SecDef defines AQAM

Taliban-march.jpg

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates neatly describes what al Qaeda and allied movements, or AQAM, is during his visit to India. From The Washington Post:

In a press conference after two days of meetings with Indian officials, the Pentagon chief said al-Qaeda had formed a “syndicate” of terrorist groups with Taliban factions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as Lashkar-i-Taiba, a Kashmir separatist network blamed for the 2008 Mumbai hotel attacks that killed 165 people.

“What we see is that the success of any one of these groups leads to new capabilities and a new reputation for all,” Gates said. “A victory for one is a victory for all.”

U.S. intelligence officials have said jihadi groups in the region are cooperating more closely than ever and that it has become increasingly difficult to sort out who, exactly, is responsible for many high-profile bombings, including the Dec. 30 suicide attack on a CIA base in eastern Afghanistan.

But Gates warned that it would be a mistake for the United States and its allies in South Asia to concentrate on eliminating a particular network while ignoring the others. “It’s dangerous to single out any one of these groups and say if we could beat that group that will solve the problem,” he said. “Because they are, in effect, a syndicate of terrorist operators.”

Gates said all of the factions were working under the umbrella of al-Qaeda, which he accused of “orchestrating” attacks throughout the region. He said al-Qaeda’s approach was intended not just to destabilize the Afghan and Pakistani governments but also to provoke a conflict between India and Pakistan.

Also see Taliban and AQAM ‘plug and play.’

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

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11 Comments

  • DANNY says:

    Wise man that Mr. Gates. You can see he reads the Long War Journal. eh…

  • The question at the fundamental level is why there is such “inter-connectivity”

  • jackie says:

    Mr Muthuswamy, do you have an online source that has a short list of these jihad campaigns?
    thanks in advance
    Jackie

  • jav says:

    m.muthuswami – “75% bio violent jihad” you got any references to back up your amussing claims? You would have to study islam for the most part of your life to even try to make wild claims such as that.

  • michael griffin says:

    Surely, we must continue to follow the money if you want to predict future ‘inter-connectivities’. They’re all first or second-generation comrades so the jihadi networking activity shouldn’t be such a surprise. But the money eludes us and nobody seems very interested in finding out where it comes from, apart from the ‘opium-heroin trade’. But you know the price falls as well as I do. It is other money that drives the insurgency in Afghanistan.

  • T Ruth says:

    jav, you say “You would have to study islam for the most part of your life to even try to make wild claims such as that.”
    Now the bulk of these militants are very young and clearly haven’t spent a lifetime studying Islam. So would you agree that their jihad is unfounded and their behavior barbaric?

  • jackie says:

    Following a religion is different from being a studied expert for that religion.
    You don’t need to have studied the english language at the university to speak english. Just for comparison.

  • T Ruth says:

    I daresay one doesn’t need to go to university at all in order to study. And especially true religion, which is not about books–organised dogma and fables related second- and third-hand.
    You cannot organise the truth.

  • T Ruth says:

    Danny 🙂
    How long before he starts to acknowledge the interconnectivity between the terror groups and the Pakistan army (with the same candour!?

  • jackie says:

    Your personal point of view about religion does not change the point i made at all.
    Neither does your point about studying at the university.
    Mr. Muthuswamy made a claim for which both jav and i would like to see an established source. One needs a lot of knowledge about the “seera” to make such a statement, so asking for a reliable source is definitely ok. However, Mr. Muthuswamy has not responded up to this point. So i take his statement with a huge grain of salt.

  • T Ruth says:

    Jackie:
    1. You may want to check these out
    //www.politicalislam.com/blog/statistics-and-the-meaning-of-islam/
    //www.politicalislam.com/blog/jihad/
    I believe the stats to be scientifically researched.
    2.”Mr. Muthuswamy made a claim for which both jav and i would like to see an established source.”
    The Koran, Hadith and Sira make a lot of claims and i would like to see an established source.
    3. Since you choose to stand with jav, i do not know to what extent, as he has not responded to my question left earlier, feel free to do so if you wish.
    To repeat ‘Now the bulk of these militants are very young and clearly haven’t spent a lifetime studying Islam. So would you agree that their jihad is unfounded and their behavior barbaric?’
    Or maybe it is not unfounded, but still barbaric?

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Aqap

Al shabaab

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