Reasons for the Strategic Failure of al-Qaeda in Palestine

In an essay provocatively titled, “Reasons for the Utter Strategic Failure of al-Qaeda to Threaten the Security of the Zionist Entity,” Ansar forum member Qandil al-Bahr is at pains to explain why al-Qaeda is advancing the Palestinian cause by focusing its attention in the United States:

There is no doubt that al-Qaeda is incapable of undertaking a single operation in the land controlled by the Israeli enemy. The mujahids of al-Qaeda are not even able to pay for a single shot or assassinate a single Jewish person in the land of Palestine. What is the reason for this utter failure? The reality is there is no reason behind it worth mentioning other than that the premise is faulty. It is not possible to defend a faulty premise other than by first critiquing it and moderating it then base it upon reality.

Qandil says he has heard this faulty premise over and over but has not felt safe enough to respond to it in public or private. He believes he is safe enough to respond on the forums.

The reality, Qandil argues, is that al-Qaeda wants to carry out operations in Palestine but the circumstances aren’t right. The Salafi-Jihadi movements are weak and fragmented, so al-Qaeda is taking its time to study and plan. The key is to end Western support for Israel, which will make the state vulnerable to a local challenge. Reducing American support is particularly vital. Until then, any terrorist attacks on Israel will be futile.

Can this be done? Qandil says yes:

The Great Powrs do not have enemies or friends. They only have interests. If the United States of America comes to believe that the Zionist Entity is becoming a dangerous and strategic burden to its interests and its existence, it will abandon this “Zionist leech” without the least hesitation.

Qandil believes it is only a matter of time before this happens. The key is to continue to bleed the United States economically.

There is a strong realist streak in jihadi thinking, which is what Qandil is drawing on to explain why al-Qaeda has chosen to focus on the far enemy of the United States rather than the near enemy of Israel. But as his frustration suggests, it is a tough sell.

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