Merchant of Death
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Zawahiri, Attacks in Great Britain and Networks
In the face of intense propaganda and terrorist activities by al Qaeda and its affiliated groups, it is sometimes useful to step back and remind ourselves that, despite the swirl of activity, the enemy is fallible, fails more often than succeeds and is composed of fallible people in fallible networks.

This does not mean we can grow complacent, let down our guard or take the enemy to anything less than deadly serious. The _jihadists_ want to kill us, and will do so by any means at their disposal. But that desire does not mean their advance is inevitable or even remotely likely.

It means we have to become better at detecting the recruits and potential recruits. It means that, if we are prepared, they will make as many or more mistakes than we do. It means they are vulnerable, as we are.

The recent long lecture by Zawahiri to the Muslim faithful threatens more attacks, but also acknowledges shortcomings and mistakes by the _jihadist_ groups, particularly in Iraq.

All is not well elsewhere, although Zawahiri does his best to paint the picture of a triumphant caliphate toppling the old world order.

In Iraq, the Islamist groups are running into the buzzsaw of not only U.S. military efforts but the willingness of local tribes to fight against their radical agenda. Like most of the armed groups that meet with some success, the groups appear to have over-reached and it is costing them.

In Somalia, the Islamists have not regained power nor inflicted a serious defeat on the Ethiopian troops or the weak and unpopular transitional government. In Afghanistan the Taliban were unable to launch its much-heralded spring offensive and has taken some serious hits.

And in Great Britain, the bombs failed, not because of good police work but because of the incompetence of the bombers, demonstrated multiple times.

Yes, the attacks would have been serious, and the fact the plot was able to advance to the phase of execution demonstrates how little the police and intelligence services know of these networks.

But the failure has revealed a great deal about how the _jihadists_ are recruiting and moving people. And it reveals much about the _jihadists_ themselves.

The willingness of highly-educated professionals to fill the ranks is another blow to those who continue to believe and say that the _jihadists_ are driven by poverty, disaffection and the identity crisis of second-generation youth. None of that is true of this group. All are professionals, with good jobs, good careers and a short time in the UK.

What does that tell us? That there are push factors such as poverty and alienation, but also strong push factors, including teachings in radical mosques, hate speech, hate literature and the _jihadi_ websites. It is in the first two that the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, and particularly Britain, play such a crucial role.

I am often discouraged looking over the global landscape and the progress of the _salafi_ groups. But they make mistakes, they have poor operational security, they are not divinely protected or ordained.

As I said, this does not mean we can stop, relax and pat ourselves on the back. But we are up against people, many of them smart and dedicated, but also angry, careless and given to internal quarrels. It is good to remind ourselves of that once in a while.
Cal Thomas v. CAIR et al
The Shifting Al Qaeda-Hamas Relationship
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