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Posted: 1/2/2006 11:25:48 PM EDT
AP notices Sakra
by Dan Darling at January 2, 2006 08:21 AM

I see that this story on Louai Sakra (Loa'i Saqra) and his importance within al-Qaeda is finally making some serious rounds in English press, though I noted it back in August when he was captured. It's a pretty good summation of how Sakra managed to evade capture after bankrolling the November 2003 bombings, though I would contest labeling him a middle manager if he's as high-ranking as the Turks claimed at the time of his capture.

In addition to all of this, we get this wonderful anecdote:


Al-Saqa could also be extradited to Jordan, where a military court convicted him, al-Zarqawi and Jordanian-American Raed Hijazi in connection with the failed millennium terror attack. Jordanian prosecutors suggested in their indictment that al-Saqa was an agent coordinating between militants traveling through Turkey to Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Istanbul, Al-Saqa played host to Hijazi and two other militants, including a cousin of al-Zarqawi, helping to arrange their travel to Pakistan for training in neighboring Afghanistan, court documents said.


Now I've noted before, all of this presents major factual problems to all of the pundits out there who want to "prove" that the war in Iraq increased the threat of terrorism by claiming that Zarqawi wasn't involved with al-Qaeda prior to the US invasion of Iraq:


Amidst the reporting on the Amman bombings, the Associated Press noted this anecdote with regard to the Radisson SAS hotel, one of the buildings targeted by the suicide bombers: "U.S. officials believe al-Zarqawi and bin Laden operations chief Abu Zubaydah were chief organizers of a foiled plot to bomb the Radisson SAS. The attack was to take place during millennium celebrations, but Jordanian authorities stopped it in late 1999." If this is the case, then the bombing of the Radisson SAS and the two other Amman hotels last week should not be seen so much as an outgrowth of the Iraqi insurgency as much as a tell-tale al Qaeda modus operandi: continuing to target a given location until the attack is carried out successfully (recall the 1993 World Trade Center bombing).
Moreover, Zarqawi's close collaboration with senior al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah in the 1999 plot is another problem for intelligence analysts, counterterrorism officials, and diplomats have claimed for three years--despite the evidence to the contrary--that Zarqawi operated separately of or in opposition to bin Laden prior to the fall of 2004.

Some have gone even further, claiming that it was the U.S. invasion of Iraq which brought the two terrorists together. Yet such a position defies logic given that the first public mention of Zarqawi was his original indictment in connection with the 1999 plot, where he is listed in Jordanian court records under his real name, Ahmad al-Khalialah (Ahmed al-Khalayleh), alongside senior al Qaeda leaders Zein Al Abiddeen Hassan (Zain al-Abd Din Hassan, the real name of Abu Zubaydah), Omar Mahmoud Abu Omar (Sheikh Abu Qatada, later described by Spanish authorities as bin Laden's ambassador in Europe), and Louay al-Sakkah (Louai Sakra), who was arrested over the summer in connection with a plot to attack Israeli cruise ships in Turkey.



To put it another way, you can argue that the war in Iraq increased the threat of international terrorism by creating a larger pool of al-Qaeda recruits without indulging in this kind of bad argumentation, which is almost the exact same kind of misleading and factually inaccurate argumentation that critics of the administration hold that it engages in. And as long as I'm on the subject of factual errors, somebody please let the AP stylebook people know that "mujahid" doesn't mean "guerrilla." The Turkish press, which services an almost entirely Muslim population, had no problem labeling Sakra as a terrorist, a jihadi, and even a Salafist at the time of his capture. Somebody explain to me why the AP, which services a largely non-Muslim public, can't follow their fine example?

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Link Posted: 1/3/2006 6:20:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

The Turkish press, which services an almost entirely Muslim population, had no problem labeling Sakra as a terrorist, a jihadi, and even a Salafist at the time of his capture. Somebody explain to me why the AP, which services a largely non-Muslim public, can't follow their fine example?

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Um, because the "FACTS" of the story do not mesh with the NARRATIVE that the A.P. and other Western Presses are trying to sell to the sheeple.

Do I win a prize?
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 6:57:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
AP notices Sakra
by Dan Darling at January 2, 2006 08:21 AM

I see that this story on Louai Sakra (Loa'i Saqra) and his importance within al-Qaeda is finally making some serious rounds in English press, though I noted it back in August when he was captured. It's a pretty good summation of how Sakra managed to evade capture after bankrolling the November 2003 bombings, though I would contest labeling him a middle manager if he's as high-ranking as the Turks claimed at the time of his capture.

In addition to all of this, we get this wonderful anecdote:


Al-Saqa could also be extradited to Jordan, where a military court convicted him, al-Zarqawi and Jordanian-American Raed Hijazi in connection with the failed millennium terror attack. Jordanian prosecutors suggested in their indictment that al-Saqa was an agent coordinating between terrorists traveling through Turkey to Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Istanbul, Al-Saqa played host to Hijazi and two other terrorists, including a cousin of al-Zarqawi, helping to arrange their travel to Pakistan for training in neighboring Afghanistan, court documents said.


Now I've noted before, all of this presents major factual problems to all of the pundits out there who want to "prove" that the war in Iraq increased the threat of terrorism by claiming that Zarqawi wasn't involved with al-Qaeda prior to the US invasion of Iraq:


Amidst the reporting on the Amman bombings, the Associated Press noted this anecdote with regard to the Radisson SAS hotel, one of the buildings targeted by the suicide bombers: "U.S. officials believe al-Zarqawi and bin Laden operations chief Abu Zubaydah were chief organizers of a foiled plot to bomb the Radisson SAS. The attack was to take place during millennium celebrations, but Jordanian authorities stopped it in late 1999." If this is the case, then the bombing of the Radisson SAS and the two other Amman hotels last week should not be seen so much as an outgrowth of the Iraqi terrorismas much as a tell-tale al Qaeda modus operandi: continuing to target a given location until the attack is carried out successfully (recall the 1993 World Trade Center bombing).
Moreover, Zarqawi's close collaboration with senior al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah in the 1999 plot is another problem for intelligence analysts, counterterrorism officials, and diplomats have claimed for three years--despite the evidence to the contrary--that Zarqawi operated separately of or in opposition to bin Laden prior to the fall of 2004.

Some have gone even further, claiming that it was the U.S. invasion of Iraq which brought the two terrorists together. Yet such a position defies logic given that the first public mention of Zarqawi was his original indictment in connection with the 1999 plot, where he is listed in Jordanian court records under his real name, Ahmad al-Khalialah (Ahmed al-Khalayleh), alongside senior al Qaeda leaders Zein Al Abiddeen Hassan (Zain al-Abd Din Hassan, the real name of Abu Zubaydah), Omar Mahmoud Abu Omar (Sheikh Abu Qatada, later described by Spanish authorities as bin Laden's ambassador in Europe), and Louay al-Sakkah (Louai Sakra), who was arrested over the summer in connection with a plot to attack Israeli cruise ships in Turkey.



To put it another way, you can argue that the war in Iraq increased the threat of international terrorism by creating a larger pool of al-Qaeda recruits without indulging in this kind of bad argumentation, which is almost the exact same kind of misleading and factually inaccurate argumentation that critics of the administration hold that it engages in. And as long as I'm on the subject of factual errors, somebody please let the AP stylebook people know that "mujahid" doesn't mean "guerrilla." The Turkish press, which services an almost entirely Muslim population, had no problem labeling Sakra as a terrorist, a jihadi, and even a Salafist at the time of his capture. Somebody explain to me why the AP, which services a largely non-Muslim public, can't follow their fine example?

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Fixed it for them (the AP)
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 7:15:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GonzoAR15-1:

Um, because the "FACTS" of the story do not mesh with the NARRATIVE that the A.P. and other Western Presses are trying to sell to the sheeple.




Correct.
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