RealNews

Al Qaeda's new young guard: a shift in tactics

Even as Osama bin Laden remains at large, Al Qaeda may be anointing new, younger leaders to carry on his cause. Some experts go so far as to call this coterie terrorism’s next generation. These men may be behind a recent wave of attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Abu Musab Zarqawi, the main suspect in this week’s bombings in Baghdad, is but 37 years old. Most of this generation looked to Mr. bin Laden for inspiration, not direction. Most trained in Al Qaeda’s Afghanistan camps. Most are so devout they have memorized the Koran. They are better educated than their predecessors – and, as independent operators, they may be more difficult to control. This new generation has emerged, government officials and outside terror experts say, as a result of both the success in prosecuting the war on terror and because of Mr. bin Laden’s planning for the future. Some two-thirds of the original Al Qaeda leadership has been captured or killed since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US. And there’s no doubt, these sources say, that bin Laden and the remaining members of his top echelon are hiding and unable to easily communicate with their followers. But, they add, bin Laden knew this might happen. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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