Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

Visit Douglas Farah's
author page at

Press Releases

The Spreading Al Qaeda Movement
The recent attack in Algeria by Al Qaeda's Committee in the Islamic Maghreb in Algeria, coupled with the re-emergence and spread of the Islamist presence in Somalia, clearly show two things:

1) That the macro strategy of the core al Qaeda of fomenting the creation of small, autonomous groups to carry out _jihad_ is firmly taking root and

2) That Africa, from the Northern tier to the Horn, with a network to Southern Africa and tactical alliances in West Africa, have made that continent one of the most important battle grounds in the long war on Islamist terrorism.

Algeria is particularly important because of its proximity to Europe and the large presence of Algerian diasporas in many European countries, and the radicalization of many of these diaspora groups.

The ability of the Algerian group to inflict large-scale casualties, the possible role of the group in fomenting violence in neighboring Morocco, and its operational presence down to Mali all indicate some important growth and growing capacity.

It is interesting that in many of the areas where Al Qaeda's Committee in the Islamic Maghreb is growing in Africa have seen the growth of the presence of Saudi-financed Saudi _wahhabist_ mosques and madrassas.

It is part of a clear pattern that has emerged in Europe and Southeast Asia as well as the Arab peninsula: The radicalizing message of the _wahhabist_ preachers accompanies the recruitment of combatants, suicide bombers and others into the violent _jihadist_ movements.

This is true too in many of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated mosques in Europe, who often preach similar messages of hatred toward the West, as has been amply demonstrated in recent taped statements in Britain and elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the only tool in the tool box that seems to be available in the eyes of policy makers in dealing with the developments in Africa, is the military.

Given that the new Africa Command will take some time to be operational, and the fact that U.S. forces are already stretched beyond any reasonable limit, this is already a tool that is of limited effectiveness.

What is more alarming is that there seems to be so little thinking about using the tools of intelligent public diplomacy, outreach, serious intelligence-gathering or any other tool, in the region.

The default position seems to be to view the problem of spreading Islamist terrorism as a military one and shovel the responsibility to a military that no longer has the resources to tackle the problem, laying aside whether it is the most appropriate instrument to begin with.

The result will be (and has been) abandoning the field of non-military combat entirely to the _salafists_. There is no significant effort to counter the radicalization in any way.

One of the results is that we will see more semi-autonomous groups spreading more havoc, following in the wake of radical Islamist preachers funded by Saudi Arabia. Not a pretty picture.
The Islamist Charm Offensive
The Ineffectiveness of the UN Travel Ban Lists
Maintained by Winter Tree Media, LLC