Sunday, June 11, 2006

Winning the War on Terror

A nice report this morning from the Associated Press:

Many in terrorists' 'next generation' dead
By PAUL HAVEN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jun 9, 3:35 PM ET

They rose up quickly to take up Osama bin Laden's call for jihad, ruthless men in their 20s and 30s heralded as the next generation of global terror.

Two years later, 40 percent are dead, targets of a worldwide crackdown that claimed its biggest victory with the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida's front man in Iraq.

Manhunts in Asia, Africa and Europe have pushed most of the rest deep underground — finding refuge in wartorn Somalia or the jungles of the southern Philippines. While there are still recruits ready to take up al-Qaida's call to arms, analysts say the newcomers have fewer connections than the men they are replacing, less training and sparser resources.

"There are more people popping up than are being put away," said Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defense College. "But the question is whether the new ones have the fortitude to take up the mantle and carry the struggle forward. I don't see that they have."

...But Ranstorp said it was far from clear if al-Zarqawi's replacement will have the contacts, resources or capacity to match the dead leader's effectiveness at the helm of Iraqi insurgent forces.

"I'm not convinced that there is somebody ready to step in and fill Zarqawi's shoes," he said. "There may be, but it will take some time."

Globally, security forces have also had considerable success. Another four of the top 12 young militants in the 2004 list have met violent ends — in shootouts in Saudi Arabia, under U.S. bombardment in Iraq, or in an Algerian terror sweep. The seven who remain at large are on the run, and none has been able to match al-Zarqawi's success at launching large-scale attacks since mid-2004.

...For most of those at large, life is anything but easy.

Amer el-Azizi, a Moroccan-born al-Qaida recruiter in Spain, has disappeared, though Spanish intelligence officials who had his wife under surveillance say that in 2003 the woman fled to Morocco, and later turned up in London and then Afghanistan.

Little is known about the fate of Saad Houssaini, a suspected co-plotter in the Casablanca attacks. Newspaper reports said he was arrested along the Syria-Iraq border and turned over to Morocco, but Moroccan officials have denied that.

Dulmatin, a key suspect in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, and Khadaffy Janjalani, chief of the extremist group Abu Sayyaf, have taken refuge on the Philippine island of Jolo, along with a force of 70-80 men, according to Philippine military officials. They are believed to be running low on weapons and ammunition.

Zulkarnaen, an Indonesia native who is operations chief of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group, is believed to be hiding on the island of Java, though his location has not been verified since late 2002.

Two terror suspects, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, are believed to be holed up in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. The men are being sheltered by extremists who are part of the Islamic Courts Union, which took over the city this week.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said earlier this year that Washington supplied information about the men and their locations to Somali community leaders and urged them to turn them over to U.S. authorities. A group of secular warlords, believed financed by the United States, attacked the Islamic forces, but was driven from Mogadishu on Monday.

It calls to mind George Patton: "Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If only Patton had smart dust.