Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida is under heavy pressure in its strongholds in Pakistan's remote tribal areas and is finding it difficult to attract recruits or carry out spectacular operations in western countries, according to government and independent experts monitoring the organisation.
Speaking to the Guardian in advance of tomorrow's eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, western counter-terrorism officials and specialists in the Muslim world said the organisation faced a crisis that was severely affecting its ability to find, inspire and train willing fighters.
Its activity is increasingly dispersed to "affiliates" or "franchises" in Yemen and North Africa, but the links of local or regional jihadi groups to the centre are tenuous; they enjoy little popular support and successes have been limited.
Lethal strikes by CIA drones – including two this week alone – have combined with the monitoring and disruption of electronic communications, suspicion and low morale to take their toll on al-Qaida's Pakistani "core", in the jargon of western intelligence agencies.
Dogged, relentless and unmerciful pursuit of this scum will be the only thing that works.
Airborne U.S. Special Operations forces attacked a car in southern Somalia on Monday and killed one of east Africa's most wanted al Qaeda militants, a U.S. official said.
The commandos, among the most elite and secretive of all U.S. military forces, had spent days tracking Kenyan-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, who is suspected of building the truck bomb that killed 15 people at a Kenyan hotel in 2002, as well as involvement in a simultaneous, botched missile launch at an Israeli airliner, the official said.
The strike represented an unusually high-profile assault by the covert American forces, whose activities are highly classified and whose operations -- whether successes or failures -- rarely take place in public view.
Publicizing high-profile hits like this every once in a while certainly can't help morale and which even the promise of 72 virgins doesn't appear to hold the same allure it once did for Islamo-terrorist recruits.
Kudos to President Obama for signing off on this hit. We kind of liked writing that so we are going to write it again. Kudos to President Obama for signing off on this hit.
We'll keep our fingers crossed that the President is realizing that the best way to fight this fight is by leaving it in the hands of our "rough men" who have been trained to "visit violence on those who would do us harm" and not in the hands of that hack who runs the Justice Department.
B-Daddy has more here on the "W"-word.