Daniel R. DePetris: The Political Docket

Islamic Jihadists Reject American Recruit

Posted in Afghanistan/Pakistan/Central Asia by Dan on October 24, 2009

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Take a look at this little snippet of investigative reporting, courtesy of Mark Hosenball of Newsweek:

“The arrest of a Sudbury, Massachusetts, man on charges of conspiring to launch terror attacks against U.S. shopping malls and other targets is the latest in a series of high-profile FBI busts that suggest Al Qaeda sympathizers are very much alive and well inside the country—even if their links to Al Qaeda’s central leadership overseas are tenuous or nonexistent. The Feds allege that Tarek Mehanna, 27, who was born in the U.S. but holds dual U.S.-Egyptian citizenship, conspired with others from 2001 to 2008 to participate in violent jihad against American targets both inside and outside the U.S.

The court documents allege that in April 2002, only a few months after 9/11, Abousamra took one of two trips he made that year to Pakistan seeking training for jihad.  At one point in 2004, the Feds say they believe Abousamra visited Iraq for about two weeks. According to the feds, however, the alleged co-conspirators did not find themselves welcomed with open arms by the Islamic terror groups they tried to join. The court papers indicate that Abousamra told a cooperating witness after returning from one trip to Pakistan that he had made contact with both Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Taliban, two notorious jihadist militias, but that neither group would accept him.”

This case is a very disturbing example of how dangerous international terrorists- even a few “rag-tag” wannabees- are to the actions and ambitions of the United States.  Eight years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and six years after Washington decided to launch yet another invasion in the Muslim world, it appears that our country remains on the defensive.  George W. Bush’s rational for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was rather simple: the missions would make Americans safer in general.  The safety of Americans would be protected and promoted by taking the fight to the enemy before they take the fight to us.

With fresh terrorists continuing to enter the United States, and with stories like these appearing on the front-pages more frequently, it appears that the former Commander-in-Chief might have been wrong in his assessment.

There is one other thing I would like to point out.  The fact that the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban rejected American recruits only reiterates the fact that both movements are as strong as ever.  No longer are they forced to blindly accept new fighters for the sake of keeping their resistance alive.  There is more to this rejection than meets the eye.  Not only do Islamic terrorist and insurgent groups continue to operate with extensive force (in and out of the United States)…their relative strength in both numbers and tactics enables them to practice a certain degree of self-restraint on recruitment.  In the past, a “rookie” or “wannabee” terrorist who was intent on striking U.S. targets would be greeted by radicalized Muslims with open ears and an open mind.  Today, this simply does not get the job done.

The Taliban is no longer a group of pathetic and marginalized Arabs.  They have now become a bunch of full-time professionals in the terror trade.  For U.S. soldiers abroad and for intelligence officers in Washington, this development is more than disturbing.

-Daniel R. DePetris


2 Responses

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  1. j19x said, on October 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    How do you get rejected from a group of rejects? I’m an American-born Muslim and hearing this stuff makes me sick to my stomach. These imbeciles are terrorizing not only my country but my religion as well. The most shameful part of this story is that another Muslim didn’t turn these losers in.

  2. Canuckfromthenorth said, on October 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I fail to understand why his photo isn’t plastered all over this news item. Perhaps he doesn’t deserve his 15 minutes of fame as a traitor, but we should deal deal with his kind accordingly. One penalty only, capitol punishment. Many of our finest young men and women are being killed and mamed just so this kind of scum can plot against their own people? Ought not to be so !! Have we no courage to support those who gave their lives so we can be free?

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