Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A "Run Through" ?

I'm amazed that this even made into print, to say nothing of television:

Last week, CNN's Glenn Beck aired a weeklong series of reports regarding purported plans by al Qaeda to coordinate a series of attacks at U.S. schools. Author Brad Thor, formerly of the Department of Homeland Security's 'Red Cell' suggests that the Beslan attack was a dry run, and that al Qaeda hopes to prompt an overwhelming and irrational 'hate response' against Muslims. It's al Qaeda's hope that this would set off a massive war between Islam and the West.

You know you're in really bad shape and stretching for some kind of authority to back up you're asinine claim when you're left with nothing to resort to but Glenn Fucking Beck ...

The Beslan school seige was coordinated by Shamil Basayev and his brigade of suicide attackers. Basayev was a Chechen nationalist with loose personal ties to Islam, though he did gladly accept aide from radical Islamists when it could further his cause inside Chechnya. Even if Beslan was a "dry run," as the WWS so blithely puts it, another similar action wouldn't help much because Basayev is now dead.

If Chechens want to pick a fight with anyone, it's Russia. Beyond that, they don't really give a shit. This has a tendency to complicate their relationship with groups like Al Qaeda -- Chechens don't want a "a massive war between Islam and the West," they just want independence from Russia.

Alternatively, there isn't much advantage to Al Qaeda operating in Chechnya because Russia has done a pretty good job of closing the area to the rest of the world. So, like Vegas, what happens in Chechnya tends to stay in Chechnya. That's not an ideal situation to run a propaganda war.

Check out Afghanistanica's post on "Chechens" in Afghanistan. There's simply no reason for Al Qaeda to be in Chechnya, even to practice further acts of terrorists (Which really is an absurd claim because the Russians react drastically differently to terrorist threats than we do here in the U.S.). Sure, there may be some stragglers, but it's not like Al Qaeda's running a foreign exchange program out of the Caucuses.*

I know, given the sources, that I shouldn't be surprised, but this is either fear-mongering at it's worst or the finest display of ignorance I have yet to encounter today.

* MORE: Yeah, they may exchange trainers, pow wow on tactics and have lessons learned conferences, but there has yet to be hard evidence for a free exchange of combat units back and forth.

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