Zero Dark Shorty
How do you fight an idea? The Islamists who attacked on the BP gas field in Algeria can't be characterized by the normal descriptor of nationality. That they came in every conceivable shape and size was highlighted by a Daily Mail report that the mastermind of the Benghazi attack, himself one-eyed, at one time employed an axe-wielding dwarf as an executioner.
Ruthless al-Qaeda kingpin behind the Algerian hostage crisis, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, is said to have once employed a 3ft 6ins-tall killer named 'Mohamed the Dwarf' during a terror campaign in the 1990s. ...
Hundreds of executions are believed to have been carried out by the axe-wielding dwarf who murdered men, women and children after they had been dragged from their beds.
The dwarf and 50 heavily-armed extremists once dragged entire families into the street and forced them to line up for execution. ... 'At the head of the line was a dwarf, wearing a canvas hood and a scarf covering his face. 'He had a large knife in one hand and an axe in the other.
Six foot five or three foot six seems less important than the willingness to live the cause. And what cause is that? It's the one we don't want to talk about. Then there's the Canadian terrorist mastermind named Shedad, who Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal claimed "was coordinating the attack" on the gasfield citing reports that someone with a strong "north American accent" went around collecting hostages. The government of Canada is still trying to confirm whether this is true. But as one academic put it the Islamists adopt whatever guise they need at the moment -- even the benign image of Canada -- to pass undetected.
Christian Leuprecht, a political science professor at Queen’s University and the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., also noted that the discovery of a Canadian passport in the charred and bloody aftermath is not smoking-gun proof that a Canadian was involved.
“A Canadian passport is popular among people who are trying to fly under the radar when conducting operations that would normally be considered illicit,” he said.
“Let’s make sure we have an actual genuine Canadian passport here and then let’s make sure the passport actually belonged to the person from whom we are taking it.”
The Islamists drew their equipment from every corner of the globe. The Telegraph says "many of the Islamist terrorists shot their way into the In Amenas compound on Thursday using the AK104 model of Kalashnikov, which was typically used by Libyan rebels in the war against Muammar Gaddafi. "
The Islamists wore the same type of outfits that Qatar provided to Libyan National Transitional Council rebels by Qatar – yellow flak jackets with brown patches, known as "chocolate chip" camouflage. The garments are copies of ones worn by Americans in the Gulf war.
The US taxpayer may have paid or partially paid for their equipment. The result, according to the Washington Post is that the Algerian operation has revived al-Qaeda's global image. "Al-Qaeda branch’s image soars after hostage drama in Algeria."
The attack in Algeria revealed AQIM’s broad pool of recruits and its well-organized and -equipped force. Algerian officials sorting through the dead and captured say the militants who attacked the natural gas facility on Jan. 16 included not only Algerians but also Libyans, Egyptians, Mauritanians and Persian Gulf Arabs. The assailants were well-trained and armed with what appear to have been weapons from the late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s arsenal. They held off hundreds of Algerian troops for four days before being crushed in an assault that left dozens dead among the militants and their captives.
British Prime Minister David Cameron called the al-Qaeda in Africa a "large and existential threat ... it will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months". They have even recruited some Americans, like Omar Habbabi, who is part of al-Shabab's operation in Somalia.
Part of the reason for their renewed credibility may be that the administration has been treating the public like idiots. Who -- besides the media -- can really believe that "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive"? And maybe they are simply spreading faster than the lagging pursuit hampered as it is by bureaucratic infighting, coverups and yet more lies. None of the Benghazi attackers has been brought to justice four months after the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
That stark reality was brought home today by the news that the only known suspect who had been arrested in connection with the terror attack that took the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans is no longer in custody. The suspect, a Tunisian named Ali Harzi, was being held in Tunis but was let go even though he is reportedly still considered a suspect by the United States. ...
Though reports speak of at least 15 suspects that have been identified in one way or another, the FBI seems no closer to solving the case and bringing the killers to justice then it was months ago when it was not even able to operate on the ground in Benghazi. The Libyan government doesn’t control Benghazi and is unable or unwilling to help U.S. efforts to take down the al-Qaeda-linked network that helped bring off this daring crime. Under those circumstances, one can hardly blame the FBI for its inability to bring the terrorists to justice since it is obviously more of a military problem than an ordinary criminal case.
At this rate, the perpetrators of the Benghazi attack may well get off scot-free, like the the al-Qaeda dwarf. "In another massacre, the dwarf is said to have hacked the heads of 86 people in a single night. There are no reports of the tiny butcher ever having been caught."
But perhaps the biggest reason for Jihadi confidence must be their belief that the response can be "fixed"; that the West will make a show of pursuit amounting to nothing. The Blue Model of governance values the deal above all else. Even during World War 2 the circle could supposedly be squared if you knew the right buttons to push.
After mob boss Charles "Lucky" Luciano was imprisoned for pandering, Anastasio allegedly organized the arson sabotage of the French luxury liner SS Normandie. Early in 1942, a few months after the U.S. entered World War II, the brothers hit upon a clever scheme. The U.S. Navy at the time was concerned about the dangers of possible acts of sabotage against warships berthed at Brooklyn and Manhattan docks. The brothers made a deal with the Navy to release Luciano, and in return the mob would guarantee the safety of the docks as far as the Navy's interests were concerned. To get the Navy concerned they created a maritime disaster: Anastasio had been aware that over the last few months agents of naval intelligence had been scouting the Brooklyn and Manhattan waterfront looking for Italians and Germans who might be involved in a plot to sabotage Navy shipping. A French luxury liner, the SS Normandie, was being hastily converted into a troop transport and was docked at a Hudson River pier. Anthony and his brother Albert decided to sabotage the Normandie. The fire that broke out the afternoon of February 9, 1942, became one of the most spectacular in New York City's history. For hours the Normandie burned, until, listing heavily to port from all the water she had taken on, the ship finally capsized along the pier. The destruction of the Normandie prompted the Navy to approach the mob. The Navy won a guarantee that there would be no sabotaging of shipping in New York Harbor. As a reward for his "patriotic" support Charles Luciano was transferred from the maximum-security prison at Dannemora to Great Meadow prison, a minimum-security facility.
The Jihad has the virtue of fighting for an idea -- even if it is a bad a idea. As such it attracts those who believe the life's most exalted goal is to exterminate those of a different religious persuasion. That gives it a quality of decisiveness over a cynical Western political elite who have lost faith even in their own cultures and sometimes, one feels, even in their identities. All that is left to them is the deal; no matter how odious, no matter how unprincipled.
Basically it comes down to "what is it worth fighting over". Maybe the Roosevelt administration didn't think the Normandie was worth fighting the Mob. And if the victims of Benghazi are worth the bother, the current administration is being low key about it. As for those who got shortened by Mohamed the Dwarf, justice will probably never be served upon the earth. Realistically the elites may not get serious about stopping groups like al-Shabab in Africa until something really valuable -- like their own personal hides -- is at stake.
Maybe the Shabab are right. It's not about nations. For now at least, its about every man for himself.