Cyber attack and Ineptitude Delay Release of al-Qaeda 9/11 Video

Major Jihadi forums have been down for almost a week now, which ruined al-Qaeda’s release of its 9/11 anniversary video.  The video is now out, but those who prepared it for distribution included the wrong password and it probably won’t be until tomorrow that the problem is corrected.  Even when it finally sees the light of day, viewing it will be very anticlimactic. My hat off to whomever succeeded in removing Ekhlaas, et al.   The usual suspects (the good Doctor and the Haganaut) have denied involvement and I believe them.  Still, whoever did it knew what they were doing, beyond technical proficiency–they targeted the right forums at the right time.  As a gauge of the attack’s effectiveness, look at how many days it’s taken to get the message out and how clumsily it’s been distributed.   If these attacks continue, al-Qaeda will have to find other means of distribution or stop

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The Strategic Effects of 9/11, Part 3: Striking the Enemy at the Center of Gravity

Continuing… It is no accident that the World Trade Center was the main object of the 9/11 attacks since it was the symbol of U.S. economic hegemony. Bear in mind that the attacks had been planned in the ’90s during the height of U.S. economic power. The strikes were meant to polarize Muslims as well as the enemy’s population. They were also intended to push the U.S. into overreacting and committing errors. Why didn’t all four strikes on 9/11 hit the Pentagon alone? Why did al-Qaeda attack civilians and the WTC? We need a new strategic framework to understand its reasoning. Three things needs to be considered. First, when the U.S. attacks a country, it abides by the principle of the ends justify the means. This is one of the foundational principles of American pragmatism. Studies that came out after 9/11 really brought this mindset to the fore. But, according

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The Strategic Effects of 9/11, Part 2: Provoking the Tyrant of the Sea & Air

Continuing: The main strategic question of the ’80s was how to mobilize Muslim youth to fight the Soviet incursion into the Islamic world while local conflicts were distracting the youths’ attention. After the fall of the USSR the question became, why provoke the sole remaining superpower?  Is the US comparable to the USSR?  After all, the latter was attacked in Afghanistan at the nadir of its power. Even more sensitive questions have been raised, like what was the Sharia basis for defying the Taliban emirate and suddenly attacking the US?  Was it worth ignoring the interests of the Taliban for the sake of a frivolous war?  Did Palestinians benefit from 9/11 when Sharon exploited it as a pretext to use excessive force in the Palestinian territories?  Did it help Iraqis? The most troubling question has been: was the strike an attempt to escape the jihad’s setbacks that came in Egypt,

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The Strategic Effects of 9/11, Part 1: America & the World Before the Strike

To continue the series, here’s my summary of part 1 of Abu al-Fadl’s study: American strategy experts overlook the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan as the decisive event that ended the Cold War. Instead, they focus on the USSR’s and Eastern Europe’s attraction to Western culture. The myth promulgated by these experts is that soft power defeated the USSR without firing a single bullet. This is the myth of Western values that produce miracles. This myth doesn’t explain the reason for putting nukes in Europe for half a century; the star wars program under Reagan; Brzezinski’s ingenious idea to destroy the USSR from the inside by breathing life into oppressed Islamic peoples; or why Reagan praised Afghan militants as freedom fighters. As one of the preeminent neo-realists in American foreign policy, Stephen Walt, said, the Soviet withdrawal from the arena of conflict in the ’80s left the U.S. in a position

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The Strategic Effects of 9/11: Introduction

In commemoration of the seventh anniversary of 9/11, Faloja member Abu al-Fadl Madi has been serially posting chapters of his new study, “The Strategic Effects of the Raid on New York and Washington.” He started posting in early August and it looks like he will finish on or around 9/11.  Abu al-Fadl’s study looks interesting, so I’ll be summarizing it throughout the week. In early July, Abu al-Fadl announced his series as follows: Since the seventh anniversary of September 11 is rapidly approaching amid the dust rising from battles on many fronts, especially in Afghanistan, the graveyard of invaders, I propose to begin studying the strategic landscape that followed the events of September 11, as well as the possibilities and prospects to which the attacks gave rise, to say nothing of its effects. The following is a summary of the introduction he posted in early August: American strategists don’t agree

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