Despite President Bush's repeated and strenuous declarations that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror there is more evidence today that the Afghanistan-Pakistan front is where the real action is happening as reported by MSNBC:
Three suspected Islamic terrorists from an al-Qaida-influenced group nursing "profound hatred of U.S. citizens" were arrested on suspicion of plotting imminent, massive bomb attacks on U.S. facilities in Germany, prosecutors said Wednesday.
German Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms said the three, two of whom were German converts to Islam, had trained at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, a group based in Central Asia. They had obtained some 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide for making explosives.
Then, we have the arrest of the 8 terror suspects in Denmark just this past week. The suspects are believed to have links to Al Qaeda and take a wild guess where some of them are from:
The eight, aged 19 to 28, were of foreign backgrounds from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Turkey, and six of the eight held Danish citizenship, Mr Scharf said.
Finally, the resurgent Taliban and their Pakistani allies have captured 300 Pakistani troops near the Afghan-Pakistan border as reported by the NY Times:
The capture of the soldiers on Thursday was a serious setback for the Pakistani military in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. It demonstrated the confidence of the militants in South Waziristan, one of seven Pakistani tribal regions that has been described as a virtual Taliban state, where the government has so little control that the military can move only with the consent of the local militants. Foreign fighters are also known to live and operate in South Waziristan, but the captors of the soldiers seem to be Pakistanis who are sympathetic to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
So while our troops are busy refereeing the nasty sectarian squabble between the Sunnis and the Shiites, the same people (and their allies) who attacked us on 9/11 are spreading havoc from their secure base of operations in northwest Pakistan and the Afghan border areas.
Meanwhile, the same people who didn't attack us on 9/11 have now become our "friends" in the Anbar province of Iraq after we waged a completely futile and unnecessary battle against them for the last 4 years. Remember, these people, the Sunnis of Anbar, are the same people that George Bush said we were "fighting over there so we don't have to fight them over here". Now we are handing them weapons and cash in exchange for a ceasefire and helping us to track down the several thousand or so Saudi, Egyptian and Syrian jihadists who entered Iraq after we invaded in order to wage holy war and kill Americans.
While we have been busy with this diversion, the people who murdered 3,000 of our fellow citizens on 9/11 have been rebuilding, rearming and planning new deadly terrorist attacks on America and American interests from their base of operations in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas. This is all the more reason to get out of Iraq and refocus our attention on that part of the world that has been a breeding ground for Islamic extremism for decades. As I have been repeating endlessly for years, Al Qaeda is an almost entirely Sunni organization and Iraq is only 20% Sunni. Iraq's Sunnis tend towards secularism, and have never been very supportive of the Wahabbi brand of Islam that provides the ideological basis for groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The only reason the Sunnis tolerated the presence of foreign jihadists was because they felt that we were trying to wipe them out and they needed help. Now that we've abandoned that course the Al Qaeda presence in Iraq is unlikely to present a major threat in the future.
But the Taliban are still in Afghanistan and they do have a supportive native populace in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. While I am not suggesting that we invade Pakistan we could increase our forces in Afghanistan and pressure them from that side of the border. Unfortunately, we don't have any forces to do this because they are all tied up with the fruitless "surge" operation in Iraq.
Bush is fond of repeating his claim that bin Laden believes Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. This is exactly what bin Laden wants us to believe so we will focus on Iraq and not on the Afghanistan-Pakistan areas that provide his secure base of operations. As long as we are tied up in Iraq, bin Laden doesn't have to worry about his own personal safety.
The war on terror has gone wildly off track. Unfortunately, it may be too late to prevent the next terror attack that the devils in the Al Qaeda leadership have been planning from their bases where the "real" war on terror is located.
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