Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: al Qaeda HUNTERS

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    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    al Qaeda HUNTERS

    The Al Qaeda Hunters
    Al Qaeda and As Sahab are taken by surprise by the American Al Qaeda watchers who got hold of the Osama tape even before they had released it. ...
    B. Raman

    Since 9/11, the US has a number of non-governmental Al Qaeda watchers, who have been doing tremendous service to the cause of the war against global jihad by systematically monitoring the various Internet sites known to be used by Al Qaeda, its propaganda and PSYWAR wing calleed As Sahab and other pro-Al Qaeda organisations and drawing the attention of the international community and their policy makers to significant statements and developments. Many of them are very proficient in their command of the Arabic language and are also experts in information technology.

    Every time Al Qaeda and As Sahab have come out with an important statement or announcement, it is this community of voluntary Al Qaeda watchers, which has detected the imminence of the coming statement or announcement and alerted the public and the policy-makers.

    This community excelled itself even more than in the past on September 7, 2007. when it not only detected a brief alert issued by As Sahab regarding the imminence of a new video message by Osama bin Laden----the first since October,2004--- but even managed to get a copy of the video and put out its English transcript even before As Sahab could disseminate it through the Internet and the Al Jazeera TV station.

    Al Qaeda and As Sahab were totally taken by surprise by the exploit of the American Al Qaeda watchers in getting hold of the tape even before they had released it. This created a scare in As Sahab that there could be a human or electronic mole in its midst and in a remarkable instance of crisis management, Al Qaeda and As Sahab went off the Internet for some hours till they were able to re-engineer their web presence. They have since started re-appearing one by one----apparently after assessing the damage and taking the required corrective action.

    This exploit of the American community of Al Qaeda watchers is much more significant than the message itself. The most important fact of the message is that it sets at rest the speculation that bin Laden is either dead or in bad health. This speculation arose from the fact that there has been no video message of his since October,2004. The video messages circulated since then were a rehash of the past, but there were fresh audio messages, including one in April,2006, in which he described the global jihad as directed against the anti-Islam conspiracy of the Crusaders, the Jewish people and the Hindus.

    The second interesting fact is that the latest message, which seems to have been recorded in the second half of August,2007, is full of more taunts than threats.It claims that there has never been a massacre of Jews or Christians in the Islamic world and refers to the presence of a large number of Jews in Morocco and Christians in Egypt in support of his assertion. It also highlights what it considers as the failure of the US to make headway in Iraq and Afghanistan and of the Democrats to bring about a change in the policies of President George Bush. He compares President Bush to the former Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev who ordered the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and hints that just as the policies of Brezhnev led to a collapse of the Soviet empire, the policies of Mr.Bush would lead to a collapse of the American empire.It refers to the influence exercised by the American corporate world over policy-making irrespective of which party is in power and says that one cannot expect a change in the US policies so long as this influence continues. It concludes on a mocking note that the only salvation for the US lies in the American people embracing Islam.

    The message carries no indicators regarding Al Qaeda's future plans and tactics.It is doubtful whether it will have an ispirational impact on the Muslims of the world.

    The successful hijacking of the video message by American Al Qaeda watchers shows that it should be possible to track down Osama bin Laden and other remnants of Al Qaeda hiding in Pakistani territory one day and neutralise them. The US Al Qaeda watchers' hunt for bin Laden is improving in finesse and sophistication.

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