• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Is Al Qaeda On The Run?

    National Journal’s National Security Expert blog asks:

    Al Qaeda-led or -inspired terrorist attacks in Europe, Iraq and Saudi Arabia have all declined, but Al Qaeda still has significant capacity to launch attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and perhaps India. It also has a growing presence in Algeria and Yemen, and it has used the latter two countries and Pakistan as staging grounds for successful regional, but not international, attacks.

    Does this signal a change in Al Qaeda’s strategy from a global one to a regional one, or is it that their ability to carry out global plots has been effectively diminished by constant pressure from the U.S. and our allies? Or has there been, as the Director of National Intelligence’s 2009 annual threat assessment says, “notable progress in Muslim opinion turning against terrorist groups like Al Qaeda” and consequently, Al Qaeda today is “less capable and effective than it was a year ago”?

    Heritage Senior Fellow James Carafano answers:

    Al Qaeda has waxed and waned in its war against the United States. The debate over whether its stock is currently rising or falling is not nearly as important as ensuring al Qaeda gets dumped in the waste bin of history.

    There is more than enough evidence to suggest that as long as al Qaeda has a sanctuary it will figure out a way to fight to get back in the game.

    Indeed, Iraq proved that al Qaeda really is a problem. Despite the crushing defeat that ejected Bin Laden out of Afghanistan, he set up shop in Pakistan where his organization encouraged the terror campaign against the coalition forces in Iraq and tried hard to create an Iraqi civil war. That failed.

    When al Qaeda’s operational arms were pretty much broken off, its leaders undertook an unprecedented psychological warfare campaign that included everything from the Internet to DVD sales. Luckily, the al Qaeda message has fallen on tough times. It continues to turn some to radical agendas, but a message that so far has only gotten many Muslims killed is increasingly less popular in the Islamic world.

    Undaunted, al Qaeda turned on Pakistan, encouraging groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET) to not just step up its war with India but turn on the Pakistani government as well. True, according to former CIA analyst Lisa Curtis, al Qaeda’s links with LET go back further than the attacks on Mumbai. Shoe bomber Richard Reid was allegedly trained at a LET camp. One of the London subway bombers spent time at LET facility in Muridke. Abu Zubayda was found at an LET safe house in Faisalabad. Still, the latest collusion between al Qaeda and LET shows the devil never stays idle for long. Encouraging LET to set Pakistan and India on fire is the latest in al Qaeda’s efforts to continue its war on the West.

    As long as Bin Laden can hold out in Pakistan, his organization is a threat to innocents.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Is Al Qaeda On The Run?

    1. Franklin's Lock says:

      As long as a Democrat is running our government, White House and/or Congress, these reports will surface, saying Al Qaeda is weakening or out of the picture. The Liberal media and Democrats have politicized terrorism. They have politicized our national security. They will continue to push this idea to make themselves look better and more importantly diminish the role of Al Qaeda, so the Dems can concentrate on their ineffective diplomatic agenda. This will all be done at the cost of national security.

      http://franklinslocke.blogspot.com/

    2. Ben Franklin, Kendal says:

      I have often wondered if maybe we actually know where bin-Laden is hiding (or have a pretty good idea), and we are monitoring his communications and movements in order to root out other groups, and determine their intentions. Will we finally capture or kill him when we are no longer able to obtain actionable intelligence from his group?

    3. Ross, Bradenton Fla says:

      Two points; First, as a teenager, we had a problem with a pack of dogs attacking our livestock in senseless killing, never eating there kills. This required confining the animals to the barn at night. The attacks continued in broad daylight. The fear of attacks on children and adults became a real concern. After shooting members of the pack, many belonging to our none farming neighbors, the attacks only slowed when these neighbors tethered their dogs. It took almost a year to exterminate the pack members before we could let our animals roam our pastures at night. The pack leader was a wild dog teaching the needless killing to the other dogs. Most of the pack ended up being shot as they continued to kill our animals. Like these dogs, Islamic fascism can only be exterminated and cannot be socially redeemed. One of the principles of war is to know your enemy. That means learn their culture, mores, beliefs, and history. These fascist have defined the beliefs of Islam using the Koran to justify their barbaric actions. If I remember right, we were attacked first by these Islamic fascist.

      The second point, history is not with the Democrats concerning foreign policy. The last Democrat president to exercise any kind of foreign policy 'common sense' was JFK,even that was 'iffy'. I have no confidence in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Being first lady and a one term US Senator is not a qualifier for one of most important and an original cabinet position. We are in dangerous times and we have a real amateur guiding our foreign policy from another amateur as the President and Commander-in-Chief.

      The American people always gets what it wants through the ballet box;I fear for our country, liberalism is another name for socialism. Our country will only survive as long as the 'golden goose'lives. The Democrat party is 'hell-bent' on killing our economy, our 'golden goose'.

    4. mike baker Dallas C says:

      Ben Franklin, that's interesting. Along the same line, I've wondered if Iraq turned into a Roach Motel for terrorists intentionally or accidentally. Hopefully our people monitor some Jihadist nexii(sp).

    5. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Islamic Fascist are like a treatable, but aggressive cancer. Until you have fully irradicated the cancer, the odds are in favor of the cancer coming back even more aggressivly.

      With our current Administation and Legislation, who best resmble and represent those who work only just enough to not get fired, and if called on their lack of production, quaranteed, it was someone elses fault!

      So I do not see our current leaders (no capitals) doing anything to protect this Great Nation, but I do see them doing everything possible to strip it of all its resources to give to those who will not do for themselves.

      Hozro

    6. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      THE TERROIST HAVE FREE WILL NOW, OBAMA HAS SAID HE IS WILLING TO SIT DOWN AND TALK, WONDER HOW FAR THIS WILL GET US.I WONDER IF OBAMA AND THE DEMS HAVE THE WILL TO FIGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY, OR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR THAT MATTER?????

    7. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Starting with the Muslim Brotherhood up to today's radicalized groups such as al Qaeda and Hamas, these thugs continue to violate almighty God's commandment to Moses, "You shall not murder". So what do these condemned souls do, they justify their actions by dehumanizing their victims and saying they're only killing the infidel. We're talking pure evil projection. Their tactics and propaganda started from the same seed that sprung Nazi Germany upon the world. These radicalized Muslims are bound together by a common bond of hatred toward their targeted groups. There's no sin against killing murderers. That's where our armed service members have been doing a fine job. Seek out and kill as many of these thuggish enemy as can be located. The self-dehumanizing followers of a misguided jihad only succeed in committing murderous acts and terror that will ultimately assign them to an eternal hell.

    8. Sheila Byrne, Sacram says:

      Does anyone know if Bin Ladin (or however it's spelled) is actually alive? Last I heard he had kidney disease and the pictures of him looked sick. I can't imagine him keeping quiet all this time if he is alive. My vote is that he is dead.

    9. Joanne Tellez Giron says:

      It seems to me that this administration has no interest in fighting terrorism. How does that work when the president

      embraces the terrorists?

    10. Tim AZ says:

      Here's the answer Joanne. This admministration and its political party believe that the last election has given them the complete confidence they needed to cunduct their own terrorist activities on the American citizens without the cover of compassion. Their goal is simple create enough dependents on govt. to ensure they remain entrenched in power of our govt. They just don't have the time to worry about terrorists outside of themselves. They've been waiting for decades for this opportunity and they can taste the power. This may be their only chance to realize their dreams of power and wealth. It is up to the American citizens to decide whether or not we will accept them and their ideology and be slaves unto them.

    11. Ric Davidge (please says:

      I travel in the Middle East often.

      Terrorism and Wasabism (sp) are still very alive. Yes, there is growing general dissatisfaction with this approach but I would not conclude it is at the level necessary to turn this around.

      The number of persons using the United States and western democracies as the great Satan's continues in the schools and mosques.

      Until we clearly understand that this is a religious/political war, and there are few converts to our side, we will need to be there fighting, not here on our shores trying to hold back the jihad.

    12. Rebecca, Texas, USA says:

      They are educating their population to hate us; and many here seem to hate us, too. I'm grateful that there are still those like you all who still love and appreciate the promise and greatness of America instead of teaching hate and violence. We have to fight the battle at home so that our troops-God bless them-can fight the battle overseas, at least as long as the current administration and Congress feel political pressure to do so. They are already trying to declare the battle lost and pull out as we did in Vietnam. (Talk about "paper tigers"…except where their social agenda is concerned.) They don't understand that it is a ideological war…or maybe they just don't care. In the end, we the people, all will lose.

    13. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      If Islam trains its people to hate the Infidel,why

      bother to let any more in the Country?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×