September 13, 2011 | Quote

9/11: 10 years After

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, author of 'Bin Laden's Legacy: Why We're Still Losing The War On Terror' says that al-Qaida has effected a second change in its strategy in the past few years. “The group has always been focused on the US economy as one of its key vulnerabilities, but since the 2008 collapse of the US financial sector, al-Qaida has moved toward what some jihadis dub a 'strategy of a thousand cuts' — smaller but more frequent attacks, many of which are explicitly designed to drive up security costs.”

For instance, in October 2010, al-Qaida in Arabian Peninsula sent bombs disguised as computer cartridges in courier boxes — and waited for the US to go overboard in expense to check every box coming into the country. That's the thousand cuts, which is something LeT had planned against India years ago.

Gartenstein-Ross also takes issue with “localization” of al-Qaida leadership. Pointing to the documents unearthed after the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, he says, “It's clear bin Laden had an operational role in the group at the time of his death, and was not marginalized as nothing more than a figurehead. That being said, the group has powerful affiliates. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, its Yemeni branch, has shown its capacity to strike at Western targets. And al-Shabaab — not an official affiliate but an ideological compatriot — controls territory in southern Somalia.”


Al Qaeda