The State of Jihad: 2006

A look at the state of the major theaters, and some under the radar, in the Long War

Pro-Taliban fighters in Waziristan.

The year of 2006 has seen some interesting developments in the fight against al Qaeda and its allies across the globe. While the war against al Qaeda is largely seen as a fight in Afghanistan supported by a police action in certain countries, there is a very hot war occurring in many countries. al Qaeda and its allies have initiated hot wars in lesser known countries such as the Philippines, Chechnya, Somalia, and Algeria. Thailand is fighting a serious insurgency against ill-defined groups of Muslim insurgents which haven’t been definitively connected to al Qaeda or the Southeast Asian powerhouse Jemaah Islamiyah, but we don’t believe in coincidences.

Iraq, which is often dissociated from the war, is a major theater for al Qaeda, as both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have stated in numerous communications. Afghanistan has seen its bloodiest year since the U.S. invasion in late 2001. The Taliban and al Qaeda have fought the Pakistani government to a standstill and have taken over portions of the country. The countries of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Bangladesh simmer, and continue to serve as support bases for al Qaeda’s activities.

Below is a roundup of the major developments in the most active theaters across the globe in the Long War.

NWFP/FATA. Click map to view.

Pakistan: The Taliban and al Qaeda have made startling gains in Pakistan during 2006. In the tribal areas along the Afghan border, the Taliban and al Qaeda have officially taken control over North Waziristan with the signing of the Waziristan Accord in September, and unofficially taken control of South Waziristan after the Pakistani Army abandoned control of the agency. The Taliban has established offices, recruiting centers, a parallel governing administration, and allowed al Qaeda and other foreign fighters to live in the region. Twenty-two known al Qaeda training camps exist in the tribal areas. After the Waziristan Accord, Pakistan released over 2,500 Taliban, al Qaeda and other jihadi prisoners, many of whom fled back to the tribal areas to rejoin or lead their units. The Taliban also maintain a command and control center in Quetta in the south. The Taliban and al Qaeda recruit, arm, train, sortie and direct their attacks from the tribal area and Quetta.

The Pakistani government is exploring further ‘peace accords’ in the tribal agencies, and Bajaur would have been the next agency ceded to the Taliban and al Qaeda had not a missile strike on a madrassa hosting an al Qaeda training camp sabotaged the talks. The foiled London airliner plot was tracked back to Waziristan, as was the Mumbai, India bombing which killed over 200 railway commuters.


Afghanistan UN Security Accessability Map (as of June 20, 2006).Click to view map, .PDF, approximately 1 Megabyte.

Afghanistan: The Taliban have stepped up military operations and suicide and bombing attacks in Afghanistan. While the Taliban continues to claim their movement is supported locally, the impetus of the Taliban offensive is provided from the Taliban and al Qaeda support bases in western Pakistan. The overwhelming violence and Taliban activity in Afghanistan occurs on the eastern border with Pakistan. The Taliban have been attacking border outposts, police stations and district centers in formations as large as battalion sized (about 400 fighters).

But massed Taliban have led to massive Taliban casualties at the hands of NATO forces. Over 4,000 have been killed in Afghanistan this year, but at least 3,500 are Taliban fighters. Afghan, Canadian, British and U.S. forces have been heavily engaged in the southern and eastern provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Kunar, Khost, Paktia and Paktika. An al Qaeda suicide cell in Kabul was broken up by Afghan police after a two month bombing campaign over the summer. Many military and political leaders predict 2007 will be a violent year in Afghanistan as the Taliban attempts to destabilize the Afghan government and sideline reconstruction projects.


Muqtada al-Sadr.

Iraq: Since the destruction of the Golden Dome of the Al-Askaria Mosque in Samarra, the sectarian violence has risen dramatically. After the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, command of al Qaeda in Iraq was passed to Abu Ayyub al-Masri, a protege of Ayman al-Zawahiri. al Qaeda is attempting to create a political front and put an Iraqi face on the insurgency. Under the leadership of of Abu Omar al-Iraqi, al Qaeda is attempting to unite the fractious insurgent groups in the Sunni areas, and has created an umbrella political organization called the Islamic State of Iraq. Some smaller Sunni insurgent groups, along with some leaders of Iraqi tribes, have been rolled under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq, along with al Qaeda in Iraq’s Mujahideen Shura Council.

Muqtada al-Sadr and his Iranian backed Mahdi Army continue to lead the sectarian violence in Baghdad and efforts to sideline Sadr from political power have so far failed. An Iraqi government was formed after months of painful negotiations to create a ruling Shia coalition, and power was peacefully transferred. There are real concerns about the willingness of the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki to disarm the Shia militias. The Iraqi Army has made significant progress in taking control of the battlespace, yet is still heavily dependent on US forces. In general, the Iraqi police has a long way to go before approaching the effectiveness of the Army. The Baghdad police are said to be riddled with militias. Saddam Hussein was executed on December 30, 2006.

The Somalia Battlefield on 12/30/2006.
Light blue – Ethiopian & TFG advances.
Green – ICU territory.
Orange – recent clashes.
Click image to view.

Somalia: After a year of seemingly wild success in Somalia, al Qaeda has suffered a serious blow. The al Qaeda backed Islamic Courts had taken control over all of central and southern Somalia by July, save for the central town of Baidoa, after defeating the U.S. backed Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism. Ethiopian forces poured into Baidoa and Puntland to reinforce the weak Transitional Federal Government. A five month standoff ensued, then in late December the two sides faced off outside Baidoa. The Islamic Courts conducted two suicide strikes against government targets, and successfully ambushed several Ethiopian armored columns. The Ethiopian Army then conducted a major offensive and drove the Islamic Courts from Mogadishu. The Islamic Courts have fled to the southern port of Kismayo and a training camp at Ras Kamboni, and the the Ethiopian Army is currently heading south to engage them. The Islamic Courts have given all signs that it will begin to conduct an insurgency. al Qaeda has expended significant resources in funds, manpower, political and propaganda support, and in establishing training bases in Somalia.


Saif al-Adel

Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to pursue its nuclear program, against the wishes of the United Nations. Iran still shelters over 100 al Qaeda leaders, including Said bin Laden, Osama’s son, and Saif al-Adel, al Qaeda’s strategic planner. Muqtada al-Sadr receives the support of Iran, which is working to destabilize the Iraqi government and fomet civil war. Qods Force agents have been arrested in Iraq with “”weapons lists, documents pertaining to shipments of weapons into Iraq, organizational charts, telephone records and maps, among other sensitive intelligence information… [and] information about importing modern, specially shaped explosive charges into Iraq.” Hezbollah continues to be Iran’s main terrorist proxy, and received significant aid in the form of sophisticated weapons systems, cash and political support. Iranian weapons were fielded during the Israel-Hezbollah War, including a cruise missile which disabled an Israeli warship, medium range rockets, and UAVs. Iran has also supported Somalia’s Islamic Courts by providing arms and training to the organization.

GSPC Leader Abou Mossaab Abdelouadoud
Click image to view.

North Africa/Algeria: al Qaeda consolidated the various Salafist terrorist groups and formed al Qaeda in North Africa. The organization consists of the Algerian based GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat), the Moroccan Islamic Combat Group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and the Tunisian Combatant Group. While the GSPC isn’t a serious threat to the stability of Algeria, the group remains active, has maintained its size and operations, and has conducted attacks against government forces and civilian targets. Moroccan authorities disrupted a major terror plot against foreign targets, and arrested almost 60 in the conspiracy. al Qaeda in North Africa and the GSPC maintain an extensive support network in Europe and beyond.

Saudi Arabia: al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia attacked the ARAMCO run Abqaiq facility, the largest in Saudi Arabia. Saudi security forces continue to dismantle al Qaeda’s network of fighters in the country. Saudi Arabia has killed or captured nearly every terrorist on its most wanted lists. But Saudi Arabia continues to allow the support organizations to function. The “Golden Chain,” a group of wealthy Saudis and other Gulf states financiers who funnel millions of dollars to Osama bin Laden, still remain free, despite their known identity. Imams and clerics supportive and sympathetic to al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations continue to preach hate and justification for jihad.

Abu Hafs al-Urduni Click image to view.

Chechnya: al Qaeda had a very bad year in Chechnya. Shamil Basayev, the leader of the Chechen jihad, along with a large contingent of the Chechen leadership, was killed by the Russian FSB in July. After Basayev’s death, large numbers of Chechen rebels defected and accepted a government amnesty. In November, Doku Umarov, Basayev’s successor, was wounded after Russian forces conducted an assault on his hideout. Just days later, Abu Hafs, al Qaeda’s Emir of Chechnya, was killed by Russian security services. Russian intelligence believed he was prepared to leave Chechnya… “given the lack of prospects for jihad in the North Caucasus.”


Abu Sayyaf Leader Khaddafy Janjalani

The Philippines: The Filipino Army has made significant progress in its fight against al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf and Indonesian based Jemaah Islamiyah operating in the southern Sulu archipelago. A force of about 6,000 Marines are fighting Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah on Jolo Island, and are highly confident Khaddafy Janjalani, the leader of Abu Sayyaf, was killed during the operation. Jemaah Islamiyah leader Umar Patek was believed to have been wounded, and the wife of JI bomb expert Dulmatin was arrested and deported to Indonesia. Abu Sayyaf and JI have continued to conduct a low-level bombing campaign, largely in Mindanao. The Filipino government continues to conduct negotiations with the Muslim separatist group MILF.

Abu Bakar Bashir
Click image to view.

Indonesia: Jemaah Islamiyah still remains active in Indonesia and throughout southeast Asia, although it has not conducted major attacks inside the country. The Indonesian Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of al Qaeda affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah who sanctioned the Bali bombings. Over 60 terrorists were released from jail, including several involved in the Bali bombing. Jemaah Islamiyah still maintains a support base and training camps inside Indonesia.

Abdur Rahman.jpg

Abdur Rahman, after his capture

Bangladesh: Bangladesh was successful in decapitating the senior leadership of the Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh during the spring. Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai, the two most senior leaders of JMB were captured. Abdur Rahman was an original signatory of al Qaeda’s 1998 fatwa against the West and the establishment of the International Islamic Front. All together, five of the seven members of JMB’s Majlis-e-Shura (central council) are now in custody. Bangladesh is still a haven for al Qaeda and Pakistani based terrorist groups.

Map of southern Thailand. Click image to view.

Thailand: Thailand’s shadowy Muslim insurgency in the south has stepped up its campaign of terror. Teachers and schools have been the primary targets of insurgents, as 110 schools have been burned and 71 school teachers, administrators and school staff have been killed over the past year. On New Years Eve, a bombing campaign in the capital of Bangkok was successful in stopping Thailand’s massive New Years Eve celebrations. Gerakan Mujahideen Pattani, a Muslim terrorist group in Thailand, has received backing from Jemaah Islamiyah and al Qaeda.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.


  • GK says:

    Superb post, and this is precisely the thing I need to send to people who don’t have a grasp of the global scope of this due to all their knowledge being the product of watching 10 minutes of CNN a day.
    I hope you make this a yearly feature, and link to reports of prior years, so we can chart the long-term megatrends.
    Questions :
    1) Why do Indonesia and others release prisoners once they are caught? Are they not truly interested in stopping terror, and only catching them for cosmetic purposes?
    2) Why doesn’t Thailand forcibly crush the jihadis in an Ethiopia-esque manner?
    3) Is there no positive solution to Waziristan? How can Pakistan let them operate there AND forbid the US from airstrikes/special ops missions AND still get aid payments from us? Something has to give. Will it?
    4) Is there a reason you have not included Lebanon/Palestine in this post? Is it not technically part of Jihad?

  • GK says:

    Lastly, with all this taken in aggregate, are they gaining or losing? Or are the non-jihadis (of which we are a part) winning?
    Who has the momentum at this point?

  • Marlin says:

    I thought this comment today from Somalian Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi was interesting.
    Somalia’s interim government and its Ethiopian allies have long accused Islamic militias of harboring al-Qaida, and the U.S. government has said the 1998 bombers have become leaders in the Islamic movement in Africa.
    “We would like to capture or kill these guys at any cost,” Prime Minister Gedi told the AP. “They are the root of the problem.”
    The Islamic group denies having links to al-Qaida.
    Gedi said he spoke Sunday to the U.S. ambassador in Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, about sealing the Kenyan border with Somalia to prevent the three terror suspects from escaping.
    “If we capture them alive we will hand them over to the United States,” Gedi said. “We know they are in Kismayo.”
    Associated Press: Somali, Ethiopian Troops Fight Militants

  • Neo-andertal says:

    “Who has the momentum at this point?”

  • RTLM says:

    I can only name two hot spot theaters that are not Muslim involved.
    Sri Lanka and Colombia

  • The State of the Jihad

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    Pro-Taliban fighters in Waziristan.
    A look at the state of the major theaters, and some under the radar, in the Long War
    The year of 2006 has seen some interesting developments in the fight against al-Qaeda and its al…

  • ZF says:

    Yet another type of information which is interesting and very important to all of us, but on which the media are determined not to report.

  • buck smith says:

    It looks to me like the need to throw forces into Iraq and Afghanistan is leaving AQ weak and stretched thin elswhere.

  • GK says:

    “I can only name two hot spot theaters that are not Muslim involved.
    Sri Lanka and Colombia”
    Even there, the number of deaths are small, and US civilians are at no risk of harm.

  • Neo-andertal says:

    “It looks to me like the need to throw forces into Iraq and Afghanistan is leaving AQ weak and stretched thin elswhere.”

  • yot says:

    What about the entire Middle East?

  • Rob says:

    “al-Sadr, more than any other prominent Shia figure in Iraq is an Iraqi NATIONALIST and completely resents Iranian influence in the country.”
    If only this statement was true, then Iraq would be so much better off. Unfortunately you couldn’t be more incorrect.
    Where is the sadr militia funding coming from?
    Where are the sadr militia weapons coming from?
    Why are both sistani and maliki using political actions to prevent US military action against sadr?
    Why do the sadr representatives actively work against the reunification of the country?
    Why are there known iranian safehouses and secret agents located inside sadr city?
    The sad fact is that almost every prominent shia in the iraqi political scene either works directly for iran (jafari, al-hakim, mahdi, anyone else in SCIRI), is funded, armed, and supported by iran (badr, sadr, most shia militias…) or spent a large part of their life in iran or were even born there (sistani). The iranian influence is ever present, and sadr is just as guilty as the rest of the scum.

  • Luke Willen says:

    The decisive theatre is the Middle East including Afhanistan and Iraq. The Horn of Africa is an important secondary theatre as this area controls access to the Red Sea.
    If the Islamic Facists were to gain control of this area then they could threaten the shipping routes through the Suex Canal and of course more easily export their idelogy to other parts of Africa and of course to Egypt itse;f. however, given their recent defeat in Somalia this prospect is now less likely. They may howevertry again later.
    In terms of the Middle East another question is Iran’s aims and objectives. Ahmadinajad would like the Americans out of the Middle East. It would be in his interests to take over Iraq or at the least to dominate the Government there to the extent that it becomes an Iranian puppet regieme.
    Meanwhile Iran and Syria continue to support Hezbolla and Hamas. Both would like to challenge Isreal but cannot do thi9s with any chance of success without first removing the US from the Middle East and dominating the oilfields and the Gulf States. Jordan aould have to be cajoled or otherwise persuded to side with Syria and Iran. Ideally Egypt also woould have to be brought into the anti Isreali camp. Once this has been achieved and backed with Iranian nuclear weapons a direct invasion of Isreal would be possible.
    If this were achieved then the Islamofacistss would dominate the Middle East and could hamstring the West by using the oil weapon as and when it suits them.
    To prevent this we have to hold Iraq and Afghanistan to keep Iran in check. Ideally regieme change in Iran, one way or another would have to be acieved.
    The West also needs to figure out how to fight and win the propaganda war. The Arab “street” needs to be shown that the Wahabbists and other Islamic Facist types are not acting in the best interest of ordinary Arabs or indeed in the interests of ordinary Muslims. Serious attempts must be made to broker an Isreali-Palestinian peace and any failures must be shown to be the fault of the Islamic extremists, not blamed on the ISrealis. Isreal is one of our few trustworthy allies in the region and, under certain circumstances they could even be let loose on Syria and its Hezbollah allies. This of course is something that the Islamo Facists would not want to happen. Indeed, it would be in their interests if the Isrealis continue to portrayed as the bad guys in large sections of the Western media. To win the war on terror something will have to be done to change public perceptions of Isreal in large sections of the Western public.
    On the home front it will also be neccessary to find ways to deal with the internal threat of Muslim immigrants. Preferably these people need to be brought aroound to our way of thinking by a combination of internationlal efforts to address the relevant world problems and through more effective social policies which would benefit everybody, not just the Muslim population. If such policies fail to convince certain groups and individuals and specific groups then harsher measures such as selective internment to isolate the extremists from the rest of the population may become neccessary and perhaps it could be argued that such steps might in fact be essential.

  • Neo-andertal says:

    I appreciate your response. Perhaps I should clarify a few things before going on further. I think my statements about Iran and Syria were incomplete.
    A couple of things to think about:
    First, don’t underestimate temporary alliances between the Sunni and Shiite sides. Iran will tolerate and even facilitate AQ as long as mutual interests are in play. This has been the case since the invasion of Afghanistan. Also, the Allawite government of Syria and its security services have a very extensive history of active cooperation with both Shiite and Sunni terrorist groups. While it is true that the majority of Sunni insurgents come from Saudi Arabia, Northern Africa, Syria has served as a conduit for the resistance for the last four years. They allow meeting places, training facilities, extensive intelligence, and supplies (paid for elseware). In return they expect AQ to keep out of the general population and defer any animosity they feel toward the Allawite government.
    States can and often do form temporary alliances that serve there needs, even when they are aggressively apposed to one another. Alliances between the nebulous groups and armed factions is another deal. For one thing they can be very lacking in the discipline needed for such alliances and may also be led by rather arbitrary personalities that see things through the prism of self interest.
    While Iran is a big supporter of Sadr, I see their interests as being far from identical. Iran wishes Iraq to follow in it’s political model and serve it’s interests. Sadr on the other hand actually does believe he is appointed as religious leader to make way for the reappearance of the profit. I guess this could be vaguely interpreted as nationalist, but is more mystical religious and makes Sadr very much of a wild card in the current political situation.
    How that would all play out in the event of an American withdrawal is hard to say. Sadr is on a masonic mission and is no one’s ally, let alone the US who he sees as evil personified. It is obvious that he will only work within someone else’s political structure if he is forced to. One could expect a violent political move, ether Shiite on Sunni or Sadr against everyone else. The most probable outcome I see is Sadr massively overextending himself and making a big mess of the country. At that point Iran and Syria may see it in their interests to squeeze all parties and attempt to impose a political agreement. I feel the US would have nothing to play in the situation even spoiler.
    I could go into all the different directions this could spin, but this has better be it for now.
    (Did you notice that the map of the Emirate of Iraq included neither the Shiite south or much of Kurdistan. I thought that was remarkable coming from AQ. Could it reflect long term political goals. Is it just the goals of AQ or are others already party to some sort of provisional understanding. My guess is Sadr isn’t.)

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Ignore any and all comments by Matt. Any posts of his are automatically deleted. He is constantly insulting, and refuses to respond to my emails when I ask him to tone it down.

  • Long War SITREP

    I was about to type out a long post on where I think we stand, but Bill Roggio has hit it all in the 10-ring. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, The Philippines, Indonesia, Bandladesh, and Thailand.

  • Michael says:

    Thanks for the excellent review in putting it all in perspective. Glad your home safe and sound.
    Here’s to a good and properous New Year going forward for you and a safe one all the troops reading as well.
    Bill, what do you think about the sidetrack from the Telegraph regarding more releases of Al Qaeda in Pakistan?
    I still cannot understand if this is a result of Musharraf’s fear or calculated risk playiny some hand against American interest since China is now investing in Pakistan as well. China would have an interest like Russia in getting us out of the region.

  • Larry says:

    Great stuff.
    Don’t Syria, Lebanon, India, Kashmir, and Malaysia go on the list, in addition to Palestine? And isn’t there a Latin connection in Paraguay?
    It might be useful to “score” each front in terms of momentum, since it is way too early to declare victory or defeat. 1 could be strong AQ momentum, 10 the opposite.

  • Anand says:

    China also confronts a Jihadi threat. In fact, in Michael Scheuer’s “Through our Enemies’ Eyes,” China complains vigorously to the US about Osama Bin Laden and other Jihadis during the 1990s when America was less than serious about the Jihadi threat. China also quietly read Pakistan the riot act after 9/11, to ensure their cooperation against Taliban.
    Both China and Russia want to free ride America defeating their enemies. In China’s case, they would like to appear pro-Pakistan while having America destroy Pakistani Jihadis.
    Russia, by contrast, has a very difficult relationship with Pakistan, who they blame for supporting Chechen Jihadis. Russia unambiguously supports the Karzai government against the hated Taliban, Hekmatyar, and their Al-Qaeda linked allies. Russia does “NOT” want NATO to withdraw from Afghanistan. China quietly does not seek NATO withdrawal either, but is constrained to appear pro-Pakistan in public.
    Russia is still sympathetic to Iraqi Baathists, but that is another matter.
    The story Bill quoted on the left bar;jsessionid=MIHSPNFEN5OTHQFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2006/12/31/wterror31.xml
    is bad news for Russia, China, America and the whole world.
    Could it be linked to the 2007 Pakistani elections? Jihadis, Takfiris and Salafis have substantial popular support within Pakistan.
    Does anyone have any ideas regarding why Musharraf’s doing this? He knows that this will not be well received by the international community.

  • Forewarned is Forearmed

    The Fourth Rail puts out a wonderful summary on how Islam is affecting (afflicting?) the world today in their “The State of Jihad” article.  You’ll notice an extensive list of what Muslims call “radicals” when they&#821…

  • Former Republican says:

    “Does anyone have any ideas regarding why Musharraf’s doing this?”
    Well, the linked story says that the accused were being released either because the courts had cleared them or because they had been granted bail. Isn’t that a reason? Rule of law and all that? Especially in the cases where the courts have cleared them, why should we believe they are bad guys?

  • The state of Jihad in 2006


  • Steve W says:

    Bill, thanks for the New Years post. It’s useful to see all the info drawn together in one place as it helps one to see trends it’s easy to miss with the MSM’s fragmentary approach.
    In re the Russians: You indicate they seem to be haveing the most success of anyone against an entrenched and determined Al Qaeda movement. Do you have any thoughts about why this might be so? Is it luck, more ,ahem, “liberal” methods, longer history with fighting and penetrating Chechen cells or ???
    Keep up the great work and stay safe.

  • Good Reads for the New Year

    Bill Roggio has a good round up of the “State of Jihad” around the world

  • Thank you for this post and all of your other work, Bill. I find you a great source of information.

  • Hyscience says:

    Where We Stand In The Long War On Terror

    Just in case you are wondering where we really stand, Bill Roggio (via Captain Salamander) takes a look at the state of the major theaters in the WOT, and some under the radar – including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, North Africa, Saudi …

  • Where We Stand In The Long War On Terror

    Just in case you are wondering where we really stand, Bill Roggio (via Captain Salamander) takes a look at the state of the major theaters in the WOT, and some under the radar – including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, North Africa, Saudi …

  • John Dunshee says:

    An unremarked, and little known, element of the situation in Thailand is the fact that the southern provinces chafed against rule from Bangkok since the founding of the country in the 1700’s. It has periodically flares up into open rebellion and has been suppressed many times..
    I think the present situation is more the result of opportunism than part of any plan. But it is serious and the bombings in Bangkok on New Years Eve are very similar to the bombings in Hat Yai in September.
    The Thais are very laid back, but can be quite brutal when their patience is exhausted. This was evidenced by the treatment given captured “insurgents” after a failed attack on a police barracks. The prisoners weren’t executed, they were tossed into the back of a truck and suffocated. As Michael Yon said elsewhere, they’re Buddhists, they won’t kill you over religion, but they will find other reasons.
    Gen Sondhi, one of the leaders of the coup against the Prime Minister, is himself a Muslim. I’m not sure exactly how this is going to play out, but I don’t think al Qaeda has gotten involved…yet.

  • I can only name two hot spot theaters that are not Muslim involved.
    Its been reported the Hezb have a VE franchise now. They’re not there for the warm weather, and Chavez wouldn’t tolerate their presence unless it was in some way aiding FARC.

  • Milbloggers at work

    Bill Roggio assesses the State of the Jihad. Michael Yon reflects on Christmas in Kuwait (And Qatar, and Hanoi, and Singapore, and Jakarta). J.R. Salzman, who lost part of his right arm in an IED explosion before Christmas, is doing…

  • ‘Former Republican’, there are two responses to your questions. First, you obviously missed the comment that they had returned to their units. This isn’t entirely unexpected since, thanks to you and other ‘former republicans’, individuals we have released from Gitmo have also turned up fighting us again in Afghanistan and Iraq. The principle of American justice, ‘It is better for 100 guilty to go free than 1 innocent person go to jail’ does not work when facing an ongoing insurgency. 100 suicide bombers, financiers or support personnel can do a lot of damage. Your attitude pre-supposes that our enemies cannot defeat Western Civilization, so we should not expend every effort to defeat them. We can feel bad about the Japanese-Americans interned during WWII (including my wife’s grandparents), but FDR correctly understood, as Abe Lincoln did before him, that you must WIN a war of survival before we can get back to arguing about our ideals.
    Second, the American concept of separation of powers is pretty unique. Most of these countries do not have an independent judiciary. Palestine, under Arafat, Indonesia and Pakistan are trying to play both sides in this ongoing war. Under heavy international pressure, they crack down on their extremist groups and arrest many of them. After the attention is gone, they quietly release them again, including many who openly admit to being involved in jihad. To them, it is not about guilt or innocence, but about survival. That Pakistan and Indonesia has released so many jihadists and Pakistan has given up control of Waziristan should tell you that their leaders believe the jihadists are the ‘strong horse’ right now. Look that phrase up if you’ve never heard it before.

  • Sharpshooter says:

    Point: A crisis gives rhetoric ammunition to the bureaucrats and other featherbedders to enhance their position. It’s sometimes referred to a “Bureaucratic perpetuation”.
    IOW, it’s not in the bureaucratic interest to eliminate a threat. To the contrary, it’s in their interest to expand and perpetuate the threat/crisis.

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  • msbldp says:

    I saw your piece linked on Michelle Malkins great blog.
    Does anyone know when Michelle Malkin is going to Baghdad? She promised she would to expose the terrible lies of the “MSM”, I think it was the AP that time. Or maybe CNN.
    Haven’t heard any more about it. Really look forward to Malkin’s reports directly from Baghdad, once she gets there.

  • Al says:

    Excellent summary, but it is not conclusive that the New Year bombings in Bangkok are jihad initiated. The motive could as easily have been political, and the instigators Thai politicians in a hurry to have another election so they can return to power. While this does not rule out the Muslim hand completely, the “grenade in trashcan” style is also reminiscent of events just before the 2006 coup. More evidence is needed before either source can be ruled out.

  • Chickmagloor says:

    This is a excellent article but there is one glaring omission in this – INDIA. It has been fighting against islamic terrorism / jihad long before War on Terror became fashionable in the west. A recent example – a few months back about 300 train commuters were killed in 7 bomb explosions in Mumbai – It was tracked back to ISI – Pakistan’s counter intelligence agency. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are listed as if they are also victims, but if you do some research, it will become clear that Saudi Arabia provides the financial backing for promoting the Wahhabi ideology throughout the world and Pakistan provides the manpower. It is this wahhabi ideology that is responsible for the extremism and terrorism. There is a reason why anywhere in the world, if a terrorist is caught, most likely he would have a connection with Pakistan – either he would be pakistani or got his bachelors/masters in terrorism from Pakistan state Jihad university. For far too long has this been overlooked by all US administrations for the short term expediency. Unless these two main actors are neutralised, War on Terror will remain ineffective and for every plot that is discovered and thwarted, 10 other will remain undetected.

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  • Soccer Dad says:

    Council speak 01/05/07

    The Council has spoken and the first winners of 2007 are council member Right Wing Nut House’s Religion and Politics: Intolerance Is Growing and non-council member the Belmont Club’s The Blogoshpere at war. The former is an examination of how religious…

  • The Council Speaks

    VotesCouncil link2  2/3Religion and Politics: Intolerance Is GrowingRight Wing Nut House2The Mysterious Mr. RitterAmerican Future2You Keep Using That Word…Andrew Olmsted1  2/3Hidden Truth About Arafat RevealedRhymes With Right1  1…

  • Watcher’s Council results

    And now…  the winning entries in the Watcher’s Council vote for this week are Religion and Politics: Intolerance Is Growing by Right Wing Nut House, and The Blogosphere at War by The Belmont Club.  All members, please be sure to…

  • Drazen Gemic says:

    Why no one ever mentions Durand Line. It sheds much light on recent events in Pakistan. Since 1993, the Afghan-Pakistan border is undefined. Durand line was established 1893, and it was a provisional solution for period of 100 years. The line goes through Pashtoun territory. No Afghan government ever ratified the Durand Line as official border, and every administration in Kabul had aspirations to Pakistan territory.
    Mr. Musharaf is encouraging Taliban to go over the border and cause disturbance in Afghanistan, putting pressure on Kabul. Kabul protests weak border security, and yet refuses to recognize current situation as official.
    Pashtouns lives on both sides of the border and seek reunion. Islamabad probably believes that it is better to keep them busy in jihad affairs, then having them deal with that.

  • Taking down terrorists all over the world

    Attackes by US, Ethiopian, and Somali national forces scored a big victory against Islamists in Somalia after routing the Union of Islamic Courts over Christmas they now have killed at least one top al Qaida operative.Somalia government official said on

  • Sulayman says:

    Numerous mistakes were made in this article.
    The Mahdi army is not Iranian-backed. The Badr corps were Iranian-backed and now in the police force, and the Mahdi army periodically skirmishes with them. Iran would be shooting themselves in the foot if they backed the Mahdi army, particularly since they are very Iraqi-nationalist.
    Why are Pakistani “peace accords” in quotes? You don’t believe them?


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram