Friday, March 16, 2007

Future of Al-Qaeda

Fascinating piece on the rise of Fatah al-Islam, the new Palestinian branch of al-Qaeda. Its leader and training facilities hiding out in Lebanon. From the NYTimes here.

The group promotes bin Laden/Zawahiri's brand of fundamenatlism but with a more localized terror based campaign structure. a la Zarqawi the real founder of what al-Qaeda will be in the future. Small, local groups carrying out deadly attacks with an open-source structure, not reliant on a single head to the organization. The current head Shaki al-Abssi:

has shown himself to be a canny operator. Despite being on terrorism watch lists around the world, he has set himself up in a Palestinian refugee camp where,because of Lebanese politics, he is largely shielded from the government. The
camp also gives him ready access to a pool of recruits, young Palestinians whose
militant vision has evolved from the struggle against Israel to a larger Islamic
According to Abssi:

Today’s youth, when they see what is happening in Palestine and Iraq, it
enthuses them to join the way of the right and jihad,” he said. “These people
have now started to adopt the right path.”


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