Apr 18 2008

Only A Few Arab al-Qaeda Left In Afghanistan?

Published by at 8:21 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT

OK, I am not sure how much credence to put on this news but apparently al-Qaeda is down to its last 75 Arab fighters in Afghanistan:

From many hundreds, al-Qaeda now has fewer than 75 Arabs involved in the Afghan “war on terror” theater, but the group is more lethal in that it has successfully established a local franchise of warriors who have fully embraced al-Qaeda’s ideology and who are capable of conducting a war of attrition against the coalition in Afghanistan.

In the years following the United States-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, al-Qaeda lost hundreds of members, either killed or arrested or departed to other regions. These included diehard Arab ideologues such as Mustapha Seth Marium (arrested) and commanders Abu Laith al-Libbi (killed) and Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi (arrested) .

And this month, news of the death in January of Abdul Hameed, alias Abu Obaida al-Misri, from Hepatitis B, was released to Western intelligence. He was a most-trusted aide of al-Qaeda deputy Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri and had been appointed by Osama bin Laden as the head of the khuruj (revolt) in Pakistan. He was in his mid-50s.

While al-Qaeda was suffering losses, Pakistan’s tribal areas became increasingly radicalized, which al-Qaeda was able to tap into to reinvigorate the Afghan insurgency. When military operations chopped off its vertical growth, it grew horizontally.

This is big news if true. It means there is only a few dead-enders from al-Qaeda’s prime echelons left fighting tens of thousands of NATO, US and Afghanistan troops. The Taliban are not capable of world-wide jihad, they don’t have enough skilled fighters. Talaiban fighters come from one of the world’s highest illiteracy populations. They are no match for the modern world. The Taliban have always been nothing without the Arab al-Qaeda muscle from Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Bin Laden’s money and vision.

And now Pakistan, Afghanistan and the NATO/US forces are establishing intelligence and command centers along the border to stop the movement of fighters and material between Afghanistan and Pakistan:

The March 12 incident highlights how, more than six years into the US-led war in Afghanistan, efforts to stabilise the country increasingly focus on the rugged frontier area straddling the border with Pakistan.

Recent high-level talks among the three countries have called for more intelligence-sharing and coordinated operations along the border. Last Saturday, the first of six new border coordination centres — with officers from the three nations — opened at Torkham at the Khyber Pass, a “giant step” forward, said Maj Gen. David Rodriguez, the top US commander in eastern Afghanistan.

It would seem to me that instead of Afghanistan being in trouble we have actually seen enormous progress if there are only 75 hardened al-Qaeda fighters left trying to stitch together a force from the uneducated local tribes in Pakistan. The Taliban have been decimated too, but clearly not to this level. We saw on 9-11 what 12 people can do when they are willing to die for their cause. So 75 AQ is still dangerous and they are trying to spread their sickness to others. But if true – and the number is so low I have my doubts – this is a sign that victory in Afghanistan is at hand.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Only A Few Arab al-Qaeda Left In Afghanistan?”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Well, there is probably some appeal to being feared the world over if you are from the poorest, most illiterate, and uneducated parts of the country and your only hope for a good living is at the bottom of the heroin manufacturing process.

    I suspect that in the strategic sense, this has more to do with protecting the world’s heroin supply than anything else.

  2. dave m says:

    Ahh, The Surrendermedia:

    “When military operations chopped off its vertical growth, it grew horizontally.”

    Sounds like they’re talking about Al-Sadr,
    otherwise known as Fat Mooky.

  3. AJStrata says:


    I have been seeing the same thing. It is not global jihad it is local infighting under blustering banners that claim it is global jihad.

    I think the end of all this is rapidly approaching, though a solid attack on the West could change everything. Too early to say what will happen, but the nature of the battle has really changed – I think we are all just too close too it, to emotionally tied to it, to see the shift clearly and what it means.


  4. 75 says:

    The only thing that can stop the inevitable now is the Democrats. And they will continue to try.

  5. Mr.Tudball says:

    There is one thing I don’t understand.

    AQ fighters are leaving Iraq, presumably most of them going to Afghanistan.

    But now there are only 75 or so Arab AQ members now in Afghanistan?

    Are they dispersing to other areas other than Iraq?

    Where are they going?

  6. AJStrata says:

    Welcome Mr Tudball.

    My view is that AQ has found Afghanistan unwelcoming and has set up shop in the tribal areas of Pakistan – what is left of them.

    Some probably have dispersed back to their home countries to set up cells there.

    Clearly they are dispersed, on the run and being hunted. They are not the force they were in the past. My two cents.

  7. VinceP1974 says:

    AQ has indicated for a while that they are looking at the Horn of Africa and North Africa to become a major theater for them.

    If the news out of Afghanistan and Iraq is spotty and inaccurate, just imagine how poor the news out of Africa is… I’m sure we have no clue what is going on there.

  8. truthhard2take says:

    Whipped believes all is well in Africa, if you believe his April 19 post.

  9. 75 says:

    Hmmmm…that’s a real poser…believe Whippet? or believe Truthy?
    Hmmm….what will we do? What will we do?

  10. Whippet1 says:

    “Whipped believes all is well in Africa, if you believe his April 19 post.”

    Since I haven’t mentioned Africa I can only assume you are once again trying to put words in my mouth. Which post are you refering to since I have not posted on this thread.

  11. […] may be hiding out.  In addition, 75% of Afghanistan is basically pacified, and there appears to be very few al-Qaeda leaders left in that country.  What these successes in Iraq and Afghanistan have wrought is to (a) reduce the viable sanctions […]