A New Twist In The al Quada Terror Campaign

Many hoped that with the death of Bin Laden the terror organization would lose its power, but unfortunately that did not happen, for a new leader was appointed. The group has grown in strength and changed tactics from terror bombing in western countries to a more subtle approach. Anyone who follows the news will know they are involved in the uprisings in many Middle East countries in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, Syria being a prime example.

The al Quada Leader

The al Quada Leader

Now it seems they have turned to yet another tactic that can have serious consequences for travellers.  Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has now called on Muslims everywhere to kidnap foreigners, especially Americans, in order to exchange them for terrorist prisoners in jail. This must of course be treated with careful consideration for it indicates that any foreign tourist or businessman could be a target for Muslim extremists. He seems intent on freeing a blind Egyptian cleric convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack the United Nations and other New York landmarks.

In an audio interview he said, “I ask Allah the Glorious to help us set free Dr. Omar Abdel-Rahman and the rest of the captive Muslims, and I ask Allah to help us capture from among the Americans and the Westerners to enable us to exchange them for our captives.” Abdel-Rahman is serving a life term in the United States for a 1993 attack on New York’s World Trade Center.

Tourists, An al Quada Target?

Tourists, An al Quada Target?

This shift in policy puts a great many people in danger, and it is distinctly possible that in the months to come governments will find themselves dealing with a hostage situation. How governments will react to this is anyone’s guess. There can be no doubt that to release some of the jihadists currently in custody would pose more problems in the future. Once free they will be able to continue their ‘crusade’ against the west.

Naturally it would be easier to cut off the head of this particular snake, but as we have learned from the Bin Laden experience, the snake just grows another head. Part of the problem is that it takes so long to locate these people before action can be taken. Once located, drones have proven very capable of killing them, but we have to find them first.

American Muslims

American Muslims

The great majority of Muslims living in western countries are quite prepared to live in peace with their new hosts, but there is always the fringe who are out to cause trouble and work with the jihadists. These people make it a way of life to persuade normal peace-loving Muslims to take up the cause of Allah in the name of al Quada and like organizations.

This fact has been born out by the number of Western European youth who have been persuaded to join the fight in Syria by radical priests and jihadist internet sites. Many are being selected to carry on the fight when they get back to their home country, and have been taught how to make suicide vests and car bombs.

Kenya Atrocity

Kenya Atrocity

As we now know, this ‘Holy War’ has spread across the planet to many countries in the Far East and Africa. Some countries like Kenya are being hit hard by extremists who are intent on gaining control of a country so they can further their cause. In my view, this is the reason behind the Arab Spring, although in most Middle East countries like Algeria and Egypt they have failed to gain control.

In Syria the in-fighting between the various groups has done nothing to help the cause, therefore al-Zawahiri is calling on the groups to unite. He said, “The Ummah (Muslim world) must support this jihad with all that it can, and the mujahideen (Islamist militants) must unite around the word of Tawhid (unity).” He went on to say, “So everyone should prioritize the interest of Islam and the Ummah over his organizational or partisans interest, even if he gives up for his brothers what he sees as right.”

Whatever happens next, it will pay foreign visitors to Muslim countries to keep one eye looking over their shoulder, or better still, don’t go there.


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