Friday, July 09, 2004

Countdown to the next strikes

by william webb

The mainstream media is great at taking something like the Iraq prison photos and running them into the ground. They are horrible and pathetic when it comes to reporting on something like the groups who plan to cause hundreds of thousands of American casualties.

Likewise, politically-tainted commissions like the 9/11 body, are great Monday-morning quarterbacks and give politicians and political hacks a chance to mug for the cameras. Hindsight is 20/20. Foresight is something tragically lacking within the beltway.

You will hear both the media and the politicians in shock before this year is up. The United States is going to get hit hard--and as much as I personally hope I am wrong--WMDs will feature in the strikes.

For the next several days, we will investigate the non-classified material available and help you connect the dots so you aren't surprised when the next round of mass murder begins

Countdown to the Next Strike by William Webb

In July 2003, radical Saudi Sheik Nasser bin Hamd al-Fahad issued a fatwa, or religious edict, granting legal religious authority to the use of weapons of mass destruction against both the United States and Great Britain and their civilian populations. For anyone familiar with the operations of Al-Qaida, this fatwa should serve as a grim, horrific warning to read, listen to, and most importantly, understand. Osama bin Laden has cloaked his next planned major mass murder in religious legitimacy by obtaining these rulings prior to the strikes. Two months after publication of the fatwa, on September 10, 2003, the State Department issued a warning which stated in part: “We expect Al-Qaida will strive for new attacks that will be more devastating than the September 11 attack, possibly involving nonconventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents. We also cannot rule out the potential for Al-Qaida to attempt a second catastrophic attack within the U.S. Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings, or kidnappings. These may also involve commercial aircraft and threats to include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.”

The theory is jihad. The act is the use of weapons of mass destruction against cities in the West. The fatwa provides religious justification for the act.

Sheik Fahad, Sheik Ali al-Khadir and Sheik Ahmed al-Khaldi are three of the most radical Saudi clerics and have written dozens of books, pamphlets, and other materials full of incitement and religious rulings against the United States and the West. The three were arrested following the May 12, 2003 terrorist attacks in Riyadh, and the possibility of them receiving the death penalty has led to further threats against the Saudi royal family from bin Laden.

According to Yoni Fighel and Moshe Marzouk of the International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, “Sheikh al-Fahad’s fatwa is one of several such edicts issued by Islamic clerics granting religious authorization to carry out terrorist attacks using weapons of mass destruction against American targets and targets of those who provide assistance to “the crusader’s world of heresy.” Edicts issued by the same clerics, who have connections to Al-Qaida, offer the religious backing for the continuation and escalation of the organization’s terrorist activity against the U.S.

“In our estimation, the Al-Qaida organization and other radical Islamic groups associated with it will use such edicts to gain support for their efforts to carry out large-scale attacks against Western targets. These efforts are likely to include plots against Western civilian infrastructure targets with the intention of maximizing the human toll and economic loss.”

An Arab journalist writing in the Arabic daily Hayat highlighted the use of fatwas by clerics to legitimize violence. Under the subhead, “fatwas permit murder,” the journalist made the following points:

o Saudi Sheikh Safar Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hawali, who prefers to use the Internet to publish his religious rulings permitting the killing of groups and nations, ruled that the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan are unbelievers because they support the Americans against the Islamic government of the Taliban. The fatwa read: ‘Support of any kind for the unbelievers against the Muslims, even if only verbal, constitutes blatant heresy and hypocrisy, and anyone doing so goes against Islam. Members of the Afghan opposition or others who do so must repent, recant this loathsome deed, and support their Muslim brothers...’ The fatwa said, that the September 11 tragedy is strictly an act of ‘measure for measure.’ Namely, ‘a response to Clinton’s missile aggression against Al-Qaida following the bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi.

o In the bin Laden video released by the Pentagon in 2002, his unidentified guest informed him that Sheikh Salman Al-‘Alwan had ruled that bin Laden’s attack on the U.S. was in line with shariah, Islamic religious law.”

The Arab author suggested, “the connection between the fatwa and terrorism lies in the fact that the religious ruling unleashes the terrorist’s sadism and instinct for murder. It frees him from all moral restraints and shrivels what remains of his conscience. It releases him from any healthy sense of guilt.” Sheikh Ali bin Khdheir Al-Khdheir, one of the three radical Saudi sheiks who now reside in jail, also posts his fatwas on the Internet. He presented his fatwas concerning September 11 as a response for his students in Yemen: “The weeping, the sorrow, and the pain over the American victims among those termed ‘innocent’ are strange. Those victims were...unbelieving Americans who must not be sorrowed over, because the unbelieving American is considered a combatant due to his connection to his government, or because he supports it with money or opinion or counsel, as is customary in their political regime, may Allah not multiply such regimes. It is permissible to kill the combatants among them, as well as those who are non-combatants, for example the aged man, the blind man, and the dhimmi, as the clerics agree.”

The author concluded that, “This fatwa permits the blood of all Americans, without exception, and was endorsed by Sheikh Yussef Al-Qaradhawi and the leaders of the Islamic movements who joined him in his religious ruling that encouraged Hamas and the Islamic jihad to kill Israeli civilians. Why? Because fanaticism, as hatred for everyone who is different, removes the lobe of logic from the brain of the fanatic!”

Another Sheik writes, “Regardless of the norms of ‘humanist’ belief, which sees destroying the infidel countries as a tragedy requiring us to show some conscientious empathy and…an atmosphere of sadness for the loss that is to be caused to human civilization—an approach that does not distinguish between believer and infidel…. I would like to stress that annihilating the infidels is an inarguable fact, as this is the [divine] decree of fate… “When the Koran places these tortures [to be inflicted on the infidels] in the solid framework of reward and punishment…it seeks to root this predestined fact in the consciousness of the Muslim group, asserting that the infidels will be annihilated, so as to open a window of hope to the Muslim group…”

Near the day in 2003 when President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, FBI Director Robert Mueller warned that Al-Qaida “remains capable of launching a multicity attack similar to the assaults on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.”

“The war with Al-Qaida is not over,” Mueller said. “We have not won it by any stretch of the imagination. Al-Qaida still seeks to attack us and has the capacity to do it. Will we be attacked in the future? Yes.”

More ominous was a four-page CIA report quoted in a June 2003 article by Bill Gertz, reporter, author, and terrorism expert. “Al-Qaida terrorists and related groups are set to use chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons in deadly strikes,” Gertz wrote.

Among the points made in the CIA report:

o “Al-Qaida’s goal is the use of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons to cause mass casualties. o “Osama bin Laden’s operatives may try to launch conventional attacks against the nuclear industrial infrastructure of the United States in an bid to cause contamination, disruption, and terror. o “Indicates the group has crude procedures for making mustard agent, sarin and VX nerve agent” o “Terrorists can produce a nuclear device in three ways, including a bomb made from diverted nuclear-weapons components, a nuclear weapon that has been modified, or a new indigenously designed device.”

While the report was downplayed within the government, many people believe that the next “super” terrorist act from Al-Qaida will involve at the very least a dirty bomb. Others are not as optimistic. “Al-Qaida has recruited scientists for a weapons of mass destruction attack on the West,” the head of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency said in a recent interview. Al-Qaida has recruited what she termed “renegade scientists” to develop biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons. Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director of MI5, did not identify where Al-Qaida has recruited, but officials later said Iraq and Pakistan were suspected of being the key countries supplying such personnel. “We know that renegade scientists have cooperated with Al-Qaida and provided them with some of the knowledge they need to develop these CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear] weapons,” Ms. Manningham-Buller told the Royal United Services Institute in London. “My conclusion, based on the intelligence we have uncovered, is that we are faced with the realistic possibility of some form of unconventional attack.”

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