Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Al Qaeda's generational split

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    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Al Qaeda's generational split

    Al Qaeda's generational split

    Over the past several months, a generational schism has emerged within Al Qaeda's ranks in Yemen, pitting younger, more radicalized members against the more experienced old guard. Since 2003, the Yemeni government and Al Qaeda in Yemen have reached what could best be described as a tacit nonaggression pact. Through a combination of military action and negotiation, Yemen has attempted to convince the militants not that their beliefs are incorrect, but rather that they would hurt their own cause and base of operations by acting violently within the borders of the state.

    These negotiations have led to the release of numerous Al Qaeda operatives, who have pledged not to carry out attacks within the country. Yemen has a long tradition of co-opting its enemies; the government used this technique to buy off southern officers after a secession attempt in 1994.

    To the new generation of Al Qaeda in Yemen, many of whom have been radicalized in Iraq, this arrangement is tantamount to a treasonous alliance with tyrants. This summer, under the leadership of Nasir al-Wuhayshi - Osama bin Laden's former secretary and a fellow escapee of Badawi's - the new generation issued a statement articulating its policy.

    The statement, which was aimed at Al Qaeda's old guard, warned that jihad could not be paused in order to seek the release of prisoners. Indeed, the new generation showed little interest in the worldly fate of those prisoners. "If they are killed," the statement said, "they end up as martyrs."



    The Ummah are cheap fodder. Dead, alive, use them up.


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