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The Myth of ‘Core’ Al-Qaeda: Affiliate Leader Now Calling the Attacks

Young and ruthless Nasir al-Wuhayshi is realizing bin Laden's dream: a terror network with far-flung, versatile jihadists. Obama sees them as a JV squad.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 20, 2014 - 8:52 pm
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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration often contends that al-Qaeda is “on the run,” basing this assertion on the “decimation” of its core.

“Today, the core of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on a path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston. They have not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11,” President Obama declared last May at the National Defense University.

On Aug. 7, Obama told Marines at Camp Pendleton that “al-Qaeda’s top ranks have been hammered.”

“The core of al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is on the way to defeat,” he added.

Two days later, when questioned about this in a press conference at the White House, the president reiterated that “core al-Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated.”

“So it’s entirely consistent to say that this tightly organized and relatively centralized al-Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11 has been broken apart and is very weak and does not have a lot of operational capacity, and to say we still have these regional organizations like AQAP that can pose a threat, that can drive potentially a truck bomb into an embassy wall and can kill some people,” he maintained.

And while Obama admitted in his State of the Union address that the “threat has evolved” with the growth of affiliates, he maintained “we have put al-Qaeda’s core leadership on a path to defeat.”

But a recent promotion in the terrorist organization proves that the offshoots dismissed as “affiliates” are critical to al-Qaeda’s grand scheme for sustained growth.

Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri had to fill his old position as No. 2 in the organization after Abu Yahya Al Libi was killed in a 2012 drone strike.

His choice? The leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

CIA Director John Brennan confirmed the hire when answering a question earlier this month at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“You know, there’s al-Qaeda core, you know, bin Laden and Zawahiri and those that are around, you know, the core of al-Qaeda in South Asia. There are those groups, like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, that are clearly affiliated. The head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Wuhayshi, is the number two in al-Qaida core in al-Qaeda central,” Brennan said.

“…Al-Qaeda has metastasized, and — which makes it all the more challenging, because a lot of these groups have local agendas, but also are being exploited by al-Qaeda core for more sort of violent global jihadist purposes.”

The hire reportedly took place last summer, around the time when Obama talked about a defeated core al-Qaeda in August.

Nasir al-Wuhayshi is, according to UAE newspaper The National, in his mid-30s and doesn’t clear 5 feet in height. But he’s got jihad in his blood: the Yemeni attended religious schools, went to Afghanistan, became bin Laden’s personal secretary, oversaw al-Qaeda training camps, and hid in the caves of Tora Bora with his boss. When bin Laden went into hiding in the Abbottabad compound, Wuhayshi was one of the few to know his whereabouts.

He was held by the Yemenis for a few years before a prison escape, started a Yemen chapter of al-Qaeda, then announced the launch of AQAP to merge with Saudi extremist groups in a 2009 press conference.

Despite Obama’s drone strikes on Yemeni targets, AQAP has flourished under Wuhayshi’s leadership and looked for new ways to attack, including the underwear bomb aboard a 2009 Detroit-bound flight that made it past security. AQAP is also behind the slick English-language magazine Inspire, which encourages “open-source jihad” by lone wolves following the tutelage of al-Qaeda’s long-distance teachings. It was from this magazine that the Boston Marathon bombers found their deadly explosives recipes. Wuhayshi has deemed Western jihadists to be even more valuable than Middle Eastern ones because of their proximity to the “enemy.”

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Top Rated Comments   
The "Core" doesn't mean squat. As long as the Koran exists and people believe what it says, there will be plenty willing to take up arms to kill the infidel, and if it is the pleasure of Allah, die in the process.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
And anyone who does not listen to Bridget is a damn fool.
Daily we let more of Islam into our Nation... Are we all completely insane or just stupid.... Read the Koran and learn who these people are. Study the history or Arabi and see where all of this came from. Read about Mohammad and how long it took him to gain power in Arabi and completely destroy the civilization built by the Christians and Jews after the destruction of Israel by the Romans in 70 AD...
This is a very serious threat to the Civilized world and everyday it become worse...
Think people, we need to start cleaning up our Nation before we become France and are under constant threat by Islam.... Time is short for solutions.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
AQ is a hive. Once a new queen bee emerges she sets up a new hive away from the previous one. Crushing and obliterating the old hive doesn't do anything about the new threat.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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my classmate's ex-wife makes $67 an hour on the internet . She has been fired from work for six months but last month her check was $12245 just working on the internet for a few hours. look at this now............................... www.jobsur.com
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They have not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11"

You mean, it's Bush's fault? :-)
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "Core" doesn't mean squat. As long as the Koran exists and people believe what it says, there will be plenty willing to take up arms to kill the infidel, and if it is the pleasure of Allah, die in the process.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Decimation in the literal sense means that 10% of the group is dead.

From the Al Qaeda standpoint the glass is 90% full. Al Qaeda as an organization of most any organization can survive decimation and continue to function and even thrive. They can replace 10% losses through birth or recruitment.

Losing 10% in a decade of war is very survivable. The Russians lost 80% of their general before WW2. Now that is a problem. But they survived.
AL Qaeda losses are not so great as the Russian loses.

Barry Soetero is fooling himself and the low information voter.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barry Soetero is not fooling himself he is lying to us.

ANY ONE who has been following the so-called "War on Terror" since September 11,2001, and being honest about what they have seen and heard, knows that the "War on Terror" is not against one person (Osama bin Ladin) or one faction (Al Qaeda).

The war is against Islam. All of it. Repeat, the battle we face is Islam vs. Civilization and until someone in a leadership position has the courage to state that glaringly obvious truth we will make zero progress in the war on terror.

Obama can't continuously sing the praises of Islam and at the same time pretend to fight a "War on Terror". No one can fight against himself and win.

When one looks at the positions Obama takes against Israel, his refusal to do anything to assist Christians in Muslim countries, and his praise of Islam there can be no doubt which side he is on.

It isn't the side most Americans are on.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
And anyone who does not listen to Bridget is a damn fool.
Daily we let more of Islam into our Nation... Are we all completely insane or just stupid.... Read the Koran and learn who these people are. Study the history or Arabi and see where all of this came from. Read about Mohammad and how long it took him to gain power in Arabi and completely destroy the civilization built by the Christians and Jews after the destruction of Israel by the Romans in 70 AD...
This is a very serious threat to the Civilized world and everyday it become worse...
Think people, we need to start cleaning up our Nation before we become France and are under constant threat by Islam.... Time is short for solutions.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been wondering how long the public is going to keep swallowing this line about "the Core" being decimated. As if organizations of people don't bounce back all the time.

Seriously, does the 0bama think Osama was the indispensable man? How often does that play out in the real-world of business, where one charismatic leader of a company leaves the organization and the entire company collapses? Rarely.

But then, 0bama doesn't have any real-world experience in business, so he might not be familiar with the concept.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barry Hussein Soetero Obama will believe what every Mrs Jarrett tells him.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
What has me concerned is that we are killing these folks instead of capturing them for intel. What happens when all the people identified under Bush are dead and we no longer know who the leaders are?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
McLaden, a golden franchise opportunity for highly ambitious murderers.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
AQ is a hive. Once a new queen bee emerges she sets up a new hive away from the previous one. Crushing and obliterating the old hive doesn't do anything about the new threat.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's only the poor, and politically suppressed that follow Jihad, and Al Qaeda teaching. It's not the Koran, Muhammad, or the false god Sin demanding Jihad.

Hey Zahahiri, let's have tea, talk about moon god worship, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Also, I have to ask you if you sold out Bin Laden for not going along with the Brotherhoods Caliphate agenda.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Obama sees them as the JV squad."
They ARE the JV squad ... they're young; they train hard and they're even more determined and willing the die for their already dead god and their wicked ideology. Western weakness has encouraged them all ... and with the latest airline debacle; it's given them some cool ideas of how to avoid detection and spurred them on to train even more pilots from their ranks.
Obama thus far, has been a fool ... the FOTUS.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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