Saturday, January 10, 2015

Alien vs Predator

It's difficult to know how to authenticate the alleged AQAP statement sent to The Intercept and claiming credit for the Paris attacks. But it has one revealing sentence --

The policy of hitting the snake’s head followed by the Al-Qaeda organization under the leadership of Adhawahiri is still achieving its goals; until the West retreats. 

Besides the odd spelling of Ayman Al-Zawahiri's name (doubtless being analyzed by intelligence specialists), the point is that this claim is setting up a contrast with ISIS, with which core Al-Qaeda has disagreed on the policy of setting up an Islamic state. Core al-Qaeda believes it's too soon to establish an Islamic state, and that more "spectaculars" are needed to force a western disengagement from Islamic lands and mobilize Muslims before the state can be declared.

In other words, the Paris attack was to signal that the strategy is still operative, or at least the TED talk-type Al Qaeda types want to read it that way. This will be a feud with a lot of collateral damage.