Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Taliban makes a direct threat to Canada, US and Europe

This ought to get the "pant-pissing brigade" into a lather.
Teams assigned to carry out attacks in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany were introduced at an al Qaeda/Taliban training camp graduation ceremony held June 9.
Sort of puts a lie to the "Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" meme. All of this is apparently being organized by Mansoor Dadullah, brother of Mullah Dadullah, who was killed 12 May, 2007 and had been the Taliban's senior commander.

Before anyone goes off seiously half-cocked however, the Taliban power structure needs to be looked at.

When Mullah Dadullah was killed, Mullah Omar did not appoint Mansoor Dadullah in his place. Instead he appointed the much more experienced Mullah Bakht Mohammed as supreme Taliban commander in the southern region of Afghanistan. There are other veteran commanders in the eastern region who would object to Mansoor Dadullah being placed in a position of command. Mullah Berader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, Saifullah Mansoor and the Tora Bora Military Front all have established organizations which will need proof of Mansoor's abilities to raise and lead a military force.

In short, there's a power struggle underway inside the Taliban and this latest announcement looks very much like Mansoor Dadullah posing to make a point with other leaders of the Afghan insurgency. Whether he actually has the wherewithal to move groups of suicide bombers to Europe and North America remains an open question.

The only thing in Dadullah's favour is that he is Taliban and familiar with the southern region of Afghanistan. Other prospects for commanders in the south are not Taliban by precise definition.

In any case, it should be interesting to watch what happens here. US intelligence doesn't seem to be taking it with much seriousness.
U.S. intelligence officials described the event as another example of "an aggressive and sophisticated propaganda campaign."
Maybe so, but counter-terrorism experts like Richard Clarke don't believe Dadullah's threat should be completely dismissed.
"It doesn't take too many who are willing to actually do it and be able to slip through the net and get into the United States or England and cause a lot of damage," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism official.
Maybe, but all that has to happen is to have the pants-pissers go into a panic and Dadullah will have succeeded without so much as giving his credit card number to Expedia.com.

When have these guys ever advertised their intentions?

Photos and video are available at the ABC link. If anybody can identify the landscape it would be helpful.

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