Sunday, August 08, 2004

Experts: Beware al-Qaida's 'Offspring'

The Associated Press has put out an analysis on splinter groups of al_Queda and their growing threat.
The groups are small, little known and highly militant, with ideologies like al-Qaida's. They have struck around the world, carrying out suicide bombings in Morocco, kidnapping civilians in Iraq (news - web sites) and attacking Western residential compounds in Saudi Arabia.

The emergence of these groups is making the fight against terrorism more challenging. Instead of targeting one enemy — just al-Qaida — the West and its allies now face many "al-Qaidas," splinter groups that are mostly unrelated to each other but are bound by the same hatred of the West — especially the United States and its allies, including Israel.

"It's like McDonald's giving out franchises," said Dia'a Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on militant groups. "All they have to do is follow the company's manual. They don't consult with headquarters every time they want to produce a meal."

A key conclusion in last month's Sept. 11 commission report said that even though Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s al-Qaida has been weakened, its imitators pose a "catastrophic threat" to the United States.

"The enemy is not just 'terrorism,' some generic evil," said the report. "The catastrophic threat at this moment in history is more specific. It is the threat posed by Islamist terrorism — especially the al-Qaida network, its affiliates and its ideology."

"The second enemy is gathering, and will menace Americans and American interests long after ... Bin Laden and his cohorts are killed or captured," the report said.
It's good to see the AP is catching up with President Bush, who had this much figured out on September 20, 2001.
Americans are asking: Who attacked our country? The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. They are the same murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.

Al Qaeda is to terror what the mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money; its goal is remaking the world -- and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.

The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics -- a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children.

This group and its leader -- a person named Osama bin Laden -- are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries. They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction.


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