Al Qaeda Explains Why It Targeted France and Charlie Hebdo

In addition to taking credit for the Charlie Hebdo attack, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) yesterday explained why France and Charlie Hebdo were selected as targets.

The leadership of #AQAP directed the operation, and they have chosen their target carefully as a revenge for the honor of Prophet (pbuh). The target was in France in particular because of its obvious role in the war on Islam and oppressed nations.

The operation was the result of the threat of Sheikh Usama (RA). He warned the West about the consequences of the persistence in the blasphemy against Muslims’ sanctities. Sheikh Usama (RA) said in his message to the West: If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.

Separately, in a 5 minute audio address released by al-Malahem Media, AQAP leader Shaykh Harith al-Nathari praised the attack. (He did not take credit.) [Added: A version with English subtitles is now available here.] Here is an English translation. [Another is here.] A snippet:[More...]

O people of France, that which should be a priority with you is that you cease from your aggression against the Muslims, so that you might live in security, but if you refuse anything except war, then glad tidings; For by Allah you will not have any security as long as you wage war against Allah and His Messenger and you fight against the believers.

{Say to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them. But if they return [to hostility] - then the precedent of the former [rebellious] peoples has already taken place.} [8:38]

BFMTV, a French TV station, played an interview with Cheorui Kouachi in which he says he was sent to Yemen in 2011 by al Qaeda and his trips were financed by Anwar al-Awlaki. Since al-Awlaki has been dead for a while, clearly he didn't have a role in this attack.

All of the jihadist groups on Twitter seem joyous about the France attacks. They say it doesn't matter which group was involved, they are all one when it comes to insulting their prophet. Another dominant theme is the hypocrisy of the West calling for freedom for speech. They say it applies to everyone but Muslims, and that when Muslims exercise their right to an opinion, they are called terrorists, antisemitic and jailed, but when Westerners insult Muslims, it's called free speech. Some have used jailed tweeter Shami Witness as an example. A typical comment: "When they insult your prophet they hide behind "Freedom of Speech", but when you say your opinion, they try to silence you in any way."

Several also point to France's treatment of Muslims in Algeria during WWII, and have posted old black and white photos of French soldiers holding the severed heads of Algerian Muslims and leading them around tied together with ropes at their necks. They want to know why those crimes have been forgotten.

To counter the hash-tag "Je Suis Charlie", the jihadists have started "#JeSuisMuslim." To them, the three terrorists killed today were martyrs, and they say they have been accepted by Allah.

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    It Begins: Turkish cartoonists threatened (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 08:56:11 AM EST
    I learned about the Charlie Hebdo attack from a phone call in the early morning hours of Jan. 7. The messenger was a political satirist and friend calling from Istanbul. He was calm as he explained the brutal attack. Then he said, "I received a call from a private number. The voice on the line ordered me to turn on the television to take a sneak peak at my own future." It was not the first time my friend had been threatened. When I asked what he was going to do, he replied with his usual dark humor, "I will first mourn the loss of my colleagues and caricaturize my sorrow."

    As in France, Mideast satire is a weapon (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 10:52:18 AM EST
    against extremists.

    On Iraqi state TV, a satirical soap opera dedicated to mocking Islamic State, State of Myth, depicts the gruesome yet absurd "contributions" ISIS fighters and ideology unleash on a fictional town in Iraq, such as a green-energy car-bombing factory- cost-effective, reasonably priced, environment-friendly, and export-ready! All this information is provided by an IS engineer in a TV interview, where the female news announcer has resorted to wearing a sheet while asking questions.

    "The al-Qaeda Franchise" (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 05:13:59 AM EST
    Juan Cole: From Yemen to Paris: The al-Qaeda Franchise from the 15th to the 60th Parallel N.

    So Said Kouashi boasted of being AQAP at the scene of the murders. It turns out that both brothers had been in Abyan Province. Sharif Kouashi maintains that the late AQAP leader Anwar al-Awlaqi bankrolled his terrorist actions. AQAP claimed responsibility for the attacks.

    So I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this was not a lone wolf attack. Very likely, either al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula or some affiliate went for it aggressively!

    Was there a command structure such that an order was given? We can't know right now. But that question misses the point. Al-Qaeda cells and franchises are often informal, and people do as they please within limits. AQAP had ways of suggesting operations to operatives looking to make their bones. Whether the attacks were inspired or commanded doesn't make much difference.

    In your post Jeralyn you (none / 0) (#2)
    by Slado on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 05:34:08 AM EST
    Touch on a key point.

    In our open societies in the west radical clerics are free to spread their nessage of radical or conservative Islam through their places of worship, through the Internet, printed media and openly in our streets.  

    Their message is free to be heard but if their ideas of how our society should be run are carried through to the end ultimately it results in a society where all our values that we hold dear are lost.

    So how do we confront this?   We are almost held hostage in a way because we can't just throw people in jail for being against our values.   But as we can see in these pockets of Muslim communities spread throughout Europe there are large groups of young people who do not wish to integrate into our open societies but instead establish their own radical or conservative Islamic societies that will forever clash with the laws and values we in the West have established.

    They can't integrate if there's no opportunity (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 06:24:38 AM EST
    Up one thread Jeralyn says we've got to know our enemy.  Our enemy is overpopulation.  

    Unemployment is rampant.  There's nothing for a lot of people to do.  Not enough minimum wage jobs.  Not enough make-work jobs.  The excess population simply isn't needed.  When first world social welfare states can no longer hold this problem in abeyance, everything will implode.


    overpopulation (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by ragebot on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 07:16:20 AM EST
    Is a problem.  But several years ago Marshall Macluhan wrote about how hot and cool media meeting caused discontinuities and that media itself could be a militant and aggressive transformer of culture.

    Right after the US embassy in Iran fell I remember reading a newspaper article about the event covering a couple of pages discussing how Iran'so leaders were determined to eliminate Western influence.  There was also a small blurb on the last page of the story about how the number of portable radios imported into Iran had increased by an order of magnitude.

    I suspect the Internet is much more disruptive than radios not just in Iran but in the rest of the Muslim world.


    Marshal McLuhan (none / 0) (#63)
    by sj on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 03:45:31 PM EST
    When I first heard "the medium is the message" I couldn't wrap my head around it. I didn't understand at all what his point was.

    Now I do.


    From what I have read though (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 12:04:43 PM EST
    France has done a lot of work to integrate its growing Muslim population.  They have demanded secular tolerance though, and have via that boundary encouraged healthy secular Muslim communities.  They have gone beyond anything the U.S. would do.  Nobody in France deserved what happened.

    I do think the Kouachi brothers were very high risk because they were orphaned, but it was religous belief that framed how they expressed their isolation and frustration.

    I have seen reporting that there are Muslim areas that the police will not enter now though, and it is creating sort of Muslim ghettos.  Why?  I want a thorough explanation of the issues and reasons.


    From what I've read (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Slado on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 10:48:36 PM EST
    France has not done a good job integrating Muslims.


    As for the no go zones that is not just France but across Europe.  60 minutes ran an excellent piece the other day showing groups of Muslim men enforcing religious rules inside Loneon neighborhoods and claiming those neighborhoods to be under the laws of Islam.    

    Again how do we as open societies deal with groups who would rather remain closed and keep their values which run completely counter to ours?  


    Is that why police officers aren't (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 12:04:57 AM EST
    Policing Muslim neighborhoods?  To avoid standoffs with radical Islam?  No matter what they do then they will be found at fault by someone.  If they enforce the law in such instances they will be called intolerant and practicing discrimination.  They can't win.

    If this is why, I understand why they might leave certain neighborhoods alone.

    Here is an article from several years ago discussing integration eventual successes, here is an article about the Muslim vote deciding the last Presidential election.  When your vote begins to decide elections that social power, that's a form of integration.  So I'm missing exactly what it is you are saying the French are failing to do to accomplish integration.

    60 minutes discussing neighborhoods becoming their own law isn't telling me why...why that's happening.  That's what I want to know.  And if the people want that to stop, they have to support law enforcement in doing it.


    Council on a foreign relations (none / 0) (#26)
    by Slado on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 12:35:50 AM EST
    Nice article

    I think for the young European Muslims it is a lack of economic opportunity mixed with a clash between their religious way of life and the very secular way of life across Europe.  

    You can't have poor, unemployed and isolated youth holed up in self segregated neighborhoods and expect good results.  


    You can say that (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 07:54:31 AM EST
    And I heard plenty of it yesterday from a few analysts in France, but their income inequality is much better than ours.  Their access to healthcare is better than ours, their access to basic needs when the household is stressed is better than ours.  Their poverty rates are lower.

    One analyst arguing your point said that for instance the Kouachi brothers had no access to middle class life style and they could not have afforded to go to a specific college she named that middle class families in France can afford to send their children to.  She went on to say that she didn't think the opportunities existed in France that exist in the US, and that just blew me away.  Obviously some analysts don't get out much.

    The number of children in the US growing up in poverty has exploded.  What college in the US will those children be able to afford?  I know the Kouachi's were orphans.  I will agree all nations must do much more to reach out to the parentless.  But France's poverty problems are not more pronounced than ours, in fact they are less pronounced, and the poor have more basic needs met there.


    One of the nastiest Charlie Hebdo covers (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 09:18:10 AM EST
    was specifically about this issue and the decrease in French Government provided welfare allocations.  Google "touchez pas à nos allocs" to find the cover, search for that plus "context" to find a discussion of the political context of those covers.  If you read French, google "Touchez pas à nos allocations familiales" for the greater context.

    Thank you (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 09:24:53 AM EST
    Reading about the context all over (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 01:23:24 PM EST
    This cartoon was about the girls who had been made sex slaves by Boko Haram and the upcoming cuts that were coming to everyone in France.  They combined two news stories into a joke, France does not pay the Boko Haram victims for anything. People cherry picking Charlie Hebdo covers are saying this is about something that it isn't.  The staff of Charlie Hebdo are almost all uber leftwing pro immigration and belong to anti racism groups and organizations.

    Tracy (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Slado on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 03:15:32 PM EST
    Sometimes you just need to accept that we do some things better then other countries.

    Specifically we do integration of foreigners better then any country ever because we are completely a nation of immigrants.   The only people to get really screwed in this country are the people who were hear first, Native Americans.

    Face the Nation had an excellent panel this morning with a women named Farah Pandith who said that the economic status of young Muslim men around the world and especially in Europe is the main driver of their recruitment.   Also these communities like the rest of the Islamic world have populations that are much younger then their western counterparts.

    Of the 1.6 billion Muslims 62% are under the age of 30.   It doesn't take a very large net to radicalize enough people to cause havoc.

    Somehow we need to counter the narrative that is all over the Internet and social media.   A narrative that is very well funded and coordinated.  Governments need to do a better job of helping groups outside of government do the grass roots work on the ground to offer a better alternative.    


    We have had young Muslims leave this (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 04:55:28 PM EST
    Country too, recruited out of this country too and fighting with different extremist groups.  If we do anything better it is arresting them at the airport and not letting them back in.  That's it.  We don't integrate foreigners better.  Look at our history on it.  When it comes to Islamic extremism we just imprison more and longer IMO.  If you had any idea what it takes for military interpreters allowed to immigrate from Afghanistan vs. being murdered by the Taliban very soon, you might have an idea of what the big differences are between Muslims in and out of France vs. the U.S.

    Disagree (none / 0) (#41)
    by Slado on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 06:49:06 PM EST
    We have Islamic communities in cities all over the U.S. and we don't have any no go zones or protests for Islamic law in our streets.

    Again it's ok for the US to be better every once and a while.


    France has a much much higher percentage (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 09:08:24 AM EST
    Muslim population, and their Muslim communities are much older and more established than ours.

    We are a baby nation, the Muslim vote here decides nothing I would venture a guess.  We dont treat immigrants better or integrate them better, our existing circumstances are only different along with how difficult it is to immigrate here.

    You can't just hop a couple of landlocked borders from a Muslim country to get to the United States.


    France. 7% Muslim (none / 0) (#47)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 12:02:43 PM EST
    comprising an estimated 50% of the prison population.

    A statistic like that should remind us of something.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 12:53:18 PM EST
    If you aren't living in France, how can you know exactly what is going on?

    Many are upset that one of the Kouachi brothers was out of prison and had not completed his sentence.

    I can say that in the US I do my part.  Some of it is easier, it is easier to practice colorblindess in a U.S. military situation because we are bound by something deeply familiar to us all.  I walk outside the gates though in Southern Alabama and it gets trickier.

    On post, if someone practices any sort of overt or covert racism, even if it is only suspected.  That's an Inspector General Investigation.  Outside the gates in the Deep South, that particular authority has no authority.

    I have had some heated discussion that I guess embarrassed my children a little, but not much around here is overt.  And they love them some covert, if I could get an investigation on all the suspected covert...we don't even have enough investigators to begin that.

    What's going on in France?  I don't know.  Has generational racism created a convict class?  It looks like it may be possible according to that figure, but I don't live there.  Has radicalization created a convict class?  I don't know


    Not at all (none / 0) (#49)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 10:30:44 PM EST
    The Muslim community is very isolated from the rest of French society for economic and cultural reasons that I'm sure a good French sociologist would be able to explain in great detail.

    Keep in mind the  generosity of the welfare state allows them to live without jobs and many of the youth are unemployed.

    Idle men with nothing to do and who feel the west is threatening their religion and culture can be easy pickings for radical ideas.  Even if they only bat 1-5% that's enough to cause problems.


    Oh dear G0d (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 10:50:11 PM EST
    Keep in mind the  generosity of the welfare state allows them to live without jobs and many of the youth are unemployed.

    Idle men with nothing to do and who feel the west is threatening their religion and culture can be easy pickings for radical ideas.  Even if they only bat 1-5% that's enough to cause problems.

    Yeah - it's that big government/welfare state that's always to blame.  Because you wouldn't have these problems in countries without "welfare", like Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Egypt, Syria, etc., etc., etc.


    You are so sensitive (2.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 11:33:47 PM EST
    Brookings Institute

    Nobody said it was the fault of the welfare state and maybe that term is to inflammatory for TL as it always sends you and others off the rails and ends discussion.

    How about a more generous social system as compared to ours?

    If you go through the link I provided it shows an unemployment rate of 22% for young immigrant Muslims.   It also discusses how laws to protect existing workers makes it hard for new immigrants to enter the work force.

    This is only part of the issue.  If just bringing it up means argument over then why debate?

    In all seriousness the paper linked had lots of good points Tracy that you might find informative.  


    Oh (none / 0) (#54)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 11:40:09 PM EST
    I misquoted my own link

    Unemployment amoung 15-29 year olds of Muslim descent was 40%.

    That is a problem.


    No link (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 06:54:04 AM EST
    The info I'm googling does say there is around a 5% descrepency for Muslims and places their unemployment around 14%.  I have no idea where you get your figures.  And according Wikipedia, a study indicates that France integrates Muslims better than any other Western country.

    Some just want to blame France while overlooking the Boston bombers.  Why aren't they considered a United States failure to integrate Muslims well?


    So if you're not claiming ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 07:54:38 AM EST
    ... it's the "welfare state" (or "more generous social system than ours"), why did you state:

    Keep in mind the  generosity of the welfare state allows them to live without jobs and many of the youth are unemployed.

    Just two random, unrelated facts, as opposed to your usual diatribe/blaming of "big government"?  The reason you get an argument is because you always make these right-wing talking points with no evidence to back them up.  There is nothing in your link supporting the claim that the unemployment rate among young Muslim immigrants is because of the French "welfare state: that "allows them to live without jobs".  But if you're now saying you didn't mean to suggest that the French welfare state is a cause of that unemployment, we have no argument.


    The link (none / 0) (#59)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 08:37:47 AM EST
    Shows that the work laws that prevent people from losing jobs makes it harder for young immigrants to enter the work force.    But that is a problem for all young people throughout Europe.

    It does not show as you point out that the size of the welfare state has any effect on unemployment.   Point to you.

    For whatever the reason we agree that the particularly high unemployment among young immigrants and first generation young people of Muslim descent is a problem.


    Hmmmm? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 09:28:07 AM EST
    So those work laws, they probably protect employed Muslims from some new racist boss firing them easily because he/she doesn't care for Muslims.....hmmmmmmmmmm

    "Work laws" was not ... (none / 0) (#61)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 11:26:18 AM EST
    ... your original point that I was responding to:

    Keep in mind the generosity of the welfare state allows them to live without jobs and many of the youth are unemployed.

    You were blaming the "generosity of the welfare state" that "allows them to live without jobs", not laws which make it harder for young immigrants to enter the work force - laws which every country has, to one degree or another.  But as I said, if you want to withdraw that claim in the face of evidence of many more radical Islamists in countries without such "generosity of the welfare state", there is no dispute.


    I conceded (none / 0) (#64)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 06:09:01 PM EST
    The high unemployment rate for young Muslim men and women is the issue.  The cause is complicated and is not a direct result of the welfare state as I contended.  

    Any ideas why it is so particularly high for this group?


    And you know this how? (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 10:52:24 PM EST
    I mean I can google all night long prominent French Muslims if you want.  Or maybe you should.  They have many Muslims much more socially prominent and significant than anything the U.S. has yet.

    This is not to say they don't have issues.  Everyone has issues.  We aren't better at dealing with ours though.  Just isn't so.


    You've made up your mind (none / 0) (#53)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 11:36:28 PM EST
    End of discussion.

    The people who were here... (none / 0) (#55)
    by unitron on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 06:32:25 AM EST
    ...(here being North, South, and Central America and the nearby islands) before the arrival of the Europeans have an undeniable grievance, but so, I would argue, do those brought here non-voluntarily by the Europeans.

    As does, virtually (none / 0) (#65)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 11:04:55 PM EST
    every country in the world.

    If you looked at a world map only one century old I suggest most people wouldn't recognize it.

    FWIW, this is the primary reason the Israel/Palestine debate has been so intractable.


    France even supported Palestininan statehood (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 08:26:58 AM EST
    in the UN. link

    Attacks such as these will likely dampen the support of Palestinian statehood in Europe where it has been gaining strong momentum in recent years. However, ISIS and AQ want to establish a caliphate (though these two organizations may have their differences on the choice of Caliph) and are ideologically opposed to Muslims living in nation states. It is clear that AQ and ISIS are causing great damage to the cause of Palestinian statehood that unites Muslims (in general) all over the world.  


    "How do we confront this?" (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 05:58:22 PM EST
    Well, I think we can start by trying to be honest with ourselves. Specifically, how are these Islamic malcontents any different from the absolutists who populate either our country's own evangelical Christianist movement, or any other form of zealous religious fundamentalism as it appears throughout the world?

    We first need to acknowledge and remember Jane Addams' wise counsel, that the essence of immorality is our own respective tendencies to make exceptions of our own selves.

    If we can do that, it's then pretty easy to determine and understand that hatred and intolerance are corrosive social traits which are hardly exclusive to any one particular religion or people. As Walt Kelly's Pogo famously quipped, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

    Therefore, our efforts would likely be best spent in the reaffirmation of our own opposition to mindless rage and bigotry, in whatever forms they may assume and wherever they may exist.

    The Jesus Christ I've come to know and love taught me that respect, tolerance and peace are the true moral pillars of a just and humane society.

    Our worst fears and instincts will almost always be realized whenever we indulge our own unhealthy obsession to pursue and attain a false status of moral superiority, relative to both the earth and the rest of humankind. Because truth be told, we are not God, nor has God designated any of one or group of us as His official spokesperson.

    As such, man's perpetual folly rests in his presumption to speak on the Lord's behalf, as though divine providence were somehow the foundation of his own immediate personal desires.

    Let us clean up our own act, before we seek to tell everyone else how to script and choreograph theirs.



    well, just for starters, (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 06:46:48 PM EST
    they are cutting off heads & committing murder in the name of Allah & attacking such Western values as free speech & freedom of the press in order to return the entire world to the 7th century


    Specifically, how are these Islamic malcontents any different from the absolutists who populate either our country's own evangelical Christianist movement, or any other form of zealous religious fundamentalism as it appears throughout the world?

    Why do you feel the need (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Slado on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 10:34:48 PM EST
    To bring Christianity into this?

    The people who practice radical Islam are not looking for a dialogue.   They want to impose their values on us.   I chose to stand wih the group of people who would prefer rights for women, gays, and all religions including those of no faith to live how they choose.

    My being Christian has nothing to do with this position.

    I don't feel I'm taking a position of moral superiority when I take the position that we as a society should confront the ideals of a Radical Islam and call them what they are, inferior.

    My question is how does an open society do this when the radicals use our freedoms against us?  



    To point out that Muslims are not alone (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Yman on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 09:05:01 AM EST
    The people who practice radical Islam are not looking for a dialogue.   They want to impose their values on us.   I chose to stand wih the group of people who would prefer rights for women, gays, and all religions including those of no faith to live how they choose.

    My being Christian has nothing to do with this position.

    All religions have their radicals, including Christians.  It's great that you, personally are not one, but you're comparing radical Muslims to one person - in the process ignoring the many radical Christians/hate for whom being "Christian" has everything to do with their anti-women, homophobic, etc. agenda.


    Again who cares about Christians? (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Slado on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 06:31:24 PM EST
    They are not the ones commiting these crimes and acts of terror.

    There are no equivalent Christian groups like ISIS, AQ or the half dozen terrorist groups spread all over the Islamic world beheading, murdering and mistreating religious minorities.

    I don't believe a single Christian leader or preist has been targeted by Obama or Bush with a drone.  

    The comparison of the two today when it comes to fighting the ideas of Radical Islam is simply a waste of time.  Why not just focus on one radical religion at a time, the one that posts beheadings on YouTube might be a good place to start.


    Walk and chew gum (none / 0) (#42)
    by Yman on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 08:08:39 PM EST
    It can be done ... quite easily, in fact.

    And who was claiming that they were "equivalent" groups, either in terms of number or conduct?


    Equivalent is the wrong word (none / 0) (#43)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 04:31:47 AM EST
    And much more importantly we are not talking about religion in general but a specific form of a specific religion when we talk about radical Islam.

    Radical Islam or ultra conservative Islam as practiced by AQ, ISIS and other various groups lays out a very specific set of ideas that we in the west need to counter with things other then bombs and drones.

    My point being is one doesn't need to focus on other religious loonies when we see a clear and direct threat to our values right in front of us.

    If it makes you feel better fine but we all want the same thing don't we?  Too starve this ideology of members and stop the endless violenc back and forth?  At least here at home and across the West.   Part of this equation for me is we can't do it in the Midfle Eadt for them and our Olivier gave only made our counter narrative harder to make.


    State sponsored radical Islam (none / 0) (#44)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 06:23:09 AM EST
    in Saudi Arabia link

    The monarchy should be frog marched to the International Criminal Court.


    Saudi Arabia (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 10:21:25 AM EST

    Until we are ready to confront them on this issue how can we possibly hope to counter the ideas that are driving Radical Islam?


    If there was no martyr video with (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 07:49:06 AM EST
    The Kouachi brother who trained with them, then this was not their plot or plan.  And they did not take credit, they stopped short of taking credit and direct responsibility for the events.  Several "experts" have been on the tube explaining all this.  

    Without a martyr video, this was not an AQ plan

    Boko Haram (none / 0) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 11:44:36 AM EST
    AQ or ISIS (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jack203 on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 11:57:54 AM EST
    I don't think it matters too much.

    If this was AQ, I wouldn't exactly give ISIS any credit for being the less radical nuts of the two.  After all with Western hostages AQ is much more "moderate" than ISIS.

    If the brothers went to Syria last year, it sounds like they had ties to ISIS.

    The most likely scenario is the brothers were followers of both radical Islamist movements.

    Pledging allegiance to ISIS (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jack203 on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 09:52:56 AM EST

    Leadership different, foot soldiers same (none / 0) (#34)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 11:55:10 AM EST
    The leadership of ISIS and AQ may be different (ofcourse, it has to be because the leader of each organization wants to be the Caliph) but the foot soldiers are almost the same because they are drawn by the same ideology and cross populate each organization. So differences between AQ or ISIS when it comes to Islamic terrorism are probably as much as differences between Sinaloa and Los Zetas when it comes to drug cartels. Not much, I would say!

    Paris portends AQAP vs ISIS one-upmanship (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 12:32:02 PM EST
    Dozens of Americans charged with planning terrorist plots over the last five years have said they were influenced by the Internet sermons of Awlaki, including Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with placing explosives near the 2013 Boston marathon finish line that killed three and wounded hundreds.

    But in the last year, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been eclipsed in the headlines by another militant organization, Islamic State, which has blitzed across northern Iraq and taken over large swaths of that country and Syria.

    "There is this active rivalry between the two groups," said David Gomez, a retired FBI profiler and counter-terrorism expert. "They are competing for the leadership of the jihadist movement."

    The entire world has been reporting on the (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 01:10:48 PM EST
    division between AQ and ISIS for over a year. Both groups report on this daily. AQ does not recognize Baghdadi. It too wants a Califphate, just not one in which Baghdadi is the Califph.

    Not sure why this is news to anyone. And again, they can still support each others actions, as ISIS supporters are doing in praising the French attacks.

    AQ in Syria is Jabhat al Nusra. The Chechen groups are also divided between the ones that are aligned with AQ and the ones that are aligned with ISIS. Also, factions of all the groups frequently switch allegiances between JaN and ISIS. Each group has also killed its own members when it catches them aiding or planning to defect to the other group on their own.


    Along with that "competition" (none / 0) (#12)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 01:45:22 PM EST
    the intermediate goal would be the new recruits and the $$$$$ that fund international terrorist acts.

     There may be various & somewhat formal separation in the several terrorist groups, but the overall killing/mayhem and associated power purpose has a convergent direction.  Even the Mafia has had renowned splits in the family; and, to that we might add the surficially different operations of the drug honchos in the Medellin, etc.  

    The Guardian's editorial the other day noted where the responsibility for the killings rests ... with the killers.  Reasons, elisions, whatever do not change the fundamental fact that those who did the killings are responsible.  


    Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson on why (none / 0) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 03:29:47 PM EST
    He couldn't quite pen an acceptable cartoon today, with a thoroughly Twitter-treated message to his anonymous critics.

    Got link? (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 05:10:21 PM EST
    Try this (none / 0) (#15)
    by Zorba on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 05:48:55 PM EST

    Google is your friend.  You should try it some time.


    Here's what I tried to link to earlier (none / 0) (#20)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 07:40:12 PM EST
    This includes Rowson's comments directed at a bunch of anonymous posters who were apparently demanding, anonymously, that he paint a target on his back.

    I apologize; I was on a foreign tablet earlier.  I tried several times to post this, including in the original post, but it never made it in.  Weird.


    I thank you for the link (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 09:00:08 PM EST
    He makes an interesting point. How shall the cartoonists and editorial writers, TV talking heads, react to violence directed at them??

    And I apologize for the acts of those who, as the often do, seize every opportunity to launch a personal attack against me.


    Jim stop making the thread about you (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 09:22:53 PM EST
    I already deleted this comment once. I'm tired of coming here to read people's thoughts on the topic and reading about you. You don't have to respond to every slight. You are choosing to post on a site where you know no one agrees with you. I delete comments every day that insult you. This was just banter. Let it go.

    Sorry, Zorba's "Google is... (none / 0) (#57)
    by unitron on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 06:57:56 AM EST
    ...your friend" snark was out of line.

    (It was the follow-up "You should try it some time." that puts it in the "snark" category)

    Mr Natural said "Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson on why...He couldn't quite pen an acceptable cartoon today, with a thoroughly Twitter-treated message to his anonymous critics." without actually providing that "why" or providing a link to it, even though the wording "on why" implied that either a link or a reproduction of his words was in the offing.

    Asking for a link was perfectly acceptable under those circumstances.

    Yes, a sufficiently motivated person could probably have, as I did (for the sake of experimentation), eventually come up with the link Mr Natural later provided which includes the Twitter remarks, after likely first going to the one Zorba provided which showed the cartoon but not the further explanation via Twitter which Mr Natural's original post promised but did not deliver.

    I cannot help but wonder if Zorba's answer would have been identical if someone other than Jim had asked for "the missing link".


    Yes, in fact (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 12:19:32 PM EST
    It would have been, if someone else demanded a link that was easily found via Google or another search engine.
    Asking for a link all too often seems to be used by a variety of commenters to shut down the conversation.
    I can't help it if some commenters would rather spend their time making and posting a comment asking for a link, rather than take the same amount of time to search for a link.  It just seems disingenuous to me, and a way of passively-aggressively criticizing the original commenter.

    The correct way to fight Islamic terrorism (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 12:13:42 PM EST

    Solidarity against terrorists and extremists.

    so AQAP thought they had some 'splainin' to do (none / 0) (#39)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 06:16:43 PM EST
    but their statement would be hilarious if the outcome of all this scrupulous choiciness were not so horrific

    of course it's possible to build a rococo little mosque of pseudoreason on a foundation of toxic paranoia - happens all the time, & when people do it in the West, we call them crazy

    this is the reality that must qualify the notion that psychotic homicidal religious zealots "have chosen their target" or anything else at all "carefully"