Monday, March 23, 2009

Gitmo as a recruiting tool – fact or fiction?

Here's President Obama on "60 Minutes" last night:

"[Gitmo] hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment. Which means that there is constant effective recruitment of-- Arab fighters and Muslim fighters against U.S. interests all around the world."
The "war on terror is breeding more terrorists" line has been accepted as gospel among the anti-war crowd. But is it true? This NPR report hints that Al Qaeda is having trouble finding new recruits for jihad:

For months now, counterterrorism officials have seen signs that al-Qaida has been looking for new and innovative ways to recruit terrorists, including a new manual that has surfaced on the Internet.

Researchers at West Point recently stumbled on the 51-page manual while they were visiting a jihadi chat room, called Ecles. It's a Web site that allows members to have interactive discussions, post videos and download manuals. Ecles is the second most popular jihadi chat room on the Web, and al-Qaida often posts things there. Because of that, it is a place counterterrorism analysts track regularly.

So when the West Point analysts discovered a step-by-step primer called "The Art of Recruiting Mujahedeen," it got their attention. On one level, the manual might be an early indication that al-Qaida is trying to identify new sleeper terrorists. On the other hand, the book is so basic it seems to suggest al-Qaida is getting desperate for new members.

Brian Fishman, the head of research at West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, says he was struck by the remedial tone of the book. At the end of a chapter, for example, there are questions to judge both the recruiter's progress and the recruit's.
There's no verifiable way to gauge the success of Islamo-fascist recruiting so let's file this under: I report (an NPR story), you decide.


Anonymous said...

Until Al Qaeda releases its annual Department of Labor figures, we're stuck guessing.

At a minimum, the war on terror has given preexisting terrorists tens of thousands of ready targets, and a jihad-compatible social/political vacuum which did not exist. They have congregated their forces and have taken full advantage of that chance. IEDs planted by veteran terrorists don't hurt any less than the ones built by freshfaced trainees.

Remembering exactly how Osama Bin Laden got his start should make any serious person leery of downplaying the "breeding terrorists" premise.

Eric said...

Agreed and I recommend "The Looming Tower" to anybody trying to figure out how somebody like Osama bin Laden comes to be.

Anonymous said...

So, imprisoning terrorists breeds terrorism. The Clinton approach of ignoring terrorists also encouraged terrorists. Hmmm...

Killing terrorists by the thousands seems to have worked pretty well in Iraq.

Nuclear Necrology said...

The problem with Obama and Gitmo is that the Democrats outed Gitmo as political pawn to discredit the Bush Administration. In doing so the Democrats fueled the problem of anti-American views and literally gave the terrorist greater justification for their actions. The Democrats also have forgotten the failed policy of Clinton's political procrastination and failure to take seriously the danger of terrorist cells. This Administration is perhaps the most damaging to National security than any in modern times. Obama makes Clinton look conservative.

Unknown said...

Can the leftists that parrot this meme produce one single terrorist that can attest to the validity of this "theory" by saying "I would never have become a terrorist if it weren't for Gitmo"?

If not, I would file it under "projection".

Anonymous said...

Gladly, right after you produce a terrorist who was "rooting for" the Democrats to win all the elections.

The historical precedent that "one single terrorist" could be radicalized is a lot easier to swallow than the revealing rightwing meme parroted just one post above yours, Eric: that the TRUE betrayal was PUBLICIZING criminal abuses.

Because the people who were, er, tortured? And those that knew them and wondered why they'd missed several years of dinners? Those folks would NEVER have put the invisible pieces of this oh-so-mysterious puzzle together. "Something bad is happening to us, but damned if we know whodunnit!" Drat those few bad apples, and their treasonous cell phone cameras!

As for Bram's "it worked in Iraq" wish, yeah, what a success story for America that's been. One more tape and we'll have an Osama bin Laden box set. "Still Live from the Cavern Club: The Classic Collection."

Eric said...

Whoh there. Just for the record, that wasn't me - "Viking Pundit" - with that last comment.

I'm at work at 12:52pm in the afternoon.

Anonymous said...

I can vouch for him.

Nuclear Necrology said...

I'm not sure if my post was clear enough. Gitmo breeds terrorists by the use of recruitment propaganda rather than inmates of Gitmo entering pro-American and leaving anti-American....

Sepulchre-fuge Industries, like many other people, seem to believe that advertising to the world your intelligence failures and isolated incidents of misconduct are constructive.

I assure you that they are not.

There are plenty of instances where during the Clinton Administration that similar things happened but the media and liberal politicians made choices to "cover" for him. The hypocrisy of exposing a nations weaknesses for political and self-righteous grandstanding is illegal and could be considered treason.

IN other words, democrats did to Bush what they refused to do to Clinton even though the activities were the same.

Gitmo and Abu Graib could have been dealt with internally.

What really happens in these abuse cases is not relevant because recruitment propaganda does not need reality. Anyone on the Select Senate Intelligence Committee already knows this as do most intelligence professionals.

The only reason terrorists would prefer democrat to republican is knowing that their chances of a successful martyrdom is greater under the democrats. They loath both parties because they are liberal scum infidels who peddle thier immorality on a global scale.

Anonymous said...

"...isolated incidents of misconduct... plenty of instances during the Clinton Administration... the media and liberal politicians made choices to "cover" for him. The hypocrisy of exposing a nations weaknesses for political and self-righteous grandstanding is illegal and could be considered treason... Gitmo and Abu Graib could have been dealt with internally... terrorists would prefer democrat to republican knowing that their chances of a successful martyrdom is greater under the democrats...
...I'm not sure if my post was clear enough."

No worries. I think we figured it out jusssst fine the first time.

(Is it hard to work your thumbs, when you're that evenhanded?)

Alas, all we can do now is shake our heads mournfully, and curse the media and liberal politicans for preventing Bush & Cheney from "dealing with Gitmo and Abu Ghraib internally."