Tag: politics

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The Future of al-Qaeda as I see it May 04, 2011, 10:50:33 AM

From what I can see, al-Qaeda is done for. The celebrity is gone. The leadership is being killed off too quickly for them to find adequate replacements — for instance, of the three guys under Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, two of them were already killed when he was captured. Now, the US government might have their hands on everything al-Qaeda has been planning.

The death of Osama probably will inspire people to join terrorist organizations, especially among populations of people who are disenfranchised and impoverished (that is why al-Qaeda sent agents in 2009 to Somalia and Yemen to assist regional terrorist organizations in training recruits). I doubt they would join the al-Qaeda network since now it is common knowledge that the US military has scored a substantial amount of intelligence on the organization.

Perhaps more importantly, people will be averse to joining al-Qaeda because the unifying message of Osama will be overwritten by the divisive persona of Zawahiri, who will likely be taking Osama’s place as emir. This is a guy who has branded the Muslim Brotherhood as heretical, and not the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood specifically as far as I can tell, who sound more like Republicans if they were in Northern Africa, but rather all organizations that call themselves the Muslim Brotherhood, which covers a lot of gorund.

So, in all likelihood, the people who would join al-Qaeda will be distributing themselves among smaller, regional terrorist networks. I highly doubt that there will be another terrorist network starting up anytime soon that will have the same global presence that al-Qaeda has had. One reason why al-Qaeda managed to develop such a presence was through Osama, who was already something of a war hero in the Middle East for leaving the comforts of upper-class living in Saudi Arabia to fight the godless Soviets in Afghanistan alongside the Mujahideen. I am not sure if there is anyone else with that kind of reputation in the Middle East and Northern Africa, someone with a sort of legendary status that people can get behind.

Thus, what I think is most likely in the near future is that there will be increased membership in smaller, regional terrorist organizations. No one organization will see such a significant rise in membership that they will be able to develop much influence outside of their region. There probably will not be some legendary war hero with a unifying message that people can get behind for years. Each network lacking the ability and drive to cooperate with other groups and not having the influence of numbers nor fundraising power of a celebrity presence, it will be quite some time before any terrorist network will be able to coordinate attacks such as on New York, London, and Madrid.

Consequently, the bad news is that if the terrorist networks can’t pull feasible plans together to attack outside of the Greater Middle East, then they will settle for attacks within the Greater Middle East. There will be more attacks like the one in Marrakesh, more embasy bombings, more attacks on foreign troops occupying their territories.

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The World is Changing February 16, 2011, 07:06:37 AM

Algeria, Yemen, Libya, Egypt,  Iran, Iraq, and Bahrain.  All happening at once and hard to keep track but here are some links to help you out.


Facebook pages:
(this one is in Arabic) https://www.facebook.com/TrueRoyalDemocracy?ref=sgm

In-depth analysis on why Egypt is not Iran:

Quote from: Why Egypt is not Iran 1979

Alarms have been raised by those observing the popular uprising in Egypt that, while it is not itself a Muslim fundamentalist movement, the Muslim fundamentalists could take it over as it unfolds. The best-positioned group to do so is the Muslim Brotherhood. Some are even conflating the peaceful Brotherhood with radical groups such as al-Qaeda. I showed in my recent book, Engaging the Muslim World, that the Muslim Brotherhood has since the 1970s opposed the radical movements. In any case, the analogy many of these alarmists are making, explicitly or implicitly, is to Iran in 1978-79, which saw similar scenes of massive crowds in the street, demanding the departure of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, their king.

Misagh Parsa argued that the revolution of 1978-79 was made by several different social groups, each for its own reasons. The revolution was fought against the monarchy, which presided over an oil-exporting economy that had gone into overdrive because of the big fourfold run-up of prices in the 1970s. Many felt that they were not sharing in that prosperity, or were inconvenienced by the Shah’s authoritarian government…..

Proof that the higher-ups in the Army are still loyal to the regime (something that I wasn’t expecting because of naivety):

Quote from: The Inside Story of Egyptian Soldiers Refusing to Massacre

It is good that Hosni Mubarak hasn’t left Egypt and they should not let him leave because he has some very serious charges to face. We now know that on the night of January 30th, at one of the most critical junctures for the Egyptian Revolution, that President Mubarak ordered the army tank command to massacre the people in Tahrir Square and the tank commanders refused. As Robert Fisk reported on Friday:

The critical moment came on the evening of 30 January when, it is now clear, Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters.

Many of the senior tank commanders could be seen tearing off their headsets – over which they had received the fatal orders – to use their mobile phones. They were, it now transpires, calling their own military families for advice. Fathers who had spent their lives serving the Egyptian army told their sons to disobey, that they must never kill their own people.


Please note also something else that can be deduced from Robert Fisk’s description of these events (below). Namely that it was the low level officers in the tanks, the ones that got their orders over headsets, that refused to carry out the mass murder in Tahrir Square. Had the top brass refused Mubarak, those orders never would have been heard over headsets…..

Latest post on OccupiedCairo:


Last night in Tahrir Square there were thousands of people waiting to hear the presumed resignation speech of a fascist dictator on his last legs. Instead we heard a condescending old man tell us he was not going anywhere and that we should all go home and get back to work. The cries of outrage lasted for hours afterwards and, if anything, the speech served to galvanize the protest movement. We heard immediate roars of ‘get out, get out’ then calls to remember the dead, ‘my brother’s life is not that cheap’.

Group calls shortly afterwards responded to the speech by calling for a march the next morning to the Presidential Palace. Others, inspired by rage immediately started to move towards the palace and the state TV building, Maspero. Surprisingly, both groups arrived at their destination without bloodshed. As I write there are 10s of thousands moving towards the Presidential Palace and around 15000 in front of Maspero demanding it cease broadcast…..

News Video that summarizes most recent events:

People are trying to form a rally for the 20th of this month in Morocco.  My contact from there says that rumor is is that these people are siding with the king and that they are Polisario.  I found an interesting article about this on an equally interesting site:

From: Moroccan internet surfers have led to failure the Polisario’s attempt to manipulate facebook

This Monday 31st January 2011, the Moroccan internet surfers have succeeded to put down an attempt to manipulate the internet through facebook, probably operated by the Polisario front and the Algerian secret services. Through a facebook page, the mysterious internet surfers called the Moroccans to demonstrate on the 27th February in all the cities of the Kingdom. Putting a question about this date, certain internet surfers have immediately called for the boycott of this manipulation reminding that this date commemorates the anniversary of the creation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

Even if the managers of the Facebook page have tried to adjust their position by calling for the demonstration on the 20th instead of the 27th, the manipulation has drawn the attention of the Moroccan community on Facebook, which has alerted, through the net, about the dangers of this disinformation attempt, probably managed by the intelligence and security  Department, Algerian intelligence services…..