Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 10, 2011

Three Americans reflect on the death of Osama bin Laden

Filed under: Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on June 10, 2011

Last weekend a 100 minute videotape featuring several Al Qaeda leaders was released. The purpose, in part, was to eulogize Osama bin Laden  Included were comments by the American born Adam Gadahn:

Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the Jihad against the Zionists and crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam, waging war on their religion, sacred places, and things, and brethren. This is a golden opportunity and a blessing. Let’s take America as an example. America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?

On Wednesday FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The FBI has never faced a more complex threat environment than it does today. Over the past year, we have seen an extraordinary array of national security and criminal threats, from terrorism and espionage to cyber attacks and traditional crimes. These threats have ranged from attempts by Al Qaeda and its affiliates to place bombs on airplanes bound for the United States to lone actors seeking to detonate IEDs in public squares and subways, intent on mass murder.

A month ago, the successful operation in Pakistan leading to Usama bin Laden’s death created new urgency for this threat picture. While we continue to exploit the materials seized from bin Laden’s compound, one of the early assessments from this intelligence is that Al Qaeda remains committed to attacking the United States. In addition, we are focused on the new information about the homeland threat gained from this operation.

We also continue to face the threat from adversaries, like Anwar Alaqui, who are engaged in efforts to radicalize people in the United States to commit acts of terrorism. In the age of the Internet, these radicalizing figures no longer need to meet or speak personally with those they seek to influence. Instead, they conduct their media campaigns from remote regions of the world, intent on fostering terrorism by lone actors here in the United States.

On Thursday CIA Director Leon Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee:

The death of Osama bin Laden is a significant blow to al Qa’ida and brings us closer to its strategic defeat.  However, al-Qa’ida remains a potent, dangerous, and adaptable foe.  Its close allies, such as Pakistan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, have increasingly adopted al-Qa’ida’s jihadist vision and, as core al-Qa’ida is weakened, there is a risk that decentralized affiliates may pose an increased threat to the United States.  To achieve the President’s objective of defeating al-Qa’ida and preventing its return to either Pakistan or Afghanistan, it is vital that we continue to aggressively pursue our accelerated counterterrorism campaign in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.

Al-Qa’ida and its adherents are diverse, dispersed, and decentralized.  They are present in the Arabian Peninsula, North and East Africa, South Asia, Iraq, and elsewhere around the globe, including within the United States.  Intent and ability to attack the United States varies by group, but such attacks are a common theme in their propaganda and planning.   Bin Laden himself remained very focused on attacking the Homeland.   Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula has already demonstrated both the intent and the capability to conduct attacks against the United States.  Despite the death of Bin Laden, core Al-Qa’ida and its adherents in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region remain a very dangerous threat.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

June 10, 2011 @ 6:14 am

Testimony of FBI Director indicates why he should not be confirmed and perhaps FBI transferred to HOMELAND SECURITY mission. The complexity of the modern world has long eluded the FBI and its willing and eager but poorly trained Gold Badge agents (13,000)! The other 25,000 in the FBI are doing DHS work and this duplication and overlap should be eliminated.

Watch Panetta at DOD where he will control 80% of the annual INTEL budget as he proves conclusively the CIA should also be eliminated and we should start over on INTEL. One place to start would be language scholarships so that no INTEL OFFICER or appointee does not speak several languages or is a computer geek!

Long past time to upgrade the defense of the USA! Proof? Long past 9/11/01 both FBI and CIA are almost as culturally ignorant of potential enemies that are non-state actors as they were on 9/10/2001! This detail will be documented in several forthcoming articles and books being released after July 4th and before 9/11/2011!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

June 11, 2011 @ 3:17 am

Our ignorance of other cultures and their stonewalls in dysfunctional governing and resulting poor interrelationships with the populace strngly point to a continued degradtion of political and econmic stability and the resulting “uncertainties” spanning the continents pint to a global political and ecnomic crisis which will soon see Iraq controlled by Iran fr instance and shortly, w/increased Hamas and Hezbollah actions against Israelmto help radical Islamic factions take a foothold leading Egypt. We are on the path to despair and soup lines here on Main Street USA….Get your number and get into line as the economic meltdown globally will tell it all!

Christopher Tingus

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