To Our Troops: Good Hunting


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fedlaw
August 8, 2005, 11:26 PM
http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=1068

Osama bin Laden Looks Like Heading for Iraq

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

August 8, 2005, 11:52 PM (GMT+02:00)

Coded electronic signals bandied in recent days among al Qaeda Middle Eastern elements across secret Internet sites all carry the same message: the supreme leader, Osama bin Laden, has come out of hiding in Afghanistan and set out, or is about to set out, for Iraq. This is the sense gained from this correspondence by DEBKAfile’s exclusive counter-terror sources.

Some of the signals schedule his date of arrival as the second half of September when Ramadan is estimated to begin. His arrival in Iraq is planned to signal the launching of the biggest offensive his organization has ever launched against the US army. If these signals are a true representation of bin Laden’s plans and not a red herring, what is planned is a dramatic landmark battle in the global war on terror and the Iraqi conflict.

The signals cap a secret exchange of messages in recent weeks in which al Qaeda’s Iraq commander Abu Musab al –Zarqawi attempted to persuade bin Laden to leave Afghanistan and take command of the Ramadan offensive in Iraq. Zarqawi argued the importance of his transferring from Afghanistan to Iraq on two grounds: to boost al Qaeda’s standing as it embarks on an “offensive whose scale and importance rival the September 2001 operation.” and in the interests of his own personal safety.

Zarqawi stressed, according to our sources, that bin Laden will be safer in Iraq than in Afghanistan – an indication of Jordanian terrorist’s inflated self-confidence.

DEBKAfile and DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s experts have authenticated the messages as emanating from Zarqawi. Their secret contents have begun to leak out and set up a huge flap in al Qaeda networks, cells and affiliates in many countries and talk of “a new jihad to honor the leader.”

If bin Laden was indeed swayed by Zarqawi and aims to reach Iraq by mid-September, he has little time to lose and must already have set out on his winding secret journey, or be about to depart. One of his options would be the long way round through Pakistani and Iranian Baluchistan and across the border into Iraq.

But there is an alternative route from Pakistan which he might find easier. DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources revealed last May that al Qaeda had established a new marine base in the remote Gawatar Bay, a Persian Gulf inlet down the middle of which runs the Pakistani-Iranian border. Al Qaeda operatives are known to be active on both shores – on the Pakistani side, they use as sanctuaries the Baluchi villages strung along the River Dasht which empties into the divided bay; on the Iranian side, the move around the Baluchi port of Chah-Bahar (Bandar Beheshti).

From both these places, al Qaeda has for months been running a sea corridor of smugglers’ vessels into the southern Iraqi port of Basra. There, they clandestinely drop arms and fighters and collect injured men on the return trip for treatment in Pakistan.

Al Qaeda’s marine traffic from Baluchistan was first revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 211 on June 24.

To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE .

The al Qaeda leader may choose to enter Iraq by sea rather than take the long, overland route, in which case his people will have arrived at Gawatar Bay and making preparations for his journey. He would have reason to believe it is safer. Intelligence of al Qaeda’s Baluchi sea smugglers has reached the American and British naval forces operating in the northern reaches of the Persian Gulf, the Shatt al Arb, Basra and the southern Iraqi oil terminals. Yet neither has been able to put a stop to the traffic.

Bin Laden has proved himself an undercover escape artist par excellence. In the five years since he escaped the Bora Bora siege, he and his party, including his close tribe, have managed to flit from place to place undetected - even when his pursuers were close and watching out for him.

If he does indeed make it to Iraq, the public airing of his presence in the Land of the Two Rivers, would have a radical impact on the nature of the Iraq conflict. No longer a mere guerrilla campaign, it would escalate to a full-scale fight to the finish against al Qaeda in Iraq, analogous to the all-out hostilities in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden’s organization has begun referring to the Iraq conflict in these ultimate terms.

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Marshall
August 8, 2005, 11:41 PM
Hmmmm.

I have multiple thoughts. One is, let him come. Let the Jihad of all Jihad's happen in Iraq. Maybe it will give us the excuse we need to clean up shop in a larger more aggressive way. That is, if he makes it to Iraq.

Another thought is, this is all BS. He may be feeling the heat in Afghanistan and is planting seeds.

Rebar
August 8, 2005, 11:54 PM
If these signals are a true representation of bin Laden’s plans and not a red herring
I call red herring on this one. In Northern tribal Pakastan, he can rely on the people to protect him and maintain his secrecy. In Iraq, the people are good and tired of the terrorists, and would turn him in or shoot him themselves. In Pakistan he just has to watch out for the preditor drones, in Iraq he'd face a gauntlet of dangers. He's not so stupid to risk it, this is misinformation.

Farnham
August 9, 2005, 12:01 AM
Wouldn't it be cool if some Coastie in a rowboat just south of the Shatt Al Arab put a 9mm bullet or ten in Osama?

Good hunting, Go Navy!

S/F

Farnham

Koobuh
August 9, 2005, 02:57 AM
That was the sound of hundreds of Marines collectively licking their chops in anticipation of a 'Ramadan Offensive' led by Bin Laden.

Meh, more likely the heat's on his trail and he's trying to divert attention to the border crossings nearby Iraq.

Art Eatman
August 9, 2005, 01:29 PM
StratFor has an Intelligence Analysis out about Al Qaida and its needs.

The gist is that the time is near for an effort similar to the Nazi's battle of the bulge, or the Tet offensive. That is, they're in trouble and need to do something major "or else"

They've failed at gaining revolution to Sharia in their targeted Moslem countries, for instance. There is growing resistance from governments in those countries.

The various plotters and schemers who would set off bombs in London and elsewwhere are being caught, or else the bombs themselves aren't of previous effectiveness.

Without some big PR success, Al Qaida is in deep doo-doo. Thus it makes sense that OBL might be setting up for a dramatic, symbolic grand effort.

Art

TheEgg
August 9, 2005, 01:32 PM
DEBKAfile

In my opinion -- low credibility source.

Balog
August 9, 2005, 02:02 PM
I may have missed Fallujah, but maybe the lil buggers will try this while I'm around. So much better than chasing ghosts who remote detonated an IED from a few clicks away.

Rebar
August 9, 2005, 02:18 PM
The gist is that the time is near for an effort similar to the Nazi's battle of the bulge, or the Tet offensive. That is, they're in trouble and need to do something major "or else"
That does seem logical. They've lost the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people, if they even had it to begin with. They lose every time they go against the US military, and are reduced to targeting civilians, which makes them even more unpopular.

If you look at the Tet offensive, it was a major defeat for the communists militarally, but a victory propaganda wise in America. Surely the terrorists know that they'll be massacred if they do a similar attack. The question is: do they think they could score the same kind of propaganda victory or not?

Henry Bowman
August 9, 2005, 02:36 PM
The question is: do they think they could score the same kind of propaganda victory or not? All observable signs (in the MSM) indicate yes.

Rebar
August 9, 2005, 02:49 PM
All observable signs (in the MSM) indicate yes.
Agreed.

Wouldn't it be something if, goaded by the MSM eager to give a propaganda victory to them, the terrorists do perform a Tet offensive, are destroyed, then the new media steals the propaganda victory from them?

And actually useful, if unwitting, function for the MSM.

Daemon688
August 9, 2005, 02:50 PM
I don't think that the PR they get from an offensive will change things. Just look at how Fallujah turned out. The only thing they have as an advantage is time. The longer we are over there the more discontent at home.

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