Economist Article on al-Qaeda

If you only have time to read one article on the current state of al-Qaeda, read the new special report in the Economist.  Not only does the author, Anton La Guardia, have great taste (Jihadica and some CTC products I worked on are listed in the sources), but he has done a masterful job of tying together a lot of conflicting trends. (Note that the links for all of the articles in the report are on the right-hand side of the screen.)

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Hamas Hands Over al-Qaeda Commander to Egypt

According to Usama al-Asad at Ekhlaas, when the barrier between Gaza and Egypt was destroyed, one of the commanders of al-Qaeda tried to enter Gaza and form a Jihadi group with some disaffected elements of Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades.  When Hamas found out, they captured him and turned him over to Egypt. Usama al-Asad says his reporting is 100% accurate and claims that this commander is well known and has been fighting in a neighboring country. Some of the respondents to Usama’s post verify his reporting, while others accuse him of blackening the good name of Hamas. Document (Arabic): 7-3-08-ekhlaas-hamas-hands-over-aq-amir-to-egypt

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Going Nuclear

I feel like I missed something over the Memorial Day weekend. The forums are buzzing today with talk about an impending AQ nuclear attack on the U.S.; I counted nine separate posts on Ekhlaas alone. There is usually some trigger–say, a recent Bin Laden statement–that prompts this clustering of topics, but I haven’t been able to find it. Just because there is chatter online doesn’t mean there’s anything to it. Most of the people who post to these forums don’t know much more about AQ operational planning than I do.  My current hypothesis is that the longer AQ goes without a major attack on the U.S. homeland or on Israel, the more expectations increase. Hence this nuclear talk or the recent speculation on AQ ops in the Palestinian territories. But why the sudden chatter about nukes? I did notice that the one Ekhlaas poster uploaded an article on Frontpagemagazine.com called

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