Friday, July 13, 2007

Is an al-Qaeda Nuclear Suitcase Bomb On the Way?

by Gabriel Schoenfeld from Commentary Magazine

In his 2000 book, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, Yossef Bodansky stated that “there is no longer much doubt that bin Laden has finally succeeded in his quest for nuclear suitcase bombs.” But this claim was unsourced and seems difficult to credit. Although bin Laden has openly expressed interest in getting the bomb, and also obtained a fatwa from a Saudi cleric giving him divine permission to use one against American civilians, presumably, if he already had one in the 1990’s, we would have seen or heard it go off by now. Still, the fact that there has been some sensationalist reporting does not mean there is no reason to worry. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal remains a chief concern. The country hemorrhaged nuclear-weapons technology for years when its atomic-energy program was being run by A. Q. Khan, who remains a national hero. Even if Khan is no longer in the loop, other elements within the Pakistani military and nuclear establishment might well offer to supply one to al Qaeda either for cash or to earn a place in heaven.

Out with the old, in with the new

from Al-Ahram Weekly

"The new generation is not the generation of Osama Bin Laden, it is the generation of Abu Musaab Al-Zarqawi, which is different from Al-Qaeda, although the word Al-Qaeda is claimed by both groups," said Abu Jandal who served for four years as Bin Laden's bodyguard before he returned to Yemen where he was arrested after the suicide bombing of the US destroyer, the USS Cole in late 2000. "It is the Iraq generation; they are young people who went there for jihad. They are inexperienced and misguided. They think that the older generation has become unable to confront and are cowards," said the Saudi-born Abu Jandal, who went to Bosnia, Somali and Tajikistan for jihad before he became Bin Laden's bodyguard in Afghanistan in 1997. Following his release in early 2003 by Yemeni security, Abu Jandal has declared a truce with the "enemies" of his idol, Bin Laden. He has been working as a taxi driver to support his family in Sanaa although he and some of his Al-Qaeda colleagues continue to live under security surveillance.

FBI Agent Calls Padilla Evasive

by Curt Anderson from Associated Press

FBI agent Russell Fincher said that although Padilla knew the names of his wife and two young sons in Egypt, he couldn't recall the address of their home in Cairo or their phone number. He remembered making a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia known as the Hajj but could not remember the names of a Saudi and a Pakistani he met there. "There was a diminishing level of completeness of answers," Fincher said. Padilla admitted traveling to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, but denied going to Yemen or Afghanistan. Prosecutors say Padilla went through Yemen to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan, where he purportedly filled out a "mujahedeen data form" that is a key piece of evidence in the case.

‘Al-Qa’ida influencing young UK Muslims’ – Bakri

by Hamza A. Bajwa from The Muslim Weekly

extremist preacher Omar Bakri is blaming the spread of al-Qa’ida’s influence on the new anti-terror laws for stopping firebrand preachers like himself from protecting the youth. "Al-Qa’ida are happy that people like me are having to leave the country and people like Abu Qatada is imprisoned, because it gives them more grounds to recruit young Muslims ... But Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wahid of the Salafi Institute in Birmingham called Bakri a liar. "He doesn’t tell the truth because back in the 90s that wasn’t his methodology and they were calling to violent revolutions." He added that it was "double standards and hypocrisy" for Bakri to claim "that you can call for bloodshed in Muslim lands but not call for it in non-Muslim lands. Where is the text from the Qur’an and Sunnah that allows you to do that?" he challenged.

Balkan extremists

from The Economist

During the war thousands of foreigners came to Bosnia to fight. Many stayed on and took citizenship. An unknown number of Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) have been to study in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. All this has raised fears that, under foreign influences, a radical Wahhabism may take root in Bosnia and in the (mainly Muslim) Sandzak region that straddles the border of Serbia and Montenegro ... Few Bosniaks have abandoned their traditions for Wahhabism, though some may have been influenced by Jusuf Barcic, who studied in Saudi Arabia, and was killed in a car crash in May. As many as 3,000 turned out for his funeral; many came from abroad.

India's Muslims enter ranks of terrorist recruits

by Y.P. Rajesh from Reuters

Religious tensions have never been far below the surface and bloody Hindu-Muslim clashes have occurred frequently since the partition of the subcontinent on communal lines. But even a violent revolt against New Delhi's rule in Muslim-majority Kashmir that erupted in 1989 began as a separatist movement and took on a religious flavour only after the involvement of Pakistani militant groups, analysts say. It was only in the era of Washington's "war on terror" that Indian Muslims began to sympathize more with pan-Islamic causes, fuelled by what some say the influence years of funding by Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi Muslim sect – which shaped Osama bin Laden's world view – had on Indian madrassas.