Læsetid: 4 min.

Det islamistiske uhyre har mistet ét hoved – men nye vokser frem

De seneste to-tre år har terrornetværket al-Qaeda mistet hele sin organisatoriske topledelse – på nær en enkelt mand. Spørgsmålet er, hvor mange nye hoveder, det militante, islamistiske uhyre har udviklet i mellemtiden?
Nok er truslen fra al-Qaeda så godt som elimineret, men andre militante islamister spreder fortsat død og ødelæggelse, bl.a. i Afghanistan. Billedet her er fra december og viser den 12-årige Tarana Akbari  efter at en bombe er eksploderet i Kabul. Billedet blev for nylig belønnet med Pulitzer-prisen for bedste nyhedsbillede.

Nok er truslen fra al-Qaeda så godt som elimineret, men andre militante islamister spreder fortsat død og ødelæggelse, bl.a. i Afghanistan. Billedet her er fra december og viser den 12-årige Tarana Akbari efter at en bombe er eksploderet i Kabul. Billedet blev for nylig belønnet med Pulitzer-prisen for bedste nyhedsbillede.

Massoud Hossaini

7. juni 2012

11 1/2 år efter angrebet på World Trade Center i New York er hele al-Qaedas øverste ledelse elimineret.

Kun en enkelt mand rager stadig op i landskabet, efter at amerikanske droner i mandags fik ram på terrornetværkets 48-årige propagandachef og næstkommanderende, Abu Yahya al-Liby.

Alene tilbage på broen står nu den 60-årige egyptiske sheik Ayman Zawahiri, der overtog roret efter Osama bin Ladens død sidste år.

»Det al-Qaeda, som stod bag 11. september, eksisterer ikke længere,« bekræfter professor Lorenzo Vidino fra Centre for Security Studies i Zürich.

»Siden Obama overtog magten i Det hvide Hus, er stort set hver eneste operative leder blevet dræbt. Fra den gamle ledelse er der i dag kun Zawahiri tilbage,« siger Vidino, der har udgivet flere bøger om al-Qaeda.

Trussel på retur

Både Vidino og den svenske terrorekspert Magnus Ranstorp betegner dronekrigen mod al-Qaedas centrale ledelse som en stor sejr. Men de advarer mod at tro, at terrortruslen er forsvundet, blot fordi netværkets oprindelige ledelse er borte.

»Den globale terrortrussel er klart mindre i dag end for blot få år siden. Uden en central ledelse er al-Qaeda ikke længere i stand til at gennemføre storstilede terrorangreb som 11. september,« siger Lorenzo Vidino, der har specialiseret sig i al-Qaedas evne til at operere i bl.a. Europa.

Han understreger, at der fortsat er en stor terrortrussel mod vestlige mål – men at den er på et væsentligt lavere niveau end tidligere.

»Der er fortsat en terrortrussel fra grupper og enkeltpersoner, der er inspireret af al-Qaedas ideologi,« siger han og påpeger, at al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) med base i Yemen har forsøgt at angribe mål i Vesten.

Også den somaliske terrorgruppe al-Shabaab har globale ambitioner, siger han og henviser bl.a. til Danmark, hvor to dansk-somaliske brødre i sidste uge blev anholdt og varetægtsfængslet i Aarhus mistænkt for at planlægge et terrorangreb. Den ældste af dem blev også sigtet for at have været i terrortræning hos Shabaab.

Professor Magnus Ranstorp fra Forsvarshögskolan i Stockholm er enig i, at der fortsat er en række nationalt og regionalt orienterede grupper, som udgør en »mindre, men væsentlig« trussel.

»Blot fordi al-Qaedas hoved er kappet over, skal man ikke tro, at billedet er rosenrødt. Det er det ikke. Det er tværtimod mere rodet,« siger Ranstorp, der leder det svenske forsvarsakademis Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies.

Han understreger, at der ikke er klare grænser mellem de forskellige terrorgrupper. Der er f.eks. enkeltpersoner, som er medlem af flere terrorgrupper, og der er grupper, som egentlig kæmper en national kamp, men som gerne kaster sig over udenlandske mål, hvis chancen byder sig.

Nye hoveder

Det spørgsmål, som terroreksperterne stiller i dag, er, hvor mange nye hoveder, det militante islamistiske uhyre har udviklet, mens USA’s krig mod al-Qaedas ledelse har stået på. Terroreksperternes bud er: adskillige.

Ud over al-Qaedas netværk i Yemen og Somalia peger eksperterne på, at Pakistans stammeområder langs grænsen til Afghanistan fortsat er problemområde nummer ét. Her huserer bl.a. det relativt ukendte Haqqani-netværk, der bl.a. menes at være ansvarlig for de koordinerede angreb på vestlige ambassader og regeringskontorer i Kabul i april måned.

Netværket, der opererer fra Pakistan, er allieret med Taleban og anslås at have omkring 500 kerne-medlemmer, men kan trække på mellem 10.000-15.000 tilhængere om nødvendigt.

»Haqqani er på kort tid blevet en ganske afgørende trussel, men foreløbig har netværket udelukkende fokus på Afghanistan,« siger Gareth Price, Afghanistan- og Pakistan-specialist ved den britiske tænketank Chatham House.

Haqqani omfatter både afghanere og udenlandske jihadier med erfaring fra Irak, og risikoen for, at netværket skifter fokus og retter en del af sin vrede mod Vesten, er absolut til stede, mener han.

Gareth Price peger desuden på, at Haqqani i stigende grad spiller den samme rolle i forhold til Taleban, som IRA gjorde i Nordirland, da Sinn Fein (IRA’s politiske gren) besluttede at indlede fredsforhandlinger med Storbritannien.

»Haqqani og Taleban er efter alt at dømme to sider af samme sag. I takt med, at Taleban er blevet militært svækket af amerikanernes mange drab på ledere på top og mellemniveau, har Talebans ledelse signaleret, at man ønsker en forhandlingsløsning. Og så kan det være praktisk, at det er en anden organisation, der – ligesom IRA – fortsætter den militante kamp, mens fredsforhandlingerne foregår,« siger han.

Haqqani-netværket har ifølge adskillige eksperter overraskende frit spil i Pakistan, hvor netværkets ledere angiveligt kan rejse frit omkring og pleje kontakter til bl.a. ledende officerer i den pakistanske hær og til dele af den pakistanske efterretningstjeneste ISI.

De samme, som i sin tid støttede Taleban og al-Qaeda.

Også Ranstorp peger på, at Pakistans dobbeltrolle fortsat er yderst problematisk.

»Det ville aldrig have været muligt at eliminere hele al-Qaedas ledelse uden detaljerede pakistanske efterretninger, men samtidig må man konstatere, at fem ud af seks attentatforsøg i USA fortsat har forbindelse til de pakistanske stammeområder – og det samme er tilfældet for omkring halvdelen af de europæiske terrorforsøg.«

»Det kan godt være, at al-Qaeda er sendt til tælling, men terrortruslen har det med at opføre sig som rutsjebanerne i Tivoli, så det er for tidligt at ånde lettet op.«

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Kommentarer

Troels H. Poulsen

Og selvfølgelig ikke et ord om al Qaeda i Libyen og Syrien! Tys, tys endelig ikke nævne Abdelhakim Belhadj, som NATO har givet politisk og militær magt i Libyen, eller alQaeda i Syrien, som gennemfører massakrer og terrorbombardementer med hjælp fra NATO, Saudi-arabien og Qatar, mens USA lystigt fortsætter med at bombe bryllupper.

Christian de Coninck Lucas

Clap your hands, clap your hands, clap your hands to the beat Y'all!

Prøv lige at gå "Haqqani netværket" efter i de historiske sømmer. LIgesom Al Qaeda er der suspekte forbindelser til både CIA og ISI, og tingene er slet ikke så sort-hvode som denne serie af artikler gerne vil overbevise læseren om.

PS. Who gives a fuck what Chatham House, another Elite Globalist think tank, says about this?

Thorsten Lind

Buuh!
Send flere penge til `terroreksperterne´,
efterretningstjenesterne & militæret.

Al-Qaeda a / s
har flere chefer ansat end Cepos.
Jeg er dybt imponeret...:-)
Mvh Th

John W Larsen

"Al Qaeda Dead Since 2002 Says Ex-Head of the French DGSE"

I’m Alain Chouet. For those who aren’t familiar with the internal organization of Intelligence Services, notably the French Intelligence Services, the Security and Information Services is charged with the collection of information and the implementation of active overseas measures in terms of counter-criminality, counter-espionage, counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism.

As with so many of my colleagues from around the world, I feel that on the basis of key information gathered, that ‘Al Qaeda’ died as a functioning force in the rat caves of Tora-Bora in 2002.

The Pakistani Intelligence Services, from 2003 to 2008, then happily offered us what was left in exchange for various indulgences.

Of the 400 active members of the organization which existed in 2001, as described in Marc Sageman’s excellent book, “Understanding Terror Networks” less than 50 henchmen (apart from Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawaihri), who have no functional competence were able to escate and dissapear into remote regions, leading percarious lives, with primitive means of communication.

It’s not in this way that you can run a globaly coordinated network of political violence. Besides, it seems clear that none of the perpetrators of the post-9/11 terrorist attacks (London, Madrid, Casablanca, Djerba, Charm-el-Sheikh, Bali, Bombay, etc.) had any contact with the organization.

As for the more or less offbeat claims of responsability, occasionally articulated by Bin Laden or Zawahiri, supposing we can actually authenticate them, it doesn’t implicate any operational, organisational or functional link between these terrorists and the remains of the organisation.

However, I’m compelled to establish like everyone, that to keep invoking Al Qaeda as the source of everything, whenever a Muslim commits an act of violence, or a Muslim finds themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time (like with the AZF factory near Toulouse), or even when Muslims aren’t involved at all (like with the Anthrax attacks in the US), a certain number of reductivist members of the media, as well as some so-called side-experts, and others from the Atlantic have ended up not just reviving Al Qaeda, but transforming it into a kind of Amédée from the author Eugène Ionesco, a corpse which continually grows and overshadows reality, and which we don’t know how to get rid of it.

The dogmatic obsinacy of the West in invoking the mythical Al Qaeda (that has been characterised as a superterrorist not because of what it did, but because it attacked a superpower), has quickly had 2 pernicious effects.

1st effect: every violent protester in the Muslim world, either political or common-law, regardless of their motivation, quickly understood that he should claim to be from Al Qaeda so as to be taken seriously, so as to cover his actions in a legitimacy recognized by others, so as to give his actions an international impact.

At the same time all the regimes in the Muslim world, as we know, not the most virtuous, have well understood that they had every interest in passing off their opponents and protesters whoever they were for members of Bin Laden’s organisation, so as to quietly suppress them and even if possible to do so with assistance from the West.

Hence a proliferation of ‘Al Qaeda’ more or less designated or self-proclaimed, in Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Maghreb, and elsewhere “Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”

The principal result of this idiotic dialectic has of course been to reinforce the myth of an omnipresent Al Qaeda, lurking behind every Muslim, ready in waiting to hit the West in general, the US of course in particular, in the name of who knows what perversity. And this vision is a product of several errors of judgment and perspective, and it above all generates completely inappropriate retorts.

Because if Al Qaeda doesn’t exist, Islamic political violence well and truly exists. And the West is but an indirect and collateral victim of it.

Violent Islamic ideologues aren’t God’s warriors: they’re people with precise objectives, which isn’t to convert the world to Islam, it’s to take the power and riches which come from the Muslim world, without the West intervening. In a way like Hassan al-Tourabi in his day in Sudan.

Thus, even if the West’s self-esteem has to suffer as a result, we need to constantly repeat that the first, the heaviest, and the main victims of Islamic violence are Muslims themselves.

Of course, one can always disagree that since jihadist violence does exist, and it’s developing pretty much everywhere following the same patterns, that we call it Al Qaeda hardly matters given that is only the generic designation for a certain form of globalized fundamentalist violence.

A number of recently prudent journalists now tell us about “the nebulous Al Qaeda”: the problem is that such a semantic confusion is at the origin of all the incorrect responses thus far, and de facto excludes any adapted solution to the problem.

Every security and intelligence service knows all too well that you don’t confront the ‘Lone Wolf technique’ by means of military action, armored divisions or an inflation of uniform security measures. You confront it by targeted security measures, supported by political, social, economic, educational and cultural initiatives which aim to drain the pool of potential volunteers, by cutting their ideological and financial sponsors.

Not only (and I’m referring to different American treasury reports) was nothing serious undertaken to attempt to curb the underlying financial structure, and even less the ideological structure of jihadist violence, but in designating Al Qaeda as a permanent enemy against which we must lead a crusade by military and security means totally unsuited to how things are, we’ve used a machine gun to kill a mosquito.

Obviously we missed the mosquito but the collateral damage is evident as we can see every day in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen…

And the 1st effect of this failed crusade has been to feed the pool of volunteers, to legitimize this form of violence, to render it the sole reference of action and possible assertion in a Muslim world in which the collective imagination is now traumatized by a universal law of suspicion that weights them down, through massive military interventions and occupations, both endless and blind.

For 9 years, the West has struck without much discernment in Iraq, Afghanistan, the tribal regions of Pakistan, Somalia, Palestine of course (and we’re now thinking about intervention in Yemen, and while we’re at it why not Iran…), but in the eyes of the Muslims, Bin Laden is still a step ahead of the world’s most powerful army and the Islamic regime in Saudi Arabia stays under America’s absolute protection.

To conclude and try to bring an element of response to the question asked at this roundtable, “Where are we at with Al Qaeda?”, Al Quaeda died between 2002 and 2004.

But before dying it was “impregnated” by western strategic errors and unwise calculations by certain Muslim countries and it’s given birth to little ones.

The problem for us is whether we will commit the same mistakes with the unwelcome offspring, by fueling an indefinite cycle of violence, or to refer back to Ionesco, whether we will partner with the Arabs and Muslims to halt the proliferation of the rhinoceroses.

Thank you.

[Other panel member:]

It goes to show that hands-on experience in difficult conditions, considering the number of honours that Mr. Chouet has accumulated so far, provides an original and mind-blowing understanding. That was really, very interesting.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc6jyy