Wait, Al Qaeda Was In Iraq? Who Knew?

Holy Hijinks, Batman! Guardian – Experts fear new front with al-Qaida as terror group switches focus from Iraq

Last month an Arabic satellite TV channel broadcast a chilling video of a group of Iraqi teenagers called the “Youths of Heaven” – their faces masked and brandishing Kalashnikov rifles, chanting “Allahu Akbar” and vowing to blow themselves up with “crusaders and apostates.” The film of these aspiring suicide bombers, all said to be under 16, was produced by al-Furqan, the media arm of the Islamic State of Iraq, aka al-Qaida. But such material is rare these days, with film coming out of Iraq looking suspiciously like posed training sessions with little of the live action of ambushes that has been the staple fare of jihadi websites.

Two weeks ago, General Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA, made waves when he said in an interview that al-Qaida has suffered “near-strategic defeat” in Iraq. To many observers it was a surprisingly upbeat view just a year after gloomy assessments of the dangers that Osama bin Laden still posed. In fact, few security sources – including key counter-terrorism officials canvassed by the Guardian – and independent experts disagree, though the US military is more circumspect.

Evidence of al-Qaida’s problems in Iraq is weighty and convincing. It has been badly hit by the fightback from the American-backed Sunni “Sons of Iraq” and the US troop “surge”. Western intelligence agencies estimate that the number of foreign fighters is down to single figures each month. The border with Syria is now harder to cross.

Iraq-watchers point, too, to financial strain caused by the arrests of al-Qaida sympathisers in Saudi Arabia, mafia-like disputes over alcohol licences and difficulties recruiting the right calibre of people. Last month, a sympathetic website carried a study showing a 94% decline in operations over a year. The Islamic State of Iraq claimed 334 operations in November 2006 but just 25 a year later. Attacks dropped from 292 in May 2007 to 16 by mid-May this year.

Interesting. So, in other words “we dragged al Qaeda and other jihadi’s in to Iraq, so that we could fight them in the place of our choosing, and we kicked their ass to the point they are trying to move elsewhere!” 

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One Response to “Wait, Al Qaeda Was In Iraq? Who Knew?”

  1. darthcrUSAderworldtour2007 says:

    These left-wingbat lunes and mosh pit mutants and Hollyweirdo reincarnates tried blaming THE CRUSADES in the good old days too Teach! Go figure?

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