According to Newsweek, Al-Qaeda has shifted its primary focus from Afghanistan to Iraq. At a meeting during Ramadan, “according to Taliban sources, Osama bin Laden’s men officially broke some bad news to emissaries from Mullah Mohammed Omar, the elusive leader of Afghanistan’s ousted fundamentalist regime. Their message: Al Qaeda would be diverting a large number of fighters from the anti-U.S. insurgency in Afghanistan to Iraq. Al Qaeda also planned to reduce by half its $3 million monthly contribution to Afghan jihadi outfits.”
That Al-Qaeda can manage $3 million a month to jihadis in Afghanistan or anywhere else will come as a surprise to many, who still consider Islamic terrorists to be a tiny group on the radical fringe, talking tough as they skulk around in caves.
“All this was on the orders of bin Laden himself, the sources said. Why? Because the terror chieftain and his top lieutenants see a great opportunity for killing Americans and their allies in Iraq and neighboring countries such as Turkey, according to Taliban sources who complain that their own movement will suffer. . . . Bin Laden believes that Iraq is becoming the perfect battlefield to fight the ‘American crusaders’ and that the Iraqi insurgency has been ‘100 percent successful so far,’ according to a Taliban participant at the mid-November meeting who goes by the nom de guerre Sharafullah.”
This Newsweek piece is full of silly Democratic Party cheerleading about how “bin Laden’s shift of focus could be unsettling news for George W. Bush,” despite Bush’s own statement that “we are fighting that enemy [in Iraq] today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets.” Nonetheless, it contains some useful information about global terrorist machinations.