Cigars in the Sand

Commentary, Notes and Pictures from my time in Iraq

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Location: Baghdad, Iraq

Farmer by genetics, Lawyer by training, currently "vacationing" in Iraq and advising the Iraqi government on border security issues. Before moving to Baghdad, I served in the White House as Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council. I can be reached at opusxryanathotmaildotcom.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

bin Laden Declares Defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq

That's my interpretation of this news:

"Intelligence reports circulating in the US government claim that the al-Qaeda leadership has called upon Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to launch attacks in the US.

Officials have told the BBC that the group's leadership is reaching out to Iraq's most-wanted Islamic militant.

US intelligence says it has uncovered a communication from a top lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden destined for Zarqawi.

The organisation is said to have asked Zarqawi to expand his operations to include strikes inside the US."

If bin Laden is indeed directing Zarqawi to concentrate on attacks against the US, that's a plain sign that bin Laden has given up the fight in Iraq. Oh, I'm sure al Qaeda will continue to carry out attacks across Iraq, but even bin Laden has recognized by now that Zarqawi's fighters will not prevent the ultimate establishment of a legitimate Iraqi government. By directing Zarqawi to turn his attention elsewhere, bin Laden is effectively writing off al Qaeda operations in Iraq. Indeed, recent events in Iraq (including the capture of additional close Zarqawi associates) suggest the noose may be tightening. I think perhaps bin Laden sees this, and wants Zarqawi to dispatch some operatives to the United States before al Qaeda is thoroughly dismantled in Iraq.

Of course, one never knows the accuracy of reports on intercepted communications.