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Is al Qaeda on the verge of defeat?



In the buildup to the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, a lot of speculation has emerged on the state of al Qaeda. Most narratives state that al Qaeda's core, based in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been defeated, and that its so-called loosely tied affiliates now wield most of the terror group's strength. We addressed this issue back in late January, in an article for The Weekly Standard titled Strategic Retreat, and our view is contrary to the conventional wisdom. The article reflects our views on the status of al Qaeda today.

In "Strategic Retreat," we argued that the Obama administration's strategy of pulling back from Afghanistan and switching to a counterterrorism-heavy mission worldwide does not adequately deal with the fact that al Qaeda and its allies still hold ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, and North Africa.

We also stated that al Qaeda and the Taliban remain closely linked, and that conducting negotiations with the latter is a fool's errand (something we've noted numerous other times as well at The Long War Journal; see here, for instance). The recent Guardian report that bin Laden, Zawahiri, and Mullah Omar conferred over strategy in Afghanistan merely proves our point.

Al Qaeda has no doubt suffered a setback with the deaths of bin Laden, Atiyah Abd al Rahman, Ilyas Kashmiri, and other leaders over the past year, but the terror group has suffered similar losses over the past decade and regrouped.

Checking off names of top leaders and operatives who have been killed or captured, and then proclaiming the group dead, is the wrong way to decide whether al Qaeda remains a threat. The Bush administration used this same methodology and was ridiculed in the press for doing so. And measuring al Qaeda's strength or weakness solely by its ability to conduct attacks here in the US is another terrible way assess the status of al Qaeda. Using the same logic, al Qaeda posed no immediate threat to the US prior to Sept. 11, 2001. The reality is that al Qaeda is surviving and expanding into new territory. Al Qaeda is able to do so because its ideology has not been challenged effectively, and because the organization continues to enjoy safe havens and state support.



READER COMMENTS: "Is al Qaeda on the verge of defeat?"

Posted by Devin Leonard at May 1, 2012 6:00 PM ET:

I think the Obama administration should get due credit for killing several top Al Qaida leaders after the Bin Laden raid...and for getting Bin Laden himself, that was a MAJOR accomplishment.

But...Roggio and TLWJ is right. Al Qaida is not dead. They are weakend severly in Afghanistan but not in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and so on. And we should NOT be negotiating with the Taliban. Mullah Omar is not a "partner for peace"...he is a target for Delta of SEAL 6, and he should be treated as such. As should the leaders of the Haqqani network. We need to get serious about killing these people before 2014 in order to have any leverage against them in any negotiations and more preferably in order to break thier back as a guerilla/terrorist organization.

Posted by sundoesntrise at May 1, 2012 7:49 PM ET:

Why would you list Ilyas Kashmiri as dead? There is no certainty, apparently, that he is indeed dead. No confirmation.

Al Qaeda Core is weakened, but even that group still continues. I don't know why Obama and his aides have been continuously gloating about the defeat of Al Qaeda over the past few days (fishing for votes... election time!!) when Al Qaeda inspired groups are still sprouting everywhere.

Al Qaeda does not even need to hold territory to survive in the long run. They don't even need to formally exist an organization in the long run either. All they need, is one determined person who is smart enough to pull off a successful attack with maximum casualties. It does not matter whether the attack is in the name of AQ or not; their goal is too the ultimate destruction of the West, no matter how it happens.

Along with AQ inspired groups popping up in regional hotspots, and along with lone wolves, there is another trend I noticed in groups such as the Al Nusra Front, and that is to take advantage of a situation to score political points, and pose as the saviour. Al Nusra utilizes a new mode of operation; they only release statements when an attack is made, and the statements are mostly text, sometimes they release video but it is rare. The members are all in masks in the videos and they try to paint their 'jihad' in a very broad way so as to seem undefeatable. Al Nusra Front is an example of modern militant groups operating in a shadowy and opportunistic way so that they can score political points; maximize effectiveness of social media; and remain shadowy so they are never physically caught.

The war on terror needs to adjust to groups like Al Nusra Front and their tactics.

Posted by Will Fenwick at May 1, 2012 8:06 PM ET:

Anyone who thinks AL-qaeda is on the verge of defeat knows nothing at all about the situation in Yemen. I'm sure the average American has no idea of how strong AQAP is and the level of danger it poses to US interests. When AQAP can sustain a conventional ground offensive for months in Zinjibar and learn to operate tanks and other heavy materiel, they are definitely not on the verge of defeat. While AQ may be losing ground in Afghanistan, its affiliates are thriving in Africa (with the exception of Al Shabab) and Yemen. The one region where AQ affiliates have largely been annihilated are the Philippines, American efforts there have been extremely successful at aiding the government of the Philippines in immensely reducing the threat Abu Sayef once caused to the region. Though even there things may get worse again if the MNLF ever decides to break its cease fire with the government. The conflict against salafist militants truly has become the world war that several analysts suggesting it would become

Posted by JRP at May 1, 2012 8:20 PM ET:

As long as Zawahiri is relevant to AQ's strategic plans, I don't see how we can claim that AQ has been defeated. Zawahiri along with KSM and OBL was at the core of 9/11. Though it is possible we know where he is and even how to get him, maybe we're allowing him to remain operational on the theory that whoever replaces him will be more competent and more charismatic. I don't know. All I do know is that we can't afford to marginalize him or ignore him simply to be able to claim that his organization has been defeated. He is at the lead in trying any which way possible to score another big 9/11-like payday against the U.S. Homeland. Heaven help us if AQ manages to get hold of nuclear weapons.

Posted by mike merlo at May 1, 2012 9:39 PM ET:

Not only is Obama a geopolitical neophyte he's become increasingly reckless and a bit to cavalier in his portrayal of National Security. His playing politic's is as pathetic as Bush swooping down on a carrier deck.

Posted by Tm-Joe at May 1, 2012 10:17 PM ET:

The Arab states and Islam in general represent a failed culture. Despite vast oil wealth these states produce nothing and millions live in dirt floor shacks and mud huts.

Al Qaeda exists because it offers a comforting story line to these miserable people which is; "Its not your fault. Your misery is being caused by the evil power players of the world, the Americans and the Jews." We are all human. It is much easier to accept this explanation than it is to accept the truth. Trust me, its that simple.

Once you accept that the Americans and Jews are responsible for all your problems, you throw in stories about Islam and restoring the Caliphate and so on and soon you've got plenty of fanatics ready to die for the cause.

How do you kill Al Qaeda? I honestly do not know. But drone strikes are a good management technique to limit Al Qaeda's effectiveness until somebody comes up with a better answer.

Posted by Mr. Nobody at May 1, 2012 11:20 PM ET:

All good comments. The Obama administration seems to have missed the lessons learned from the last administration. There is NO chance that Al Qeada is defeated. The fact of the matter is that we have a HUGE intelligence gap right now about the plans, operations, strategy and structure of the organization after the death of UBL. This organization has shown it's resiliance before and nobody should doubt that it survives today. I still don't see why we brand offshoots or "affiliates" of Al Qeada. They are the decentralized structure of the organization itself. It had to inorder to survive and survive it does. In hindsight maybe killing UBL was not the best call? Killing without gaining real world intelligence is going to hurt us in the end. It is a proven fact that we can kill these scumbags night and day till the cows come home but they keep coming back. The only way to keep us truly safe is to get the intelligence about their operations and plans. We can't do that with a hellfire.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 1, 2012 11:23 PM ET:

sundoesntrise, AQ has indicated he is dead, see here:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/03/kashmiri_is_dead_say.php

At LWJ we have been cautious to not declare him dead until we had some evidence. Some may say overly so but we've seen too many of these vampires rise from the dead.

Posted by James at May 2, 2012 2:53 AM ET:

I have said time and time again that it is going to take an international effort and resolve to effectively mitigate the threat posed by Al Queda.

We in the US can't do it alone.

Al Queda is active in maybe 30 or 40 countries. We can't 'invade and occupy' 30 or 40 different countries at once or even in tandem. We don't have the resources to do so.

It's time for US to lead the civilized world again like we did during the Cold War.

As far as Afghanistan is concerned, India is the key to peace and stability in that region. It's time (long overdue) for US and India to join forces to eradicate Al Queda (as much as can be done) in that region.

There are always going to be nuts and fruitcakes in this world.

What we need to do is to marginalize them as much as possible and to be ever so vigilant in our defense.

I disagree with a lot of what Bush did. But, one thing he did say that was accurate about Al Queda is that they are a threat to civilization. It's time for US to get the rest of civilization on board with US in this effort.

It appalls me that our soldiers are having to fight those thugs from all different parts of the world over there.

Posted by JT at May 2, 2012 4:47 AM ET:

I like to think that, sooner or later, some event will make it obvious to all that those who kill infidels to pursue a worldwide Islamic theocracy are evil. Until that happens, going after the leaders so that it gets harder to find willing replacements is the best approach, in my opinion. Zawahiri and Omar have used up most of their nine lives in my estimation.

Posted by Michael Snelgrove at May 2, 2012 9:22 AM ET:

Thomas and Bill, I'm a consistent reader of both the LWJ and Nightwatch reports, I have noticed a significant difference in the assessment on AQ's presence in Afghanistan. Coincidentally, today's Nightwatch report included a paragraph on this topic that I've included here:

'Al Qaida is gone from Afghanistan. There are no reports in open sources of Arab-inspired attacks. It is no exaggeration to state that the Taliban despise the Arabs for having plunged Afghanistan into ten more years of civil war against foreign soldiers. They will never again invite the Arab terrorists to Afghanistan." (Night of 1 May, Nightwatch)

I respect the experitise and knowledge of both LWJ and Nightwatch, and I'm curious how you have reached such different conclusions.

Thanks.

Posted by Passer by at May 2, 2012 9:47 AM ET:

Actually today Al Qaeda is far more Global Group, with presence in more countries, compared to ten years ago.

Posted by M. Muthuswamy at May 2, 2012 10:17 AM ET:

Why Al Qaeda is not dead is because of the very reasons Bill mentioned in the end: “its ideology has not been challenged effectively, and because the organization continues to enjoy safe havens and state support.”

I think the real issue is that we have researched the phenomenon of Muslim radicalism very poorly until this point. Specifically, we have not bothered to investigate vigorously how and why the religion itself is influencing some of its followers in a radical way.

In researching for an article of mine, I found that virtually no one has bothered to study the impact of sharia in spawning Muslim radicalism and socio-economic stagnation (I have, for the record). This is even true of the articles published in the most influential of the political science journals, International Security.

As any good scientist knows, when there exists a widespread phenomenon, there has got to be a robust science or theory that explains it. For instance, when Isaac Newton realized that the falling apple is a universal phenomenon, he began to formulate the theory: The Universal Law of Gravitation.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 2, 2012 10:58 AM ET:

Michael,

You've read our numerous reports on AQ in Afghanistan here at LWJ. I think you need to ask the proprietor at Nightwatch as to how he came to his conclusion.

Posted by Michael at May 2, 2012 11:06 AM ET:

Bill, I also sent an email over to Knightwatch and asked for their opinion. If they respond, I'll be sure to add it to this post.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 2, 2012 12:26 PM ET:

Michael, I do hope you do not get the impression I am brushing you off. If you are a longtime reader, I think you should know our position on this issue. If not, I refer you to this, it is from Sept. 2011 but still reflects my view:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/09/how_many_al_qaeda_fighters_are.php

I am interested in learning how Nightwatch makes its assessment. I am not a reader so I cannot answer that question.

Posted by Charles at May 2, 2012 12:47 PM ET:

It may well be that the Taliban just purged the leadership that is anti arab.


http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/05/afghan_intelligence_2.php



The question is what do the Taliban have that's left and how will their big supporter the noori tribe react.

Posted by Villiger at May 2, 2012 1:24 PM ET:

LWJ:

"Al Qaeda is able to do so because its ideology has not been challenged effectively, and because the organization continues to enjoy safe havens and state support."

That is, pretty much, an accurate bottom line.
---
On ideology, I would strongly recommend readers to check out Moorthy Muthuswamy's well argued/researched paper titled: "A Sharia- and Jihad-Based Theory of Muslim Radicalism"
You can find it at:

"http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2033152#captchaSection

Mr Muthuswamy is a regular commenter here and if you're reading, i want to say thank you.

To quote him "Western nations themselves should lead this effort and act as catalysts to bring about reformation in Muslim communities, just like they successfully waged a war of ideas against the Communist-controlled former Soviet Union and its satellites."

Until that, this is going to be a long, very long, war.

Foggy bottom is going to have to change its foggy ways and the White House too is going to have to be far more innovative and effective in its PR

Posted by M. Muthuswamy at May 2, 2012 3:58 PM ET:

Villiger:

Thank you for the kind words.

The aforementioned article of mine is undergoing peer-review in a leading journal.

As I had mentioned in another thread, a very simple theory (outlined in the scholarship) describes the radicalization process in Muslim communities, regardless of geography, ethnicity, history, language, culture or socio-economic status: “popularization or propagation of sharia and jihad in Muslim communities leads to backwardness and violent extremism in those communities.”

I suspect that this is how Al Qaeda or the global movement of Muslim radicalism has come to be born. The nation that has done foremost to propagate sharia and jihad is none other than America’s ally, the citadel of Islam, Saudi Arabia.

Posted by Devin Leonard at May 2, 2012 4:28 PM ET:

One thing to remember is that Al Qaida is more then just a Terrorist group, they are a revolutionary group. The IRA or Hezbollah are examples of highly professional terrorist organizations. Al Qaida is a movement that has terrorist branches. Al Qaida aspires to change the world in an ideological way...that is why they are so dangerous and hard to defeat. They are like cancer, they matastesize, and spring up in different locations like Yemen or Somalia etc. It will take the Global community with the US in the lead (As the world's mightiest superpower) to finish off this army of killers or at least cripple them and thier ideology to the point that they are non consequential. And that will take many more years.

Posted by Charles at May 2, 2012 4:54 PM ET:

I suspect that this is how Al Qaeda or the global movement of Muslim radicalism has come to be born. The nation that has done foremost to propagate sharia and jihad is none other than America’s ally, the citadel of Islam, Saudi Arabia.



///////////



imho Al Qaida is the most recent incarnation of the radical salafists that date back to the 1970's or right at the time of the first and second oil embargo's--when the price of oil was jacked up around the world and enormous wealth poured into Saudi coffers.



Why didn't the great powers of the world come and stomp the Saudis. The salafists wanted credit given to their god.



imho there is about to be another energy revolution which will degrade the power of the gulf states. similarly the power of the salafists will decline.

Posted by gary siebel at May 2, 2012 9:20 PM ET:

Religious wars can last a long time; we may get to hear several different Presidents declare "victory."

Al=Queda is definitely wounded, but it is the larger problem of cannon fodder for the jihad being continuously resupplied by the madrassas that needs to be addressed to provide an effective challenge to their ideology.

How long did it take to turn Constantinople into Istanbul?

Posted by Dan N. at May 2, 2012 9:43 PM ET:

Badr Mansoor was actually Qari Imran, a resident of Multan. He adopted the name of Badr Mansoor one year ago to honour the founder of the Badr Mansoor group. The actual Badr Mansoor was killed in 2010. After (the deaths of) Iyas Kashmiri and ...founder Badr Mansoor and Qari Zafar’s death who were affiliated with Harkatul Mujahdeen and with al-Qaeda through Jihad Islami, things had already been bad for al-Qaeda here. And now Qari Imran’s death is also another blow to their operation in the region and a good sign for peace for the region.

Posted by Villiger at May 3, 2012 11:37 AM ET:

Passer by:

"Actually today Al Qaeda is far more Global Group, with presence in more countries, compared to ten years ago."

And why is that?

Posted by Neo at May 3, 2012 12:50 PM ET:

@Passer
“Actually today Al Qaeda is far more Global Group, with presence in more countries, compared to ten years ago.”

I’m always a bit amused by this argument. It’s either ignorant of the expanding number of Islamic insurgencies circa 1993 to 2001, or it chooses to draw a sharp distinction between those indigenous insurgencies and al Qaeda. As it developed during the 90’s, al Qaeda became much more involved in those local insurgencies, and international cadre from the Afghan civil war became the backbone of those local insurgencies. By the end of the decade al Qaeda had the leading role in training facilities, indoctrination, funding and specialists, all with the approval of their Afghan host, the Taliban.

So 9/11 happens and these far flung insurgencies already linked in with al Qaeda start swearing allegiance to Bin Laden, and become part of the al Qaeda franchise. As a matter of practice these organizations hardly blink and eye, they’re already getting funding, arms, planning, and personnel from the same network. While they’re at it, why not swear loyalty to their favorite international celebrity, Osama bin Laden.

Coming back to the current set of arguments, can we make a sufficient distinction between the Taliban and al Qaeda, and say that the Taliban is an independent entity? The Taliban as it is currently constituted makes a point of regularly align itself with al Qaeda’s mission, goals, and ideology. We can also ignore what the Taliban actually says about where their loyalties lie and point to a relative lack of Arabs currently active in Afghanistan.

So what gives? Can we ignore common funding apparatus & ignore flow of arms & ignore common goals & ignore all the ideologues placed within organizations & last but not least direct oaths of allegiance?

SO! Whether al Qaeda is now everywhere or nowhere depends in large degree on how you draw the distinction between who is an al Qaeda and who isn’t. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the “rhetorical monster” has once again devoured national policy discussions at the highest level of government. Our foreign policy wonks have become a bit hung up on distinctions over who our enemies are. Our host here doesn’t seem to have quite mastered the art of elevating a rhetorical distinction into a real distinction. It must be admitted that real distinctions are bit more tangled than my portrayal here. There are a number of parties internal and external which have a hand in maintaining al Qaeda, each of those have their own set of shifting priorities and agendas.

Posted by W jones at May 3, 2012 2:14 PM ET:

AQ can recruit an abundance of local manpower in impoverished areas and states where a little money goes a long way. And a little religious 'education' fills a genuine educational vacum. If large bodies of western troops are in these localised areas AQ can very cheaply bleed the West while we have to spend enormous amounts of treasure in comparison.

Alot of AQ funding must pour out of the Gulf (individuals & state players) essentially from the petroleum economy - if the West switches wholeheartedly to alternative energy sources (tidal/wind/nuclear) we will denude the Countries which are the monetary engine of Islamic Radicalism of much of their mojo. The Tree huggers have got this one right.

The West has buried its head in the sand over Pakistans double dealing for too long. This website has worked tirelessly to highlight this issue. Thank you Bill.
We have also been passive in allowing Saudi Arabia to be friends on one hand but meekly observing their missionary zeal in funding the spread of fundalmentalist Wahabi Islam into Western Islamic communities... Which gives AQ access to strike the West from within.

What is Islam? What are its core values and what is acceptable Islamic behaviour in our globalised modern world? The leaders of the Islamic world - both religious and political need to openly examine what is acceptable and what is not in a global community. The international community needs to force Islam to confront and denounce invalid religious beliefs and start fighting for Peace and not hatred of the West. So the uneducated masses of poor people in Islamic countries are clear that AQ is a path to damnation, not martyrdom.

Unfortunately AQ will be with us for some time.


Posted by Abdullah at May 3, 2012 6:53 PM ET:

Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said there will be an army that will rise in the khurasaan holding black flags. When you see this army, join them even if you have to crawl over ice. He further stated that this army will liberate Palestine in a straight line, conquering every single place they pass, AND NO POWER WILL BE ABLE TO STOP THEM

Americas war on terror has unleashed a force that can never be stopped, this fight with alqaeda will continue for centuries, until the end of time

Posted by Villiger at May 4, 2012 10:35 AM ET:

Abdullah, believe your fairy tales all you want, all while your brothers in AQ(and AM) behave like barbarians.

In all that i read in the release of OBL documents, not a word about the personal struggle connotation of jihad. Just pure violence. Nothing to be proud of.

Posted by Villiger at May 4, 2012 10:37 AM ET:

Muthuswamy, you must read document no. 7 in the CTC release if you haven't. It goes on and on about sharia.

Posted by mike merlo at May 4, 2012 11:52 AM ET:

re:Abdullah
Muhammad made no mention of Khurasan he just said east.

Posted by M. Muthuswamy at May 4, 2012 2:38 PM ET:

Villiger, what is the exact link?

Posted by sundoesntrise at May 4, 2012 2:55 PM ET:

Abdullah, a few hundred criminals in masks running around blowing up buses, kidnapping tourists and beheading people can hardly be considered a "religious army". What you are doing here is twisting your religion and it's meaning to fit your flawed beliefs of what Al Qaeda is and what they are all about. Obviously, based on what you typed, you either live in a Western country and haven't suffered from the actions of Al Qaeda or you live elsewhere in the world but still have not suffered directly at the hands of them and their actions.

I would love to see the look on your face, the day you lose an entire family to an IED placed on the road by one of your heroes. Or better yet, perhaps on of your heroes amputate your arm in public with NO MEDICAL MEDICATION so it's the most painful thing you've ever experienced. Maybe then you'll realize how ignorant and childish you sound right now.

I'm pretty sure your IQ is below room temperature.

Posted by Villiger at May 4, 2012 11:16 PM ET:

MM, please download from here:

http://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/letters-from-abbottabad-bin-ladin-sidelined
---
sdr, love that below room temp comment--don't think i've heard it before. I hope Abdullah reverts and elaborates his view point, but i doubt it. They slink away self-righteously believing that they are on a divine path. Their God delusion.

Posted by Tm-Joe at May 5, 2012 6:27 AM ET:

Abdullah;

I agree; "the American war on terror has unleashed forces that can never be stopped". It is an established fact there is simply no effective counter to drone strikes. One minor point, you got the color of the flag wrong, its not black, its red white and blue.

As for "crawling over ice", we used to do that; Everyone would crawl across the ice (check out the chicks after this) and then chug a Bombay Gin on the rocks when they got to the other side. But its not some terrible ordeal, its a party dude!

Anyway, your logic is a little jumbled, you made a few minor mistakes, but I'm sure you're doing the best you can.

Posted by Abdullah at May 5, 2012 5:12 PM ET:

I fail to understand how you have come to the conclusion that I support alqaeda? I merely stated a Hadith by prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and further mentioned an opinion on this war being a never ending story, as compared to it ending in 2014 which many of you ill informed people unfortunately think. Alqaeda lost immense support in Iraq because of level of violence and death they brought to the Iraqi people, do you see this happening in Afghanistan??? Of course not, the Taliban and alqaeda are more stronger in Afghanistan than they have ever been since 2001. Do you honestly think if they masqueraded around killing innocent with intention they would still receive the widespread support of the Afghan people? They are innovators and they learn from their mistakes. If you know anything about insurgencies, you will know that the backbone of one is the population that it operates in so no I don't accept your comments at all in regards to that. Furthermore the cause of alqaeda and Taliban having such widespread support is actually due to the amount of civilians that have been killed/injured/violated/disrespected by airstrikes/military operations/night raids/numerous unsavoury incidents involving US troops

I know you will all hit back and claim that I am wrong but the difference between you and I is that I have been "on the ground" and spoken to many afghans and have listened to their opinions where as you have sat there in the comfort of your home watching sky news/CNN/fox, and it's quite obvious what those news organisations have been spewing out to make the western populations want to stick it out in this war on terror

If your government (or the people behind the scenes that are actually running it) really, truly and sincerely want to stop alqaeda, you need to stop the warmongering attitude, remove all of your military bases from the "Muslim world", (i would have said stop supporting arab dictators but thats already happened), be sincere towards a peace solution between Palastine and Isreal and I can promise you that alqaeda won't even have a pin to stand on let alone a leg

Posted by Charles at May 6, 2012 2:47 PM ET:

An interesting discussion I heard a while back began with the question why is the black rock of Mecca a devotional piece. After all its just a meteorite.

The answer that came back is that Saudi Arabia has the second largest Meteor strewn field in the world. (The largest is in Antarctica.)

The metals in the meteorites match the trace metals in the Damascus swords that gave them their strength and flexibility. To these swords were attributed the success of the early Moslem conquests.

A similar devotional for moslems today would be an oil derrick.

Posted by sundoesntrise at May 6, 2012 3:16 PM ET:

I challenge you to come up with hard numbers that claim Al Qaeda is stronger in Afghanistan than it ever has been since 2001. And don't just say "Bill said it", you need to actually come up with some statistical facts on that one. And no old source, please, only source from 2012, preferrably in the past couple months since things can change so rapidly on the ground.

I can see that you've noticeably taken down your tone after you were slapped on the wrist after your little psychosis-induced religious rant, but that's alright. Everyone knows about the history of Al Qaeda in Iraq, but you are sadly mistaken if you think Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is doing any better. Local militias in many parts of the country have always been opposed to them since 2001, and Al Qaeda is responsible for killing many tribal elders via suicide bombing in the east of the country for a while now. The people DO hate Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but, contrary to your empty claims, no, you're not on the ground in the east, you're not in the villages, looking at the dead bodies and destruction left after a jihadist thug detonates his belt at a local shura. So I do't really think you're qualified to talk, and I also don't think you're qualified to talk about other people being in the "comfort of their own homes" when you are doing the exact same thing right now. Keyboard warriors are amusing, especially ones that have a religiusly-induced psychosis.


"Iknowyou will all hit back and claim that I am wrong but the difference between you and I is that I have been "on the ground" and spoken to many afghans and have listened to their opinions where as you have sat there in the comfort of your home watching sky news/CNN/fox, and it's quite obvious what those news organisations have been spewing out to make the western populations want to stick it out in this war on terror"

Oh yes, everyone has "been on the ground" these days. In what effect were you on the ground? I'd like you to prove how you were on the ground instead of making empty claims just to prove a point.

"Ifyour government (or the people behind the scenes that are actually running it) really, truly and sincerely want to stop alqaeda, you need to stop the warmongering attitude, remove all of your military bases from the "Muslim world", (i would have said stop supporting arab dictators but thats already happened), be sincere towards a peace solution between Palastine and Isreal and I can promise you that alqaeda won't even have a pin to stand on let alone a leg"

Sure... and then comes the next stage. What is that? The forced imposition of Sharia into un-Islamic nations. Zawahiri and Bin Laden have spoke of this numerous times so please don't denu that is what they want to happen. They believe Sharia is the solution to everything and whether it is implemented peacefully or by the sword, well so be it. The West isn't perfect, but it is our right and duty as free human beings to resist a barbaric 7th century ideology being forced upon us.

And by the way, if you knew anything about this war, or so called "insurgency", you would know that the fighters get their supplies and other fighters from hideouts in Pakistan, that has been exhaustively proven before. I suggest you read up a bit on the facts and situation on the ground of this war before you spew off religious babble and then expect to be taken seriously after making false claims about the fighters being supported by the population. Therefore, I do not accept YOUR comments at all in relation to that, and have a nice day.