Category Archives: Osama Bin Laden

and the winner is…. envelope please….. al-Zawahri – watch out for those drones

AQ have announced that they have picked a new leader. I guess with the recent thinning of the ranks a number of possible candidates were eliminated from the race :). As expected the Egyptian, a man who is under suspicion for the assassination of Anwar Sadat, and is wanted for other crimes, al-Zawahri has been nominated for the post of leader.

Der Spiegel actually has quite an interesting analysis regarding al-Zawahri taking the reins. Despite the fact that Der Speigel is a left-wing paper, I actually find a lot of their articles and analysis to be quite informative, which is why I tend to not discount their point of view too quickly. Therefore, I think that the article is well worth a read to get some idea of their point of view.

Of interest is the possibility that the various AQ groups could split. This might be very much the case for AQ in Yemen.

The question now will be how al-Qaida’s members and supporters will accept the new “amir.” No one will dispute his leadership, but it is conceivable that the offshoot al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) will maintain a more distant relationship with him than they did with bin Laden. There is a long-standing animosity between al-Qaida’s Egyptian contingent and its members from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. There will not be a mutiny, but perhaps the implementation of directives from headquarters will be less forthcoming than before.

The second question concerns what Zawahiri’s directives will look like. Will he try to reorganize al-Qaida?

In general, Zawahiri follows the same ideology and strategy as Osama bin Laden. But there are some admittedly vague indications that the terrorist network might try out a new strategy. These indications coincide with Zawahiri’s takeover, but they would not likely be based solely on his decision.

It is striking that in both the al-Qaida statement from the general command and in a high-quality propaganda video released some weeks ago, there are calls to non-members to become active participants in the jihadist movement.

In the two-hour video, for example, viewers are presented with dozens of examples of such sole offenders, including from the 19th century. One man, one attack: Up till now, this has not been al-Qaida’s official line. The terror network, whilst welcoming cooperation with volunteers of all kinds, has nevertheless insisted on a kind of terrorist purity: Only where al-Qaida itself was involved, should al-Qaida be mentioned.

The new message, however, could be understood as al-Qaida giving its blessing to individual attackers to carry out terror acts in the network’s name. In general, it is better to make contact with al-Qaida first, the group’s chief ideologist Abu Yahya al-Libi says in the propaganda video — but if that is not possible, would-be terrorists should act on their own initiative. Sole attackers rather than cells: The thinking behind this idea could be that groups are easier to detect.

In the document released on Thursday there is a passage that seems to echo this approach: Al-Qaida extended its hands against all those who are also “working for the victory of Islam” — in al-Qaida speech that means those planning terror attacks. It does not matter whether this is within or outside existing organizations, it adds.

Al-Qaida has also slightly shifted its position in another way: In the beginning, the terror network did not have a coherent message on the popular revolts in Arab countries. It lagged behind, the messages were out of date and sounded desperate, given the absence of any Islamist agitation in key places like Cairo, Tunis and Damascus.

But in the past week, Zawahiri — even before he gained the role of “amir” — released his own video in which he revealed the first attempt at a strategy in the face of the uprisings: Al-Qaida supports the rebellions against the “godless” regimes, but these movements must subsequently be transformed into a holy polity.

There is also an echo of this position in Thursday’s statement: The revolutions are incomplete until Sharia, the Islamic legal system, is introduced.

Some of these comments actually suggest that AQ under al-Zawahri is searching for relevance in the face of the “Arab spring”. Since we do not know much about the make of the protest groups in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Yemen in particular, one could argue that AQ is seeking to muscle in on what has begun by the demand for “muslim purity” and of course their usual demand for the setting up of a caliphate. So far, only in Yemen has AQ had some form of success, by taking over a town in the south of Yemen. However, AQ is also making its presence felt in Tunisia. Some also claim that AQ is strongly present in Libya, but that is simply not true, despite the fact that there are elements amongst those doing the actual fighting. 

Also, I note that al-Libi, who is from Libya seems to have risen in the ranks of AQ. I do not know if there is any specific relevance with regard to how AQ views the situation in Libya. Note: the fact that there are no boots on the ground means that AQ is robbed of the opportunity for rhetoric and the stirring up of the ummah to go fight the “baddies”. Also, note that neither the Tripoli regime, nor the Benghazi NTC have received endorsement from AQ. The only countries supporting Tripoli are those that actually get funds from Tripoli to finance their own terrorism against their people (including Jacob Zuma in South Africa – exactly what did Daffy promise Zuma during that meeting?).

The aim needs to be to keep AQ out of the picture in Libya and this will only happen when there is a political settlement, coupled with the departure of Daffy Duck from Tripoli.

With regard to Egypt, the ideology of MB and AQ are not quite the same because their methods vary just a little bit. It seems that MB have from the beginning been intent upon gaining political control without the fighting and bloodshed. They are now in a position to realize their dream. This is thanks to a military junta that favours MB and is working towards MB gaining control. The end result will probably be an alignment with Iran.  (This is a very bad thing). Muslim Brotherhood is a fascist organization.


A Pakistani joke regarding OBL – worth telling

The Mail Online has a story that starts off with a joke that is doing the rounds in Pakistan. It actually reminds me of another joke concerning Solomon with his 700 hundred wives and 300 concubines (but that is another story). Anyway here is the latest word from Pakistan:

The joke doing the rounds in Pakistan at the moment is that Osama bin Laden was so stir crazy in his Abbottabad compound that he actually called in the SEAL team raid himself.

As Pakistani officials find out more about day-to-day life inside the compound, they are beginning to paint a picture that looks more like a bad American sit-com than the life of a terror mastermind.

Bin Laden’s final five years on Earth appear to be a dreary Groundhog Day of three bickering wives, a brood of children – including infant twins – 18ft claustrophobic walls and a life of such austerity that there was hardly enough power to run lighting.

The three wives with the Al Qaeda leader at the time of the raid are now turning on each other in custody, with the two older wives viciously accusing the youngest of betraying their husband.

And they say reports of the younger wife valiantly trying to protect Bin Laden, earning a bullet in the leg for her trouble, are lies.

Despite the relatively large compound, the adults and children were cooped up on top of each other – and there was little hope of the situation changing.

Rehman Malik, Pakinstan’s interior minister, said: ‘The joke in Pakistan is that Bin Laden called in his location to the CIA because he was being driven mad cooped up for five years with so many wives and children.’

And Glenn Carle, a former CIA official, added: ‘Not using cell phone or internet, that’s all sound professional strategy. But living behind 18ft walls with large numbers of women and kids is not.’

Read more:–wives-children.html#ixzz1NFUqE8an

The bun fight begins

Al Qaeda have named an interim successor to OBL. The man named is the Egyptian Saif al-Adel, who was also a close associate of OBL. The point to make here is that this Egyptian, which might be an indication that AQ has its sights on Egypt once again.

To reiterate some of the history of this terrorist organization, OBL had been linked with the radical wing of MB prior to forming AQ. Saif al-Adel was also a part of that terrorist organization. It is probable that Saif al-Adel was also the person behind the assassination of Anwar Sadat. The focus of OBL and AQ was originally to take control in Egypt. OBL had also dreamed of ousting the Saudi royals and there have been plenty of attacks by AQ in Saudi Arabia.

However, these days, AQ is split into factions that have formed in these ME countries – there are branches in Yemen, Algeria and Iraq. It also seems that AQ would like to be active in Libya (and some of their members have been trying to cross the border via Tunisia). On top of that there are cells in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, as well as in Pakistan. Then there is the relationship between the Afghanistan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban to AQ. I should add here that there have been reports that the Afghanistan Taliban are attempting to distance themselves from AQ and the legacy of OBL (which I find interesting).

The AQ contingent in Libya is quite small when compared to the other protester-rebels who are attempting to oust Daffy Duck.  However, the Daffy Duck regime has muddied the waters with claims that he has been attempting to get rid of “thugs and members of AQ” when in fact the people that he has been killing are civilians. This is despite the fact that there are some Islamists who are fighting for their own lives and the lives of their families and friends. (time will tell if they have reformed when Daffy is finally dispatched from the country).

With all of these factions, it would seem that AQ now need a leader who will focus bringing the disparate groups together. The naming of an Egyptian might indicate that they are attempting to strengthen their influence in that country now that there is a void in the country’s leadership. It also means that neither Al-Awlaki or Zahawrihi have the numbers to gain the top spot now that OBL is dead. 


A chilling message

If you think that the world is safe now that OBL is dead, then you better think again. The fallout over his death is continuing. The latest fallout is a renewed threat from AQ groups in Somalia and Yemen. They are warning of a bloodier jihad to come. 

I doubt that the West actually understands the full nature of Islamic Jihad, especially as it has been interpreted by those loyal to OBL. It is necessary to read the history of OBL and his companions, and that includes their links to the Muslim Brotherhood. For example al-Zawahri is not only connected to MB but to the violent wing of MB (probably includes the Salafists). On top of that Zawahir is linked to the assassination of Anwar Sadat. We have to understand the full implications of that history. We also need to understand that OBL had those leanings when he was still a teenager, and that when he went to Afghanistan to fight the Russians, he took those ideas with him, thus converting mujahdeen to his way of thinking. Not all Afghan mujahdeen followed the philosophy of OBL. However, the Taliban is a direct descendant of OBL’s thinking and philosophy. This explains why the Taliban sheltered OBL in Afghanistan prior to the declaration of war on the USA when the twin towers were hit, and the Pentagon was attacked in 2001. That war has not ended by any stretch of the imagination.

The Australian Age reports:

Pakistan Wednesday saw the first possible violent reaction to bin Laden’s May 2 death in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad, as drive-by attackers threw grenades at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Karachi.

The leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasir al-Wahishi, said in a statement posted on an Islamist website that the “ember of jihad (holy war) is brighter” following the May 2 killing of bin Laden.

The Yemen-based fugitive warned Americans not to fool themselves that the “matter will be over” with the killing of bin Laden, the Saudi-born architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“Do not think of the battle superficially…. What is coming is greater and worse, and what is awaiting you is more intense and harmful,” Wahishi said, according to a translation by the US-based SITE monitoring group.

Top Shebab Islamists in Somalia, including Muktar Robow, Sheikh Hasan Dahir Aweys and US-born Omar Hamami — better known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki — said they also planned revenge for bin Laden’s killing “very soon.”

“We are sending a message to (US President Barack) Obama and (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton that we will avenge the death of our leader Sheikh Osama bin Laden very soon,” Hamami said.

“Osama is dead but the holy war is not dead. Mujahedeen fighters all over the world are fully prepared to revenge the death of our leader.”

The Shebab, who control much of Somalia, pose a serious security threat in the region where Al-Qaeda operatives bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

The United States has warned of the threat posed by Islamist militancy in Yemen, the homeland of bin Laden’s father, and has warned of the potential for the country to become a new staging ground for Al-Qaeda.

AQAP was born of a January 2009 merger between the Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches. It claimed a failed attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound US airliner in December 2009 and was accused in October of sending parcel bombs addressed to US synagogues that were disguised inside computer printers.

Four days after bin Laden was killed in the US raid on his sprawling compound about two hours’ drive from the Pakistani capital Islamabad, a US drone attack targeted US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi in southern Yemen.

The imam, who Washington says has strong links to Al-Qaeda, survived the attack but two AQAP members were killed.

In Karachi, two men on a motorcycle threw two grenades at the heavily fortified Saudi consulate and escaped despite coming under fire from security guards, officials said.

“We are seeing this incident in the present context,” provincial government official Sharfuddin Memon told AFP. “It could be a reaction of the Osama incident.”

“We fear that desperate elements are planning to launch a big attack. We are taking precautionary measures in this regard,” he warned.

The case of the missing son of Bin Laden

This is turning into a real mystery, and it only adds to the spin and the confusion that has arisen over the Navy SEAL raid on the OBL compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. When Osama Bin Laden was killed, there were 3 other men plus a woman killed at the same time. The men have been identified as Khaled Bin Laden, plus the two couriers. The woman who was killed was the wife of one of the couriers, who was occupying the guest house in the courtyard at the time.  However, the three widows in the hands of the Pakistanis have stated that Hamza Bin Laden is missing. Is Hamza in the custody of the Navy SEALS?

Hamza Bin Laden has been dubbed the crown prince of terror by Patrick Mercer, a UK Conservative MP. This is because Hamza has been following in his father’s footsteps. However, there is more that has been revealed in the report at the Daily Telegraph.

He featured on an extremist website to mark the third anniversary of the July 7 London bombings in which 52 people died. He read a poem called for “destruction” of America, Britain, France and Denmark.

Intelligence agencies believe he was being groomed as a possible future leader of al-Qaeda, and he was implicated in the assassination of moderate Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

This unholy terror, the youngest son of OBL, not only read a poem called “Destruction of American, Britain, France and Denmark”, he is also implicated in the death of Benazir Bhutto, the Presidential candidate who was assassinated. I do find it interesting that Hamza Bin Laden was a suspect. If the Pakistanis suspected his involvement in her assassination, then surely they must have been aware that OBL was living in Pakistan.

It should be noted that Benazir Bhutto was one of many who had proclaimed that OBL was already dead. She was obviously mistaken, but the fact that she made this statement, only weeks before her death suggests that maybe she knew something…. or it could be that the fanatical son of OBL and the fanatics responsible for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto were going out of their minds because a woman was daring to run for the position of President. This would be very much in line with the fanatical beliefs of OBL, beliefs that are shared by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Update: 2nd news report suggests that Hamza was not taken by the Navy SEALS but that he escaped!!

News of Hamza’s apparent escape emerged during the interrogation of Bin Laden’s three wives by Pakistani investigators.

In one, released in 2001 and made at the wedding of his brother Mohammed, Hamza wore combat dress and read a poem dedicated to his father’s exploits.

One passage went: “I’m warning America that its people will face terrible results if they chase my father. Fighting Americans is the basis for faith.”

In 2005, when he was 15, he featured in a jihadist film shot in a Pakistani tribal area on the Afghan border.

He held a semi-automatic assault rifle and was said to have just taken part in a battle against Pakistani security forces.

His voice also appeared in a video released on the third anniversary of London’s 7/7 bombings, calling for the destruction of the US, Britain, France and Denmark.

He declared: “Oh God, reward the fighters. God, be pleased with those who want to go for jihad. Grant victory to the Taliban over the gangs of infidels.”

Hamza was also implicated in the murder of Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto, who had named him as a leader of one of the al-Qaeda-linked groups of assassins planning to kill her.

Read more:

Oh wow, this particular report says that Benazir Bhutto named Hamza Bin Laden as her potential assassin.

Pakistan outrage on raid deflated

As the relationship between the present White House regime and Pakistan continues to deteriorate, some new information has come to light regarding a deal that was made between GWB and Musharraf in 2001 and then reaffirmed in 2008 when Pakistan transitioned from a military junta to a civilian government.

The Guardian is reporting that the deal that was made gave the US unilateral permission to go into Pakistan and strike if they found out where Bin Laden was hiding. This deal was revealed to the Guardian by serving and retired military forces.

Under its terms, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of Bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qaida No3. Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.

“There was an agreement between Bush and Musharraf that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him,” said a former senior US official with knowledge of counterterrorism operations. “The Pakistanis would put up a hue and cry, but they wouldn’t stop us.”

The deal puts a new complexion on the political storm triggered by Bin Laden’s death in Abbottabad, 35 miles north of Islamabad, where a team of US navy Seals assaulted his safe house in the early hours of 2 May.

Pakistani officials have insisted they knew nothing of the raid, with military and civilian leaders issuing a strong rebuke to the US. If the US conducts another such assault, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani warned parliament on Monday, “Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force.”

Days earlier, Musharraf, now running an opposition party from exile in London, emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the raid, terming it a “violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan”.

But under the terms of the secret deal, while Pakistanis may not have been informed of the assault, they had agreed to it in principle.

A senior Pakistani official said it had been struck under Musharraf and renewed by the army during the “transition to democracy” – a six-month period from February 2008 when Musharraf was still president but a civilian government had been elected.

Referring to the assault on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, the official added: “As far as our American friends are concerned, they have just implemented the agreement.”

The former US official said the Pakistani protests of the past week were the “public face” of the deal. “We knew they would deny this stuff.”

Myths busted

There are many myths about the late terrorist dog known as Osama bin Laden. Peter Bergen from the New America Foundation attempts to bust some of the most prominent of those myths. (Please note he does not deal with the myth that OBL was already dead):

1. Osama Bin Laden was a product of the CIA. This is a common myth and one of those who has helped this myth gain credence is the Marxist film-maker Michael Moore.

According to Bergen, the facts are: the CIA had no dealings with Afghan Arabs such as Bin Laden during the Russian-Afghanistan war. They dealt with the Pakistan ISI. Bergen cites three source that show that this particular myth is just that, a myth.

2. OBL attacked the US because “of our freedoms”. This was the trope of GWB. However, Peter Bergen notes that in his speeches not once did OBL attack any of those freedoms, but concentrated on Middle East policy. Most of his videos concerned alleged attacks on Muslims (leaving out that the Muslims attacked first of course).

3. Al Qaeda has nothing to do with Islam. Again this was a GWB myth. To the contrary, AQ firmly believed that their attacks have everything to do with Islam. OBL justified his attacks by using the “sword” verses from the Koran.


‘ ”Zawahiri, not bin Laden, is the real brains of al-Qaeda”: The conventional view is that Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor and al-Qaeda’s longtime second in command, has been bin Laden’s ”brain.” But in making the most important strategic shift in al-Qaeda’s history – identifying the US as its key enemy, rather than Middle Eastern regimes – bin Laden brushed aside Zawahiri’s obsessive focus on overthrowing the Egyptian government. Noman Benotman, a Libyan militant who has spent considerable time talking with both of al-Qaeda’s leaders, told me in an interview that ”Osama influenced Zawahiri with his idea: Forget about the ‘near enemy’; the main enemy is the Americans.”

Bin Laden also kept Zawahiri in the dark for years about al-Qaeda’s most important operation, cluing in his deputy only during 2001.

Read more: