Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bin Laden to Iraq? 

From Debka:
Coded electronic signals bandied in recent days among al Qaeda Middle Eastern elements across secret Internet sites all carry the same message: the supreme leader, Osama bin Laden, has come out of hiding in Afghanistan and set out, or is about to set out, for Iraq. This is the sense gained from this correspondence by DEBKAfile’s exclusive counter-terror sources.

Some of the signals schedule his date of arrival as the second half of September when Ramadan is estimated to begin. His arrival in Iraq is planned to signal the launching of the biggest offensive his organization has ever launched against the US army. If these signals are a true representation of bin Laden’s plans and not a red herring, what is planned is a dramatic landmark battle in the global war on terror and the Iraqi conflict.

The signals cap a secret exchange of messages in recent weeks in which al Qaeda’s Iraq commander Abu Musab al –Zarqawi attempted to persuade bin Laden to leave Afghanistan and take command of the Ramadan offensive in Iraq. Zarqawi argued the importance of his transferring from Afghanistan to Iraq on two grounds: to boost al Qaeda’s standing as it embarks on an “offensive whose scale and importance rival the September 2001 operation.” and in the interests of his own personal safety.

Zarqawi stressed, according to our sources, that bin Laden will be safer in Iraq than in Afghanistan – an indication of Jordanian terrorist’s inflated self-confidence.

This obviously raises many questions: Bin Laden appearing in Iraq, would be a major boost of morale for his terrorists, who are hitting us and our Iraqi allies quite hard. Is this supposed offensive, Al Qaeda's version of North Vietnam's (and Viet Cong) Tet Offensive? On the battlefield Tet was a major loss of manpower, but a major psychological and propoganda victory for the North, precisly the kind of thing Al Qaeda likes. I think Bin Laden is in Iran, but if he's not, does it mean that Iraq's chaos is a better sanctuary for him to hide in, rather than Afghanistan's partial chaos? Perhaps, Iraq will provide Bin Laden with his moment to lead his terrorists into battle against the "Infidel Americans", and allow him to publicly die as a martyr.


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