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Islamists shift focus to Europe as jihad enters third phase
Guardian ^ | 11/18/04 | Simon Tisdall

Posted on 11/17/2004 7:00:49 PM PST by Pikamax

Islamists shift focus to Europe as jihad enters third phase

Simon Tisdall Thursday November 18, 2004 The Guardian

Osama bin Laden's latest videotape, released before the US presidential election, was denounced by many as a crude attempt to scare voters and damage George Bush. But, beyond the US, interpretations differed. Some analysts said the tape showed America was winning the "war on terror" and al-Qaida was in retreat. "The tape is one of capitulation and bankruptcy," wrote Mamoun Fandy in Egypt's al-Ahram. "This tape tells George Bush: 'Leave us alone and we will leave you alone.'" According to the French academic Gilles Kepel Bin Laden's holy war, as originally conceived, is failing. Far from vanquishing the west, it has created a crisis in the heart of Islam, setting Muslim against Muslim.

"The principal goal of terrorism - to seize power in Muslim countries through mobilisation of populations galvanised by jihad's sheer audacity - has not been realised," Mr Kepel writes in a new book, The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West. Rather, the jihadis have suffered a string of reverses, in Afghanistan, Egypt, Algeria, Bosnia and Libya.

Palestine's plight has only worsened. And terrorism gave the US a pretext to invade Iraq, Mr Kepel says.

Yet the age of jihad is far from over, he suggests. Instead, the battleground may be shifting to Europe. Understanding the true level of menace posed by al-Qaida and likeminded groups is crucial to informed debate about anti-terror strategy. It has direct bearing on everything from post-Arafat peacemaking to tougher EU immigration laws to the home secretary David Blunkett's new security measures.

If al-Qaida's power is waning, that is cause for celebration. Claims that governments are overreacting or cultivating a climate of fear will grow. But if Michael Scheuer, formerly the CIA's chief Bin Laden expert, is correct, the threat is still being underestimated.

The west had to understand, Mr Scheuer said recently, that al-Qaida, far from being a conventional terrorist group, was the still largely hidden face of a spreading, global Islamist insurgency. Mr Bush's claim to have killed or captured two-thirds of its leadership was "fantasy". "The difference between fighting a terrorist group and fighting an insurgency is one of size. Yet we still don't know how big it is," he told the New York Times. "We still, today, don't know al-Qaida's order of battle."

Mr Kepel argues that jihad may be entering a new phase. The first was characterised by insurgencies in Muslim countries aimed at overthrowing pro-western "apostate" regimes - what al-Qaida's chief ideologue, Ayman al-Zawahiri, called the "nearby enemy".

Then, in the 90s, "Islamist militants turned to global terrorism to advance their agenda" - targeting the "faraway enemy". The Islamists' new focus in a third phase, Mr Kepel claims, is the Muslim minority populations of European countries.

"The most important battle in the war for Muslim minds during the next decade will be fought not in Palestine or Iraq but in communities of believers on the outskirts of London, Paris and other European cities," he writes.

The challenge for Europe is thus how best to integrate these Muslim populations. The terrorists' challenge is to find fresh converts to jihad. The Madrid bombings and the assassination of the Dutch film-maker, Theo van Gogh, fit this analysis. Radicalised longtime Muslim residents allegedly helped both attacks. In Spain, the bombings brought the government down. In the Netherlands, the reaction to Van Gogh's murder was all Bin Laden could have wished: retaliatory violence that has shaken liberal traditions of tolerance.

The fear now is that what happened there could happen almost anywhere in western Europe. The so-called "clash of civilisations" is moving closer to home.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: clashofcivilizatio; globaljihad; jihadineurope

1 posted on 11/17/2004 7:00:49 PM PST by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

The terrorists in Holland woke up the sleeping Euros, who are joining increasing numbers of Arabs and Muslims to question the calls for jihad.


2 posted on 11/17/2004 7:10:59 PM PST by eagle11 (Judge a religion not by the words of its adherents, but by their actions.)
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To: Pikamax
This tape tells George Bush: 'Leave us alone and we will leave you alone.'" According to the French academic Gilles Kepel Bin Laden's holy war, as originally conceived, is failing....

Yet the age of jihad is far from over, he suggests. Instead, the battleground may be shifting to Europe.

Well, of course. The colloquial term is "Duh"

We stood up to the terrorists. GWB showed backbone. The terrorists backed down.

By contrast, Europe tried appeasement. Throughout history that has failed.

From a simple military standpoint, the terrorists are going after the soft target and are leaving the hard target alone, at least comparatively.

The technical term for this in the military is maneuver warfare.

Too bad for the Euroweasels. Pity.

3 posted on 11/17/2004 7:11:16 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: Pikamax

Quote: Yet we still don't know how big it is," "We still, today, don't know al-Qaida's order of battle."

----

I think that is largely false. Whe have a significant portions of the leadership in custody, and It seems highly unlikely that all of them are stone-walling. Given the general level of cowardice exhibited by these so called "masterminds" and the fact that they have been kept out of range of the US courts and in undisclosed locations in countries where torture and drug use are allowed, I suspect they are singing like birds.

I do agree with much of the article which suggests that the battle will be moved to Europe where they have a much better chance of success.

US muslims, by and large chose to remain silent, neither condemming nor overtly supporting al-Qaida.

I don't think the same will be true in Europe, where half of Paris is Muslim and becoming quite radicalized.

Old Europe's 9/11 is yet to come.


4 posted on 11/17/2004 7:16:18 PM PST by konaice
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To: Pikamax

Alternatively, Europe is a temptingly weak target, and the U.S. has proved a hard nut.

Gay Paris, here they come!


5 posted on 11/17/2004 7:16:20 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Democrat Obstructionists will be Daschled!)
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To: Brad Cloven

P.S. Nobody's coming to help you, Jacques.


6 posted on 11/17/2004 7:16:54 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Democrat Obstructionists will be Daschled!)
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To: Pikamax

That is good news for us - terrible news for Europe. Their politically correct societies can't comprehend pure evil, and they will appease their way to their own destruction. Their sell-out of Israel assures their fate. On another note, I heard on FOX that Egypt has been invaded by millions and millions of locusts. Wasn't Egypt the place where 16 Israelis were murdered several weeks ago?


7 posted on 11/17/2004 7:26:39 PM PST by wewon (i fought the moderator, and the moderator won.)
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To: Brad Cloven

I wish we would build a wall around america, just like Israel. Our open borders are just begging to be violated.


8 posted on 11/17/2004 7:28:27 PM PST by wewon (i fought the moderator, and the moderator won.)
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To: Pikamax

Phase One: Lose your ass.

Phase Two: Lose your ass.

Phase Three Euro Version: See phase One.


9 posted on 11/17/2004 7:28:47 PM PST by telebob
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To: Pikamax
The challenge for Europe is thus how best to integrate these Muslim populations.

Simple: reduce them through evangelization and immigration restrictions, while having more Christian babies as a counterweight to Islamic fecundity. Deny any concession to Sharia.

10 posted on 11/17/2004 7:31:44 PM PST by Fatalis
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To: Pikamax
Well I hope they pull their head out of the sand before the get kicked in the crotch but i think as history has shown Europe dose little until after they get a few hard kicks in the nether region.
11 posted on 11/17/2004 7:56:28 PM PST by RichLane
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To: Pikamax
"This tape tells George Bush: 'Leave us alone and we will leave you alone.'"

And what did George Bush say?

"According to the French academic Gilles Kepel Bin Laden's holy war, as originally conceived, is failing."

Yes. Kepel's right. And the reason it's failing it this: The expert, brialliant, and resolute leadership of one man--George Bush.

"The principal goal of terrorism - to seize power in Muslim countries through mobilisation of populations galvanised by jihad's sheer audacity - has not been realised."

Right. Because George Bush has more audacity, is smarter, and is on the side of God.

"The battleground may be shifting to Europe."

It is. Because President Bush and the American people have shown the jihidis that they cannot succeed in the U.S.--though they have never stopped trying.

9/11 has never been repeated--dispite the jihidis best efforts--despite the Super Bowl and the 2004 elections and everything else. The reason--George Bush and his supurb leadership!

Europe, on the other hand, led by confused, corrupt appeasers, lost, uncertain, and bogged down in a quagmire of decadence, is an easy mark.

"The most important battle in the war for Muslim minds during the next decade will be fought not in Palestine or Iraq but in communities of believers on the outskirts of London, Paris and other European cities."

They won't be fought in American cities. That's for sure! Thanks to President Bush and the people of the American Heartland!

"The challenge for Europe is thus how best to integrate these Muslim populations."

What if they don't want to be integrated?

"The so-called 'clash of civilisations' is moving closer to home."

Yes. It is. And so far, many European leaders are still in denial that it even exists. Lotsa luck!

12 posted on 11/17/2004 8:05:45 PM PST by Savage Beast (PEST-sufferers, North Korea awaits you!)
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To: Savage Beast
You left off one very important aspect of that scenerio.

Al Qaeda aimed to knock us to our knees on 9-11, and they did. What they didn't expect is that we would stay on our knees only long enough to ask God's blessing for what we had to do and then we rose back up, as a nation, and struck them with the sword of justice. THAT they didn't expect. That, they won't find in europe.

13 posted on 11/17/2004 8:19:20 PM PST by McGavin999 (George Soros just learned a very expensive lesson-America can't be bought.)
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To: McGavin999

Excellent observations and well said.


14 posted on 11/17/2004 8:24:58 PM PST by Savage Beast (PEST-sufferers, North Korea awaits you!)
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To: Pikamax

Islam is Nazism. I say give them what they want and unleash hell.


15 posted on 11/17/2004 8:25:55 PM PST by SQUID
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: RichLane

Europe does little until it's too late for them and then they yell UNCLE HELP US


17 posted on 11/17/2004 8:45:15 PM PST by philetus (Zell Miller - One of the few)
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To: philetus

Paris will yell "uncle" and the rest of Europe will yell "help us!"


18 posted on 11/17/2004 8:53:28 PM PST by 95 Bravo ("Freedom is not free. ")
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To: SQUID
Hey I'm all for unleashing hell. If these are end times then it is far better to go down fighting and break the seals than to whimper in the darkness. I also say that the golden rule applies here! If they are happy to behead people and force convert to Islam then i say great Mohammad were going to lock you in a room for 3 days no food just water then on the morning of the 4th day offer a plate of bacon, Ham, and a bible. If they chose starvation i say give them a little pet send in a hog to live with them. Insure that they will never see their idea of the afterlife. Let it rain Pigs Blood all over the mid east. Now don't get me wrong here I'm not saying Wipe out a group of people. I'm saying You are now unclean according to your Texts to ever sit beside Allah now you have two options Go to hell or find a new religion? Baptism by spam! Thats right Ham Pork and mechanically separated Chicken. The food of GI's Could be the way! Let there be light and let there Be SPAM .....flung at all Muslims!
19 posted on 11/17/2004 8:53:52 PM PST by RichLane
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To: 95 Bravo

I wouldn't want my son to be sacrificed to save them. Sorry France, but you're on your own in this one.


20 posted on 11/17/2004 9:05:42 PM PST by kalee
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To: Pikamax

What the Euros don't understand is that Islamofascism is like water--it will run downhill in the easiest place.

Bush is making America like a walled fortress so the water will run around it and downhill to the Europeans.

Too bad, but they will have to build their own dike.


21 posted on 11/17/2004 9:05:43 PM PST by wildbill
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: philetus
Europe does little until it's too late for them and then they yell UNCLE HELP US"

Heh, not a snowflake's chance in hell of us committing troops the help the French ever again. The surrender monkeys can just grow their beards, wear their burkas, tear down their Cathedreals and build Mosques as they slip forgotten into the dark ages.
23 posted on 11/17/2004 9:19:19 PM PST by konaice
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To: konaice

now wait a min France can't grow beards without first finding out if that is going to offend some one first


24 posted on 11/17/2004 10:20:51 PM PST by RichLane
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To: Pikamax

Muslim minds an oxymoron...


25 posted on 11/17/2004 11:17:58 PM PST by tkathy (There will be no world peace until all thuggocracies are gone from the earth.)
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To: Pikamax
We aught not forget that this article is only purest speculation. The notion that terrorists will strike Europe is not particularly helpful in winning this war unless one defines the nature of the strike. Will it be limited to a Madrid sized affair or a giant hit like 9/11? If the former, it will not do much more than add momentum to the appeasers, as it did in Spain.

The real fear in this war is a strike, or multiple strikes, with WMDs causing massive casualties and economic disruption. This is dangerous beyond the horror of the actual deaths involved because these massive asymmetrical attacks threaten western democracy itself. No one can guarantee how America will behave under the weight of the terror caused by a virus on the loose and the collapse of our economy. Would we send Jimmy Carter to cut a deal? If we cannot be sure how we will behave, even less can we predict the reactions of the Euroweenies.

On the other hand, a strike in Europe could easily change the entire dynamic in our favor and turn Europe into an aggressive ally. Al Quaida does not know the answer to this speculation either and will therefore decide the issue out of ingnorance, wishful thinking, desperation and superstition - which makes them so dangerous and unpredictable. But, in war it is always the better part of prudence to assume that the enemy will do what he should do. In this case I would conclude that the attacks will be aimed at America because an intelligent adversary will not make Hitler's mistake and gratuitously increase his enemies.

Finally, we cannot assume that terrorists are monolithic, that is, coordinated. French Muslim terrorists undoubtedly have different aspirations than Filipino terrorists. So we cannot assume that French terrorists, for example, will defer their ambitions for the greater good of the terrorist war effort and refrain from striking Paris over head scarves.

My bet is that the first group to get WMD will use it and no one can predict where that will be nor can anyone confidently predict the reaction of our western democracies. We can only thank God that we have Bush and not Kerry to turn to.
26 posted on 11/18/2004 12:48:58 AM PST by nathanbedford
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To: Brad Cloven; nathanbedford; A. Pole

Serbs to the West: Reap what you sow! We told you so!


27 posted on 11/20/2004 8:33:41 PM PST by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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