Friday, October 06, 2006

Al Qaida's Next Generation

Al Qaida's new generation unknown to U.S. intelligence
The new generation of Al Qaida remains secret and unknown to international intelligence services, an Al Qaida website last week reported.

Islamic writer Uways Bradley wrote Sept. 22 on a Global Islamic Media Front website that Al Qaida was expanding worldwide and has not been diminished by U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts.

“Al Qaida is here to stay,” he said, noting that many members of the first generation Al Qaida are known to “Crusaders” and their followers.
However, the next generation of Al Qaida is still secret.

“The new generation is a mercurial generation in every measure,” he said. “This creates a serious security and political crisis. For example, the blessed attacks in London were carried out by heroes who were not previously known, and so were the attacks of Madrid and the Arabian Peninsula.”

Bradley said the United States has “limited knowledge” of the identities of current Al Qaida leaders and noted confusion among U.S. intelligence agencies about the successor to Al Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi prior to the naming of Abu-Hamza al-Mohajer

Meanwhile, Pakistan has learned that the Al Qaida leader involved in the plot to blow up jetliners flying from London to the Untied States is hiding in northeastern Afghanistan and has been moving between Nuristan and Konar provinces bordering Pakistan. The name of the operative was not revealed publicly, but he was an Arab and aide to Ayman Al Zawahiri. Rashid Rauf, who was arrested in Pakistan and is a key figure in the foiled plot, disclosed his identity.

The investigation revealed that Al Zawahiri, Al Qaida’s No. 2 leader, approved the plot.

Al-Qaeda's Next Generation: Less Visible and More Lethal

Experts speculate widely about the composition and tactics of the next generation of mujahideen. This speculation stems from the fact that transnational groups are harder collection targets than nation-states. Such ambiguity and imprecision is likely to endure indefinitely, and is particularly worrisome concerning "next-generation" terrorism studies.

Osama bin Laden has been planning for the next generation of mujahideen since he began speaking publicly in the mid-1990s. Bin Laden has always described the "defensive jihad" against the United States as potentially a multi-generational struggle. After the 9/11 attacks, bin Laden explained that, even as the anti-U.S. war intensified, the torch was being passed from his generation to the next. "We have been struggling right from our youth," bin Laden wrote in late 2001:

"We sacrificed our homes, families, and all the luxuries of this worldly life in the path of Allah (was ask Allah to accept our efforts). In our youth, we fought with and defeated the (former) Soviet Union (with the help of Allah), a world super power, and now we are fighting the USA. We have never let the Muslim Ummah down.

"Muslims are being humiliated, tortured and ruthlessly killed all over the world, and its time to fight these satanic forces with the utmost strength and power. Today the whole of the Muslim Ummah is depending (after Allah) upon the Muslim youth, hoping that they would never let them down." [1]

The question arising is, of course, what threat will the next generation of al-Qaeda-inspired mujahideen pose? Based on the admittedly imprecise information available, the answer seems to lie in three discernible trends: a) the next generation will be at least as devout but more professional and less operationally visible; b) it will be larger, with more adherents and potential recruits; and c) it will be better educated and more adept at using the tools of modernity, particularly communications and weapons.

Although it might take years to get back up to speed this is the best evidence for the reinstatement of on the ground intelligence gathering and infiltration. We should have never abandoned this practice!!! We all now who’s responsible so I won’t mention names…

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