Counter-Terrorism: Israeli Rules in Afghanistan

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May 28,2008: In Afghanistan and Pakistan have found that playing by Israeli rules is paying off. The Israelis had demonstrated, over the last five years, that the key to crippling a terrorist organization is to identify, and go after, the key leadership and technical people. This included a lot of specialties you never hear much about. There are, for example, the bagmen (who move the money) and the fixers (who arrange for government officials to be bribed.) There was also a video editors and web specialists responsible for most of the slick "combat videos" that appear on pro-terrorist websites. Once the ones in Baghdad were rounded up last Summer, the number of recruiting, and morale building, videos showing up in the Internet has dropped by over 75 percent. Quality is down as well. In Israel, the counter-terror campaign has worked, with successful Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel down from 59 in 2002 (the peak) to one last year. In Iraq, the U.S. applied the Israeli solution, and terrorist activity dropped sharply.

The same pattern is being played out in Afghanistan and the border areas of Pakistan, where seven years of intelligence collection has produced a huge amount of information about who is who, and where they hang out. The tribes that live in the area have also been infiltrated, to the point where information can be bought, and passed on, in time for missiles or smart bombs to be delivered to buildings containing one or more key terrorist operatives. Dozens of these key people have been killed so far this year, and the quality and quantity of terrorist attacks has been declining. On the down side, the younger replacements tend to be more bloody minded and brutal. But that just makes the terrorists more unpopular with the population they say they are trying to "liberate."

 


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