March 22, 2006
Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head
In the category of biting off more than one can chew, it appears that al-Qaeda -- specifically, Musab Zarqawi's al-Qaeda In Mesopotamia -- appears to want to take its fight directly to Israel by establishing terrorist cells in Gaza, the West Bank, and even Israel proper. I suspect a lot of folks, even in the Arab Middle East, are secretly saying what I will say openly: "Bring it on."
Signs are mounting that Al Qaeda terrorists are setting their sights on Israel and the Palestinian territories as their next jihad battleground.
Israel has indicted two West Bank militants for Al Qaeda membership, Egypt arrested operatives trying to cross into Israel and a Palestinian security official has acknowledged Al Qaeda is "organizing cells and gathering supporters."
Al Qaeda's inroads are still preliminary, but officials fear a doomsday scenario if it takes root.
But "doomsday" for whom? Israel has fought decades of war against Palestinian terrorists, including two "intifadas"... the second of which -- following Arafat's rejection of Ehud Barak's offer to give the Palestinians nearly everything they wanted in exchange for nothing but promises of peace -- involved scores of suicide bombers killing almost a thousand Israelis from 2000-2003... until Israel brought it to a screeching halt by initiating its current policy of building a "security fence" along the borders of Gaza and the West Bank and assassinating top Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hezbollah, and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (Fatah) leaders, planners, and bomb-makers.
There is no country on the planet more experienced in dealing with domestic jihadist terrorism than Israel. Of all countries to attack, Israel seems like the stupidest target for a man never known for blazing intelligence: Musab Zarqawi.
If Zarqawi imagines that al-Qaeda will be welcomed in the Palestinian areas, he is a fool. There are already numerous terrorist groups there (see above), and they certainly will not tolerate yet another one trying to muscle into their territory. Too, al-Qaeda brings international consequences -- that is, the United States and the United Kingdom. I suspect Mahmoud Abbas and even Hamas are frantic not to give the Americans and the Brits casus belli to move into the Palestinian territories, which they worry is just what a strong presence of al-Qaeda would do.
Oddly, al-Qaeda has never had a strong base in the Middle East; despite being founded by a Saudi and an Egyptian, it was headquartered at its founding in Afghanistan (Central Asia), then moved to Sudan (North Africa), then back in Afghanistan under the Taliban. The strongest al-Qaeda base in the Middle East is probably Egypt, likely because co-founder Ayman Zawahiri was an early leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which he merged into al-Qaeda in 1998. There is some al-Qaeda presence in Yemen, Qatar, and other ME countries; but al-Qaeda affilliated groups are much stronger in, e.g., South Asia -- the Philippines (Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah) and Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand (Jemaah Islamiyah).
Al-Qaeda is a jihadi-come-lately, and older terrorist groups resent and fear its influence; clearly, Zarqawi -- more or less a Mafia-style mob boss with a jihadi ideology, at least for his followers' consumption -- would love to get out of Iraq, where he sees his gang being rolled up and the possibility that he, himself, will be captured or killed, and into new territory. But the Palestinian Authority is probably not his best bet: among other reasons, many Palestinians share the Jordanians' hatred of Zawahiri because of the Amman, Jordan bombing last year that killed scores of Jordanian Palestinians working at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Radisson SAS Hotel, and the Days Inn... which were all franchises owned by Jordanians.
I suspect we're about to see a demonstration of leaping from the frying pan into the fire. If al-Qaeda In Mesopotamia really makes the move, they'll find themselves under fire from Hamas (which now runs the joint), Fatah/al-Aqsa (which used to run it), Hezbollah (which hopes to run it), and dozens of other terrorist groups... and that's before the Israelis and maybe even the Coalition join the hunt.
As I said: Bring it on!
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 22, 2006, at the time of 2:51 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/591
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
Interesting. What won't they think of next? I've linked from Meat, meet grinder.
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at March 22, 2006 6:23 PM
The following hissed in response by: spidly
just wondering why you do not link to the lizard army over at Littlegreenfootballs.com
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
No particular reason. We each have a list of blogs we read, and mine is necessarily short: it takes me about 2-3 hours to write a post, what with all the rewriting and researching and linking.
I don't read LGF, not because it's not a great site (it's certainly that!) but because after reading all the news the Antique Media see fit to print, plus the eight or nine blogs I follow religiously (phylacteries optional), and writing the posts for here, plus housekeeping chores (backups, tweaking the site design, setting up another blog for Sachi), there's just no time left in the day.
If I'm directed to LGF by a link on, say, Power Line or Hugh Hewitt, and if it sparked a burning hunger to do a blogpost on whatever they were talking about, I would have no hesitation linking them; I like the site.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at March 22, 2006 7:12 PM
The following hissed in response by: mbnyan
"Bring it on."
Did you also say that on 9/11 while you were watching the twin towers collapse on TV?
There are probably more than a few Israeli's who might not appreciate being maimed or killed in the cross fire.
Don't forget that Israelis are human beings that bleed and feel pain when injured, who have families that grieve for lost loved ones. You cannot imagine the agony of a parent losing a child or a child losing a parent unless you have experienced it.
Would you have the same enthusiasm if terrorists were moving into your neighborhood?
The war of terroists is caused by intolerance that dehumanizes and therefore de-legitimizes the humanity of "outsiders". Let's not sink to the level of our opponents, or what is even worse: dehumanizing our allies.
The following hissed in response by: richard mcenroe
I suspect the older terrorist groups regard Zarqawi and Al Qaeda the way the Mob used to regard the likes of Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd: loose cannon who were bad for business because they kept the peelers stirred up...
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