Thursday, July 7, 2005
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Al Qaeda in Europe
CNN reports on the group claiming responsibility for the London transport bombings:
The clumsy-sounding name (at least in English) of this group makes me wonder if this is another of Al Qaeda's local subcontractees.
UPDATE: Stephen Flynn has some thoughts at the Council on Foreign Relations home page that sound this theme as well. Some highlights:
Read the whole thing.
LAST UPDATE: Steve Coll and Susan B. Glasser make a similar point to Flynn's in the Washington Post:
posted by Dan on 07.07.05 at 01:15 PM
Frightening stuff - you seem far more informed than I am.posted by: Illegally blonde on 07.07.05 at 01:15 PM [permalink]
I was thinking the exact same thing: Al Qaeada has not really been able to mount multiple attacks in most countries (except Afghanistan, Iraq, and to a lesser extent Pakistan and Saudi Arabia). In Turkey, Indonesia, Morocco, Spain etc. their whole organization was captured after their deadly attacks. That is the silver lining for this cloud.posted by: erg on 07.07.05 at 01:15 PM [permalink]
London getting hit was not unexpected. They have
This attack does point out one huge problem
Reminds me of the Imperial Japanese letting
I think I could kill everyone in Iraq and not hurt
Someone needs to come up with a new center on war
It is an axiom in intelligence that direct actions --sabotage, bombing, assassinations,etc -- are in inherent conflict with (a) political
During WWII, for example, the UK's MI6 was bitterly opposed to the Special Operations Executive (SOE) sabotage campaigns (done in alliance with the French resistance.) WHenever direct action occurs,
The transfer of the atomic bomb's design to Russia by the Rosenberg/Cohen spy rings is one example that supports the MI6 argument.
Direct action proponents like SOE, on the other hand, argued that even a few attacks forces the enemy to divert enormous resources into internal security-- i.e, forces him onto the defensive. And direct action can be more than pinpricks: During the Normandy invasion, a crack --and critically needed -- German panzer division was delayed from reinforcing the beachhead for two weeks because the railroad cars carrying their tanks ground to a halt a few miles after leaving their base area. This event was achieved by two young French girls who were ignored by railyard sentries and who managed to insert abrasive grease into the gear boxes of the rail cars.
In another incident, a French saboteur was able to knock an aluminum plant out for five months by
Today's bombing in London obviously ruins any political activity --e.g., any political attempt by non-terrorist Islamic organizations to influence British voters /government into changing Blair's support for Bush's actions in the Middle East.
In one regard, Sept 11 and today's bombings don't make sense: they were pinpricks causing limited damage that simply prod a complacent but powerful enemy to gear up for a fight.
That is, they were pinpricks which also forestalled far more effective attack options (by crippling intelligence gathering needed to make far more effective attacks on the US or UK).
It's hard to see what Al Qaeda is accomplishing other than rallying supporters/potential recruits in the Middle East -- and maybe revealing to the major powers the real nature of the US government.posted by: Don the Greater on 07.07.05 at 01:15 PM [permalink]
It's hard to see what Al Qaeda is accomplishing...
The original group had the resources to send ~20 people to the US and pay for flight school and living expenses while they were here. The later groups seem to be limited to leaving backpacks full of explosives in trains and busses- much less sophisticated, much less resource-intensive... and much less effective.
To the western mind, you fight a war by attacking the other side's strategy. If you do so successfully, the other side will eventually realize their objectives can not be achieved, and they will either change strategies, or try to negotiate a peace.
If the other side doesn't have an overall strategy, it becomes much more difficult to make it impossible to achieve their objectives, as they don't really have an objective beyond killing people and blowing stuff up and hoping we get tired of it and eventually give up.
Secret Organization group al Qaeda Organization in Europe is a dopey name.posted by: Boomhauer on 07.07.05 at 01:15 PM [permalink]
"[I]n the aftermath of the London attacks, it's likely that very quickly you'll see law enforcement identify the responsible parties and to start to roll up their organization."
It will make no difference. Our involvement in the region has only swollen the ranks of the terrorists. Why can't we just leave these people alone? They never did a thing to us until we first did it to them!
This does not mean I support the tragedy that occurred in London. I feel for those people and their families.posted by: extenze on 07.07.05 at 01:15 PM [permalink]
You right honorable ladies and gents are just clueless. The terror of OK City, the terror of 09/11/2001 was all staged with cooperation from the West. Almost certainly 7/7/2005 was as well.
Secret Organization group al Qaeda Organization in Europe is a dopey name.
Moro Islamic Liberation Front has 'em beat. How do you top a group called MILF for having a stupid name?
(if you don't get the joke, google the acronym. Not safe for work).posted by: rosignol on 07.07.05 at 01:15 PM [permalink]
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