Tuesday, March 16, 2004

AQ now an ideology

The AP reports:

The al-Qaida terrorist network, its command structure hit hard by Washington's war on terrorism, is mutating into a hard-to-define web of Islamic militants who share Osama bin Laden's ideology and goals even if they operate under other names.

Al-Qaida connections have emerged from terror attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and now Spain, fueled by a recruiting drive by radical Muslims who fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan, security officials told The Associated Press.

For months, especially in Iraq where attacks on coalition forces and Iraqis who work with them are near-daily events, little-known groups have been claiming responsibility.

The veracity of the claims remains unknown, but the attacks bear the hallmarks of this new al-Qaida - a loose-knit cluster of small groups not controlled by a mother organization but well aware of what is expected of them and sometimes even recruited by bin Laden's trainees.
Someone please send Mr. Bush a memo. If he thought fighting a war against a nondescript foe like "terrorism" was a tall task, try fighting an ideology.

And, yes, we've heard this all before.