Al-Qaeda: Fighting On

A message purportedly from al-Qaeda states that they are still valiantly hanging on in their struggle to remain deadly:

Al-Qaeda vowed in its Thursday statement to continue fighting the Saudi government and its Western supporters, swearing to “take revenge on anyone who fights the faith and its people, or stands as a line of defence for the Crusader forces”. … The alleged al-Qaeda statement, a copy of which was emailed to The Associated Press today, also said government forces detained one of its members, Khaled al-Juwaiser al-Farraj, and that al-Farraj’s father was wounded in a shootout with security forces, but that the rest of the group escaped.
The Interior Ministry, said, however, that al-Farraj’s father was killed – but not by security agents.

This statement followed either (a) a deadly shootout with Saudi security forces, or (b) an ambush on them by al-Qaeda, depending on who’s doing the talking. It underscores the recent trend of al-Qaeda of focusing on governments in the near area of Afghanistan and Iraq, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, attacking Muslims rather than those outside the ummah. Historically, though, religious zealots always seem to save their worst punishments for their brethren who, in their judgment, fail to meet the zealots’ exacting standards.
Despite their zeal, al-Qaeda has only succeeded in driving the Saudis closer to the US, especially now that our armed forces have left their country. Since the car bombing last May, Saudi security forces have been much more energized in tracking down al-Qaeda personnel and infrastructure:

In recent months, Saudi security forces have arrested scores of terror suspects and seized large caches of weapons, ammunition and bomb-making material, spurred in part by suicide bombers’ attacks on housing compounds inhabited by foreigners last May and November. Both US and Saudi officials blamed those attacks on al-Qaeda.
The Interior Ministry said Friday that security forces raided a home in al-Saly, east of Riyadh, and confiscated a cache of weapons. A booby-trapped pickup truck, explosives and ammunition, two automatic rifles, two pistols and a computer also were seized yesterday, it said.
In a second raid in the same neighbourhood, security agents found rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, Kalashnikovs rifles, pistols, hand grenades and explosives, the ministry said.

A year ago, the Saudis were only paying lip service about being our partner in the war on terror. Literally paying, actually, to the tune of $5 million a year, for advertising in the US about their friendship with the American people. Since May and especially since November, at least part of their government has gotten serious about the friendship. Let’s hope it continues. Al-Qaeda is certainly doing their part.