Skip to comments.Al-Qaeda boosted by Iraq war, warns think-tank
Posted on 05/26/2004 12:43:21 AM PDT by churchillbuff
LONDON : The US-led war on Iraq, far from countering terrorism, has helped revitalise the Al-Qaeda terror network, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank warned.
The London-based body said in its annual Strategic Survey 2003/2004 that the deadly train bombings in Madrid in March, the worst terror strike in Europe for more than a decade, showed that Osama Bin Laden's terror network "had fully reconstituted".
It also predicted the Islamic group would step up its anti-Western attacks, possibly even resorting to weapons of mass destruction and targeting Americans, Europeans and Israelis while continuing to support insurgents opposing the US-led occupation of Iraq.
The IISS pointed to devastating blasts in Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in 2003 and 2004 as further evidence that anti-US sentiment had soared since the Iraq war.
"In counter-terrorism terms, the intervention has arguably focused the energies and resources of al-Qaeda and its followers while diluting those of the global counter-terrorism coalition that appeared so formidable following the Afghanistan intervention in late 2001," the report said.
However, since the war it said that arms proliferation and state-sponsored terrorism has dwindled, with Libya giving up its unconventional weapons programs and Syria becoming "less provocative."
Stalinist North Korea's secret nuclear programme was somehow contained thanks to a negotiating process while Iran agreed to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency over its nuclear activities, the IISS said.
But another legacy of the war was what the IISS termed a highly questionable recourse to pre-emptive strikes as a means of counter-proliferation, as well as "the uses and abuses of intelligence as a basis for military action."
The IISS said the United States, which has dominated world affairs since the end of the Cold War, had failed to understand that Al-Qaeda's September 11, 2001 attacks were "a violent reaction to America's pre-eminence" and it urged the superpower to temper "the appearance of American unilateralism".
It warned that Washington would have a hard time restoring order in embattled Iraq and stressed that the conflict had brought a political split between the United States and its continental European allies, leaving Britain stuck in the middle.
The survey additionally forecast a possible attention shift away from terrorism, Middle Eastern problems and weapons proliferation should North Korea opt for a more aggressive stance, a humanitarian disaster hit Africa or undesirable regime-changes "produce abrupt and serious security challenges".
The United States will not manage to tackle all of the above single-handedly, warned the think-tank, raising a question mark over Europe's ability to break away from "strategic arthritis."
Osama who? Guess we forgot about him. He didn't forget about us, though.
Yep. The Iraq adventure has made us a lot safer. And where IS Osama, by the way?
Couldn't find anything on Pravda?
Where is Osama?
Yeah, and I'm sure they're all highly trained, too. </sarcasm>
Bring 'em on.
Hey GeneralMcClellanBuff, perhaps you are unaware that this 'think tank' also was a big anti-nuke, anti-war supporter during the 80's. Since you 'claim' to be a big Reagan supporter, why would you post as gospel truth a spun study from a group that actively tried to undermine Reagan's Cold War efforts?
And as to your snotty little remarks implying that Bush isn't pursuing AQ, that's either complete ignorance or blatent dishonesty. You tell me, are you an idiot or a liar? How nice of you to spit on our forces in Afghanistan(and in and out of autonomous Pakistan and other places that you have no clue about.)
All your posts seem to be anti-Bush, and often contradictary. I urge each reader to check your posting history for themselves. Your main purpose seems to be dividing conservatives and defeating the Bush administration. Once again showing your chosen freepname to be the most ironic one on FR.
The estimate of 18,000 fighters was based on intelligence estimates that al Qaeda trained at least 20,000 fighters in its training camps in Afghanistan before the United States and its allies ousted the Taliban regime. In the ensuing war on terror, some 2,000 al Qaeda fighters have been killed or captured, the survey said.
We're killing them off and they call it "revitalizing."
BTW, notice the date which they chose to use as a benchmark; October of 2001; I do believe that that would have meant that these horrible people trained on Bill Clinton's watch.
I have yet to understand how they seem to be "increasing" when their own numbers say we've knocked off 2000 of them!
If they don't pose a threat, why is Ashcroft having a news conference today to warn about big-time terrorism this summer?
The United States had no ongoing hostilities with any middle-eastern nation on 09/11. Evidently this 'think tank' (my a$$), thinks enduring those is a lot safer than taking it to the insects on their own soil. There's a lot of that going around these days. Cowards and fifth-columnists are a dime a dozen. To hell with each and every one of them. This is more of a stink tank than a think tank.
Is that a brand name?
Argue with Ashcroft. He's holding a press conference today, warning about terrorism this summer. Maybe this Strategic Studies report is on to something after all.
Do you really think we only took out 2,000 Taliban and Al Qaeda over the last year and change? Heh heh heh, someone's low-balling these figures. Don't believe this count for a moment.
Because we, unlike you, believe in fighting for this country, rather than lying down and letting them win, which is your choice.
Oh, I will -- provided we haven't been blown up by a WMD by then.
Maybe it's because Al Quade is alive and kicking (and energized by all the mess in Iraq)
I would have thought you'd be thrilled to death with that scenario.
And if we have, you won't have done anything to prevent it; all you do is try to divide us.
Yup, and I suspect many of the original al Qaeda "warriors" have decided to go home and stick to goat herding.
Nope, I just agree with Gen. Schwarzkopf and other military brass who said invading Iraq was an unnecessary diversion from the war against Al Quade.
Who said that don't pose a threat? What I'm saying is that you're helping them by spreading their propaganda.
Maybe it's because Al Quade is alive and kicking (and energized by all the mess in Iraq)
And as I mentioned above, you seem thrilled by it, even though you have your facts wrong! I can almost see you smiling.
Amen to that.
If the seventh-century savages are mutiplying at a fast rate, then we need to kill them at an even faster rate. Simple mathematics.
Then Ashcroft's press conference today is an exercise in phony alarmism?
This isn't a think tank. It's a group releasing more A.N.S.W.E.R. press releases that have been retyped and presented as a consensus by neutrals. These are throwbacks to the large european groups that championed communism and derided the U.S. as long as thirty-five years ago.
Oh, there are some out there still. No one has declared victory yet. But the replacements for ones we've killed and/or scared off are even more pathetic as fighters than the originals.
Guess you think the same thing about Stormin Norman Schwarzkopf, Tom Clancy and others who I agree with on this issue.
I conclude that you are being provocative for sport, and that you really don't mean what you say: anyone who can log on to a computer can't be that dumb. Good joke...once. But it's kinda old.
You're the only phony here.
Frankly, I'm stunned by the fact that it doesn't seem to bother you at all that they intend to kill each and every one of us and we better get them first.
Look, why don't you go and join ANSWER. They will love you.
Oh, it bothers me to no end - - which is why I opposed diverting our energies from the war on Al Quade, to an unnecessary invasion of Iraq, a fifth-rate power that had nothing to do with 9-11, as even Bush and Powell now admit.
DO, I am convinced that all these people are the ones who tried to destroy this country in the 60's and now, having gotten a whiff of their love potion, defeatism, are back to finish her off.
You would've argued that Hitler was energized by D-Day. We're winning. Give it up.
Post ANY words where George W. Bush said Iraq had anything to do with 9-11.
And what were they "energized" about when they killed 3,000 in New York.
You surely can't be that foolish.
Here's a wire report on the story:
Report: al-Qaida Ranks Swelling Worldwide Wed May 26,12:47 AM ET By BARRY RENFREW, Associated Press Writer LONDON - Far from being crippled by the U.S.-led war on terror, al-Qaida has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq (news - web sites) is swelling its ranks, a report said Tuesday. AFP/File Photo Al-Qaida is probably working on plans for major attacks on the United States and Europe, and it may be seeking weapons of mass destruction in its desire to inflict as many casualties as possible, the International Institute of Strategic Studies said in its annual survey of world affairs. Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s network appears to be operating in more than 60 nations, often in concert with local allies, the study by the independent think tank said. Although about half of al-Qaida's top 30 leaders have been killed or captured, it has an effective leadership, with bin Laden apparently still playing a key role, it said. "Al-Qaida must be expected to keep trying to develop more promising plans for terrorist operations in North America and Europe, potentially involving weapons of mass destruction," IISS director Dr. John Chipman told a press conference releasing "Strategic Survey 2003/4." At the same time it will likely continue attacking "soft targets encompassing Americans, Europeans and Israelis, and aiding the insurgency in Iraq," he added. The report suggested that the two military centerpieces of the U.S.-led war on terror the wars in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and Iraq may have boosted al-Qaida. Driving the terror network out of Afghanistan in late 2001 appears to have benefited the group, which dispersed to many countries, making it almost invisible and hard to combat, the story said. And the Iraq conflict "has arguably focused the energies and resources of al-Qaida and its followers while diluting those of the global counterterrorism coalition that appeared so formidable" after the Afghan intervention, the survey said. The U.S. occupation of Iraq brought al-Qaida recruits from across Islamic nations, the study said. Up to 1,000 foreign Islamic fighters have infiltrated Iraqi territory, where they are cooperating with Iraqi insurgents, the survey said. Efforts to defeat al-Qaida will take time and might accelerate only if there are political developments that now seem elusive, such as the democratization of Iraq and the resolution of conflict in Israel, it said. It could take up to 500,000 U.S. and allied troops to effectively police Iraq and restore political stability, IISS researcher Christopher Langton told the news conference. Such a figure appeared impossible to meet, given political disquiet in the United States and Britain and the unwillingness of other nations to send troops, he said. The United States is al-Qaida's prime target in a war it sees as a death struggle between civilizations, the report said. An al-Qaida leader has said 4 million Americans will have to be killed "as a prerequisite to any Islamic victory," the survey said. "Al-Qaida's complaints have been transformed into religious absolutes and cannot be satisfied through political compromise," the study said. The London-based institute is considered the most important security think tank outside the United States. Its findings on al-Qaida's expanding structure and growing support by allied terrorist networks around the world track with similar assessments from governments and other experts. The IISS said its estimate of 18,000 al-Qaida fighters was based on intelligence estimates that the group trained at least 20,000 fighters in its camps in Afghanistan before the United States and its allies ousted the Taliban regime. In the ensuing war on terror, some 2,000 al-Qaida fighters have been killed or captured, the survey said. Al-Qaida appears to have successfully reconstituted its operations by dispersing its forces into small groups and through working with local allies, such as the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders' Front in Turkey, the report said. "Al-Qaida is the common ideological and logistical hub for disparate local affiliates, and bin Laden's charisma, presumed survival and elusiveness enhance the organization's iconic drawing power," it said.
Oh churchhillbuff does this day in and day out.
Damn I think you have just driven him off FR. I can see it now, he is the first internet user to be googled to death trying to find Bush saying that Iraq had anything to do with 911.
I have been told it's a she.
Wait for what?
Because I'm not a leftist. I hold the same views on this Iraq invasion - - that it was an unnecessary diversion from the war against Al Quade -- that Norman Schwarzkopf and Tom Clancy hold. They're not leftists, either. Both supported Bush (as did I -- and I'll vote for Bush again, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to keep pointing out that the Iraq invasion was a big mistake)
Let me see, we have a nation located between Iran and Syria, and in close proximity to Afghanistan and a few other Moslem states. Husseing was providing cash to Palestinian suicide bomber's familes. He was embezzeling billions. He was spouting off against the United States and promising to support our most ardent enemies. When asked to provide evidence he had destroyed his WMDs, he refused. He refused for over a decade. Then we were attacked.
Bud, if you think Hussein was someone we should have allowed to stay in power, then your basicly unqualified to contribute to this forum.
The list of good things that have taken place in Iraq over the last year is very long. If you don't know that, then you've just proven my comment. If Schwartzkoff doesn't know it, then he should be happy to be retired, and get back to spinning more flies for fly fishing.
Clancy has committed Harry Carry, and now I guess others have decided it's time for them to do so as well. It's sad, but if they want to destroy any respect most of us had for them, it's a free country.
I might add, Iraq is not the last nation we need to liberate.
Iran and Syria are prime candidates, and if they are too stupid to pull a Khadaffy, then they'll deserve whatever they get.
Jordan can tell you, that refusing to get involved in this war on terror, didn't stop them from being targeted. But for the grace of God, they would have had upwards of 80,000 casualties. So much for wimping out. It just doesn't work.