Saturday, October 01, 2005

Al Qaeda's Aim

The quotes are from Defence Link relating comments made by US Gen. John Abizaid , and this post was lifted with some slight modification from comments I made at a Qando/McQ post.

"Al Qaeda believes the most important prize is Saudi Arabia, which is home to the holy shrines in Mecca and Medina. If al Qaeda terrorists manage to take control of Saudi Arabia, they will try to create and expand their influence in the region and establish a caliphate, Abizaid said."

Saudi Arabia is a fairly simple country - it derives 90% of its wealth from oil and is ruled by a monarchy. Any attempt to gain control of SA by revolution requires that Al Qaeda attacks the monarchy and disrupts the oil economy, yet in the last decade they have confined themselves to attacking foriegners and Shia. If Saudi is their true aim, don’t it make sense to do the same they do in Iraq - attack government and infrastructure. They kill hundreds of people a month in Iraq and no one in Saudi, so why does the General think Saudi is their biggest prize?

"Abizaid said al Qaeda would then apply a very narrow, strict interpretation of Sharia, Islamic law, not believed in or practiced anywhere else in the world today."

An interpretation that would ban all alcohol, subjucate women, demand the death penalty for rape victims, execute christians, enforce conformity of dress code, use infidels as slave labour, prevent democracy, rule by holy decree, empower thugs as religious police - in other words continue with existing Saudi practice. Perhaps they would set-up madrassa to promote their brand of islam amoung poor muslims, fund terrorist strikes, attack outside influence in all things, deny the existance of israel, decry Jooos as worse than dogs - again continuing existing Saudi practice. Life for Saudis would change very little, exchanging theocratic dictatorship for theocratic dictatorship.

But maybe, just possibly, they’ll stop sending billions of dollars of defence spending to Boeing & Carlyle and cease the flow of bi-partisan money through Washington & London lobbyists - a very big change of Saudi policy and utterly beyond the pale, totally barbaric scenario that needs to be stopped at all costs.*

Saudi Arabian society is the model, Saudi Arabia is the purely Islamic state - Al Qaeda does not fight to overthrow it, but rather to expand this theocratic dictatorship to the world. Al Qaeda does not attack the state of Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda attacks foriegn influence, foreign power and foriegn ideas - Al Qaeda fights as supremicists defending holy ideals. Most likely somewhere in the House of Saud exists the chief funder for Al Qaeda, who sacrafices the jihadis to expand the influence Saudi theocracy.

*This is unlikely to happen because even the most fanatical religious operator in Riyadh does realise that American protection is needed to continue with the brutal theocracy in peace. Russia (Chechnya), Israel (Hamas) and India (Kashmir) all would prefer the toning down of certain activities and Saudi Arabia is not capable of standing against any of these countries. Note: that if America were to lose in Iraq then its value of protection would be less and the Saudis will pay less - which may be why America needs to maintain a presence in Iraq.


At 11/10/05 5:49 PM , Anonymous John said...

I'd argue that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are attacking Saudi officials... they're just not doing a very successful job of it.

There have been attacks against various official "personalities," including judges, military or security officers, and members of the ruling family (there is, of course overlap among those groups).

Some officials, particularly in the northern part of the country, have been killed. Attacks on the Ministry of Interior, however, simply failed.

A major difference between Iraq and the KSA is that in one, the population is both cowed and outgunned, with a not-yet professional security apparatus. In the KSA, security forces are both effective and receive strong popular support.

Without US troops in support, the Saudis have been killing terrorists and spoiling attacks. Looks like they're actually being moderately successful overall.

I think, too, that you make a category error in your use of the word "Saudis." You mean to say a particular subset of Saudis who support jihad. There is no overt overlap between that group and the government. Might there be some government officer--perhaps even a highly placed one--who supports jihad? Maybe, but it's unproved, at least as far as the USG can tell. But even if there is, that's a far cry from being official policy.

I think you're casting your net too widely.

At 12/10/05 9:42 AM , Blogger unaha-closp said...

You are correct and I cannot find anything that suggests that it is policy or official. But have the impression that AQ is supported by one of the factions in the Saud regime, cannot define which one.

At 1/12/05 4:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps when they said it was the ultimate prize, they meant in a strategic, religious sense. If you want to take over, you secure objectives which will ultimately lead to the end goal. If they topple Iraq, they have a very close base with an exportable economy to fuel their subsequent attacks to that ultimate goal. If I am reading my books correctly on Islam and the Koran, Saudi Arabia (although it's true name is something else in Muslim history) is the ultimate religious location. It was the reason OBL was so incensed at our (US) presence and there were passages in the Koran saying no foreigners should be allowed there. So summarizing, if UBL's goals are truly based upon his faith (Islam), then the ultimate gem is kicking us out of Saudi Arabia.

Just a different perspective.


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