Unraveling Al-Qa`ida’s Target Selection Calculus-Part One


This came to me from
American Congress for Truth. It’s rather long, so I’m breaking it up into two parts. It shows just how well organized our enemies are, how they have planned for what’s going on as well as their goals–and just how wrong the defeatocrats are in the White Flag tactics. I prefer Brigitte to pelosi and reid ANY day…she truly has been there, done that.

Unraveling Al-Qa`ida’s Target Selection Calculus

Al-Qa`ida’s primarily selects economic targets to derail the American economy, to sever American and Muslim alliances, and to remove all Western influence from the Middle East

By Sammy Salama and David Wheeler

The topic of al-Qa`ida’s choice of targets has been the subject of much conjecture and speculation in open source literature. Some analysts argue that al-Qa`ida’s modus operandi is similar to traditional terrorism in that it is a form of “political theater” meant to bring attention to the group and its objectives by attacking targets of high importance. Others have diverged from this view, arguing that unlike traditional terror organizations, the al-Qa`ida network is more interested in the mass killing of Western civilians as revenge for perceived historical injustices against Muslims. In some cases, the debate concerning al-Qa`ida’s target selection is based on the assumption that al-Qa`ida targets symbolic facilities within the United States to demonstrate its military prowess and long-reach capability. Others argue that al-Qa`ida attacks soft targets due to the difficulty of attacking military and security facilities in the West. Yet an examination of primary al-Qa`ida operational manuals and published open source literature reveals a much different set of considerations in the group’s target selection. Such an analysis of what al-Qa`ida tells the world—and, most importantly, what it instructs its recruits and would-be cell members—indicates that al-Qa`ida’s target selection calculus is motivated by a far more ambitious, sophisticated and sinister motive: to destroy the economy of the United States and other Western powers by striking economic targets in the West and in the Muslim world. The network asserts that doing so curtails the American presence and influence in the Middle East and will end Western military and diplomatic support to regimes in the region. This ambition serves the final objective of severing American and Muslim alliances and bringing about the removal of all Western influence from the Middle East, as well as the overthrow of current Muslim regimes.

To best understand al-Qa`ida target selection, it is important to keep in mind al-Qa`ida’s foremost strategic objective, which is to “bleed” [exhaust] the United States economically and militarily by forcing the U.S. to spend enormous amounts of money to protect its numerous sectors and facilities. Al-Qa`ida’s primary literature and manuals affirm that the United States draws its formidable military power and political influence from its superior economy. Therefore, if the American economy is derailed, the United States will crumble and will not be able to sustain its military hegemony and presence overseas. One al-Qa`ida member stated that hindering Western economies is “the most dangerous and effective arena of Jihad, because we live in a materialistic world.”[1] Accordingly, al-Qa`ida cells are encouraged to attack targets that have a high economic value and will cause the United States severe economic losses.

The calculus of primarily attacking western targets of significant economic value is bluntly discussed in al-Qa`ida’s political publications which aim to “educate” the Muslim world about al-Qa`ida’s objectives and methods. These publications elaborate in sinister detail the network’s intention to empower individual cell members with the training and skills required to sustain al-Qa`ida’s global Jihad. The following excerpts from Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Jihad), the official publication of al-Qa`ida in Saudi Arabia, illustrate the rationale behind al-Qa`ida’s target selection:

What Else Is There to Say about September 11?

Since September 11th America has been spending billions of dollars to protect its infrastructure and interests around the world… The attacker determines the timing of the strike. He will carry out a concentrated strike one time at a weak point and then sit in ambush again. So the enemy will look for a gap and close it, not necessarily where he was hit but all other similar targets. So striking the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania means protecting every American embassy in the world. Striking the [U.S.S.] Cole at sea means protecting all American assets in the seas. Diversifying targets means protecting all American things in every land that may have terrorists!!

If the enemy has used his economy to rule the world and hire collaborators, then we need to strike this economy with harsh attacks to bring it down on the heads of its owners. If the enemy has built his economy on the basis of open markets and free trade by getting the monies of investors, then we have to prove to these investors that the enemy’s land is not safe for them, that his economy is not capable of guarding their monies, so they would abandon him to suffer alone the fall of his economy.

This is about Jihad against the Crusader enemy, so what about the September 11th operation? Hijacking planes is a well known tactic, which was used by various fighters and freedom fighters, so what’s new about this operation? People used to hijack planes and consider them a target, but those willing to put in the extra effort turned these planes into a method only, a projectile shot in the heart of the enemy …The enemy used to protect his external interests and spend enormous sums for this protection, so he was surprised when he was struck inside his borders. The enemy was used to protecting a thousand interests outside his county, now he has to protect a million interests inside his country that need continuing protection!! The attack on the Trade Center forced America since that day to spend billions to protect the huge economic infrastructure that runs the American economy. Using planes in this attack has forced America to spend billions to protect the planes and airports in all possible ways. This protection is not limited to the hundreds of American airports but also to every airport in the world. Anyone related to the aviation field is spending excessive amounts to guard air travel; the matter has reached protecting the skies…This is how America was transformed after one strike, protecting all that can be struck, and they guard all that can be used to strike with! [2]

Another al-Qa`ida text authored in late 2005 clearly articulates the network’s emphasis on attacking economic targets. In October 2005, Abu Mus`ab al-Najadi, a Saudi supporter/member of al-Qa`ida, authored a seven page document titled “Al-Qa`ida’s Battle is Economic not Military.” In late 2005, this document was circulated on numerous Jihadi websites, elaborating on the logic for attacking soft targets of high economic value. As stated by al-Najadi

The Islamic nation has entered through al-Qa`ida’s war with America a new period that is different from all the other periods experienced by Muslims against their enemies. This period is based on economic war due to the peculiar nature of the adversary in this ferocious battle. Usually, wars are based on military strength and victory belongs to those who are militarily superior on the battlefield…But our war with America is fundamentally different, for the first priority is defeating it economically. For that, anything that negatively affects its economy is considered for us a step in the right direction on the path to victory. Military defeats do not greatly effect how we measure total victory, but these defeats indirectly affect the economy which can be demonstrated by the breaching of the confidence of capitalists and investors in this nation’s ability to safeguard their various trade and dealings.

In light of this matter, the difficulty and ease of the task becomes apparent. In addition, it becomes apparent why additional al-Qa`ida strikes inside the United States have been delayed. When thinking about military strikes, it is not difficult to carry out an attack that would kill a good number of American civilians, but in my opinion this is a waste of resources without much benefit. However when directing these resources against economic targets, it is more effective and can get us many steps closer toward victory. An attack that kills a large number of Americans can not achieve a tenth of this effectiveness. This reveals the importance of the blessed September 11th attacks, which is not that it killed a large number of infidels, but what is more important, the economic effect that this strike achieved…I will not be exaggerating if I say that striking the Pentagon was purely symbolic and had no noticeable effect on the course of the battle. It is symbolic for it shows the Americans that their foremost military facility can be destroyed by handful of individuals, which is a blow to their morale and a point of pride for the Islamic peoples who have been drowning in defeat for many years.

Any operation targeting an area of infrastructure in a new country that does not have a history of countering these operations is considered as bleeding (exhausting) to the greater enemy America and the targeted nation itself. It is so because these nations will be required to protect all similar potential targets which results in economic exhaustion (bleeding)… For example, if a hotel that caters to western tourists in Indonesia is targeted, the enemy will be required to protect all hotels that cater to western tourists in all countries which may become a target of similar attacks. You can say the same thing about living residences, economic establishments, embassies, etc.[3]

Based on al-Qa`ida’s own description of its calculus and explanation of its targeting rationale, one must assume that this network is most likely to target facilities and establishments of high economic value on the U.S. mainland. Such facilities include but are not limited to airports, bus stations, train stations, subways, ports, financial districts, financial buildings, malls, markets, resorts, planes, ships, oil installations, hotels, sports arenas, theaters and embassies. As illustrated previously, al-Qa`ida’s stated objective is to cause the greatest possible economic damage as well as force the United States to spend excessive resources on guarding and protecting facilities all over the United States in order to ultimately bring down the U.S. economy, the source of American military power and hegemony.

In addition to statements in al-Qa`ida publications that articulate the networks’ strategy, the calculus of attacking western targets of high economic value is also elaborated in al-Qa`ida’s operational manuals that teach individuals cell members how to attack and exact severe losses on the West. For example, a detailed online manual entitled Al-Mubtakkar al-Farid: Li Irsaal al-Safah al-Athiri Ila al-Kafir al-`Anid [The Unique Invention: To Deliver the Gaseous Killer to the Stubborn Infidel], teaches the reader how to manufacture a hydrogen cyanide dispersal device. The manual provides would-be terrorists with step-by-step instructions, in explicit detail, on utilizing various precursors and procuring readily available components to assemble the dispersal device. The al-Mubtakar manual primarily guides al-Qa`ida members in using this crude hydrogen cyanide dispersal device to attack mostly civilian targets of high economic value that are abundantly available in Western societies. It specifically highlights the following targets:[4]

Brothels
Theaters
Markets and Shopping Malls
Synagogues
Dancing Halls
Trains
Schools
Hospitals
Bars and Restaurants
Banks and Loan Facilities
Cinemas
Gyms
Casinos
Churches in Muslim Lands
Government Offices (especially security and intelligence related)


Another short document dealing with radiological terrorism posted on a prominent Jihadi operational website also emphasized the network’s desire to exact severe economic losses on the United States and its allies. The short posting entitled “Instances of Radiation Pollution from 1945-1987” specifically encouraged the Jihadi community to attack western cities with Radiological Dispersal Devises (RDDs or dirty bombs) in order to cause acute economic losses. It explicitly states the following economic benefits to such attacks:

The important thing is to disperse radioactive material in a large commercial area so the government is forced to shut down this area which will cause this country massive economic disruption due to the following reasons:

1. The high costs of decontamination of radioactive areas.
2. The high economic losses in this large commercial area due to closure.
3. Subsequent unemployment and loss of jobs.
4. Stoppage of general life in that area.
5. Large compounded problems are to follow due to these losses
.


Suggested cities: Las Vegas (the city of fornication and gambling that does not sleep) — New York — London — Sydney — Tokyo — Moscow — Other large tourist cities — and commercial capitals of all infidel nations.[5]

In addition to attacking economic targets in the United States and other western nations, another stated objective of the network is to hinder Westerners from conducting commerce and business in the Arab and Muslim world. In al-Qa`ida’s world view, Western commerce in Muslim and Arab countries has resulted in Western military support for corrupt and “apostate” regimes in the region (specifically Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco). It has also contributed to the corruption of Muslim societies through imported Western values and the “theft” of Muslim natural resources, including oil. In the past few years, we have seen the al-Qa`ida network repeatedly attack Western interests, facilities and citizens in numerous Muslim and Arab countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Indonesia.

Attacking American interests in these countries further serves to “bleed” the United States economically and deny Westerners commercial opportunities in the Arab and Muslim world. Also, of equal importance, it serves to hinder an alliance between the United States and its regional allies. The terrorist tactics aim to isolate the regional governments that al-Qa`ida considers “apostates” and ultimately wishes to overthrow as it seeks to re-establish the global caliphate. As a matter of operational expediency, the al-Qa`ida network intends to carry out attacks against American interests in the Muslim and Arab worlds continuously. This is stated clearly in a widely circulated al-Qa`ida operational manual that trains prospective Jihadis in urban operations in the Arab and Muslim world. “Military Sciences — Targets Inside the Cities” directly identifies the following targets:

Economic targets:

The objective of attacking these targets: breaching the security and climate of stability that is necessary for economic growth, such as the bombing of oil pipelines in Iraq, which has made it less appealing for foreign corporations.

Additional objectives include:

Removal of foreign capitalists from domestic [Islamic] markets; also [to exact] negative economic consequences on their native lands as occurred very quickly following the blessed strikes in Madrid, which affected the entire European economy. Among these are double strikes that affect the economy of the Crusader or Jewish or apostates regimes.

Among the Examples of such Strikes:

Striking Jewish Crusader investments in Muslim lands.
Striking international corporations.
Striking international economists and business experts.
Striking imports from Crusader nations through military means (as occurred in the bombing and burning of certain American restaurants), or through political means like boycotts.
Striking raw materials stolen from Muslim lands, such as the strike on the French oil carrier or the strikes on Iraqi oil pipelines. These kinds of economic strikes are determined by the high leadership who wait for the appropriate time and place.
Assassination of Jews who work in business and disciplining those who cooperate with them economically following a proper warning. Only those who are proven to be collaborating apostates should be assassinated.
[6]

In addition to instructing the Jihadi community and individual al-Qa`ida cell members to concentrate their attacks on economic targets inside the Arab and Muslim world and beyond, this manual also breaks down in vivid detail the nationality, religion and profession of al-Qa`ida’s prime “human targets.” In this, the operational instructions to cell members are consistent with previous political arguments put forth in al-Qa`ida’s open source publications. It tells would-be al-Qa`ida terrorists to concentrate on Western businessmen as they represent the foremost candidates. It states unambiguously

Human targets:

… The priority in these operations should be given to Jews and Christians with official connections to Muslim lands. It is advisable to start with targeting unprotected, easy targets. Priority is given to the dependants of infidel nations that are directly involved in supporting local apostates. For example, in Saudi Arabia, first target Americans, then the English. In Iraq, the Americans. In Afghanistan, the Americans. In Algeria, the French. In Indonesia, the Australians, etc

Categorizing Human Targets by Importance:

Jews: they are divided into various degrees by importance. First American and Israeli Jews, then British Jews, then French …etc.
Christians: they are categorized by order of importance as follows: .


Americans
British
Spanish
Australians
Canadians
Italians


These groups are further divided into:

Businessmen. For business has global importance in this age.
Diplomats, politicians, intellectuals, analysts, and political emissaries.
Scientists and experts.
Military commanders and soldiers.
Tourists, visiting entertainers, and all who have received a warning from the Mujahideen to abstain from or to evacuate Muslim lands.
Apostates: They are categorized by order of importance as follows:

The most important targets are those who are close to Jewish and Christian governments, such as Husni Mubarak and the rulers of the Arabian Peninsula and their advisors.
Secularists and modernists who criticize believers and ridicule religion.
Intelligence professionals and spies, they are the armor and protective fence of the Jews and Christians. They are also the striking arms of the apostates.
[7]

END OF PART ONE

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