Abu Musab Al Zarqawi
May 4, 2011 by staff
Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, The death of Osama bin Laden is highly unlikely that a turning point in the conflict between the U.S. and its allies on one side and militant Islam as personified by Al Qaeda on the other. President Obama deserves praise for having ordered the operation to get bin Laden, and the brave Americans who carried out this operation so ably deserve the thanks of a grateful nation. But at the same Qaeda, not to mention the franchise and affiliated movements share many common goals with him will not be defeated by the death of a single leader, not even its founder and figure. Nor is it clear that its operational capacity, including in Pakistan will be seriously degraded with the passage of bin Laden – the available information suggests that relinquished control of daily operating on long time, and the organization has survived death of many senior leaders to participate more actively in its activities. There is cause for celebration in the death of a man profoundly wrong with much blood on their hands and more innocent deaths on his mind, but no reason to waver in our determination to move forward in this conflict against a determined enemy.
Public speculation about the complicity of the Pakistani government or security services in both the host bin Laden or support the U.S. operation who killed him is inactive. Policy makers and strategists would do far better to focus on demonstrable facts about the threat from Islamist militants based in Pakistan pose to Pakistan itself and its neighbors, our forces and our country.
The facts are disturbing enough. Bin Laden dead, the leadership of al Qaeda in Pakistan remains robust and significant. Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian with ties (both friendly and hostile) to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a theorist’s most gifted and best writer that Bin Laden was never, though much less rhetorically effective, it is unlikely that an inspirational leader. Abu Yahya al Libi, a Libyan as the mark of honor, is a qualified operator and determined. Zawahiri is, in fact, potentially very dangerous in the long-term strategist. In the early years of the war in Iraq, strongly opposed the efforts of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi to ignite sectarian conflict in Iraq to fuel the Sunni opposition. Zarqawi launched a terror campaign against Iraq’s Shia majority in a deliberate effort to incite retaliatory attacks against Iraqi Sunnis, hoping to convince the Sunnis that Al Qaeda was the champion needed. Zawahiri opposed this approach, arguing that the Islamist agenda is best served by focusing first on the fight against the infidels, with the Shiites, however foul their religion was in their view. In the short term, the policy prevailed Zarqawi – who was inciting vicious sectarian reprisals against Sunnis who did for a time to build support for al Qaeda in Iraq. But their t*rror*sm has gone too far. In 2006, Al Qaeda in Iraq was almost as fast alienating Sunni and Shiite, and al Qaeda pressure on them combined with the pressure of the surge and the change in strategy in 2007 convinced the Sunnis of Iraq to give up fight together. Zawahiri was shown not to be the shrewd strategist, who gives us good reason to worry about a movement that is the leader. Also noteworthy is that the change in the leadership of Al Qaeda will result in the replacement of the Saudi bin Laden, whose roots and essence were in the Arabian Peninsula, an Egyptian and a Libyan. Result is that a change in redirecting the efforts of Al Qaeda’s North Africa, more than it would have occurred naturally? Let’s see, but the outlook is worrisome, given the stagnation in Libya and the precariousness of Egypt. However, Bin Laden was a charismatic figure and a romantic figure in the eyes of many militant Islamists – the rich Saudis who gave up his life of luxury for jihad (although the location of his death greatly undermines the story.) Will be a blow to Islamic morals and sparked a leadership struggle within the movement. It is therefore important but is unlikely to be decisive.
Al Qaeda is not, unfortunately, the only Islamist group in Pakistan, with regional or global objectives. The organization’s largest and best organized such, rather, is the Lashkar-e Tayyiba – Army of the Pure, which is responsible most recently for 2008 Mumbai attacks. LeT has deep roots in Kashmir and has historically focused on India. In that regard, it is more than enough dangerous because their atrocities brought two nuclear powers close to war several years ago and could easily do it again. But let’s not an organization of Kashmir. Their ideology is pan-Islamic rather than nationalist in Kashmir, and its headquarters is located in the Punjab, near Lahore, rather than in Kashmir. LeT has been intertwined with the creation of Pakistan army and the state. Provides foot soldiers and agents provocateurs to attack in Kashmir or India. As part of various charity organizations organized assistance to victims of massive flooding in Pakistan, runs schools (madrassas), and provides rudimentary shari’a justice back and outlaws in the area. It has also been active, although in a much more limited, support for the fight against Taliban insurgents U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. LeT agents have attacked the U.S. embassy in Bangladesh. LeT poses a huge challenge for any Pakistani leader who wanted to limit, let alone off. His omnipresence across Pakistan offers the possibility of terrorist acts and even guerrilla attacks, even in the core countries of Punjab and Sindh. His wealth and give the organization a high degree of autonomy of any financial support that may be issued by the elements of the ISI. It is, therefore, a terrorist organization with a broad and deep support, significant wealth, and an ideology not unlike Islamist’s al Qaeda – and the prospect of the Pakistani state to take in the short term tend to zero.
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