A collection of newsworthy information as reported from newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Al Qaeda is falling apart

Peter Beinart, an Associate Professor of Political Science at City University of New York, explains how Obama Outsmarts the Terrorists –

According to Gallup, approval of U.S. policies rose 23 points in Tunisia, 22 points in Algeria, 19 points in Egypt, 17 points in Saudi Arabia and 13 points in Kuwait. In Indonesia, according to the Pew Research Center, approval of the U.S. rose 26 points.

Support for Osama bin Laden has dropped 34 points in Indonesia, 28 points in Pakistan, 28 points in Jordan, 20 points in the Palestinian territories, 16 points in Lebanon and 13 points in Turkey. In Indonesia and Pakistan, much of the decline has occurred in the last year alone. Bin Laden is having so much trouble demonizing the United States that his last audio tape focused on climate change.

Al-Qaida and sometimes Al-Qa'ida, is an Islamist group founded sometime between August 1988 and late 1989/early 1990. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless arm and a fundamentalist Sunni movement calling for global jihad.

Al-Qaeda has attacked civilian and military targets in various countries, the most notable being the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. in 2001. The US government responded by launching the War on Terrorism.

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that terrorists continue to try to harm the United States, but another "massive" terrorist strike like the September 11, 2001, attacks is unlikely.  "The idea of there being a massive attack in the United States like 9/11 is unlikely, in my opinion," Biden said in an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live."

Instead, groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula "have decided to move in the direction of much more small-bore but devastatingly frightening attacks," such as the failed bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day.  "I think there are going to be attempts," Biden said, but he praised the successes of the U.S. security and intelligence apparatus in dealing with the threats.

Is Al Qaeda Bankrupt?
These days al Mujil is out of business. That's largely thanks to efforts by the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.N. Security Council. Designating al Mujil as a terrorist financier and singling out the Philippine and Indonesian offices of his charity, they have prohibited U.S. financial firms from conducting any transaction with him or those offices and required U.N. member states to freeze his assets. The Saudi Arabian government has met that requirement, in addition to restricting the transfer of iiro funds outside of the kingdom.  Read More


The New York Times Andrea Elliott discusses her piece on the roots of a jihadist in Somalia

David Gregory interviews Deputy national security adviser John Brennan

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