The mainstream press is beginning to figure out that Al Zawahiri is running Al Qaeda. Several articles are out this morn with leads of “Osama Sidelined“. That’s been the case for a long time as was noted here last year when Zawahiri announced the formation of the new Shura council.
The articles state that zero high-value AQ targets have been captured in the past year, which isn’t quite true as several captures and kills of upper level operatives have occurred. Notably this capture of the AQ leader in Iraq responsible for the death of the Sheikh Abu Reesha who led the Anbar Awakening purge of Al Qaeda.
Afghan Army commandos have been doing a fine job as well, recently capturing an AQ operative who had contact with Azzam the American (Adam Gadahn,) and who was responsible for leading fighters and groups between fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq by crossing through Iran. He’s been transported to Guantanamo.
Al Qaeda’s promised Ramadan offensive has begun in Iraq, with three separate bombings, killing 17 – 27 depending on whose report you go with. For now I will stick with AFP’s 17 since they tend to vette stringer reports from the fronts better than the UK papers and News agencies.
The initial attacks are weak compared to the past massive car bombing campaigns, demonstrating that AQ in Iraq is now severely weakened, but still a potent force that must be crushed completely. Let’s not make the Wellington mistake — let us be instead Von Blucher who sealed the victory at Waterloo by pursuing Napoleon’s retreating army to destruction after the main battle. He decided that he had enough of Napoleon. Now that AQ in Iraq is on their heels we must push them over and bury their corpse.
In India they worry about “potential” Al Qaeda sleeper cells — I will state for the record that the cells are there, and they are not sleeping. The recent outsourcing agreement between AQ and Jaish e Muhammed and others, as well as the Hyderabad bombings attest to that so RAW better not be sleeping either.
Al Qaeda has always been willing to direct regional and local groups and causes from the sidelines, sending an operative or two as well as funding, arms, or other resources needed. They will put on whatever mask they need to in order to gain adherents, and they will sell out any cause of any group who joins them. They have even threatened the Swedish cartoonists to gain recruits. Like a politician, Zawahiri will adopt anything to further recruiting, but in the end it’s all about him.