Obama Directly Blames AQAP in Yemen For Detroit Attack

Even though Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula, an off-shoot of the central al Qaeda took responsibility last week for the failed Detroit plane attack of Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, today was the first time that President Obama directly accused the group. In his radio address, he said:

"We know that [Mr Abdulmutallab] travelled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies," said Mr Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii.

"It appears that he joined an affiliate of al-Qaeda, and that this group, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America."

Obama also discussed the U.S. planned response: [More...]

He said these included withdrawing troops from Iraq, boosting troop levels in Afghanistan and targeting militants in Yemen, where the suspect spent time before the attack.

"All those involved in the attempted act of terrorism on Christmas must know you too will be held to account," he said.

Boosting troop levels in Afghanistan won't impact AQAP. By "targeting militants in Yemen" is he talking about the U.S. engaging in air strikes or just providing aid to the Yemeni Government to do so? I hope it's the latter.

The Somalian off-shoot of Al Qaida, al-Shabab, yesterday promised aid to AQAP and said it would send its militarily trained soldiers into Yemen to help them. The group held a public conference, inviting the news media, at which they introduced their new recruits. Al Shabab has always kept its attacks within Somalia, so now there are two groups intending on expanding attacks at least regionally.

Canada is instructing its warship. the HMCS Fredericton, to patrol the Gulf of Aden as part of the UN fight against piracy, to prevent al Shabab from making good on its threat. Yemen asked Canada for extra help building up its Coast Guard which is its first line of defense against the Somali terrorists.

The man who attacked the Danish cartoonist yesterday appeared in court today. He is Somalian with alleged ties to al Shabab.

Back to Yemen: The U.S. has been sending money and special forces troops "to help train and equip Yemeni forces and has provided sophisticated satellite and communications intelligence.

There are four leaders of AQAP:

  • The head honcho, and the one they pledge allegience to is Nasser al-Wuhayshi. He escaped from a high-security prison in Yemen in February, 2006.
  • The deputy leader is Said Ali al-Shihri, a Saudi who spent 6 years at Gitmo, went into the Saudi rehab program, but fled to Yemen. His brother-in-law, Yousef al-Shiri, also was returned to the Saudis from Gitmo and after going through the Saudi program, decided to join his brother-in-law. He was killed in a shootout at the Saudi-Yemen border in October when he tried to bring suicide vests into Saudi Arabia.
  • The fourth leader is their spiritual Mufti, Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaysh, who also was repatriated to Saudi Arabia after Gitmo.

As for American born muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, he is not believed to have an operational role in AQAP. He's a spiritual recruiter. Also, he is connected to a powerful Yemen tribe, the Awlakis, which offers protection to AQAP.

Abdulelah Hider Shaea, a Yemeni journalist who studies Al Qaeda and knows Mr. Awlaki, denied in an interview that the imam was a member of Al Qaeda, saying instead that he served as an articulate window to jihadism for English speakers.

As I wrote here:

Yemen will become a failed state without aid. Between the rebel tribes in the north, the secessionists in the south and al-Qaida, the Government is out-matched. Add to that its dwindling oil reserves, critical lack of water and horrendous prison system that just breeds more terrorists, and it's a certainty Yemen can't fix its problems on its own.

Saudi Arabia cleaned its country of al Qaida, but they didn't disappear, they just moved to Yemen because it was the easiest place to make a new start. They are co-opting the tribes people, offering them more than the Government offers, which makes them allies not enemies. That has to change.

Obama can threaten to militarily take out AQAP and increase counterterrorism aid but it's probably not possible in the short run. He needs to make the Yemenis reject al Qaeda, and that requires more focus on developmental aid and turning the tribespeople against al Qaeda.

Gen. David Petraus arrived in Yemen today to meet with the President of Yemen.

And Yemen has sent hundreds of additional troops to the two provinces it believes to be AQAP's biggest stronghold and where they may have trained Abdulmutallab: Marif and Jouf.

Yemeni security officials said Abdulmutallab may have travelled to Marif or Jouf provinces - remote, mountainous regions east of the capital where al-Qaida's presence is the strongest - though the officials cautioned that it was still not certain where he met up with members of the terror group.

Update: Here's the BBC's latest profile of AQAP.

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    We aren't gunning for the organization (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 06:10:07 PM EST
    heads anymore.  It does not weaken the network and in fact strengthens the network as they do nothing except hide out their top dogs.  We are now focusing on taking out the midlevel AQ.  If we happen to get someone higher up when doing so I suppose that would be considered a plus.  It has proven to be costly, time wasting, and not very effective just chasing after their proclaimed leaders.

    I guess what strikes me is that, (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by Anne on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 07:32:58 PM EST
    considering all that Obama claims they knew about the alleged bomber, they sure did a piss-poor job of intercepting him, didn't they?

    To paraphrase Seinfeld: "They know how to gather the intelligence, they just don't know what to do with the intelligence."

    What the UK knew (none / 0) (#70)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:37:57 AM EST
    Wonder when criticism of how the UK or the European Union "protects its people" will start! It may be useful to understand that many passengers in the flight were Europeans!

    Doesn't this lead credence to (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 07:31:58 AM EST
    The right wingers' argument about closing Gitmo?

    3 of the 4 leaders mentioned were released from Gitmo and returned to Yemen and the fourth escaped from another prison.

    You could argue that keeping them there in the first place led them to a life of terrorism and seeking vengeance against the US, or you could argue they were terrorists all along and we wrongly let them out. I don't know - but it is interesting that that part of the story isn't being looked at more closely.

    Ah yes, they are talking about it already (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 01:15:16 PM EST

    A new focus on Yemen as a potential terrorist haven renewed an old debate on Sunday over whether the United States should have transferred or released some of its Guatanamo Bay detainees to foreign countries.

    The White House has signaled it would be "mindful" of changing security conditions in those states as it makes those key decisions, but the Obama administration made no commitment this weekend to stop the transfer of about 40 prisoners to Yemen this year, as part of its larger plan to shutter the Gitmo detention facility.

    "We make a decision about when they are going to be sent back and how they're going to be sent back and under what conditions," Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan told CNN on Sunday, noting the attempted bombing of Flight 253 by an attacker trained in Yemen "doesn't change the situation on the ground in Yemen one bit."

    "We're going to do it the right way at the right time," Brennan added.

    President George W. Bush first authorized the transfer and release of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to such places as Yemen and Saudi Arabia toward the end of his term. President Barack Obama has continued that policy, deciding in December to release six Yemeni detainees back to their home state.

    The White House remains resolute that its December decision -- made before the Christmas Day attempt to bomb Flight 253 -- was the correct call, Brennan said. But lawmakers from both political camps have expressed growing fears that those released prisoners -- and others soon to leave the camp -- could return to the battlefield and again try to plot against U.S. interests.

    I would support airstrikes in Yemen (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:01:47 PM EST
    if we had good info.

    air strikes are a band-aid (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:03:06 PM EST
    and not a permanent solution. A much broader focus is needed.

    A band-aid made ... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 04:01:34 PM EST
    of explosives.

    Yeah, that's gonna work.



    Better a band-aid than a gusher (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:14:47 PM EST
    I didn't say just airstrikes.

    We are so short on resources (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 06:07:49 PM EST
    as far as boots on the ground.  We don't claim to have been making the air strikes that have already taken place, but Yemen has neither the technology or those trained to use it to make those strikes so that leaves who as being who has done it?  I guess we've done it in the name of the Yemen government.  As much as I dislike air strikes I think that be will be our primary method used in taking out bad guys in Yemen.

    Airstrikes create terrorists ... (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 03:55:26 PM EST
    they don't defeat them.

    And, discouragingly, (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 06:31:45 PM EST
    air strikes continue to betray our leader's  understanding of the enemy and their tactics.  

    you'll never have (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:15:45 PM EST
    "good info". because all they have to do is relocate, to another cave or refugee camp. cutting off their means of support, their ability to wage war (per sherman) is the single most effective method of rendering them neutered; you can scream, shout and ululate all you want, if you've not the assets to do anything concrete, it's just noise in the desert wind.

    this will require more effort than simply dropping a bomb somewhere, and hoping it strikes paydirt. the coordinated actions of multiple governments, and their various intelligence agencies, will be necessary, to render them harmless.

    it's going to be hard work.


    If all the other options are worse (n/t) (none / 0) (#8)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:43:18 PM EST
    More of the same (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:16:43 PM EST
    Obama will repeat the pathologically unimaginative thinking and action which the military industrial complex demands.

    Here we go in Yemen.  Link.

    Pres. Clinton disengaged from Somalia (none / 0) (#7)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:43:07 PM EST
    and Afghanistan in the 1990s. How did that turn out?
    Let us wait and see what the nature of the engagement will be before we make judgements!
    Use of expressions such as "military-industrial complex", "imperialism", "American Empire" sound as vacuous as expressions like "Islamofascists", "they hate our freedoms", etc, given the context in which these statements are made.
    It is quite likely that Pres. Obama will engage neighbouring countries of Yemen to help out; the US will definitely not engage in Yemen on its own.

    OK (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:58:40 PM EST
    You have your view, I have mine. If you want to believe the military industrial complex doesn't exist, that Eisenhower was just a doddering fool to explicitly warn us about it half a century ago, that it is not the most powerful force influencing our foreign policy, so be it. But what do you think those companies are in the business of? Making war, without which they have no business.  Forgive me to consider it naive to consider it exists for some other reason.

    Sending your military all over the globe to control the affairs of other nations is a historic recipe for disaster and self-destruction, that much is clear.

    I mean, seriously, do you think we have troops all over the world for altruistic reasons? As for Somalia, are you really going to argue that an American military occupation of the place since Clinton would not have resulted in a situation similar to what we are in now in the region? What track record of success, of imaginative thinking and problem solving, are you attributing to the American military that would lead you to believe we could have "solved" Somalia with more guns and bombs.

    Greg Mortenson has it right, and our entire foreign policy toward that region should be based on his proven track record of success. Oh yes, that would mean no more explosions and machismo, and drastcially reduced profits for arms manufacturers, but it would mean a long, patient, and likely successful road to a brighter future.


    Look (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 03:36:49 PM EST
    Pres. Eisenhower was correct in warning us about the military-industrial complex, Pres. Obama has also been very correct in not engaging in unnecessary sabre-rattling (case in point is Iran, N. Korea, removal of missile shield in E. Europe, Syria, Georgia, Russia, etc).
    President Obama has been remarkably disciplined in not expanding our military foot print in other countries or needlessly meddling in the affairs of others. He does not indulge in machismo, that riles Republicans as well as certain Democrats who are used to seeing a President act differently to feel reassured. I have never argued for more guns and bombs; however calibrated force is necessary to solve certain problems in the world, like the problem arising from Al Qaeda operatives. The calibrated force has to be used in conjunction with aid and the work of people like Greg Mortensen, work of NGOs and Peace Corp volunteers, etc.
    Foreign policy has changed drastically under Pres. Obama. If you have not noticed that, you are not really paying attention!

    Obama is "disciplined" alright. (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by lentinel on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 07:41:54 PM EST
    If you think that Obama is not pursuing Bush's missile shield business deal on Russia's doorstep, it is you who have not been paying attention.

    And in general, Obama's so-called foreign policy is identical to Bush's. Saying it's different doesn't make it so.


    Yeah, right! (none / 0) (#38)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:15:06 PM EST
    Obama has not created a "Department of Peace". So his "foreign policy is identical to Bush's"!

    "Yeah, right!"? Ick. (none / 0) (#74)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 03:25:05 PM EST
    Same wars.
    Same Gitmo.
    Same rendition.
    Same drones.
    Same saber-rattling.

    Pretty close.

    And as I said before, "If you think that Obama is not pursuing Bush's missile shield business deal on Russia's doorstep, it is you who have not been paying attention."

    What say ye?


    This isn't about poverty (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 05:14:08 PM EST
    almost all the bombers/terrorists have been middle class or above

    It is about poverty (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 06:54:27 PM EST
    because that's a major source of recruiting for AQAP in Yemen, which is the poorest country in that region. It co-opts the tribes people by offering them more than the Government and making them believe they care about the tribes people more than the Government does.

    The leaders are even marrying the tribes people to become accepted more in their community. Al Shiri is an example.

    If there was more developmental aid passed on to the people, giving them an incentive to grow crops instead of Qat which is far more remunerative, that would help. And while oil reserves are sharply down in Yemen, it doesn't help that the Government didn't share enough of the profits with them. The prisons are AQAP's other feeding ground, and those need to be cleaned up as well, with aid to the prisoners when they get out.

    It's all about poverty.


    Osama is from one of the richest (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 07:10:40 PM EST
    families in Saudi Arabia. The bomber is the son of a Nigerian banker.

    The poverty reference is palaver intended to distract from the administration's failure.

    The war we are engaged in is trans-national. You are correct to point out that air-strikes won't solve a thing. The US is sending so many mixed messages to so many different constituencies I'm surprised anyone knows what US policy will be, beyond the standard: let's send in the air-strikes.

    We don't want anyone, especially the President of the US, offering up any red-herring that excuses those trying to kill us.

    I've met plenty of poor people. Ninety-nine percent never commit acts of violence or steal from others. The poverty canard is insulting to say the least.


    I can't call the poverty canard (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:14:48 PM EST
    insulting.  We really want to believe that we can change what is coming at us and do it in responsible, kind, humane, bloodless way.  Liberals don't want to grasp that this is a religious movement that has fed on the new wealth of the past generation that has been available for it to feed on.  And wingnuts flipout so bad about it that they completely lose their minds and do totally stupid sh*t.  Liberals want to overly focus on and singularly believe that it is all about poverty though because then we can do something about that that does not involve fighting or bloodshed.  If they really do believe that that is all that it will take, I invite them to go feed the AQ and pass out the finest clothing, build luxury shelter, give them your pin number to your ATM card.....and they will still get out the camcorder and tape cutting your head off.

    It seems likely to me we have killed (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:43:20 PM EST
    (including "collateral damage") more Muslims than Muslim extremists have killed in Western countries and/or Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.

    The question becomes (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 10:03:16 PM EST
    Who let loose the dogs of war?

    It is very sad (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:45:27 AM EST
    and many people saw this "war" coming a decade or more ago.  Could we have prevented it?  I have my doubts.  It is here though now, it is in our faces and it has no intention of fading gently away.  It will change my generation and our children forever I believe.

    I don't see how (none / 0) (#67)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:22:57 AM EST
    it was avoidable shy of actively changing every authoritarian regime in the Middle East (an idea so stupid and inpracticable it doesn't bear consideration), even then I'm not seeing it solve the problem as much as directing it inward as all moderates and regime supporters are slaughtered.

    Note: Yemen is a republic. (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 03:40:36 PM EST
    Silly reasoning Kidneystones!!! (none / 0) (#33)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 07:50:37 PM EST
    Lenin and Trotsky came from middle class families. Why were they hanging out among the proletariats and leading them in overthrowing the Tsar? Can one say that poverty was not a factor at all in shaping the Russian revolution?
    Any person with common sense will recognize that poverty is a factor that motivates Islamic terrorism. Religious and social conservatism thrives on poverty. However, poverty is not the only factor.
    A real and imagined sense of victimhood is also very important among other factors.

    I agree (none / 0) (#36)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:08:29 PM EST
    William Ayers (you remember him, right?) is also rich.

    I'm arguing this administration wants me and everybody else in the world to line and disrobe before we get on planes and to pay for an attorney and first-class legal defense for the guy who tried to blow us up.

    Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and the rest of the millionaire blame-America firsters looked hard at your President and saw somebody they liked a lot.

    Obama surprised them only by demonstrating a free flowing willingness to drop bombs on Pakistanis and give cash to Wall St.

    Obama wants to be loved. There's more to the job than that.

    These people are not fit to defend us and that's the lesson of the Christmas day attack.


    If you've got any ideas (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:20:28 PM EST
    regarding who IS "fit to defend us", short of closing a hundred bases and turning off the Pentagon feeding trough, Im sure many of us would love to hear your suggestions.

    A leader has to want to fight and fight to win (none / 0) (#41)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:43:43 PM EST
    not just popularity contests.

    You make it sound like we're taking on the soviets and communist china across the globe at the same time.

    Bruce Springsteen and all those young E tab taking Obama supporters who put the little prince over the top don't want to fight. That's not what they're about.

    This isn't a question of cash, it's a question of leadership and will to win. I'm not seeing it.


    kidneystones, you are becoming (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:22:25 PM EST
    a chatterer, see the comment rules. This is not a right wing site. You may comment, but do so in moderation.

    Fight and fight to win (none / 0) (#43)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:14:33 PM EST
    is a bumpersticker, not a strategy.

    We're talking about militant, battle hardened Afghani tribesman who've been dug in, on THIER turf, in some of the most treacherous, inaccessible terrain on the planet for the last twenty years: in a place that wore down the will of the Soviet Union, the British Empire and Alexander the Great. We've already thrown a hundred billion dollars worth of hardware at them, and if anything, the situations worse than it was before.

    You better have something better than rousing Knute Rockne speeches, because we're in uncharted waters. And no pissing-and-moaning about how a perfect world would be free of America-haters is going to change it.  


    And all the fantasied "leadership" (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:19:15 PM EST
    in world isnt going to magically make all the Christmas bombers go away forever.

    Who's "failure" will it be then, Jerimiah Wrights?


    Ah (none / 0) (#68)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:24:54 AM EST
    the Green Lantern Theory of Foriegn Policy-- the will is all-- yeah, I thought you people were discredited after Iraq but apparently you feel no shame.

    OMG! (none / 0) (#40)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:40:56 PM EST
    Quite a rant!
    Listen, the previous President could not protect us from the 9/11 attacks. He could not prevent the shoebomber from getting into the flight, he undermined American security interests by invading Iraq unnecessarily, he undermined economic interests  through his policies and left the country in dire straits.
    There were attacks on American soil during the Clinton Presidency, American interests were attacked during the Reagan Presidency also.
    But you already knew that! Your rhetoric is also weird, bringing William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright and what not is bizarre, it tells me that you know that you have lost your argument and have just resorted to stomping your foot.

    How many airports (none / 0) (#42)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:58:12 PM EST
    have you been in, recently? I'm pleased that you're showing your true Obama 'we had it coming' colors.  

    In Paris, military swat teams patrol at train stations as a matter of routine. I suppose you think those Pakistanis who got blown up at that volleyball court yesterday are paying the price for something an American president did.

    This is about 'I thought of enlisting, once, too'; and those willing to 'explain' terrorist attacks as a function of poverty.

    'Surf's up' just sent thirty thousand more US troops to Afghanistan and sulked over the decision the entire time.

    He's a joke.


    Do you have reading comprehension problems? (2.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:37:21 PM EST
    I have been arguing for a long time that it would be naive to imagine that if America pulled out of Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, we would not be attacked again. I posted some details about atrocities that the Taliban committed in Swat Valley, many months ago, and urged liberals and progressives in this blog to try to comprehend the nature of the beast that we are dealing with. However, I find it ridiculuous to grandstand the way you like to do!
    I travel fairly frequently. I have travelled through airports in Amsterdam, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Berlin, etc and have travelled extensively in Europe and also in Asia, have friends and colleagues from the Middle East and South Asia (Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist), Europe, Central and South America.
    Please stop grandstanding. It makes you look very cheap. I never said that "Pakistanis who got blown up at that volleyball court yesterday are paying the price for something an American president did".
    You are an idiot if you think that all terrorist attacks that have been committed by Al Qaeda operatives in various parts of the world were carried out by people with the same background as Atta, Jarrah, etc.
    "I am in Japan", "I am in Japan", etc impresses no one here. Most people in this blog are fairly well travelled.

    There's always room for one more (none / 0) (#48)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:35:37 PM EST

    Change I can believe in! :-) (none / 0) (#56)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 10:30:27 PM EST
    Post # 42 says
    "In Paris, military swat teams patrol at train stations as a matter of routine"

    Pres. Obama is making rightwingers use France as a example for emulation! We have come a long way from those "John Kerry looks French" and "Freedom Fries" days, baby!!!


    I know the situation is very upsetting (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:49:10 AM EST
    We do have the best that we have tending to it.  It won't be easy.  Nobody wants to die though and self preservation almost always trumps ideology.  I think we will make it.  I think we won't like doing it, but I think we will make it.

    Funny (none / 0) (#69)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:28:50 AM EST
    I have a feeling if Obama had heavily armed troops patrol every public transit hub you'd think he had created an armed camp.

    Sorry, the suicide bombers that have hit (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:30:57 PM EST
    the US and England/Scotland are middle class and above. I can't think of a single one that is not in that mold.

    If you want to argue that the handlers use the poverty of the Arab street to shame the recruit into sacrificing because they and their parents are the cause I would agree.


    I can think of about (none / 0) (#19)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 05:34:52 PM EST
    a hundred military bases we could close and use THOSE resources for fighting poverty in the U.S and have alot less to fear vis a vis terrorist reprisals than we did before.

    So in that sense, maybe it is about poverty.


    Just don't (none / 0) (#61)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:18:21 AM EST
    draw pictures of the prophet.  

    I would say it is about 50/50 overall (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 06:33:52 PM EST
    when tallying up all attacks.

    There's at least two dozen (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 05:28:26 PM EST
    advanced nations that should be -- and probably are -- just as interested in neutralizing the threat of attacks from fanatics as the U.S is, if that's actually the goal. This needs to be a much better coordinated INTERNATIONAL effort and not an occasion for idiotic political triumphalism and fingerpointing about who "protects us" better.

    It's ludicrous to talk as if the U.S, or "Obama" or any other regime with as many places of entry and the size of the U.S, is going to be anything like secure from attack without alot more international cooperation.

    And countries that seem to have developed a mindset in which any attack on the U.S is a windfall for them, shouldnt be overly relied upon for help.


    The problem is that probably 23 (2.00 / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:36:03 PM EST
    of those two dozen don't give a flip if any one, including the US, of the 23 others get hit. The real issue is sharing information and if they get concerned about security leaks that information won't be shared.

    If we cant get them (none / 0) (#51)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:41:00 PM EST
    to give a flip, how are we going to get the Afghanis and the Yemenites to give a flip?

    Sounds like we've got real problems.


    Yes we do. (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 10:00:42 PM EST
    Much more aid to Yemen on the way (none / 0) (#6)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:17:37 PM EST
    is what I see in Obama linking "crushing poverty" and "deadly insurgencies."  You called it.

    And I'm sure that aid... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 03:00:45 PM EST
    ...will be so overwhelmingly humanitarian, that the military part of it will hardly even register.



    "All those involved in the attempted act (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 03:38:11 PM EST
    of terrorism on Christmas must know you too will be held accountable," says President Obama.   Perhaps, an even more effective threat would be to our intelligence,  homeland security  and other "system" senior officers, something like "all those involved who contributed by acts of commission or omission need to know that you too will be held accountable." .... "after all, I supported FiSA, Patriot Act, almost everything Bush and Cheney put in place, I do as the generals say, and I may bomb a few places to cunningly change the subject,  but I do expect results.-I will still give you all Presidential Medals like the one Tenet got, but I want you to know that I will not be cool about it, and that means you guys over there hiding under the desk."

    How do you think we got into Iraq?? (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 05:15:10 PM EST

    please don't change the subject to Iraq (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 05:58:12 PM EST
    This thread is about Kenya and AQAP. AQAP came from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq.

    OK but my response was to the comment/belief (2.00 / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 09:23:08 PM EST
    that intelligence is always that intelligent, not about Iraq per se.

    Naw (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 07:11:00 AM EST
    there was plenty of information that said Sadaam had nothing too. The problem is that when you have a moron reading the information or perhaps an illiterate being fed information you it doesn't matter ab out the quality of the information.

    All recruits training in Yemen (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 06:37:11 PM EST
    are not from Yemen though Jeralyn.  They'll take their recruits however they can get them and they manage to get them from everywhere and some are middle class and some are poor.

    I agree (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 06:55:49 PM EST
    but they are a big recruiting ground and getting more is one of their goals.

    Last week (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 07:03:39 PM EST
    Time Magazine reported:

    Observers warn that poverty and unemployment are prime recruitment factors for al-Qaeda, something they say the U.S. government and other foreign powers should have done more to address. "If you're going to carry out [an attack] like this, you have to have done a great deal of field work, where you've sort of undermined al-Qaeda through development and aid so that when something like this happens, al-Qaeda can't easily replace the individuals that it has lost," says Johnsen. "But if you don't take those steps then the pool of recruits just starts to multiply exponentially."

    After the strikes of a few weeks ago, they say:

    "The al-Qaeda threat in Yemen is real, but now after this operation, it will be greater," says Mohammed Quhtan, a member of Yemen's opposition Islamist al-Islah party. "Al-Qaeda will be able to recruit a lot more young people, at least from the tribes that were hit. And it will have reasonable grounds to attract more people from Abyan governorate, and from the Yemeni population in general."

    Poor people (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by star on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:00:57 PM EST
    make good foot soldires . but they are never the real threat. most of the time the locals are as much  victims. they do not have the education or exposure to think for themselves when they are brainwashed and , they are most often neglected by their own governments in terms of protection.
    That is why Afganistan was an ideal place for AQ to make it their home. the talibs and AQ completely terrorised the locals and tolerated no difference of opinion.
    So poverty is a cover and an excuse thrown out there .

    Please get your facts straight (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:06:42 PM EST
    The Taliban is part of the poor "locals" in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Poor People (none / 0) (#54)
    by desertrunner on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 10:01:25 PM EST
    Poverty is not the main factor in their ability to recruit. It is religious idealology. Recruitng and sympathy has never been an issue in Yemen. It started back with the Afgan/Arabs returning to Yemen after the Soviet war was over. They where used by Ali Saleh to fight in the civil war, the tribes have always offered protection and continually will. Will offering money and military assistance alliviate the problem, no. AQ and/or sympathizers with AQ are prevelant throught the Yemen military and government.

    U.S. has poored a lot of $$ and person (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 10:45:36 PM EST
    power into infrastructure and good works in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  But every so often the NYT reports all the stuff we have funded and/or built is crumbling to the ground.  

    The problem (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 07:13:25 AM EST
    is not poverty. It's radical religious fundamentalism. It's the same radical fundamentalism that causes people to murder abortion doctors and bomb clinics. These people need serious cult deprogramming. The ideology needs to be destroyed.

    In many poor regions (none / 0) (#63)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:30:15 AM EST
    such as Pakistan, Palestinian territories, etc, the same people (or some associate group) who run jihadi camps also often provide social and charitable services to poor people. It is not that unusual for mothers, who are uneducated themselves and have no means to provide for their children, to drop a kid to a Madrassah (or religious school) in the hope that their children get fed and receive some education. Governments do not provide any social services in many poor countries, this is something that many in developed countries do not realize. Families of suicide bombers are often paid a lot of money or their economic needs taken of. It is a vicious circle. You really cannot delink the issue of poverty, while fighting the scourge of Islamic terrorism.  

    Poverty and Terrorism (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:54:13 AM EST
    Please see link

    Ding Ding Ding (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by cawaltz on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 12:17:11 PM EST
    We have a winner. It's why Hamas was able to win an election as well.

    Although I would argue in our developed country that the religious right has managed to get their tentacles around people(and our government)with their "good works" as well.

    At the rate we are spending money abroad though while 1 in 10 of our own don't have jobs and 1 in 7 of our own are expected to have to rely on food stamps, or 53 million are without healhcare we very well might be heading back in that direction due to our "leadership' and it's inability to come up with or implement policies that benefit the citizenship.


    I in part agree with you (none / 0) (#71)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:48:39 AM EST
    I just don't see a solution to that.