The Entry of the Sunni Mujahideen
Michael Scheuer has an interesting series of articles at the Asian Times from the The Jamestown Foundation. A window in the coming Blowback, that has already reared it's ugly head in many places and is stoked by throwing intense flames onto the already started fire?
The latest report is called MUJAHIDEEN BLEED-THROUGH, Part 4 with a subtitle "Palestine and Israel: The ring of terror tightens"
Seems al Qaeda is not only growing but thriving and expanding rapidly with more fringe groups, which is what al Qaeda is, forming under that umbrella of Criminal Terrorism and according to Scheuer targeting Israel and U.S. Interests
As discussed earlier in this series of articles, the entry of Sunni mujahideen from Iraq into Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon has been a fairly visible process and tracking it - at least in outline form - is an achievable task.
This group falls under the name "Salafi" or "Salafism" which is the correct descriptive name of the often used term "Wahhabi", at least according to this site:
The reader will notice that the word "Wahhabi" is always indented with quotation marks here at TheWahhabiMyth.com. Those who are labeled with this word do not themselves use this term, as it is used as a means of belittlement. The reasons for the rejection of this term are clearly outlined throughout this book. The correct way of referring to them is by terming them Salafis, as they are those who adhere to the way of the Salaf - the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) and his companions.
Following the way of the Salaf is the way which has been legislated in the Quran and Sunnah, the very sources of Islam. The Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) said to his daughter Fatimah: "Indeed, I am for you a blessed Salaf."
When asked about which was the correct and acceptable way of understanding Islam, the Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) replied by saying: "That which I and my companions are upon."
Scheuer describes the movements of the Salafi and it's goals.
the goal of the mujahideen from Iraq has been clear: (a) to spread Salafi beliefs in the Levant countries and (b) to place fighters as close to Israel as possible. These Salafi Islamists are, in essence, trying to create a space where they can begin to operate inside Israel. Whether they succeed in that goal is an open question, but their intent is clear.
There have been a few, very few, reports about so called in-fighting in Gaza long before the recent Carnage going on today. Here it seems it's reported as fighting between factions within Hamas, apparently that may not be the case.
Al-Qaeda and its Salafi allies have long viewed Palestine as "an Islamic endowment", a place to which "every Muslim has the right to set out for jihad in its land". Osama bin Laden, moreover, has long railed against the governments of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon for preventing non-Palestinian mujahideen from basing themselves in their countries. Bin Laden's gripe has now been satisfied to an extent, not by his own hand, but by courtesy of the regional destabilization caused by the United States-led war in Iraq. Salafi fighters of various nationalities are now flowing into the Levant from Iraq.
In Palestine, there seems to be a minor Salafi presence in the West Bank but a steadily growing military and proselytizing presence in Gaza. The above noted "Army of Islam" and several other Salafi organizations have created training facilities in Gaza and have displayed them to the international media, defiantly proclaiming, "We are coming Jews!" They have, to date, conducted some attacks on the Israeli army when its units were engaged in raids in Gaza, and have attacked Christian and American targets in Gaza.
The bleed-through from Iraq also is having some impact in the Palestinian territories - especially Gaza - and in Israel.
The Salafi have apparently taken some actions against the Israeli's but on a minor scale so far.
and the Salafis appear to spend just as much time fighting with their erstwhile Islamist colleagues in Hamas.
As the Salafists in Gaza began to preach and attract followers there appears to have been an implicit understanding reached between the Salafist leaders and Hamas. The deal allowed the Salafists to train fighters, attack Israeli targets, and preach in Gaza as long as they did not engage in Gaza's internal political system and did not try to impose their ideology by force on Palestinians.
This has been an unstable deal at best; even as the Salafists acquiesced to Hamas' terms, they declared their belief that "Hamas does not implement the rule of God on earth, and does not enforce any ruling of the Islamic Sharia". There have been fire-fights between Salafists and Hamas security forces during the latter's raids of Salafi mosques and other sites. On one occasion this fall, Hamas policeman killed nine members of the Army of Islam, earning a promise of revenge from the group's leaders.
While the recent actions of the Israeli's, as many are now saying, have enhanced the Palestinian Elected Hamas, which had been losing stature, it may actually be emboldening, and making it easier, for the Salafi Mujahideen to recruit not only Hamas fighters but other Palestinians and not only in Gaza but on the West Bank as well.
As the cut above says "but by courtesy of the regional destabilization caused by the United States-led war in Iraq. Salafi fighters of various nationalities are now flowing into the Levant from Iraq", the legacy being left, and forcast by many, has been rapidly taking place. Not only as to the instability of the region because of Iraq but this administration's ignoring the Israeli and Palestinian issue for eight years, with their partners the Likud government in Israel, and our present Secretary of State Condi Rice total lack of concern and action as to the recent past leading to the Israeli Destruction now taking place in Gaza, while earlier her and bush pledging more involvement and a Peace Deal before they Slither Away!!
Once again the link to this recent write: MUJAHIDEEN BLEED-THROUGH, Part 4
And the previous three:
And what will happen within Iraq especially adding the actions taking place in Gaza?
By Thursday, when the security agreement between Iraq and the United States takes effect, about 75 percent of the "Sons of Iraq" groups in the country will be under Iraqi responsibility, U.S. officials said this week.
The transition of the armed groups from U.S. control began last year and has been one of the key worries in cementing the security gains seen in the country in recent months. More than 100,000 "Sons of Iraq" members had been recruited in Iraq over the past two years — some of them former insurgents, most of them young men without jobs.
Michael Scheuer served in the CIA for 22 years before resigning in 2004. He served as the chief of the Bin Laden Unit at the Counterterrorist Center from 1996 to 1999. He is the once anonymous author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror; his most recent book is Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq. Dr Scheuer is a Senior Fellow with The Jamestown Foundation.