palestinians has created more hatred for the U S than anything else.
Secondly,there is the refusal of the U S and the other
countries of the world to reach out and integrate the third world countries into
the world economy. It is only people who have nothing, who are illiterate,
who have no hope for even a modest future among a vast sea of world wealth that
are attracted to Al-Qaeda and its terroristic acts.
We can hunt down and kill all the terrorist we want but until
we address the issues that are motivating these terrorists there will be no end
in the world.
The imperialist little George is not the man we need to lead
the United States at this time.
Ocober 20, 2002
Caught in Al-Qaeda's global web of terror
IT IS possible to imagine the fat smile of satisfaction
that spread across Osama bin Laden’s face when he heard about the Bali bomb.
Another shattering strike against the West, hundreds more "infidels"
laid to waste, shockwaves reverberating around the world. Depending on your
conspiracy theory of choice, Bin Laden may have orchestrated the massacre from
a Middle Eastern bolthole, hooked up to a life-maintaining dialysis machine;
or he may have had nothing to do with it, the bomb the work of a passionate,
but separate, Islamic fundamentalist sect. Or, of course, Bin Laden may be
But even if it eventually turns out that the Bali bomb was not the work of al-Qaeda,
and that its master no longer walks the earth, there will be little comfort
for those who thought the terrorist network had been smashed by the American
onslaught on its bases in Afghanistan.
In a chilling report to a US congressional intelligence committee last week
the CIA announced that al-Qaeda had been "reconstituted". "They
are coming after us. They want to execute attacks. The threat environment we
find ourselves in today is as bad as it was last summer, before 9/11,"
CIA Director George Tenet warned.
The US is not alone in making this grim assessment. A recent report by the
United Nations concluded that, despite George W Bush’s war on terrorism, al-Qaeda
is "fit and well", still has access to funds and is "poised to
As though on cue, al-Qaeda’s leaders have begun to re-emerge from the
shadows. Separate audio tapes purporting to be of Bin Laden and his deputy
Ayman Zawakiri were released two weeks ago calling their followers to arms.
Since then there has been a glut of attacks.
The Bali bomb was preceded by a terrorist bombing of a French oil tanker off
the coast of Yemen, which killed one crew member. Two days later a US Marine
was shot dead in Kuwait after a series of shootings from jeeps.
Four days before that a bomb killed a US Special Forces soldier in the
Philippines. Then on Thursday the terrorists struck again in the Philippines,
killing six and injuring 143 with two bombs in crowded shopping centres.
It is not long since the US authorities were celebrating the scattering of al-Qaeda.
US General John Keane said that one of the war on terror’s "biggest
successes" was "chasing al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan".
"There is no longer a safe haven for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan," he
said. "There are no base camps left, there are no training camps left. We
have reduced al-Qaeda to small groups hiding in the mountains."
Yet around 1,000 al-Qaeda fighters are believed to have escaped the US blitz
on Afghanistan, and many observers now claim that the reduction of al-Qaeda to
small amorphous groups has made the organisation more dangerous.
"They have fanned out to a dozen or so countries, and are even more
difficult to hunt down," said one Washington security expert. "As
well as being decentralised they are more experienced and battle-hardened
after surviving the US onslaught in Afghanistan."
Peter Singer, of the Brookings Institution, fears al-Qaeda may be more
dangerous because of its lack of centralised leadership. Al-Qaeda members will
tend to carry out a greater number of independent attacks all over the world,
he says. Such acts will be less sophisticated than the attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon. But they could be enormously devastating, as
the discovery of preparations by al-Qaeda’s affiliates against American
embassies in Rome and Bosnia prove.
Jean-Louis Bruguiere, France’s chief anti-terrorism official, says that the
new groups "change their shape like the Aids virus. The way they
communicate or carry out one operation is not the way they carry out the next
one. And many of them are so integrated into Western society, even eating
pork, drinking and wearing Western clothes as a cover, that they are almost
impossible to discover".
So where will they attempt to strike next? Intelligence agencies have
identified a number of key "hot spots" where al-Qaeda cells
In south-east Asia the US is focusing on Jamaah Islamiyah, the Asian version
of al-Qaeda, which is an Islamic separatist group seeking to establish an
Islamic state in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The group is suspected of
having planted the Bali bomb. Various intelligence agencies say links have
been established connecting Jamaah Islamiyah with al-Qaeda.
But its alleged founder, Abu Bakar Ba’aysir, illustrates the difficulties
facing investigators presented by the new-look al-Qaeda. Ba’aysir denies any
connection with al-Qaeda, and says he is willing to help the authorities with
He runs an Islamist boarding school in Java, Indonesia and though many of his
pupils have been detained on terrorism-related accusations in Malaysia,
Singapore and the Philippines Ba’aysir insists he is not even a member of
Jamaah Islamiyah. The 64-year-old cleric was this weekend under police guard
in hospital after suffering breathing problems following his arrest in
connection with a spate of church bombings carried out two years ago.
Before the Bali bomb the Philippines, not Indonesia, was the country deemed to
be most at risk of terrorism in south-east Asia. The government of the
predominantly Roman Catholic nation is at war on several fronts against armed
Islamic militants seeking to establish a Muslim state.
For over a decade Manila has been fighting the Abu Sayyaf fundamentalist
Islamic group, which demands a separate Muslim state in the southern
Both the US and the UN say Abu Sayyaf has received funding from al-Qaeda, and
that several of its members were trained in Bin Laden’s camps in
Afghanistan. Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, has been a
frequent visitor to Zamboanga City, an Islamic hotbed in Mindanao island. He
is suspected of funnelling money to the rebels through Islamic charities and a
university in the city.
After September 11 Bush sent 650 troops to help President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo fight Abu Sayyaf. They are accompanying some 5,000 front-line
Philippine soldiers on patrols in Basilan, a rugged island that is a
stronghold of the terror group.
Last week, the authorities arrested a number of Islamic militants linked to
two bomb attacks. In one attack the same C4 explosive used in the Bali attack
In the Middle East and East Africa al-Qaeda’s technique is to home in on
"failed states", where political chaos or civil war prevents
governments from exercising control.
Al-Qaeda has re-established itself in Yemen, despite pledges by Yemen’s
ruler, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, that his country, previously notorious as
a haven of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, was now a "friend of the
West". But the desperately poor Yemen government cannot control territory
close to its border with Saudi Araba, and it is here that al-Qaeda fighters
have re-established their presence.
The US government has sent military advisers to assist the Yemeni government.
But it is considering more direct action, especially after the recent attack
on the French oil tanker off the Yemeni coast. The US has discreetly
established a 800-strong special forces group in Djibouti, which could be sent
to Yemen to attack al-Qaeda cells.
Yet the US is in a quandary. Al-Qaeda forces could vanish across Yemen’s
porous border with Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden’s family come from this region,
and the population are sympathetic to al-Qaeda. As home to 15 of the 19
September 11 hijackers, Saudi Arabia is no longer regarded as the reliably
stable ally of the West. Saudi banks and Islamic charities continue to channel
funds to al-Qaeda. These funds are difficult to trace because of the
widespread use of the Islamic banking device known as Hawala, whereby debts
are passed on to third parties for settlement, making transactions hard for
outsiders to trace.
The consequences of a US hot-pursuit incursion into Saudi Arabia could be
highly explosive. The presence of "infidel" American troops in
eastern Saudi Arabia since the 1991 Gulf War is already a major rallying cry
of Bin Laden’s followers against the Saudi rulers.
Two other "failed states", Somalia and Sudan, are also the focus of
US suspicion. Sudan has re-emerged as a terrorist haven following reports that
al-Qaeda has moved its gold reserves there from Afghanistan.
In Somalia, many analysts believe that the US force in Djibouti has al-Qaeda
cells in this war-wracked country in its sights.
Al-Qaeda has also found safe havens in The Caucasus, where it has capitalised
on the conflict between Russia and Moslem rebels.
Russia claims that the group is active in Georgia and Chechnya. Russian
television recently quoted a counter-terrorism official as saying that Moscow
had confirmed that "on the territory of Georgia, in the Pankisi Gorge,
there are camps for training terrorists, where Arab nationals with special
military training are teaching".
Al-Qaeda is also spreading its tentacles closer to Europe through North
Africa, despite the existence of moderate Moslem governments. Attempts to blow
up US and British warships near Gibraltar are believed to have originated in
Morocco, while in Tunisia, a synagogue was attacked killing 13 German
The terrorist organisation is strongest in Pakistan, as al-Qaeda has shifted
its bases there from Afghanistan. Once again Islamic schools known as
madrassas provide willing recruits.
The Pakistani authorities find it almost impossible to control the wild
north-west frontier close to Afghanistan where many al-Qaeda elements are
still hiding. Meanwhile, in the teeming capital, Karachi, a senior al-Qaeda
figure, Khalid Sheim Mohammed, is believed to be masterminding al-Qaeda
The US also says it has evidence that Iran and Iraq, both named by Bush as
part of the "axis of evil", and the United Arab Emirates, which is
regarded as a friendly state, have al-Qaeda connections.
The administration has repeatedly asserted that Saddam Hussein has links with
al-Qaeda, but has so far failed to publish hard evidence. But with al-Qaeda
"killer cells" now operating so autonomously the question of
defining what is and what is not al-Qaeda is starting to be asked.
How can we manifest peace on
earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both
sexes) in our vision of Peace?
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