December 21, 2009
Al Qaeda fil Maghreb and Sahelian Illusions
Maghreb Politics Review has a smart critique of the American extra-territorial seizure of supposed AQIM plotters (from Ghana) for trial in New York: US Arrests Malians in Terror Drugs “Link”
The comment is spot on relative to the strangely superficial and paranoid American approach to AQIM.
And the complaint is littered with attempts to illicit anti-American sentiments from the marks, who rarely return with anything more damning than a “God Willing” or two. Clearly the US government expects that everyone who hates America is on the same page, plotting across ideological lines, continents, and religions to hurt us. By selling drugs. To Europeans.
The counterpoint of blind nationalism here is blind paranoia, the thought that everyone must be scheming about you behind your back, that all “evil doers” are doing evil as part of a grand conspiracy to bring you down. If you wave several million dollars in front of three people from one of the poorest countries in the world, do you think when you say “You love Al-Qaeda, right?” they’ll launch into a subtle discussion of international terror? Or will they say “Oh yeah, you’re my brother cause we hate America too! And I’ll take that %50 up front in Euros.”
But this is par for the US government anti-terrorism law enforcement. The policing enforcement of US terrorism policy is as hamfisted as the military “war on terror”, except that the policing war is usually motivated by the desire for good domestic press. They tend to create their own terrorist plots, convince criminal idiots to accede to the plans invented by the US, and then arrest the patsies. The example of the recent Bronx terror plot in which the FBI informant took several not very bright young men recently released from jail, created a plot, bought gifts for them until they agreed to help, gave them the supplies, and then arrested them as “dangerous Al Qaeda terrorists.” Of course there are real terrorists out there, but it’s much easier to disrupt plots you invent yourself.
Emphasis added. Quite.
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I also fear these sting type of operations have a 'backlash potential' that should not be underestimated.
Posted by: dd at December 22, 2009 09:55 AM