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Al Qaeda - Metro, In Focus.pdf

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Al Qaeda - Metro, In Focus
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  people were killed in the Madrid train bombings in 2004 191   52 civilians and 4 bombers )were killed in the 7/7 bombings inLondon in 2005 562,997   May 2,2012 Osama bin Ladenis killed Source: United Nati  5   people ( 52 civil people were killedn the 9/11 attacksn te US n 2001 9   ourc nited Na Bin Laden’s terrordream is living on METRO in focus It is almost two years since the death of Osama bin Laden but what is thecurrent state of the terror group he formed? GRAEME GREEN takes acloser look at al-Qaeda’s new plan of attack. T HE death o Osama binLaden was, or some, aull stop. America’srevenge or the 9/11attacks and the end o theal-Qaeda story.But since bin Laden was assassi-nated in May 2011, the name o al-Qaeda – the group bin Ladenounded – has rarely been out o thenews throughout the world.Al-Qaeda has recently been con-nected to bomb attacks in Iraq, kill-ings and conficts in Mali, clashesin Yemen and attacks and kidnap-pings in Aghanistan.So what state is al-Qaeda current-ly in? How has the organisationchanged since the so-called ‘war onterror’ o the Bush and Blair era?And does it still pose a signicantthreat? ‘Al-Qaeda has declined insize but not in infuence,’ saidRohan Gunaratna, head o theInternational Centre or PoliticalViolence and Terrorism Research.‘Although its numerical strengthhas depleted, its ability to shapeand infuence like-minded groupsrom Arica to the Middle East andAsia has increased.‘Today, in place o one al-Qaedaled by Osama bin Laden, there are30 groups embracing al-Qaeda ide-ology and methodology.’ And thestructure o the terrorist group haschanged, according to RaaelloPantucci, senior research ellow at the Royal United Services Institute. ‘Al-Qaeda is in a complex state.It’s ragmented into a series o grouplets that all demonstrate somelevel o connectivity.‘However, they tend to be operat-ing to primarily localised agendas.‘This is in contrast to the periodaround 9/11 when it was a muchmore coherent and structured entitywith a core leadership and lots o units scattered around the worldconducting dierent tasks.‘What is let o al-Qaeda core isbased primarily in Pakistan’s law-less provinces, with likely someoverspill into Aghanistan andpossibly Iran.‘Other groups with varyingdegrees o links to al-Qae-da’s core can be ound inthe Sahel region – Mali, orthe most part, parts o Libyatoo – and as ar down as Ni-geria.‘Over in Somalia, al-Sha-baab –a group that pledged allegiance toal-Qaeda core over a year ago – isstill operational. Across the waterin Yemen, al-Qaeda in the ArabianPeninsula continues to pose athreat. The most active and bloodygroup is to be ound in Iraq, wherethe Islamic State o Iraq (al-Qaedain Iraq) is carrying out regular ter- 12 METRO Thursday, April 11, 2013  are among the countrieswhere al-Qaeda is most active today IRAQYEMENYEM   ENSOMALIA   are awher YEMSOMALIA In March 2013 in Iraq: including: members of the Iraqisecurity forces were killed more members were injured 450229 were injured 1,100227300     Ayman al-Zawahiri was named as al-Qaeda’s new leader after the death of Osamabin Laden. Some believe Zawahiri wasthe brains behind the 9/11 attacks .Zawahiri has a $25m (£16million) bounty on his head from the FBI ons translates as ‘ thebase ’ or ‘thefoundation ’ al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda’s strength has diminished from 3,000 to 200 members since 9/11 peoplewere killedin terrorattacks civilians More than Graphic by  Sophie Harwin @sophiemetronews Tweet your views on In Focus to @McGuinnessRoss rorist attacks and has links across theborder in Syria.’The ragmentation and dispersal iscaused, in part, by western mili-tary action in al-Qaeda’ssrcinal base re-gions, said DrRashmi Singh,a lecturer interrorismstudies atthe Uni-versity o St An-drews.‘Thisragmen-tation hascontinuedand evenaccelerat-ed ater binLaden’s tar-geted assas-sination,’ she added. ‘However, wemust remember that the core o binLaden’s vision or al-Qaeda as amovement was the spread o the al-Qaeda ideology o global jihad againstboth near and ar enemies. In this, boththe ragmentation and his own deathhave served to accelerate the spread o this ideology.’ T HE continuing terror attackssuggest that ‘while al-Qaedamay not be capable o spec-tacular attacks such as 9/11and Madrid in the west, theycontinue to pose a credible threat tosecurity across the globe’, accordingto Dr Singh.Gregory Johnsen is a Yemen analystand author o The Last Reuge. ‘Yem-en is a deeply divided country at themoment and al-Qaeda is attemptingto take advantage o that by buildingup its inrastructure, attempting to re-cruit more fghters and planning u-ture attacks,’ he said.‘Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Pe-ninsula, the group based inYemen, absolutely poses athreat to the west. Thisgroup has shown that ithas both the capacity andthe determination to carryout strikes against the USand UK rom its hideoutsin Yemen.’ There are wor-rying signs in Aricancountries, too, including Somalia,says James Fergusson, journalist andauthor o The World’s Most Danger-ous Place.‘Gen Carter Ham o the AricaCommand has warned more thanonce that al-Qaeda ranchises acrossthe continent could link up in terms o sharing arms and training,’ he said.‘Whether this will really happen isstill moot but the threat o an al-Qae-da-inspired sub-Saharan insurgency,rom Somalia in the east to Mali inthe west, must be taken seriously.‘Al-Qaeda has become adept atexploiting the world’s ungovernedspaces, o which there are many in themodern world.‘When governments ail their popu-lations – in terms o jobs, housing,security, the chance o a decent uture– those populations are apt to look oralternatives, which, in many Islamiccountries, may well mean Islamism.’US and British orces are also ac-cused o exacerbating the problemwith the invasion o Iraq and othermilitary actions.‘There was neglect on the part o thewest to counter the ideology o al-Qaeda and their associated groups,’said Pro Gunaratna.‘In response to the overwhelminglethal operational strategy adopted bythe west, the threat o terrorism andits precursor, ideological extremism,has grown even greater.’ Thursday, April 11, 2013 METRO 13

2007 Clayton

Apr 9, 2018
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