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WaPo Says Iraq’s Al-Qaeda Is No Danger To US

The terrorist enablers at the Washington Post try to out-do themselves:

The smoldering remains of the World Trade Center are framed through a broken window 23 September 2001 at ground zero in New York.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq May Not Be Threat Here

Intelligence Experts Say Group Is Busy On Its Home Front

By Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus
Sunday, March 18, 2007; A20

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is the United States’ most formidable enemy in that country. But unlike Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization in Pakistan, U.S. intelligence officials and outside experts believe, the Iraqi branch poses little danger to the security of the U.S. homeland.

As the Democratic Congress continues to push for a military withdrawal, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have repeatedly warned that bin Laden plans to turn Iraq into the capital of an Islamic caliphate and a staging ground for attacks on the United States. “If we fail there,” Bush said in a February news conference, “the enemy will follow us here.”

Attacking the United States clearly remains on bin Laden’s agenda. But the likelihood that such an attack would be launched from Iraq, many experts contend, has sharply diminished over the past year as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has undergone dramatic changes. Once believed to include thousands of “foreign fighters,” it is now an overwhelmingly Iraqi organization whose aims are likely to remain focused on the struggle against the Shiite majority in Iraq, U.S. intelligence officials said.

Although AQI’s top leader, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, is thought to be Egyptian, most members “are Iraqis, both in terms of leaders and foot soldiers,” said one counterterrorism official. He and other officials estimated that Iraqis make up 90 percent of AQI’s several thousand fighters.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates last week put the number of foreigners now arriving in Iraq to join the AQI-led Sunni insurgency at “perhaps several dozen a month” from neighboring Syria, most of them volunteers for suicide-bombing missions…

“In a year, AQI went from being a major insurgent group, but one of several, to basically being the dominant force in the Sunni insurgency,” said terrorism consultant Evan F. Kohlmann. “It managed to convince a lot of large, influential Sunni groups to work together under its banner — groups that I never would have imagined,” Kohlmann said. In November, many of the groups joined AQI in declaring an Islamic State of Iraq.

AQI’s new membership and the allied insurgents care far more about what happens within Iraq than they do about bin Laden’s plans for an Islamic empire, government and outside experts said. That is likely to remain the case whether U.S. forces stay or leave, they added.

The Sunni extremist movement in Iraq owes its existence to the U.S. invasion, said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert and Georgetown University professor. “There were no domestic jihadis in Iraq before we came there. Now there are. . . . But the threat they pose beyond Iraq is not so certain. There will be plenty of fighting to keep them there for years.” …

That genie is already out of the bottle,” Hoffman said. “The lesson of Iraq,” he said, is that “a bunch of guys with garage-door openers and cordless phones can stymie the most advanced military in the history of mankind.” …

This reads like the blackest of satire. But of course it isn’t.

Yes, let’s believe the Washington Post’s omniscient “experts.”

What have we got to lose?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, March 18th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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