Sunday, September 30, 2012

Terrorists Trying to Meet End of Month Quota

The morning news on September 30, 2012 brought some disturbing information.

The US death toll in Afghanistan passed the 2,000 mark. This is not a statistic to be celebrated. It is a warning that the war there is far from over. The latest casualty comes from yet another infiltrator attacking US and Afghan Soldiers at a checkpoint. These attacks are designed to hamper relations and rot away at the already tenuous trust between the indigenous forces and the US military. They are planned and deliberate, many times with a target already selected.

Meanwhile, in the wake of Tariq al-Hashami's in absentia sentencing for using Iraqi forces and a private militia to run death squads against Shia'a political opposition, Iraq was again pock-marked with attacks targeting Iraqi security forces and Shia'a pilgrims. Three VBIEDs detonated in the city of Taji. They targeted the homes of prominent Shia'a politicians and police checkpoints. Another VBIED detonated in the Iraqi town of Mada'in, targeting a bus loaded with Shia'a pilgrims from Iran. (Of note, other Iranian Shia'a pilgrims have been kidnapped in Syria recently). Another car-bomb attacked pilgrims and Iraqi Security Forces in the town of al-Kut. There were also attacks in the former Al Q'aeda stronghold near Mosul as well as the town of Baqubah, where former al-Q'aeda Iraq leader Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi was killed by a US airstrike. The violence in Iraq killed a total of 24 people.

Meanwhile, in Nairobi, Kenya, children at a church-based school were attacked by grenades. The attack killed one child and wounded six others. This was most likely committed by the al-Q'aeda linked al-Shabab terrorist organization. Al-Shabab is one of the Islamic Terrorist groups that has seized control of southern Somalia. Earlier this week, the Kenyan military conducted a military operation to liberate the Somali town of Kismayo from the group, which maintained a stronghold in the city.

With the attacks over the past week, it almost appears as though terror groups are attempting to meet a monthly quota.

While I could delve into the "payday theory" surrounding attack cycles in Iraq, this is hardly a viable justification for the seeming sudden rise in attacks. Most of the attacks took planning, rehearsal, funding, logistics, and other processes that involve more than sporadic, impulsive, spur-of-the-moment violence.

The "payday theory" was one used on the "street level" in Iraq to explain why Wednesday and Thursday trends were higher in incidents than the other days of the week. The simple theory was that Ahmad would pass off missions to people at mosque on Fridays, promising payment if an attack was performed (and could be proven) before the following Friday, when the Dinars and Dollars would be handed out for services rendered. Most of those attacks were far less professionally executed, and many of  them botched.

These attacks in Iraq come on the heels of a jailbreak near Tikrit that freed at least 90 criminals including several men described as "hardcore al-Q'aeda operatives". That jailbreak also involved the burning of evidential documentation and theft of source documentation identifying some detainees who were cooperating with intelligence investigations seeking insurgents and terrorists at large.

Taking other terrorist activities in the past few weeks into account, along with the UN's "general debate",  it should come as no surprise that these are not random. They are intentional and coordinated. It is as if a globally positioned subversive military group has mobilized into a world-wide coordinated attack. Instead of a single, large-scale, attention-grabbing event, they are smaller-scale and designed towards a specific set of objectives. It almost appears as these are all military shaping operations in preparation for the next terrorist surge.