Osama Bin Laden Offers Threats, Truce

Coming on the heels of an allied attack in Pakistan targeted at Al Quaeda “No. 2” Ayman al-Zawahiri (and possibly successfully killing Mustafa Usman, Khalid Habib, and other high-ranking lieutenants), segments of an audiotape aired on Al Jazeera bring us some bravado and threats from Osama Bin Laden, as reported by Fox News:

Our people are able to infiltrate through your security measures no matter how strong.

Any complex system is vulnerable to breaches, and the security measures for entire borders of countries or for delivering small bombs into major metropolitan cities are clearly complex. However, we've caught a lot of people trying, so we are consuming Al Quaeda people and money in the process.

As for the delay in similar operations in America is not because of your security measures; operations are being prepared and you will see them in your homes.

It always makes you look better to say you have huge plans afoot than to say you've had a divided focus. This “veiled fist” negotiation technique hasn't exactly worked for him in the past. Even when his attacks are successful, they don't seem to be moving the world to adopting Sharia (Islamic Law) or kicking the allies out of the Middle East.

Oddly, he also offers a truce:

We do not mind offering you a long-term truce with fair conditions that we adhere to… We are a nation that God has forbidden to lie and cheat. So both sides can enjoy security and stability under this truce so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan, which have been destroyed in this war. There is no shame in this solution, which prevents the wasting of billions of dollars that have gone to those with influence and merchants of war in America.

He also demonstrated his abillity to pick up anti-current-strategy talking points from the mainstream media:

Reality shows that the war on America and its allies is no longer limited to Iraq as he claims, on the contrary Iraq has become a magnetic point for qualified powers and the Mujahideen have been able time after time to breach all the security measures set by coalition countries and the evidence is the bombings you have seen in some major European capitals of this coalition.

Well, sure, it is very hard to have effective security measures and a free country simultaneously, and our terrorist mastermind understands this. Terrorism is a battle of wills, and he is resolved to break down our willpower with withering, relentless attacks. In this sense he has been losing, as worldwide attacks were clearly not forthcoming, and many attacks have been stopped. It has taken significant resources to effect relentless attacks in Iraq, and those resources cannot be used elsewhere once they are consumed. Other attacks have occured, most notably in London and Barcelona as he points out. The Spanish attack changed a government, a giant victory for Al Quaeda. The English attack did not.

What worries me about the plan to draw Al Quaeda into (relatively) open warfare in Iraq is that Al Quaeda survivors are learning something and can either train others or do more spectacular displays. While the armed forces are also learning, they are learning in a completely different environment than the US. If similar operations started here, we'd be hard-pressed to mount a similar response. It takes a large sympathetic, or at least cowed, population to operate openly, however, so as long as there are few (if any) that would offer that much aid and comfort to the enemy, we need only have to deeply fear WMDs and must steel ourselves against “demonstrations” like the plane, train, and bus bombings we have seen outside of the Middle East.

Update: Add Midhat Mursi/Abu Khabab al-Masri and Abdul Rehman al Magrabi to the list of Al Quaeda lieutenants bombed in Pakistan.

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Jan 19 2006 09:05 AM

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There is one comment on this entry.

It is quite difficult to decipher what exactly Osama is getting at. Is he conceding that his Fatwa against the US is not going as smoothly as he thought or is this another ploy that he is hoping we will fall for so he can strike us hard again? He has been holed up like a caged animal for months now with nowhere really to go. As long as we keep up the pace of operations, we will find him sooner or later. But it takes the world as a whole, to step up and finally say their is indeed a war going on against terror. Only then can we squash this terroristic movement. Good post and keep up the work.

SGT Capozzi

Posted Thursday, Jan 19 2006 04:04 PM

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