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memri
October 6, 2009 No.
2574

Pro-Al-Qaeda London Daily on Anniversary of 9/11: "Al-Qaeda's Continued Existence Proves – War on Terror Has Failed"

On the occasion of the eighth anniversary of 9/11, 'Abd Al-Bari 'Atwan, editor of the pro-Al-Qaeda London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wrote an editorial titled "The Al-Qaeda Organization in Its 20th Year," in which he discussed the state of Al-Qaeda eight years after the launching of the war on terror. He wrote that "America's stupidity and its failing wars" have turned Al-Qaeda, originally a regional organization, into a global power that is now stronger than it ever was before.

He added that this organization now has branches around the world that are possibly more powerful and dangerous than the parent organization itself. 'Abd Al-Bari 'Atwan also alluded to the fact that Al-Qaeda has not staged any large-scale operations in the West in recent years. This, he said, is simply due to the fact that Al-Qaeda now has access to hundreds of thousands of Western and American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It should be noted that this article was also republished on jihadi websites.

Following are excerpts from the article:

"The War on Terror Has Failed"; Today Al-Qaeda Has New Branches, Perhaps Stronger and More Dangerous than the Parent Organization

"Opinions are divided on the state of Al-Qaeda and on the degree of danger it poses [today], eight years after the New York raid [of 9/11], which sparked the 'war on terror,' from the invasion of Afghanistan to the occupation of Iraq... But what is certain is that those who speak of the organization's weakness are [merely expressing] the wishes of their heart, and are attempting to continue the obfuscation and deception that they have so successfully marketed on their TV programs and in their newspaper articles. The fact is that this organization is still alive and well, and is now celebrating its 20th anniversary ? which proves that the war on terror has failed...

"Eight years ago, Al-Qaeda had only one address: the caves of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. Today it has several new branches, which are perhaps stronger and more dangerous than the [parent organization itself], such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and [Al-Qaeda] in the Islamic Maghreb, as well as the organization's branches in Iraq and on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. [There is also] the branch in Somalia, which has been reestablished and is now stronger than it was before. Al-Qaeda has become like the many-headed dragon of mythology: whenever one head is chopped off, several [new] heads appear in its place.

"Some thought that the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan had completely eliminated [Al-Qaeda], because most of its fighters and commanders had been either killed, arrested, or expelled [from the country]. But [the fact is that [Al-Qaeda] has returned to its secure fortress in Afghanistan, and is establishing training camps and attracting [new] volunteers there. The same thing has happened in Iraq. The American General [David] Petraeus celebrated the breaking of the organization's back in the so-called Sunni Triangle (i.e., Al-Anbar and its environs) after the U.S. troop surge and the creation of the Al-Sahwa forces. [But] now [Al-Qaeda] is regrouping [there]… and has claimed responsibility for the [August 19, 2009] series of deadly attacks on six Iraqi ministry [buildings] and on the Parliament house in the heart of the Green Zone…

"How paradoxical that Al-Qaeda, which launched its military operations against the American forces by downing a Blackhawk helicopter in Mogadishu in 1984 [sic] [1], killing 18 of its passengers, has now returned to Somalia [in the guise of] Shabab Al-Islam [sic] [2]... and has become a major concern for the West's governments and security apparatuses."

Thanks to America's Stupidity, Al-Qaeda Is Now a Global Organization

"Al-Qaeda, which started out as a regional organization with limited and modest goals ? first and foremost to expel the American forces from the Arabian Peninsula after they had achieved the purpose for which they had come, namely the 'liberation of Kuwait' ? has turned into a global organization thanks to America's stupidity and its failing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and [thanks to] the attempt of the previous administration to humiliate the Arabs and the Muslims.

"The U.S. and its allies in the West are now facing a war of attrition, whose cost ? in money and lives ? is higher than that of any [previous] war in history. More importantly, [this war] is completely impossible to win. The Taliban, which was removed [from power] eight years ago, now controls two thirds of Afghanistan, and not a single day goes by without the NATO forces suffering numerous fatalities…

Al-Qaeda Is Not Carrying Out Major Operations in the West because It Has Access to U.S. Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq

"[The reason that] Al-Qaeda has not carried out any large operations in the West [recently] is that this is not a top priority [at the moment] as it was during the days of [Al-Qaeda's] Tora Bora 'Republic.' [Today, the organization] has no need to send fighters to New York, London or Madrid, since there are 100,000 Western troops in Afghanistan, half of them American, and 140,000 thousand American troops in Iraq…

"The most important development that has occurred since America's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan eight years ago is that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have gained power in Pakistan, Yemen and the Islamic Maghreb. [Keep in mind that] Pakistan has a completed atomic program. [As for] Yemen, the fact that it has become Al-Qaeda's base in the Arabian Peninsula means that Al-Qaeda [now] threatens the oil industry in the Gulf, which is a major lifeline for the West. As for the existence of a branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, it means [that the organization now] is in proximity to 30 million Muslims living in Europe, some of whom are suffering from racism, unemployment and marginalization.

"Al-Qaeda has become a new power in the Middle East, owing to the decline of the traditional Arab and Islamic forces, and their weakness and corruption... One large-scale operation against Israel could bring Al-Qaeda's popularity to [unprecedented] heights, considering the [Arabs'] growing frustration with the helplessness and corruption of their regimes… True, Al-Qaeda's original leadership is growing old… But the new generation of Al-Qaeda commanders will be even more dangerous and extremist..."

Thanks to Advanced Media like the Internet, Facebook and Youtube, Al-Qaeda Can Reach Wide Audiences Worldwide

"Al-Qaeda's ideology is becoming a global [ideology] which is increasingly independent. Thanks to advanced media like the Internet, Facebook and Youtube, it can reach the widest audiences worldwide, [attracting] numerous supporters and recruits. This is what the so called 'experts' ? whose reports and recommendations are aimed at pleasing their governments and do not reflect the facts on the ground ? have failed to grasp.

Endnotes:

[1] The downing of the U.S. Blackhawk helicopter in Mogadishu occurred in 1993.

[2] This presumably refers to the organization Shabab Al-Mujahideen.