In the wake of killing Al Qaeda’s senior leader in Iraq a treasure trove of intel date has been uncovered in his safe house. They have a roster of Al Qaeda fighters in Iraq, including their Biographies and photos.
This will lead to further finds as intelligence agencies and governments track those leads back to sources and originations in other countries. From USA Today:
These images show documents that the U.S. military says it obtained after killing a senior member of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The one of the left is said to show a list of foreigners who entered the country to carry out “martyrdom” operations, while the one on the right is described as a biographical entry for one such foreign recruit.
The images were released earlier today by the Pentagon during a briefing on the death of Abu Usama al-Tunisi, an al-Qaeda in Iraq leader who they described as the emir of foreign fighters.
We’ve already seen a major AQ financier and recruiter captured, and as each lead is followed up more and more will be discovered. Iraqi forces also broke up a major meeting of AQ forces in northern Iraq, capturing an Iraqi Member of Parliament (un-named,) at the meeting.
The physical nature of groups that operate in cells is fragile and it takes a great deal of time to heal communications if a cell is fractured and if they truly follow the ideal dictates of inter-cell communications structure; which Al Qaeda does not always do.
It’s easier to ignore tight standards for inter-cell oversight for logistics purposes — and the hard fighting from Anbar Awakening and the US forces has created the need for AQ to break it’s inter-cell communications structure just to stay in the fight. One leader having a full roster is proof of that.
In another note on Iraq from Counter-Terrorism Blog, you can see the techniques that AQ uses, as well as how their ties with Communist insurgent groups are now broken.
In Sudan various government officials were semi-officially supporting Al Qaeda, but are now backing off from that in this Memri report. (Sudan is one of the places I would put high on the list of where UBL or Zawahiri might actually be.)
In Pakistan Musharraf slices words, he says hideouts, we say havens. There is a minor difference, but because Pakistan is lax in pursuing terrorists full-time they tend to get tarred with “haven” — after all you can’t have it both ways – either you are fully pursuing the extremists or you are blustering and hoping they go away. (hint: they won’t.)
In Afghanistan Al Qaeda’s “Leader in Afghanistan,” Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, calls for help internationally in a new tape, signs that efforts are flagging. While AP is still putting forth that Taliban offensives there are worse this year, that’s false if you are looking at effectiveness.
AP is using Taliban body counts in their numbers, and although they were not officially released, last summer’s offensive was much worse as Taliban forces over-ran towns and villages, held some for weeks, and held several major battles & stands against ISAF forces.
The 3500 “insurgents” killed in the AP report for this year was bypassed by AQ’s own reports last year, and tallies of some articles from last year (late July – early September) show that many or more Taliban were killed in one quarter. This year they are only capable of suicide bombing, roadside blasts, and kidnappings. If that’s success I would hate to see failure. In the end the difference between last year and this year is going to be minor, the difference this year is that we are taking the fight to the Taliban and putting their backs right up against the borders, it’s not the Taliban attacking like they were last September.
In India the National Security Advisor warns that India is being targetted by Al Qaeda, evidence of that is the recent call for an intifada in Jammu and Kashmir. He also speaks to the Maoist and communist terror group leftovers.
AQ’s expansion during the 90’s and to the present occured by them stepping in to a power vacumn in terror group leadership created by the collapse of Soviet communism. AQ transplants the Islamist cause and their leadership into these groups wherever they can, and they use them as recruiting fronts. This is why you see some of the socialist and communist groups turning on them — they are poaching the Marxist members by surplanting the old ideology with Islamism. Without the dregs of communism to pick up from the 90’s, Al Qaeda would be a much weaker group today.