Thursday, May 13, 2010

Are Terrorists Getting Dumber?

Are Terrorists Getting Dumber?

The next time you go to US embassy to obtain a visa to fly over there with explosives, don’t arrive at the embassy with explosive residue on your hand. A Pakistani Tourism student in Chile was arrested after authorities were alarmed by their metal detector. Later authorities discovered that he was associated with al-Qaeda. This takes place only a few days after another al-Qaeda member of Pakistani origin was arrested in New York City, after he failed to escape and detonate his bomb; he locked the key to his escape car in the car bomb (Speaking about ulattiral damage). He was arrested at the JFK airport the next day. And let’s not mention the underpants bomber who also failed to bomb himself.

It is beginning to look like a pattern of highly unorganized attempts to attack the United States and the West. The United States government and experts attribute the recent al-Qaeda failure to the success of the United States and the world’s efforts to interrupting communication between the terrorist organization on the international level. It has become harder for al-Qaeda to organize its attacks from it headquarters in Afghanistan as well as from the Middle East. This is the result of the American recent attacks against al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

On the other hand, hundreds of Iraqi civilians and security forces were targeted by al-Qaeda. The US embassy and the American military stated that those attacks – took place in several provinces around the same time – were all linked and reflect a high level of coordination. These attacked were aimed at reigniting the sectarian violence as they targeted mostly Shiite civilians. Such a move doesn’t reflect an image unorganized terrorist network, on the contrary, it shows how active al-Qaeda is in Iraq. I attribute the failure of the Iraqi security forces to the lack of having intelligence and their inability to cut-off the communication amongst al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The secret behind murder of the two senior al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq last month was because the security forces found how the two communicated. Both men had a middle man who traveled across the country from Mosul to Anbar to Tikrit to Baghdad. After the security forces arrested the middle who eventually lead them to al-Masri and al-Baghdadi. The Iraqi government, instead of putting more military men inside the cities, need to invest in border patrol, not only borders with neighboring countries but also patrol of internal province-to-province level borders, something that doesn’t seem to take place as needed.

In short, while the terrorist are getting weaker around the world due to lack of communication, they are able to carry out heavier and more sophisticated attacks in Iraq because they are still able to communicate within the country. The Iraqi government and military need to put more focus towards monitoring and controlling the borders on the provinces-level.

Ali Rawaf

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