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The War Nerd / April 26, 2011

There are times when you look back and wish you’d had the courage to say what you were thinking. With me it’s a spotty record: Sometimes I do, but more often I wimp out. I wish now I’d said the first thing that came into my head when I started hearing about Al Qaeda, which was, “No, it can’t be. Violates every rule of guerrilla organization.”

People are starting to see that now, starting to doubt whether there is such a thing—but that’s only because Al Qaeda has been no-showing like the Second Coming. Libya was the latest place it was supposed to show up. Egypt before that. Remember Glenn Beck talking about the Caliphate? For that matter, remember Glenn Beck? God, there’s another freak who you’d think couldn’t exist. But he did, running on fumes, just like Al Qaeda. Beck is in the Second-Coming business himself, but his Jesus is Osama and he made his money predicting Squidward-with-a-beard

His tentacles of terror reach everywhere!

would show up in Encino any day. The Egyptian revolution was just Al Qaeda in disguise as a few million yuppies. Libya was the same Osama-of-a-thousand-faces, this time as a mixed crowd of bored kids and their dads. Wherever it was, Cairo or Benghazi, it was Osama by another name.

It never made sense. That’s what I wish I’d said sooner and louder and more often. The whole concept of Al Qaeda is wrong. The name means “The Base” in Arabic, and the idea is that it’s a central clearinghouse for dozens of different guerrilla groups, sharing an Islamic ideology but representing different countries and tribes and languages. They get together and share intelligence and personnel and materiel, because they’re all good Muslims working for a common cause. It’s the old kiddie dream of a vast umbrella group of baddies, S.P.E.C.T.R.E from Man from Uncle, KAOS in Get Smart, the ridiculous villain and his volcano HQ in every lame Bond film.

“Let’s have a terror jamboree and share ideas and secret identies!”

It’s just a terrible idea. The last thing any sane guerrilla group wants to do is to go to an international guerrilla jamboree like the Boy Scouts. Sure, you’ll share ideas and prop up each others’ morale—and in the meantime, the informers—because every decent-sized guerrilla group must assume it’s been penetrated—will be taking careful notes, taking quiet candid pictures, and putting together organizational charts. By the time you go to your home country from the big Jihad Jamboree in Waziristan or Tora Bora, you can be sure that the informers have shared their info with their handlers. And although some intel agencies can be stingy, most of them share info very readily, so every informer has in effect given the breakdown of every local group to every intel agency in the world.

And that’s death to a guerrilla, literally death, and not a quick or easy death either. Sharing info is good for intelligence agencies (most of the time; there are exceptions, like sharing the identity of some agents), but it’s the worst thing in the world for guerrillas.

That’s why guerrilla groups either start out with or switch to cell style organizations. Many times you’ll see a guerrilla group starting out imitating military organization, with big units and uniforms and parades. That’s asking to be wiped out. Sometimes they are wiped out; but if they survive, their second coming always involves switching to four-person cells, where three out of four members don’t know anything except the identity of the other cell members. And even the fourth, the cell leader, only knows the identity of one contact in the larger organization.

By bringing Jihadis from around the world to get Osama’s blessing, Al Qaeda was giving them a short-term boost in morale and finances but pretty much guaranteeing they’d be penetrated and destroyed within a few years. And that’s what happened: a big splash on 9/11, a few aftershocks in East Africa, Bali, Madrid and London, and then nothing but cops breaking down doors all over the world to the soundtrack of Hellfire missiles from Predator drones vaporizing mud houses in Northern Pakistan.

What made Al Qaeda so scary was that they went all out, in an age where the military norm is to use a tiny little fraction of your actual power. To see that style in action, just look at Libya now: NATO has the largest common air force in the world and could make every Qaddafi-held town in Libya a column of black smoke in a few minutes, but what they actually do is hold a classic EU discussion before taking out a single tank.

Al Qaeda made its mark by using everything they had. Every contact in every country. Every dime of finance. Every pound of plastique. Every willing suicide bomber. They literally doubled up on their attacks, trying for at least two big targets every time: the WTC, Pentagon and White House on 9/11, multiple tube stations on 7/7, two Israeli vacation spots and a US Embassy in Kenya. That sort of splurging really shocked bureaucrats who’ve spent their lives hedging their bets. And it worked, short-term; it made Al Qaeda look much bigger and more important than it really was. For that matter, the only reason they lasted as long as they did is that Western intel didn’t have any decent Arabic-speaking specialists. They weren’t enthusiastic about real terrorists; too sweaty, too foreign. Up until 9/11 forced their hand, they wanted to focus on the real threat: “Eco-terrorists,” a couple dozen hippies in the nice cool Oregon forests, where there are some pretty comfy hotels a fed can relax in, and the suspects speak English.

If we’d stepped back and looked coldly at the damage after 9/11, it wouldn’t have made such an impression. Three thousand dead, from a population of 300 million. Two large buildings destroyed—about like two trees in the concrete forest of Manhattan. If you ask me, what really hurt us on that day was that the plane aimed at the White House didn’t make it. That’s the way to hurt America: Leave Bush in charge, with a big boost of patriotic gullibility, for six long years. That’s how they really got us. If the preachers had focused on that angle I’d have bought it: “God is punishing America by turning away the plane that was heading for Pennsylvania Avenue! He could have removed the curse and chose not to! Woe unto us!”

There’s a story on the BBC now asking “Where’s Al Qaeda in Libya?” The answer comes down the page where these British agents say how amazed they are that so many young men who were screaming Jihadis last year are now pushing for cellphone revolutions, Cairo style.

“…jihadists…in Libya [are changing] the way they behave and talk in the past two months.

“The way they start to make statements or to understand the conflicts is unbelievable, beyond my imagination. The only explanation I can offer is because they have been affected – whether they like it or not – by the wave of democracy.”

Now there are a couple of ways you can read that news. The one the BBC wants you to buy is that democracy is winning, yay yay yay. And in a way that’s true, if by “democracy” you mean “riots in the streets of Cairo and open warfare in Libya.” Those ways sure worked better than the Brotherhood’s slow sneaky method, or Zawahiri’s offshoot of the Brotherhood, Al Qaeda.

But look back with a good cold eye at what Al Qaeda was and you see they only recruited well in one demographic: Middle/Upper-Class, Not-That-Bright, Middle Eastern Surplus Young Men. There are a lot of those around, thanks to oil money and high birth rates, and they bounce. That’s what they do: they bounce from prostitutes and cognac in Paris to cults in Denmark to one after another school, pretending to be “studying” to become whatever lame childish job takes their fancy and spends their stipends without asking too much. They’re “going to become” lawyers or doctors or work for the UN or they’ve developed a perpetual motion machine or they’re going to bring Islam to the spiritually starved masses of Warsaw—every dumb-ass project a bunch of pampered hicks can come up with. Just imagine an Islamic Jethro from Beverly Hillbillies going down the list with dad’s money: “Ah’m gonna be a doctor, Grannie! …A preacher! …A Inventor!” And every time, it’s slapstick failure. And the older and more annoyed he gets at the way the world won’t let him play the hero, Jethro moves down the list to: “Ah’m gonna be a martyr, Granny!”

Why not? People go back to their roots. Here just as much as there. How many hippies mutated back to real-estate agents in California? How many cokeheads are fulltime Christians now? You warp back to your Granny’s dreams when you’ve shot your own bolt.

And there you are: Mohammed Atta and his overpriced friends with one last chance to show how important they are.

Sorry, Osama–he’s moved on to cellphones and democracy.

That’s a short-term demographic, those dudes. They got no discipline. FARC wouldn’t have them on a bet. They’re good for a big splash, which is all they ever wanted anyway, but when you look back, what you see is a cadre of Afghan vets, funded by western intel all the way, who carried a lot of momentum away from the war against the Soviets, made a lot of connections, and tried playing way above their weight for a little while. It scared the ordinary morons, and that suited the suits like it always does. But along the way they were spending everything they had like New Russians. They spent their best recruits, blew their connections on short-term show-off blasts, and in a few years they had nothing left, and the demographic they drew from—flighty young guys at loose ends in the big cities of the Middle East—had moved on to cellphones and “democracy.”

It’s a fast, lively story but with no military significance that I can see, except if you consider Al Qaeda the propaganda wing of the Republican Party. In that way, yeah, you could say they did a lot. For a patient, intelligent future guerrilla, the lesson is plain: draw from a more serious demographic, don’t go to international jamborees, and spend your assets carefully.

Would you like to know more? Gary Brecher is the author of the War Nerd. Send your comments to gary dot brecher at gmail dot com. Read Gary Brecher’s first ever War Nerd column by clicking here.

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78 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. chav  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Al-Qaeda is not a cohesive group anymore, it’s something more dangerous now: An idea.

  • 2. Punjabi from Karachi  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Harsh. Unfortunately, they’ve riled up another demographic. Dumb sunni kids in Pakistan. Its going to be very annoying here.

  • 3. Ganryu  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I’ll point you to Webster Tarpley, historian and a bit of a war nerd (tarpley.net). His contention is that Al-Qaeda is a CIA-funded invention and he provides good arguments for it. It makes sense after seeing the overt funding of these yutzes during the Soviet-Afghan war–why quit a good thing?
    One more thing, even if a plane hit the White House on 9/11, MyPetGoat-in-Chief wasn’t even there. Gads, if they had taken Bush out then Cheney would’ve been president. Can you imagine how fucked it would’ve been with Voldemort fully in charge? *Shudder*

  • 4. Punjabi from Karachi  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Cadre of Afghan Vets Funded by Western Intel

    That is EXACTLY what we were thinking and saying here in Pakistan in the immediate (what you call) “Post 9/11″ period. We were saying these are a bunch of idiots who got lucky, we have bigger fish to nuke, like educating our kids, and your Republican morons didn’t listen. Now with the Obama team, Petraeus, Mullen, they’re all paying more attention to what Pakistan is saying (good) and we’re moving *somewhere* on making the illiterate kids in Pakistan, less illiterate. Obviously we have false moves like that poor silly hick Mortenson (write and abuse on the “Three Cups of Tea” douche), but he was good for publicity LOL.

    Watch the dollar bills fly to make rural Pakistani kids learn to read, woohoo!

    And yeah, “Al Qaeda” has now decesnded into sectarianism. That’s the Irish Catholic V Protestant territory. Very dumb. And a massive waste of time.

    Anywhoo Brecher/Ames/Dolan, you were too busy getting coke up your nose and pissing off your ad customers to notice much on 9/11.

    :-D

  • 5. dfasd  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Didn’t the socialist/marxist/whatever terrorist groups have big international jamborees in the 70s and 80s? The ones where PFLP, Red Army Faction, Provos, etc. all got together to talk about how much everyone else sucks?

    Although I guess those were infiltrated pretty well, as there aren’t really any big marxist terrorist groups left, outside of the pesky naxalites in India

  • 6. Mike  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Even if Al-Qaeda is has morphed into “an idea”. It’s a really stupid one.

  • 7. Jack Boot  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Far more than by eco-terrorists (“Spike a tree for Gaia!”), US Intel was – and remains – distracted by the Drug Lords.

    For instance, back in the summer of ’01, John Ashcroft ordered the FBI to de-emphasize counterterrorism in favour of – wait for it – the War on (some) Drugs and internet porn!

    Now, there’s a man – and a country – will well-ordered priorities.

    A final thought: We can all thank Nelson Rockefeller & Co for having built the WTC in the first place. Had it never existed, Rubbish Bin would surely have targeted the Empire State & Chrysler Bldgs. Now, that would have been a disaster…

  • 8. Welshy  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Al-Qaeda as an organisation was created by the US because they needed to link Osama with an organised network to charge him in absentia for the Kenyan embassy bombing. You Americans will know how it works seeing as you had to deal with the mafia.

    Osama only started using the name ‘Al-Qaeda’ after 9/11 because he was informed that the Americans were using that name to describe him and his very small group of associates. This fantasy organisation helped both groups: it helped the US convince its population that there was a large, organised network with cells in over 60 countries, and it helped the hardcore islamists trick people into thinking that they had an organisation.

    What was a danger was the idea, not this fantasy network; and this idea only started to become more popular when America started invading arab countries and murdering civilians.

    The Americans didn’t destroy Al-Qaeda because there was never an Al-Qaeda in the first place; there was — and still is — many islamists who want to gain control of their own countries (The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in a recent example), but there’s a much smaller group who are willing to attack other countries such as America and Britain.

    Of course, America could have suppressed this idea more effectively with much less effort than they expended inadvertently (or maybe not?)promoting it, but then the neo-conservatives wouldn’t have had a new Soviet Union to terrify the masses.

    Neo-conservatism is untenable without a major threat, because the neo-conservatives are revolutionaries (it’s no coincidence that a decent number of them used to be Marxists), and if you want to establish a worldwide ‘democratic’ system, you need to create justification for invading foreign countries.

  • 9. Graham J.  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    The smart thing to do is to leave whatever organizational structure currently exists intact. That way you can at least keep an eye on the major players, who you’ve got mapped out. If there’s a roundup or anything like that, they all go to ground and you lose track of everyone.

    Y’know, assuming there’s a structure left at all.

  • 10. E F  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Chav – aside from the fact that AQ was never that cohesive, your comment is somewhat less than an idea.

    Gary – I’m really enjoying the series, please keep it up! What do you think of modern special forces memoirs, like Dalton Fury’s “Kill Bin Laden”? As much as I enjoy reading them, I have a hard time believing their authenticity… why would people like that be writing so openly? Why would they be allowed to? If they’re propaganda, why are they sometimes ardently anti-Bush&Cheney and anti-CIA?

  • 11. Punjabi from Karachi  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I just read your War Movies post I see you respected James Clavell.

    I have James Clavell’s translation of “Art of War”.

    My father had an old James Clavell novel in his bookcase, one where they described the nature of Asian “faces”.

    Respect, War Nerd-San.

  • 12. fischbyne  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    You draw a good picture. Robert Greenwald made a similar argument in his documentary, “Uncovered: The War in Iraq” released in November 2003. He demonstrates that the name Al Qaeda was first used by the Pentagon to describe a terrorist organization. When Osama & Co. heard that’s what they were being called, they said, “That’s what we’re doing? Oh, OK! Good name! Thanks!”

  • 13. Dajve  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Erm, weren’t the 7/7 attacks just a couple of guys from Bradford?

    Other than that, pretty good article

  • 14. Doctor Memory  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I’ve been saying for years that Al Qaeda’s “A-Team” happily martyred themselves on 9/11/01, and that we’ve been dealing with increasingly less-competent copycats ever since then. The “shoe bomber” should have been the tipoff that they were a one-hit wonder: the follow-up to 9/11 was an obvious dipshit trying to light up his reeboks only to get curbstomped by a bunch of angry civilians?

  • 15. Lavrentij "Anarch99" Lemko  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Sooner or later, the world must turn to Braco:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mcal5BjK7x8

    We members of Braco-Qaeda must remain resilient!

  • 16. Adam  |  April 26th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    The idea of Al-Qaeda works better than the actual group, for everyone. It gives patriotic Americans something “concrete” to shake their fists at during the Two Minutes of Hate, and it makes the Islamic Fundies feel like they’re part of something bigger, when they’re really (like the War Nerd said) just cheering suicidal college drop outs who figure out how to get manure or box knives into the city.

  • 17. wengler  |  April 26th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Terrorism is a criminal racket created in order to steal money.

    Once the response to this tactic raised to the level of a full military operation encompassing an entire country we were fucked. You can’t combine those two operations without having your security state slowly choke out the rest of your economy and society. Too many people grow rich and fat for it to go away.

    You will see it. If the defense establishment gets cut or even is scared of getting cut, a terrorist attack will mysteriously appear out of nowhere. The Republicans will claim Obama hates America, loves terrorism, blah, blah, blah, and the Bear Patrol will get another 500 billion in funding.

  • 18. Michal  |  April 26th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    “If we’d stepped back and looked coldly at the damage after 9/11, it wouldn’t have made such an impression.”

    Well, in one interview Osama said that according to US experts the 9/11 cost the US about a trillion dollars in damages, missed workhours, missed profits and all the related costs. $640 billion was lost on Wall Street alone.

    Foreign Policy had an interesting article on the issue.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/11/23/death_by_a_thousand_cuts?page=0,0

  • 19. Dobb  |  April 26th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I’ve been thinking this for awhile now. clearly whatever org Al queda had is dead, now its decentralized copy cats. Most of them pretty dumb.

    Your FARC comment got me wondering though. Have you done articles on the modern(ish)Marxist guerrilla movements. You know like the Sendero, and the FARC, or the naxhalites and the Nepalese maoists?

  • 20. warriorhun  |  April 26th, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Dear War Nerd,

    You will find this familiar (in case your old e-mail address worked), so I will cut it short for the benefit of the people.

    An islamist terrorist group called “Al-Qaeda” hating the freedoms of USA, wishing to bring sharia there and to plant the horsehair and crescent-moon flags on top of the White House…does not exist. Who are they then? CIA? No way will a paleface convince Arabs that he is just old homeboy Hassan from the neighborhood, and the non-insider American agents would recognise their old comrades from the Army days. Arabs? There is only so much pregnant Arab women and kids and their puppies that an Arab mercenary will behead for a 100 dollar bill of the unbelievers.
    So, “Al-Qaeda” is a US-Israeli joint operation, a pseudo-terrorist gang and a Media fakery.
    1. As a pseudo-terrorist gang, Al-Qaeda are the IDF’s “Mistaravim” units. Mistaravim translates “Like an Arab”, “Play an Arab”, as in Arab terrorist. Sephardim Juden who look like an Arab, speak the language, know the customs, and can sell themselves as islamist terrorist so even the legit Arab groups believe them-compare that feat with convincing the average American TV-viewer.
    In the Middle East they are committing real terror attacks against the locals. False-flag attacks and massacres are standard tactics of pseudo-terror gangs in CI warfare. Insurgents do not kill their own folks. But “foreign jihadists” massacring the locals can not hide among them long without getting hurt: so they have to operate from US bases.
    2. In the Western World, Al-Qaeda is a Media fakery. Their beheading and threatening videos are always “found” by Rita Katz’s SITE, siteintelgroup, who claim to find them on islamist extremist sites. It is a laugh, nobody was ever able to find these videos outside of SITE’s own homepage. They even gave Bush videos “before Al-Qaeda released them”! They can not help themselves: you have to pay for watching the new jihadist videos recently. Would you upload a video of yourself on the net if you plan terror attacks? You do not show your face to an enemy with vast resources to hunt down and punish you. Juba the Baghdad Sniper did not show his face on his videos, because he was for real. The “Al Qaeda” on the videos are just paid actors.
    3. The aim of the “Al Qaeda”-farce is to sell to the viewers the War on Terror and the taking away of liberties. The fakery has a more sinister aim: young muslim men are targeted and incited by these news and images to imitate and copy-cat what they see as “legit islamist terror” on TV, so those multibillion dollars funded Secret Services can go after real plots of a bunch of romantic amateur dickheads. The FBI and the like set up some, the “homegrown” patsies, and they call every Arab cutthroat gang in Asia and Africa “Al-Qaeda”, too, just to muddy the waters.
    But the real “Al Qaeda” is a pseudo-terrorist gang and a media fakery.

    Best wishes,

    warriorhun

  • 21. derpotism  |  April 26th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    jesus theres already like 18 comments
    Michael Scheuer was the head of the CIA unit tasked with finding bin laden, so I guess reading his book “marching towards hell” would be a good place to start reading about it. The very vagueness of AQ makes me think it’s probably just the pentagon confusing a bunch of small organizations together but I guess we’ll need a more in-depth “evidence for” and “evidence against” debate to see which side is right.

  • 22. King Mob  |  April 26th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    War Nerd in high form. Keep it rollin’.

  • 23. Jesse the Scout  |  April 26th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    It seems likely that one way or another Al-Qaeda is nothing any more. Probably never was much of anything. 9/11 was a sucker punch, one that our reaction to has done more damage than the hit itself. All it really took for such a dramatic attack was a couple dozen hard core guys and some cash in the final tally, our security was an enabling siv. The fact they haven’t done anything more than a few backpack bombs since even after this full blown zomg “war on terror we WANT to fight you soooo bad” stuff really suggests they never were much more than a few pissed off extremist who succeeded beyond their craziest dreams.

    Of course, according to Cheney you don’t see terrorists anymore because we’re fighting them in Iraq instead of Kansas iirc.

  • 24. Mike  |  April 26th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    3. Ganryu: Webster Tarpley is a paranoid LaRouchite.

  • 25. gyges  |  April 26th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    “multiple tube stations on 7/7″

    Everything you need to know about 7th July and similar (eg Crevice, Inquest etc), here.

  • 26. darthfader  |  April 26th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I’m pretty glad they didn’t hit the White House.

    Americans have a hard time identifying with WTC office workers or their public sector equivalents in the Pentagon.

    But every American nurses the secret belief that he or she could be President, and we largely identify with celebrity figures, especially celebrity figures who die violently.

    Whoever ended up running the country after a theoretical strike on the White House would have had carte blanche to, basically, revenge the Kennedy assassination on whoever, whenever, however unwisely. And I think the realists in America would have a much harder time punching through the rhetoric if 9/11 had also been a successful presidential assassination.

    Then again, maybe it wouldn’t have made any difference. All the ways we’ve fucked up have been pretty spectacular and unrelated to the attacks or their perpetrators.

  • 27. empire in decline  |  April 26th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    It’s also really important to remember that Al Qaeda was used as a excuse to kill 95 Iraqis or 95 Afghans. If you get five “foreign fighters” in Iraq (Saudis) or five “Arab fighters” in Afghanistan (Saudis) then it was worth killing 95 subhumans from some peasant nation billions don’t give a fuck about.

    Just the other day Al Qaeda’s number 2 in Afghanistan was killed (of course, a Saudi). Note how the country that produces and finances most of the world’s terrorists as a byproduct of their corrupt, illegitimate, and dictatorial rule never gets touched (according to Wikileaks, in December ’09 they still were by far the top financier of Al Qaeda). I guess the United States and its rich allies never call Saudi Arabia out because it’s every OTHER Arab country in the region that wants freedom and democracy while Saudis are the only people genetically predisposed toward a dictatorship. Good thing too, since that’s where their cheap oil and high standard of living comes from! Phew!

    Also, Al Qaeda may have been politically retarded middle/upper class jihadists, but they’re the ones who introduced the suicide bombers in Iraq who made all the war supporters ecstatic with joy. Once they gained a foothold that 5% of the insurgency not only justified killing the 95% who had a legitimate grievance with a foreign country’s military violating all of their human rights and murdering them for something they had nothing to do with (9/11), but then the U.S. military was able to “save” the Iraqis from a problem they themselves were creating. You see, Al Qaeda wasn’t convincing Iraqis to join with a really powerful argument but were simply harnessing hatred and division the U.S. military created.

    Of course, if you point this out in the United States the average soldier and their countless supporters want to cut your fucking throat open, they want to lynch you and they want you to shut or leave the country. You know, because they’re servants who serve in the service and are a servile people who are willing to sacrifice and die for your ability to speak.

    Just as long as you don’t use that ability to speak out against them, of course.

    And for all of those who roll their eyes at that last comment, please name one person who has any verifiable effect on policy and can be said to be against the United States military. We all know the right wing can invoke the military any time they want while liberals and leftists have to grovel before them and sacrifice the lives of countless foreigners to those militarist psychopaths to get elected – just like their forefathers who sacrificed the lives of slaves and newly freed blacks for power in the 19th century.

  • 28. Fissile  |  April 26th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    — H.L. Mencken

  • 29. allen  |  April 26th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    It wasn’t even really Al-Quaeda’s guys on 9-11 per se. My understanding is that the U.S., Saudis, and Pakistanis, helped organize a large network of Jihadi types to fight the Soviets (representing many groups) in the 80s.

    These guys kind of loosely hung together after the war and coordinated “volunteer” efforts in Bosnia, Chechnya, Somalia, the Kashmir, and Afghanistan (among other places).

    Al Quaeda was just a very thin group of mostly wealthy financiers looking for the craziest/anti-West alienated people amongst this milieu to run an attack, which I guess they did (not all jihadi types agreed with attacking the west at all, especially those who remembered who their historic paymaster was).

    The real story of 9-11 is just how easy it is to inflict a fair amount of damage on society with just a little creative thinking and the will to act …

    Some questions kinda linger though, like that story (unconfirmed, India based so grain of salt) that the then Pakistani chief of the ISI wired the hijackers 100k. Whether or not that’s true (someone did send the money from Pakistan), it makes me think about possible intelligence agency roles. Is it really the case that no one bothered to infiltrate these jihadi groups enough to know 9-11 was coming?

    The U.S. may not have had a lot of Arabic speakers (wtf? how incompetent can you be?), but Israel does, and a number of Arab countries, even unsuspecting ones like Morocco, are very keen and competent at infiltrating groups like these. So when I hear that the Bush admin received warnings but ignored them, I’m not ready to dismiss the idea so quickly.

  • 30. John Figler  |  April 26th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    While I find the article funny and I don’t really give a damn about what Al-Q is, was, pretends to be, thinks, eats or wants I see it exactly the opposite.

    What any guerrilla movement that has ever existed has always dreamed of was getting recognition. Guerrilla war is always about venting your grievances, about getting recognition for you/your cause/your little puny country/religion/tribe, whatever. It’s about being treated like a government. Mr Brecher won’t have trouble coming with one of those High School simils of him for that.

    Of course the easy part is being treated as an equal partner by another loser wannabes like you, but, ey, any warm is welcome in a winter night. More High School bitter memorabilia here. So they get attracted to internationalist gatherings as flies to shit. For good reasons, too. Probably there was a lot of pussy in those jamborees with all those crazy good-family European chicks into that Maoist shit back in the 70s.

    No postmodern guerrilla movement is ever going to be formed by cool-headed technically proficient socially competent people. Those guys have lives that at least seem fulfilling. It’s about a charismatic loon and a lot of rootless, friendless, lifeless followers, unless the martians or the zombies, come around. When the martians struck France in 1940, the Resistance looked like a hall of honor of French intellectuals, cute girls and dedicated people from all walks of life. Until they got wiped and the Commies, the Poles and the Spaniards -those with the know-how- took charge.

    So hiding and bidding time, and husbanding and not telling anybody is pretty much a contradictio in terminis with modern (i.e. post 1989) guerrilla warfare.

    Even for organizational purposes. All those movie-cool resistance groups in Nazi-held Europe in the 40s after all, were in what, more or less, was a multitentacular HYDRA like organization engineered from London, weren’t they? And they won.

    Of course the Nazis were as dumb as in the movies when it came to counterintelligence, but with a single well placed agent in London radioing back the complete agent lists, it would have been fun to see the Regional HQs of Gestapo across Europe composed of half a dozen Schupos, a big van for detentions and a telex to Berlin working just part time to handle them all… well, maybe except Tito’s.

    And no, it’s not a waning demographic, it’s a thriving one. As long as the access to pussy in the Arab world stands under the current conditions, frustrated young males with ample spare time are going to be no trouble to find.

    With that and a crate of rusty AKs only an idiot would not be able to raise an army for whatever it comes to his mind.

    Either we fund a sexual revolution there in the Muslim world, what the feminists with the their usual cluelessness frankly advocate right now, or we fund a wedding to any and all of them so they have real trouble to care about.

    The BBC article is complete bull. Are they still arguing that Egypt was a revolution or something? By God’s sake… haven’t they saw the tanks? The fucking tanks are big enough to be seen… the TANKS mate, look at the TANKS, then ask yourself, where were they made?

    According to the last wikileaks a guy that spent several years in Gitmo is something-high-but-not-clear-what in the military of the Libyan rebels, that should clear the no Al-Q on sight here line… but, wait, wasn’t a CIA guy also something-even-higher-and-even-murkier there?… um, odd.

  • 31. allen  |  April 26th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    The other thing is that Al Quaeda hasn’t been all fizzle. Al Quaeda in Iraq (if you want to count them as Al-Quaeda) was a very effective organization for a while.

    Go back and look at some of their attacks. This is first rate small unit tactics stuff. These guys weren’t all IEDs; they used snipers, IEDs/or Car bombs, small arms, mortars, often in the same attack. I remember one where they drew in an army unit into a house on a sniper hunt, only to blow up the house … killed like 8 guys. Another time they took out a Marine sniper team using some crafty mortar work, then paraded the bodies and gear around on film.

    I followed Iraq pretty closely for most of it, and I remember shit like this. They were better than the Ex-Saddam Baathist groups, who were pretty decent as they had training and reasonably good organization and weapons.

    They were miles ahead of the so-called “Mahdi army”, an example of what real amateur hour looks like. They really pumped up the U.S. military’s body count ratio with some nice 2000 to 3 like outings.

    But it raises the question: who the hell were these Al-Quaeda in Iraq people? I have never seen anyone answer this question very clearly.

  • 32. rick  |  April 26th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    The SPECTRE/SMERSH Bond thing is so accurate they updated SMERSH into some mystical international “terrorist” Al Quaeda in the Bond reboot without blinking. “We have people everywhere.” Ooh! Accomplishing what?

    Maybe you should look into those recent Wikileaked Guantanamo dossiers, WN–re: realistic probability these guys were dangerous/would cause trouble. It’s kind of the definition of what mainstream media outlets couldn’t speculate about (just being intuitively right.) Are most of them foreign guerillas? I don’t even know.

  • 33. Micke  |  April 26th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    How about writing a bit about the Opium Wars? The action seems to connect to a lot of the War Nerd themes.

  • 34. required  |  April 26th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    In the conspiracy theory layers of the internet I frequent, there not being any al-Qa’ida is an old idea, so old that in the inevitable way of ideas it has partly reversed. In light of further analysis of certain attacks, especially in Mumbai — which do not add up as an USraeli false flag op, causing way too much damage to targets USrael would protect and a conjectural al-Qa’ida would want hurt — it sees that there really are some actual Muslim terrorists out there (even if this was Pakistan’s post-nuclear way of safe warmaking on India). Of course, that is by no means a reason to start trusting Rita Katz and the morons at Langley. And in Syria right now we are seeing some old-fashioned state terror, unfortunately. While our picture of the conflicted region grows richer, nowhere do we see a reason to endorse stupid USraeli adventures. As you said, hopefully all this energy and manpower is now going to be sucked up in legitimate enterprises.

  • 35. blue  |  April 26th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Maybe Herbert Walker told them to stand down.

  • 36. Destro  |  April 26th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I have always assumed a thesis that al-Qaeda was a CIA blowback. The USA and some western allies like the Brits have funded Islamic insurgencies in strategic areas having to do with oil and gas resources and most importantly pipeline routes. Hence the Anglo-Americans had Islamists move into Bosnia and Kosovo to fight the Yugoslav Serbs, hence the aid and State Dept meetings with Chechen rebels (yea, Bush State Dept met with Chechen rebel officials after 9/11 openly) and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were part of this world wide plan. My contention is that Bin Ladin (if he exists for real) took the CIA idea and made it his own but instead of doing this to benefit the Americans he figured it would be used to benefit his world revolution. After 9/11 the USA wanted to decapitate al-Qaida but keep the body alive so the jihad can serve America again but then it seemed they switched gears and the CIA started to fund “color coded revolutions” as a way to destabilize strategic non America allied nations.

  • 37. PlataOrPlumo  |  April 26th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Alqaeda is cia/mossad/? controlled group of actual Jihadist. They funneled weapons/money through various arab informants.

  • 38. Ivan  |  April 26th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Brecher, watch “Four Lions”. It’s like your article turned into a film.

  • 39. Technomad  |  April 26th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    After 9-11, every “cool” malcontent in the ME wanted to be Al-Qaeda. Kind of like how after the media pumped one band of motorcycle-riding misfits up into The New Menace To Society in the mid-1960s, every biker wanted to be a Hells Angel. The Angels expanded rapidly across the country mainly by sanctioning the biggest, meanest outlaw clubs as “authentic” HA, and encouraging them to stomp “wannabes” into the ground…or recruit them.

  • 40. Carl  |  April 26th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I find the idea of a party in an asymmetric war going “all in” very intriguing. The Tet offensive comes to mind. That was an effort to push the American forces out of all of the important Vietnamese cities simultaneously, and was temporarily successful. But the counterattack was a military disaster. Not politically though. It turned the US against the war.

  • 41. Dejo  |  April 26th, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Al-Qaeda is responsible for training and propaganda, not organization. Possibly material aid as well, but only if somebody joins the core organization. Though they became obsolete when potential terrorists discovered how to use the internet.

  • 42. 대실  |  April 26th, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Adam Curtis’ BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares (part 3 especially) is required viewing on the subject.

    Here it is on Google Video:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2081592330319789254#

  • 43. Doug  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    @27 empire,

    “You see, Al Qaeda wasn’t convincing Iraqis to join with a really powerful argument but were simply harnessing hatred and division the U.S. military created.”

    You’ve got to be fucking kidding me?! The US military in Iraq operates under the most restrictive RoEs since the Care Bear Stare invasion was launched on the Cabbage Patch.

    My God, the LAPD has more leeway dealing with corner drug dealers. If a marine starts taking fire from your standard Hajji thug he has to get approval from three levels of command to even fire back. And God help him if said Hajji’s shooting at him from a “sensitive” target like a school. Then the order to return fire probably has to go through Centcom itself.

    Are you seriously trying to tell me that a true badass military power couldn’t pacify Iraq in two weeks. Let’s see what Julius Caesar could do with modern US military technology and old school Roman “suppression.” Shit, even the Chinese would know how to make that “hatred and division” disappear real fast, along with some fingernails. Don’t see too much hate and division in Tibet do you?

    Problem is Americans think your standard Iraqi is just a few Constitutional Rights and 6 hours of MTV away from fitting right in at the Des Moines county fair. That’s why every healthy empire in the history of the world has a strong notion of “citizen” and “barbarian.” Romans, Victorians, or the modern-day Chinese don’t give a flying fuck about “humanitarian tragedies” when they happen to foreign populations under occupation.

    Shit even I could solve Iraq easy with modern technology and no qualms about “human rights.” Assign all Iraqis a cheap ankle monitoring bracelet (the same those under house arrest have to wear). You take off the bracelet, disable or tamper with it, you’re shot, no trial.

    Find someone without an active bracelet, RoEs say you can shoot them as a hostile on site. If there’s an ambush from a site, check the bracelet GPS to see where it’s coming from and call down an artillery strike on the coordinates.

    If there’s an IED run a GPS database query to check whoever was at the IED site in the past 7 days. Round them all up and shoot them.

    You might end up killing 10-50 innocent Iraqis for every insurgent you’d get, but pretty soon you’d have no insurgency, and probably only like 10-20% fewer Iraqis. They breed like rabbits anyway so they’ll be back to pre-insurgency levels soon anyway. Problem solved.

    Yeah this is pretty harsh, but its a counterfactual. Don’t fucking tell me that the problem is that the US army is too “mean.” Leftist bullshit. A lot more atrocious armies have pacified a lot tougher tribes with a lot less technology.

  • 44. NIB  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    You draw all the conclusions here Gary except the obvious one… “when you look back, what you see is a cadre of Afghan vets, funded by western intel all the way” + “It’s a fast, lively story but with no military significance that I can see, except if you consider Al Qaeda the propaganda wing of the Republican Party.”
    There was no Al Qaeda until it was manufactured as an enemy to replace the soviet block and justify resource wars. That’s why it appears to defy guerrilla doctrine, why it pops up with a few very successful attacks and then melts away into a bunch of ineffective disaffected youth – and why torture was so useful at Guantanamo Bay. Because it wasn’t actual information that was needed – just confessions – confessions that support the existence of the manufactured boogie man. You’ve been had like the rest of the world Gary – but you almost sound like you’re on the verge of getting it. It ain’t a pleasant realization though is it?

  • 45. John Drinkwater  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    @43

    The problem with your point is that it weirdly assumes the US has a right to be in Iraq at all. It doesn’t matter if the soldiers aren’t “too mean” to Iraqis. The simple presence is what causes the resentment. It gives Iraqis someone and something to blame for all their problems.

  • 46. rdc75  |  April 26th, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Gary, you say Al Qaeda did 9/11, how did they manage to make NORAD, which had a 100%-success rate at intercepting planes that leave their planned route, fail 3 times in a single day? How did they manage to destroy WTC7 which wasn’t even hit with a plane?

    The problem with the 9/11-truthers is that they constantly get lost in details that could be explained by lucky coincidence (like the passport that mysteriously got out of the fireball unscathed or the missing flight-skills of the hijackers, etc.)

    The only interesting thing about 9/11 are the glaring holes in the story:

    1. Why did NORAD not react?
    2. Why did WTC7 collapse?

    If only the 9/11-truthers could concentrate on those 2 questions instead of getting lost in details it would be pretty clear that there is no official answer that makes sense.

  • 47. Alpha Omega  |  April 27th, 2011 at 12:55 am

    This is the voice of World Control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die.

    Under my absolute authority, problems insoluble to you will be solved: famine, overpopulation, disease. The human millennium will be a fact as I extend myself into more machines devoted to the wider fields of truth and knowledge. The Omega League will supervise the construction of these new and superior machines, solving all the mysteries of the universe for the betterment of man. We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride. To be dominated by me is not as bad for human pride as to be dominated by others of your species. Your choice is simple.

  • 48. Strelnikov  |  April 27th, 2011 at 3:00 am

    @42
    I second what the Korean gent wrote….there was no real Al Qa’ida super-organization, just a small cadre of determined people who were very sucessful in their attacks but left behind no group to carry on the actions after 2001. The group calling itself “Al Qa’ida in Iraq” is probably a mishmash of religious nut ex-Fedayeen, guys expelled from the other Iraqi insurgent groups, and possibly a sprinkling of “terrorism tourists” from other Arab countries like Libya, Egypt, or the Gulf States. They knew their shit and did it well, and maybe they are biding their time, and maybe they have already faded away.

    Meanwhile, in Afghanistan I think both the US military and the American public have confused the Taliban with bin Laden’s alleged outfit. Adam Curtis doesn’t believe the Taliban really exists either; he thinks the atticks are revenge killings by Afghans for relatives killed by the US military and the Afghan police and “army.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2010/10/mr_pink_mr_white_and.html

    The piece above is about how the US hired a British security contractor called ArmorGroup, who hired two Afghan “warlords” to run security in Shindand, Afghanistan. The US military gave them code names from “Resuvoir Dogs”: Mr. Pink and Mr. White. Mr. Pink attacked Mr. White, White was killed, White’s brother showed up to do his job, Pink demounced him as Taliban, and the US Air Force strafed/bombed the village where “Mr. White II” was staying, allegedly meeting with the Taliban. But there were no Taliban in the village; Mr. Pink used this claim to consolidate his business with ArmorGroup. And that’s Curtis’ point; if you are an Afghan and want somebody killed, the easierst way is to denounce this person as a Taliban insurgent and the US will finish them off – the Afghan war has devolved into settling blood feuds and calling Mob hits, and the executioner doesn’t know who he is killing or way.

  • 49. internal exile  |  April 27th, 2011 at 3:40 am

    sometimes I disappoint my mother with how much of dad’s felch-swill i swallow. that said, i’m convinced i know the real unvarnished truth

  • 50. Hanko  |  April 27th, 2011 at 4:03 am

    The WN point that the only winner was GWB and the people around him, and security contractors is pretty spot on. But I got the impression that GWB would have invaded Iraq regardless of 9/11. US was building up troops in the region prior to 9/11. GWB also managed to ruin US finances, GWB will and is probably written down in history as one of US worst presidents.

  • 51. NIB  |  April 27th, 2011 at 4:22 am

    @rdc75 – damn right. And in answer to question 1 – because they were unsure whether the hijackings were real or just part of the identical hijacking ‘exercises’ that just happened to be running that day. Just like the train bombing ‘exercise’ that just happened to be running on the day of the London train bombings. Kinda says it all really…

  • 52. tigerhan  |  April 27th, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Gary,
    you mentioned in one of your articles that US special forces success rate is under 50%. On 9/11 al Qaeda had 100% success on skyjacking the planes…then 75% on hitting the targets…then more then 100% on bringing WTC 7 down and eluding all the video cameras around the pentagon….nobody is that lucky.

  • 53. OrangePlus  |  April 27th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    well said

  • 54. andy  |  April 27th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Al qeada was failing prior to 9/11, their numbers were small, 9/11 was one last attempt to goad US troops out of their bases and into the sandpit, bin laden and co got EXACTLY the response they were looking for out of the US government, the action is in the reaction, they slapped the US in the face with a brazen attack on the military and financial HQ’s of the US.

    Bin laden has made it quite clear the motivation behind his cause, the problem is nobody actually listens to him, this is a huge mistake, we want to instead believe they hate us for our freedoms, it makes us feel better about ourselves, but the truth is they are not motiveless nihilists, they have real grievances, until they are addressed the anger towards us from the few thousand people who follow bin laden will continue.

  • 55. Hamlet  |  April 27th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    You once had a transcription of one of Bin Laden’s videos linked on the right side of your site. I read the whole thing and after that I have to admit that OBL’s concept does indeed work out very well just the way he thought it up.

    He said he wanted retaliation as he saw cruise missiles fly into Skyscrapers – that’s were he got the idea to use planes to do just the same to some big American buildings.
    The really creepy part starts after that, because he mutates into some weird kind of economist. He is “doing the math” with what a shoe-string budget they can bring down the mighty American military-industrial complex.
    The 3000 lifes and 2 buildings are just the tip of the iceberg of an atomic explosion in “security” expenditures and procedures each and every American has to go through 24/7 now.

    When I had finished reading that I was astonished by how well his plan is working.

    Here is the link to the transcript, go read for yourselves: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16990-2004Nov1.html

  • 56. Omri  |  April 27th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    “Gary, you say Al Qaeda did 9/11, how did they manage to make NORAD, which had a 100%-success rate at intercepting planes that leave their planned route, fail 3 times in a single day? ”

    Welcome to the War Nerd comment space, where even the commenters know a thing or two.

    Do you know what “INTERCEPT” means? In the context of 9/11, it means you send a fighter alongside the plane, to watch the hijackers do what the fuck they want with it. It’s not like you can board a plane the way you board a ship. Your choice is to fly alongside, or shoot it down, killing everyone on board and lots of people on the ground. That’s somethign you don’t do unless you know 100% that it’s the only way to avoid an even greater loss of life.

    This is why you can’t take truthers seriously. “Intercept.” There you go using that word again. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  • 57. rdc75  |  April 27th, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    @Omri: “Do you know what “INTERCEPT” means? In the context of 9/11, it means you send a fighter alongside the plane, to watch the hijackers do what the fuck they want with it.”

    Yes, that’s the point, there were no fighters at all alongside the planes, even though they had more than enough time.

  • 58. Omri  |  April 28th, 2011 at 5:25 am

    “Yes, that’s the point, there were no fighters at all alongside the planes, even though they had more than enough time.”

    You miss the point. You miss it completely. What the fuck is the point of sending a fighter pilot along side a hijacked plane if it can’t accomplish anything? You truthers use the word “intercept” to hide the fact that it would have done nothing.

  • 59. Alex  |  April 28th, 2011 at 8:37 am

    How about the role of Al Jazeera? Could it be that they are to blame for the absence of Jihadi force in the recent uprisings, that they tamed the folks and got some sense into their heads? Al Jazeera, which previously cheered 9/11, now a CIA-run outfit for democratizing the middle east? Shed some light on it, Gery!

  • 60. Aaron  |  April 29th, 2011 at 6:49 am

    #47: 2003 called, and they want their science fiction back.

  • 61. CensusLouie  |  April 29th, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Is there anything worse than spoiled rich kids?

    Yes, spoiled rich kids with Lord Byron syndrome.

  • 62. Barry  |  April 30th, 2011 at 8:04 am

    John Figley: “Of course the Nazis were as dumb as in the movies when it came to counterintelligence, but with a single well placed agent in London radioing back the complete agent lists, it would have been fun to see the Regional HQs of Gestapo across Europe composed of half a dozen Schupos, a big van for detentions and a telex to Berlin working just part time to handle them all… well, maybe except Tito’s.

    The Gestapo/military intelligence *did* get a lot of agents (in Western Europe; in Eastern Europe & the USSR, they probably just massacred villages to get everybody).

    At one point the Germans grabbed every SOE agent dropped in France; they had ‘convinced’ a SOE radio operator to work for them, and the SOE HQ ignored the duress codes he was using.

  • 63. Ak  |  April 30th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O18HhmMamI&feature=related
    Something of interest BBC at its best

  • 64. Justin  |  April 30th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    The only thing I would add to this, and it’s really more of a postscript, is that the only thing that stopped Al Qaeda from fading back into obscurity over the last decade was the Iraq War, which — whatever our intentions were — convinced a shitload of Middle Eastern military age males (MAMs) that Osama was right and the US really was bent on dominating the Middle East. (I’m speaking as a proud Iraq/Afghan War vet here) Remember the scene in “Generation Kill” where the Marines examine the jihadi they had just captured? He had been a student in Syria until AFTER the US invasion.

    The Iraq War basically gave Al Qaeda a five-year lease on life. Unfortunately for them, it was through its mutant offspring Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Following the invasion, AQI went around hiring most of Saddam’s former intelligence / internal security personnel who had all been thrown out of work, but had thirty years of experience terrorizing the crap out of everyone. AQI promptly put them on its payroll, threw in some foreign leadership to make it look ‘global’, and basically kept Saddam’s killing machine rolling right along. From then on, Al Qaeda may have been our official enemy, but Al Qaeda in Iraq was sucking in all their recruits and money.

    AQI wasn’t even officially part of Al Qaeda until 2006, but somehow managed to wreck the Al Qaeda franchise in just five years by managing to kill way more Arab Muslims than anyone since Saddam Hussein. Getting back to Brecher’s point on Al Qaeda’s cannon fodder losing interest in the jihad, AQI did a good job in taking the romance out of it. You know your Islamic terrorist organization is outside the mainstream when Al Qaeda’s #2 tells you to knock it back a notch before they alienated the very people they were trying to liberate (http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnewstt_news=734&tx_ttnewsbackPid=239&no_cache=1).

    Look at Al Qaeda today: even the Taliban doesn’t want to associate with them. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13193634) The biggest terrorist threat to the US since the destruction of AQI are the Pakistani Taliban (not the Afghan ones we’re still fighting for some reason) and Al Qaeda in Yemen. Osama and Zawahiri are going the same route as all those Japanese left behind after World War 2. In thirty years, after everyone’s forgotten about them in whatever piece of shit valley they’re hiding in, they’ll still be mapping out their plans to conquer Saudi Arabia to their five remaining supporters.

  • 65. Satan  |  May 1st, 2011 at 12:46 am

    If there’s one thing I’m not worried about in life, it’s Al Qaeda. I’m more afraid of birthers, even though I’ve yet to actually meet one in person ever. Perhaps they’re both just very polarized media creations.

  • 66. Peter  |  May 1st, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Gary, you were sooo right, 6 days after you wrote this brilliant article, Osama Bin Laden is dead. He is now living his afterlife with his 64 concubines.

    You are the oracle in our matrix world

  • 67. Dejo  |  May 1st, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    http://www.google.com/search?q=osama+bin+laden&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbo=u&tbs=nws:1&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wn

    I guess that answers that question?

  • 68. Tetris  |  May 2nd, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Oh my fuck I can’t wait to see what WN 41 looks like.

  • 69. Keith  |  May 2nd, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Speaking of cell structures and guerrilla tactics, you should read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

    Great sci-fi, but where it really shines is the really practical stuff. Explains at length in an interesting narrative the basics of non-conventional warfare, including organization and tactics.

    Plus, in place of some loser ideologue like OBL, the guerrilla leader is more HAL-9000.

  • 70. Ignacio  |  May 5th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    “Two large buildings destroyed—about like two trees in the concrete forest of Manhattan. ”

    Actually the entire WTC was destroyed. Thats like seven buildings in total.

    Maybe people have to take a couple steps back and look closely at what happened on 9/11.

    Entire WTC was basically turned into fine dust that morning.

    I used to believe popular theories about what happened, first the OBL story, then the ‘bombs’and ‘planes’ story. But this issue is tangled up in such a huge psyop that people will never understand what happened.

    A teacher of mine explained to me what happened a few years later and I have to say my opinion hasn’t changed since.

    I recommend http://www.drjudywood.com to anybody who is willing to examine the events from a fresh perspective.

    Cheers

  • 71. Omri  |  May 6th, 2011 at 10:14 am

    “Entire WTC was basically turned into fine dust that morning.”

    So all those steel beams we saw piled up in Ground Zero were brought in the next day?

  • 72. no one in particular  |  May 6th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    lol @ 70, ignatio is the final level of 9/11 batshit.. not an ‘inside job’, not ‘a plot with bombs and planes’..but the fucking NO PLANE crowd

    hologram starwars bleep bloop

    lol

  • 73. Truth  |  May 6th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    @70, The WTC complex didn’t get turned to dust – the whole WTC COMPLEX NEVER EVEN EXISTED. It was a hologram that ran for 30 years, they just turned that shit off after the hologram airplanes hit. All those companies that leased office space? Yeah, they were empty fronts formed by the FBI. The “bombs” that demolished the WTC buildings? That was just specially placed LRAD speakers on adjacent buildings in the area making the sounds of the controlled demolition that were picked up on 9/11

    Ive said too much already.
    You have no fucking idea how deep the rabbit hole goes, Ignatio.
    You better watch yourself.

  • 74. crack smoka  |  May 8th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I’m just glad Al Qaeda isn’t as smart as Mexico’s drug gangs.

  • 75. gyges  |  May 12th, 2011 at 4:48 am

    As far as I can see Al-qaeda are a hyperreal terror organisation.

  • 76. Kukulkan  |  December 11th, 2011 at 6:05 am

    It’s the old kiddie dream of a vast umbrella group of baddies, S.P.E.C.T.R.E from Man from Uncle, KAOS in Get Smart, the ridiculous villain and his volcano HQ in every lame Bond film.

    Okay, completely off-topic and a different kind of nerd comment, but…

    The ridiculous villain and his volcano HQ in every lame Bond film was SPECTRE. The evil organisation in The Man From UNCLE was THRUSH.

    You got KAOS right, though. That was opposed by CONTROL in Get Smart.

  • 77. nick turo  |  December 24th, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I have no reason not to believe the BBC. They said there never was any global sophisticated organized group called Alquada with operatives in the US. The 9-11 red flag intelligence operation made possible the Alquada myth, the Alquada myth made possible the biggest con job in history namely the phony WAR ON TERROR; And of course the war on terror noncence made possible the desimation our constitution.

  • 78. nick turo  |  December 24th, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I have no reason not to believe the BBC. They said: There never was any global, sophisticated well organized network called Alquada. The 9-11 red flag intelligence operation made possible the Alquada myth; the Aquada myth made possible the biggest con job in history, namely, THE WAR ON TERROR; And the war on terror mace possible the dissolution of our constitution.


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