The media has finally noticed the schisms within Al Qaeda, as new evidence of in-fighting hits the press:
Lahore, July 30 : A split has apparently surfaced within the al Qaeda over what strategy to adopt as retaliation to the Pakistan Army’s crackdown on the Lal Masjid.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, one faction favours retaliation, while the other believes that further strikes could force the Pakistan Army to attack their safe havens in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
Radical Pakistani Islamists allied to the al Qaeda have revealed that Osama Bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, wants retaliatory attacks on Pakistani targets. Some other senior figures within the group are, however, “alarmed” that Zawahiri’s mission to topple and kill President Pervez Musharraf could provoke a military backlash.
A rival “Libyan faction”, led by Abu Yahya Al-Libi, an escapee from the US Bagram base near Kabul, apparently suspects Al-Zawahiri of trying “to position himself as Bin Laden’s heir” with this “crusade,” the Daily Times reported.
US intelligence operatives involved in the hunt for bin Laden have confirmed the reports of this rift from senior Pakistani jihadi sources.
Now permit me a little billboarding, as it’s known in the talk-radio business. If you’ve been here a while you have seen these rifts reported on continuously since last September, I try to stay ahead of the pack. It doesn’t make the blog popular because what I talk about isn’t always topical or in the news, but stick with me a few months and you’ll see I’m pretty good when I put on my Karnak hat. (Well except for those 2006 election predictions…) Where else have I been ahead of the pack?
You saw extensive coverage of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa here first, and months before they became big news to the rest of the world.
You saw reporting on Iran’s supplying of weapons to Iraqi and Afghani insurgents well ahead of the rest (last July, and speculation prior to that.)
You saw Hizb’allah use of an Iranian C-802 against the Israeli ship reported here
You saw predictions of a weak offensive this Summer from the Taliban, and reporting that their recruiting drives have seriously weakened
You saw reporting that Zawahiri has re-focused forces, funds, and efforts out of Iraq and against Pakistan in last ditch defense mode here first.
You saw me predicting the inevitability of new nuclear energy plants in the US, (that one’s still playing out, give it some time.)
In past posts there are also hints of things to come that I won’t speak of directly – some things might not happen if bruited about.
So, if you want to see coming trends semi-accurately predicted, this is a good spot. Don’t worry, I always admit when I am wrong as soon as I see it. I am not blogging for an audience I am blogging to influence; that requires trust, and trust requires honesty.