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Al Qaeda speaks

al Qaeda's "Legitimate Demands". Azzam al Amreki (aka Adam Gadahn) appears in a newly released al Qaeda video to recite his group's demands and promise more bombings and destruction if we don't comply. (previously)
posted by scalefree on May 30, 2007 - 104 comments

War on Terror Update

The US pays Pakistan $1 billion a year to fight al Qaeda, but Pakistan doesn't do much fighting. Iraq is a "a big moneymaker" for al Qaeda, and al Qaeda's leadership may be stronger than ever.
[more War on Terror inside]
posted by kirkaracha on May 21, 2007 - 76 comments

Darth Cheney Strikes Back

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted. A newly declassified report (PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful. [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 6, 2007 - 65 comments

The Redirection

The Redirection. "Is the Administration’s new policy aiding our enemies in the war on terrorism?" New article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker.
posted by homunculus on Feb 25, 2007 - 40 comments

No Saddam and Osama? :(

Senate Releases Pre-War Intel Reports. The two sections of the report released by the Senate intelligence committee are: "Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments" and "The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress" (both PDFs). This seems to contradict previous evidence. [Via TPMmuckraker.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 8, 2006 - 51 comments

Marc Sageman on the global Salafi jihad

Who are the jihadists? Marc Sageman on the global Salafi jihad: its goals, its history, who the jihadists are, how they're drawn to the jihad, how the movement is organized. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong on Jun 30, 2006 - 38 comments

Stealing al-Qa`ida's Playbook

Stealing al-Qa`ida's Playbook (PDF)
If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete. - Sun Tzu

In 2005 Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies & West Point's Combating Terrorism Center worked together to translate what appears to be one of the most important works defining al Qaeda's strategic goals & methods, Management of Savagery (PDF) by al Qaeda strategist Abu Bakr Naji. Then they analyzed it along with three other al Qaeda works: Knights Under The Banner of The Prophet by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Between Two Methods by Abu Qatada and Observations Concerning the Jihadi Experience in Syria by Abu Mus’ab al-Suri. The result is Stealing al-Qa`ida's Playbook (PDF) (also Google cached HTML). If you want to understand more of al Qaeda than the simplistic cant that "they're evil", these two books are the place to start.
posted by scalefree on Jun 27, 2006 - 26 comments

"What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight"

[NewsFilter] "Beginning of the End." The death of al Zarqawi, in itself, may have been a bit of a pyrrhic victory, but the latest news is a "treasure trove" of intelligence from al Qa'ida in Iraq. Of course, al Qa'ida in Iraq is largely an open source movement, so they never kept this exactly secret--but now, it's being widely reported that al Qa'ida "sought war between US and Iran." With speculation that al Zaraqwi's death may lead to a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq, might his death now also defuse tensions with Iran, as well? Did we end two wars in one blow?
posted by jefgodesky on Jun 15, 2006 - 106 comments

Porter Goss Resigns at CIA

Newsfilter: CIA director Porter Goss resigns. After taking some of the fall heat for bad intelligence in the months before 9/11, Cheney's "cat's paw" finally gets out of the kitchen.
posted by digaman on May 5, 2006 - 200 comments

London Bombings had nothing to do with Al Qaeda

London Bombings had nothing to do with Al Qaeda - The official Government report into the July 7th bombings in London has concluded that the attacks were carried out on "a shoestring budget" and "with no direct support from al Qaeda", according to an article published in The Observer on Sunday. They instead were organized through "terror sites" on the internet. This is apparently not good enough for the Conservative opposition. "I find that very hard to believe," said Tory homeland security spokesman Patrick Mercer. The lack of connection further reinforces ideas that Al Qaeda is nowhere near as widespread and organized as we are often led to believe.
posted by Acey on Apr 9, 2006 - 45 comments

Rebels in the Ranks

"I've been silent long enough... My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir! Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth.
posted by digaman on Apr 9, 2006 - 60 comments

Do-it-yourself terrorism

Why terror financing is so tough to track down. "Five years ago, we had large movement of funds which went through the international financial system. ... Now we are just talking about four friends who raise £1,000 to stage an attack. The unit cost of terrorist financing has crashed to the floor." WINEP dissents. Reports of the UN team responsible for monitoring al-Qaeda. Background articles on UN sanctions against al-Qaeda.
posted by russilwvong on Mar 9, 2006 - 7 comments

Know your enemy

Max Rodenbeck reviews a new collection of Osama bin Laden's speeches and a biography by Peter Bergen. David Cole discusses the US side of the conflict, reviewing the latest book by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon: "--when it comes to fighting the decentralized threat of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism, Benjamin and Simon maintain, the best defense is not a good offense, but a good defense." More on al-Qaeda: Rodenbeck, MetaFilter.
posted by russilwvong on Feb 24, 2006 - 1 comment

Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass

Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass Frank Miller is working on a Batman vs. Al Qaeda comic. At least he's being honest that it's utter propaganda.
posted by jbielby on Feb 15, 2006 - 82 comments

Evidence of a Slippery Slope

Evidence of a slippery slope continued: Newsweek reports that White House counsel Steve Bradbury believes President Bush can order killings on US soil as part of the Terrorist-Surveillance ProgramTM. Meanwhile, while Attorney General Gonzales "lashes out" at the media and insists that the TSPTM is "not a dragnet that sucks in all conversation and uses computer searches to pick out calls of interest," the Washington Post reports it's precisely that -- "computer-controlled systems collect and sift basic information about hundreds of thousands of faxes, e-mails and telephone calls into and out of the United States before selecting the ones for scrutiny by human eyes and ears" -- and has led to very few leads. (See also discussion of Arlen Specter and the legality of the TSPTM here.)
posted by digaman on Feb 6, 2006 - 137 comments

On Policy Discussions in a Never-Ending War

"I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story..." President Bush really did not want journalists to reveal his NSA spying program against Americans [discussed here.] And in yesterday's rare press conference, the President said: "An open debate about law would say to the enemy, 'Here's what we're going to do.' And this is an enemy which adjusts... Any public hearings on programs will say to the enemy, 'Here's what they do. Adjust.' This is a war." Neocon guru William Kristol argues that talk of Bush being an "imperial" president" is "demagogic" and "irresponsible" since "Congress has the right and the ability to judge whether President Bush has in fact used his executive discretion soundly." What is the role of "open debate" in a war against terror that may last for decades?
posted by digaman on Dec 20, 2005 - 222 comments

Landscapes Of The Jihad

...With the end of the cold war and the emergence of global networks in which goods, ideas and people circulate outside the language of citizenship, the fundamentalist fight for ideological states has lost influence... Muslim radicalism, by contrast, has moved beyond the language of citizenship to assume a global countenance, joining movements as different as environmentalism and pacifism in its pursuit of justice on a worldwide scale. Such movements are ethical rather than political in nature: they can neither predict nor control the global consequences of their actions...
Spectral brothers: al-Qaida’s world wide web  
Snapshots of Faisal Devji's Landscapes of the Jihad are to be seen within
posted by y2karl on Dec 8, 2005 - 17 comments

How To Get Ahead In Kidnapping Without Really Trying

HOWTO: Kidnap someone. Originally published in the al Qaeda web magazine Mu'askar al-Battar, and written by Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, the author of The Targets Inside Cities [pdf].
posted by brundlefly on Dec 3, 2005 - 6 comments

Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel

Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
posted by y2karl on Nov 22, 2005 - 134 comments

Zarqawi denounced.

Zarqawi denounced by his own family, tribe.
posted by toma on Nov 21, 2005 - 19 comments

Parsing Terror

Osama bin Laden, littérateur and new-media star. A thought-provoking analysis of bin Laden's adept use of Koranic language and the Internet by Bruce B. Lawrence, an Islamic scholar at Duke who edited a new anthology of bin Laden's public statements called Messages to the World. The Western media -- says the millionaire mass-murderer formerly trained as a useful ally by the CIA via Pakistan's ISI -- "implants fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media are doing!" Know thy enemy. [via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by digaman on Nov 3, 2005 - 57 comments

I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center

In 1998 the FAA was warned that Al Qaeda could "seek to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark," according to a recently-released update [PDF] to the 9/11 Commission's Staff Monograph on the Four Flights and Civil Aviation Security. (An earlier version with more material redacted was released on January 28, 2005.)
posted by kirkaracha on Sep 14, 2005 - 42 comments

welcome to qaim, here's your koran

In other news, let's all welcome the newest nation on our little planet, the Islamic Republic of Qaim. Newly created by the Iraqi faction of Al-Qaeda on the Iraqi side of the Iraqi-Syrian border, they're executing "collaborators" and at least one "prostitute". Their nearest neighbor's security forces -- the US Marines -- say they haven't heard anything about it.
posted by raaka on Sep 6, 2005 - 13 comments

Will it be this easy?

What al-Qaida Really Wants: An Islamic Caliphate in Seven Easy Steps. German newspaper Der Spiegel offers a look at an Islamist plan for success by 2020, courtesy of journalist Fouad Hussein, who claims close connection with al-Qaida's inner circle. But does that inner circle really call the shots anymore? And how reliable are long-term global plans, anyway? [first link via The Agonist]
posted by mediareport on Aug 15, 2005 - 29 comments

Miller and Chalabi are SO 2004

Slate's Today's Papers went the extra op-ed mile today to discuss an NYT front page story that alleges that DOD intelligence pegged 3 of the 9/11 hijackers as al-Qaeda agents in the U.S. back in 2000. Remember, this is the same DOD that, under Rumsfeld, wants to establish its own intelligence agency outside of the CIA, having bumbled an earlier incarnation. The problem? The article is primarily sourced to Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) and the ubiquitous "unnamed defense official". Weldon's primary source is an associat of Manucher Gorbanifar, "a well-known Iranian exile whom the CIA branded as a fabricator during the 1980s but who was used by the Reagan White House as a middleman for the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran." Oh, and he's got a new book out. The NYT has apparently learned nothing.
posted by mkultra on Aug 9, 2005 - 9 comments

Coming Apocalypse?

Coming Apocalypse? In a forthcoming book by Paul L. Williams, Al Qaeda Connection: International Terrorism, Organized Crime, And the Coming Apocalypse, Williams alleges that al Qaeda has managed to obtain nuclear weapons from Russia and has already smuggled the WMDs across the Mexican border and into the U.S.
posted by j-urb on Jul 16, 2005 - 85 comments

More good news

“What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying.” A flattering portrait of 'Bin Laden general' Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the 4th Al-Qaida #3 man captured so far.
posted by greatgefilte on May 8, 2005 - 42 comments

Al Qaeda Gets Online

Al Qaeda Posts Online Magazine
Al Qaeda has, reportedly, published the first issue of an online magazine aimed at recruitment of Muslims to get rid of the infidels and apostates (Americans and Iraqi aides) in Iraq.
Washington-based counterterrorism specialist Evan Kohlmann said the magazine aims at 'conveying the sense that the organization is professional, capable, and really understands what they're doing."
It was designed as 'an attempt to refute the idea that Zarqawi and these people are desperate. . . . It shows that these people have time on their hands and don't have to worry about mobility," he said.
posted by fenriq on Mar 4, 2005 - 47 comments

'01 Memo to Rice Warned of Qaeda and Offered Plan

'01 Memo to Rice Warned of Qaeda and Offered Plan The Right and the Left are busy (see link beneath) attacking or defending Eason Jordan or Jeff Gannon, and meanwhile we learn that our clever, learned, trustworthy new Sec. of State had been given warnings about what might well take place and did nothing, allowing 9/11 to occur. A strategy document outlining proposals for eliminating the threat from Al Qaeda, given to Condoleezza Rice as she assumed the post of national security adviser in January 2001, warned that the terror network had cells in the United States and 40 other countries and sought unconventional weapons, according to a declassified version of the document" "
posted by Postroad on Feb 12, 2005 - 34 comments

9/11 Report Cites Many Warnings About Hijackings

9/11 Report Cites Many Warnings About Hijackings Rice claimed we were totally surprised by 9/11...not so! "In the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations, according to a previously undisclosed report from the 9/11 commission....
posted by Postroad on Feb 10, 2005 - 57 comments

Full English text of Bin Laden

what the news in america isn't telling us. Here is the Full transcript of Bin Ladin's speech
posted by Ladymerv on Nov 1, 2004 - 75 comments

This campaign message sponsored by ...

He's back: Bin Laden has released a new tape, where he attacks Bush, claims responsibility for 9/11, backhandledly backs Kerry and warns Americans to take responsibility for safety to themselves. But is it all an elaborate double bluff to make sure Bush gets in (and OBL stays as safe as he is now)?
posted by bonaldi on Oct 29, 2004 - 123 comments

Rumsfeld doubts Saddam Laden link

Rumsfeld doubts Saddam Laden link US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has cast doubt on whether there was ever a relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
posted by hoder on Oct 4, 2004 - 38 comments

journalism

What's up with Christopher Hitchens nowadays? Here is an interview with him by Johann Hari.
posted by semmi on Oct 2, 2004 - 58 comments

Pepe speaks

Why al-Qaeda is winning As nihilistic as it may be, al-Qaeda, from a business point of view, is a major success: three years after September 11, it is a global brand and a global movement. The Middle East, in this scenario, is just a regional base station. This global brand does not have much to do with Islam. But it has everything to do with the globalization of anti-imperialism. And the empire, whatever its definition, has its center in Washington. Bin Laden is laughing: Bush's crusade has legitimized an obscure sect as a worldwide symbol of political revolt. How could bin Laden not vote for Bush?
posted by rdone on Sep 13, 2004 - 20 comments

Newsworthy?

200 dead. In a time when terrorism is a major political platform and given that this event has had a bigger death toll than any other major terror activity since September 11, why is this not bigger news?
posted by dig_duggler on Sep 3, 2004 - 72 comments

Iraq In Transition: Vortex or Catalyst?

Iraq In Transition: Vortex or Catalyst? (PDF)
A key message of the report is that should Iraq fragment, a sectarian struggle between the Shi’a majority and Sunni minority is more likely to flare up in the context of a political breakdown. Al Qaeda and other militant Sunni groups will contribute to the polarisation between Sunnis, Shi’a and other religious groups in Iraq. A fragmented Iraq could provide a breeding ground for new militant factions, both Islamist and non-Islamist.
Press release
posted by y2karl on Sep 2, 2004 - 8 comments

Inside Al Qaeda’s Hard Drive

A peek at Al Qaeda pre 9/11. Reports surfaced in early 2002 about al Qaeda computers purchased by a journalist from the Wall Street Journal. In this article details from one of these computers come to light - complaints about their new home in Afghanistan after being expelled from Sudan, rocky relationships with the Taliban and a difficult merger with Islamic Jihad. "Perhaps one of the most important insights to emerge from the computer is that 9/11 sprang not so much from al-Qaeda's strengths as from its weaknesses. The computer did not reveal any links to Iraq or any other deep-pocketed government; amid the group's penury the members fell to bitter infighting. The blow against the United States was meant to put an end to the internal rivalries, which are manifest in vitriolic memos between Kabul and cells abroad." via The Agonist
posted by caddis on Aug 11, 2004 - 9 comments

Bush blows cover of al-Qaeda insider

"After his capture he admitted being an al Qaeda member and agreed to send e-mails to his contacts," a Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters. "He sent encoded e-mails and received encoded replies. He's a great hacker and even the U.S. agents said he was a computer whiz." In its haste to get a scary headline the weekend after the Democratic Convention, did the Bush Administration deliberately blow the cover of one of its best informants within al-Qaeda?
posted by lagado on Aug 8, 2004 - 35 comments

It turns out it wasn't Joe Klein

The anonymous author of Imperial Hubris has been revealed.
posted by sixpack on Jul 2, 2004 - 12 comments

Thy Name be Cognitive Dissonance

Bush Insists on Iraq-Al Qaeda Links Despite Report
Not knowing when to give up and admit that he was wrong, Mr. Bush is digging in his heels and insisting, in spite of the 9/11 commision's findings to the contrary, that Saddam Hussein and Al-Queda are linked.

Said Mr. Bush, "The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda."

I guess that'll be good enough for just under half the population.
posted by fenriq on Jun 17, 2004 - 90 comments

Tracking the Threat

Tracking the Threat.
posted by hama7 on May 26, 2004 - 15 comments

Nicholas Berg

The Orange jumpsuit, couch potato Al Quida members, flawed timelines, the freepers connection, and the outspoken father. Nicolas Berg conspiracy theories abound on the Internet.
posted by thedailygrowl on May 13, 2004 - 98 comments

Al Qaeda: the Brand

Think Again: Al Qaeda - "The mere mention of al Qaeda conjures images of an efficient terrorist network guided by a powerful criminal mastermind. Yet al Qaeda is more lethal as an ideology than as an organization. 'Al Qaedaism' will continue to attract supporters in the years to come—whether Osama bin Laden is around to lead them or not." Foreign Policy, May/June 2004.
posted by pitchblende on Apr 29, 2004 - 10 comments

'Oppression kills the oppressors'

This is a message to our neighbours north of the Mediterranean, containing a reconciliation initiative as a response to their positive reactions. Osama bin Laden's latest message to the world. (more inside)
posted by brettski on Apr 15, 2004 - 99 comments

Yes, But John Kerry Looks French

Bush Was Warned of Possible Attack in U.S., Official Says "President Bush was told more than a month before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that supporters of Osama bin Laden planned an attack within the United States with explosives and wanted to hijack airplanes, a government official said Friday. The warning came in a secret briefing that Mr. Bush received at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, 2001. A report by a joint Congressional committee last year alluded to a "closely held intelligence report" that month about the threat of an attack by Al Qaeda, and the official confirmed an account by The Associated Press on Friday saying that the report was in fact part of the president's briefing in Crawford." Then again, he had more important things to deal with that Summer.
posted by owillis on Apr 10, 2004 - 62 comments

9/11 Panel: Bush White House Withheld Papers

9/11 Panel: Bush White House Withheld Papers The commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks announced yesterday that it has identified 69 documents from the Clinton era that the Bush White House withheld from investigators and which include references to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and other issues relevant to the panel's work.
posted by Postroad on Apr 8, 2004 - 8 comments

Islam and Europe

Eurabia? WTF? An interesting article by the ultra-prolific Niall Ferguson obliquely raises the question: wouldn't Europe (and the world) be happier if Islam still had a hold on the West? Al-Qaeda's longings for Andalusia and the Algarve apart, the truth is that Southern Spain (until 1498) and Portugal (until 1297) were very happy under Muslim rule. Isn't it sad that the three great monotheistic religions, plus the great atheist belief, can't live together anymore? [ NYT registration required. Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 8, 2004 - 25 comments

"Kerry: wrong on defense. Oh wait, I mean me."

Missile Defense- the biggest security lapse on 9/11. Condoleeza Rice was to deliver a speech regarding the White House's position on national security on September 11th, 2001. The speech contained no mention of al-Qaeda and stated missile defense as the central focus of security, implicating Bill Clinton for "not doing enough about the real threat - long-range missiles." An interesting revelation coming from the campaign claiming their opponents are "wrong on defense."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Apr 1, 2004 - 37 comments

Kashmir

Has the US promised Kashmir to Pakistan? During his recent visit, Colin Powell named Pakistan a US ally. This move has people in India concerned about what the US is willing to give Pakistan to fight Al-Qaeda. [The site has pop-ups. Sorry.]
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Mar 30, 2004 - 9 comments

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