Counter-Terrorism: Blue-Eyed Jihadis Observed


April 4,2008: The debate between left and right over whether "profiling" is an appropriate tool, is one of several aspects of the "War on Terror" where people talking about something that is essentially a non-issue. The debate is welcomed by al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups, since it diverts attention from more serious discussion of tactics and strategy.

Information from various intelligence agencies suggests that even before September 11, 2001, al Qaeda began actively recruiting "Western" looking people, men and women, for the purpose of circumventing any resort to profiling. They have apparently been having some success. The presence of small numbers of "white" – even blond haired-and blue eyed – trainees in al Qaeda training camps in Waziristan has been confirmed. Some of these trainees are from existing Moslem communities in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, while others are recent converts from Europe, the U.S., and other Western nations. Confirmation comes from CIA and other Western intelligence agencies who have been doing a little "profile proof" recruiting of their own, with agents able to "pass" as Moslems actually infiltrating al Qaeda's infrastructure.

While he remains an symbolic figure or enormous importance, Osama bin Ladin is now believed to have very little to do with running al Qaeda. Actual operations are controlled by Ayman al Zawahiri, who seems to have a pretty firm grip on al Qaeda operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where the organization has been taking some heavy hits. Al Zawahiri's influence over the other al Qaeda franchises varies from considerable to virtually nil. Some of the local al Qaeda franchises seem to have no real ties to al Qaeda Central at all; local Islamists seeking some "authentication" have merely proclaimed their adherence to bin Laden's "jihad" in the hope of gaining prestige and influence, not to mention possibly securing subsidies.


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