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Monday, March 05, 2007 

Scum-watch: Think you know al-Qaida? Think again.

al-Qaida is in general, pretty easy to identify. It's a semi-autonomous terrorist organisation that has greatly inspired and spawned other jihadist militant groups, each with their own aims, but mostly using the same methods of suicide bombing, improvised explosive devices and recording the former for distribution to radical websites. What al-Qaida is not is websites dedicated to supporting "exiled hate cleric Omar Bakri" Muhammad. Somehow, helped along by internet terror "expert", Neil Doyle, a few braindead idiots discussing Prince Harry's dispatch to Iraq are morphed from armchair warriors who'd probably have their arms wrenched out their sockets if they fired a gun into al-Qaida foot soldiers.

The threats to Harry were exposed by a Sun investigation into extremists’ websites. Last night internet terror expert Neil Doyle said the website messages “represent clear incitement”.

Harry — third in line to the throne — and his troop of 12 men will receive the training after the websites supporting exiled hate cleric Omar Bakri posted threats against him. One message crowed: “Prince Harry will be sent to Iraq to be killed by Muslims.”

Another said: “May Allah give him what he deserves — like his fellow crusaders.” And a fanatic calling himself “Resistance4Islam” added: “He must be wishing for his death.”

Terror expert Mr Doyle said: “Harry would be the ultimate prize for one of these insurgent groups. He would be worth his weight in gold in propaganda terms if killed or captured.

“These website exchanges indicate a head of steam is starting to build up around his posting to Iraq.”

Right, so some mild and fairly ambiguous statements, only two of which refer to him being killed, neither of which refer to any armed grouping carrying out the killing, but instead to Allah, and these somehow add up to "al-Qaida target Harry". Why bother reporting the news when you can just make it up and advertise your services as a "terror expert" at the same time?

The whole report is laughable, mainly being a ploy to come up with a flashy idiotic graphic of Harry being kidnapped, which is about as likely to happen as a rocking horse winning the Grand National. If Harry is either injured or killed, it's far more likely to be as a result of an IED, something which is placed in the hope of killing anyone rather than an actual target. You only have to browse LiveLeak to see that the Sunni jihadist groups are out to kill anyone who gets in their way. Harry would simply be an added bonus; a major propaganda coup, and one which might finally bring home to our dear leaders the true nature of their war, but not one which would either change anything or mean anything in the long run. Five Chinese Crackers thinks much the same.

This is the reality of life in Iraq. Meaningless, mindless, tit for tat violence, carried out by groups which have no scruples. This is the real story of the war, but the Sun would rather that you didn't know much about it, other than it's getting better in Basra thanks to our brave boys. Compare the amount of words devoted to the Harry non-story, with that given over to reporting the cowardly murders by the "Islamic State of Iraq", a coalition of Sunni jihadists, including al-Qaida in Iraq (Evan Kohlmann, a genuine terrorism expert, has an excellent breakdown of the various insurgent groups active here (PDF)), of 18 men seized from the Interior Ministry (accused on innumerable occasions of having a large number of Shia militiamen among its number), with the spurious justification of taking revenge for a rape allegedly committed by Shia police. Sometimes it's worth reminding yourself of the true nature of some sections of the "resistance", exemplified by the cold, heartless manner of the executions in this case. Some might call it a war crime, a crime against humanity, but what it really is is murder, plain and simple, committed by fanatics who weren't in Iraq until we liberated it. The video is on LiveLeak, and unless you want to see for yourself for the above reasons, I advise you don't click.

That the Sun report is based on the ignoramuses that follow Bakri Muhammad is further evidence that he should of been arrested and charged with offences similar to those that resulted in the conviction of Abu Hamza while still in this country, instead of being simply stopped from re-entering the country once he had left for Lebanon. Now that he's broadcasting his hate across the internet, it at least means that he can be kept an eye on, but it doesn't stop the problem at the source. The government would rather be rid of these people than go through the more difficult but far more favourable process of prosecution.

Elsewhere in today's Scum, for reasons known only to itself, it's started something of a campaign against cocaine. That cocaine, despite its recent drop in price is most definitely a drug consumed mainly by middle class wankers rather than by the working class traditional Sun readership makes the whole thing seem redundant, but this naturally doesn't stop them from coming up with more ludicrous claims, including that Farc has links to al-Qaida:

The Sun tracked ex-FARC guerrilla Jose Arley Escobar, 21, who fought with the rebels for three years, to a safe house in Colombia’s capital, Bogota. He revealed for the first time that his terror group had been trained by al-Qaeda fighters. He exclusively told The Sun: “Two Arab strangers came to our camp in late 2001. They stayed for six weeks and taught survival techniques and jungle fighting.”

Rrright. Taking his word for it, it seems odd that al-Qaida fighters would know about jungle fighting. Seeing as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kashmir and Chechnya, the main wars in which Arab mujahideen had been involved in prior to 9/11 aren't exactly noted for their jungles, this doesn't seem to make much sense (unless they were adapting what they'd learned from woodland battles, but let's not stretch this too far). Sudan, where al-Qaida were based for a few years in the early 90s isn't overflowing with thick bushland either. The only potential place where they could have taken part in jungle fighting which comes to mind is Indonesia. It's also worth remembering the case of the Colombia Three - three IRA members who went to train FARC rebels, which shows it's not just Arab fighters that have potentially been training Colombian militias. This is without mentioning the obvious ideological differences between FARC and al-Qaida - Marxists and Salafists don't tend to get along. Saddam, who was far from being a Marxist, was condemned by bin Laden for his "socialism".

The rest of the report is the usual tabloid article on Colombia, ignoring entirely the role of right-wing paramilitaries which themselves use the profits from cocaine for their own war against FARC, etc.

The leader takes on a pompous self-righteous tone, which was to be expected. As Bloggerheads makes clear, journalists themselves ought to make sure they're not in a glass house before they start throwing stones. Lord Ashcroft, in his book on the smear jobs orchestrated against him by the Times and New Labour, found out that a number of hacks from Wapping had habits that would make Kate Moss blush.

It is an horrific description of the devastation being wreaked on the people of Colombia, the country that supplies 80 per cent of our cocaine.

The devastation being wreaked on the people of Colombia is slight compared to the hell that has been unleashed in Iraq, supported to the hilt by propaganda from the Sun, as well as every other News Corp publication. It's alright though, as long as Harry isn't killed by al-Qaida operatives based on websites devoted Omar Bakri Muhammad, he'll sort out the mess in double quick time.

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