Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Terrorist Threat Facing Obama

According to the Associated Press, Al-Qaeda's no.2 Ayman al-Zawahiri released his first statement since the US election in which he issued a challenge to the US vis-a-vis Afghanistan and called President-elect Barack Obama a "house negro". More than just a simple insult, one can infer the subtext to this epithet to be Al-Qaeda's fear of Obama's election to the presidency of the United States harming their ability to recruit.

Ilan Goldenberg, Policy Director of the National Security Network had this to say:

Al Qaeda's narrative is now under siege and it's clearly uncertain about how to react. The election of the first African American President, one with a Muslim father, flies in the face of this narrative. It shows America as an open and tolerant society - not the oppressive empire Al Qaeda would like to portray. In fact, the overwhelmingly positive international reaction to Obama's election is proof of the the threat Al Qaeda faces.

Moreover, Zawahiri's message about Afghanistan...portrays a certain level of nervousness over an administration that is actually going to go after the real terrorist haven on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Al Qaeda viewed the invasion of Iraq as a positive creating a recruiting and training ground for terrorists.

Interesting, to say the least.

On the other hand, I'm concerned that Obama becoming the first African-American president will have the opposite effect on the efforts of militias, separatists, and hard-core, violent racist organizations here at home, in terms of recruiting and raising funds.

Let's hope not.

Happy Juneteenth!