May 14, 2005


Bomb-maker killed as US exploits ethnic rifts in al-Qa'eda (Massoud Ansari in Karachi and Philip Sherwell in Washington, 15/05/2005, Daily Telegraph)

A leading al-Qa'eda bomb-maker has been killed in a US missile strike as America and Pakistan exploit worsening ethnic rifts within the terror network.

The death of Haitham al-Yemeni comes shortly after Pakistan captured Osama bin Laden's suspected third-in-command using intelligence from disaffected militants. Abu Faraj al-Libbi was traced after exiled Uzbek fighters on the Pakistan-Afghan border who had fallen out with al-Qa'eda's Arab-dominated leadership gave Pakistani intelligence officials his mobile phone number.

The capture of al-Libbi and death of al-Yemeni show how ethnic fissures are effecting al-Qa'eda. Uzbek and other Central Asian extremists are co-operating in return for cash and permission to stay in Pakistan.

"The Arabs and Central Asians are competing for protection," said Kenneth Katzman, a terror analyst with the Congressional Research Service in Washington. "The Central Asians are losing out because the Arabs have the money and the respect of the locals."

Religion, even its extremist variants, is thin gruel compared to race.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 14, 2005 10:12 PM

The Central Asians are losing out to the Arabs? In this story, at least, it looks like the opposite -- al-Libbi and al-Yemeni.

Off topic: I know that 'effect' can be okay as a verb, but is this really how the British mean to use it?

'... show how ethnic fissures are effecting al-Qa'eda.'

Posted by: old maltese at May 15, 2005 2:10 PM
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