Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Even as Iraqi forces take the lead in going after the depleted al Qaeda in Diyala province, the United States reports that al Qaeda in Iraq is no longer able to focus on terror alone. They must raise money, too:

The Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy has issued five reports on the documents, the latest focusing on funding and the entry and egress of outside fighters. Most were conveyed through professional smuggling networks, according to the report.

As income had dried up from foreign fighters, the group has in the past two years adopted criminal tactics against Iraqis to raise money — carjackings, kidnappings for ransom, hijacking fuel trucks, counterfeiting and demanding protection money of local businesses, the senior official told The Associated Press. Al-Qaida in Iraq's total budget is unclear, the official said.

"A year or two ago they were able to receive funds from couriers from the greater al-Qaida organization. A lot of that outside access has been cut off," the official said. "Most of the funding for al-Qaida in Iraq is now internally generated."

This is good. More time spent trying to raise money takes the jihadis away from mass murder, tarnishes the purity of their jihad, and tempts the jihadis into a criminal lifestyle rather than a jihad lifestyle. Common criminals are far easier to combat than fanatical suicide bombers.

And as a bonus, after years of not noticing that Iraq is where al Qaeda chose to fight us, is this part:

Iraq for several years has been the central battlefield between U.S. forces and al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists. But in recent months violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan has increased relative to Iraq. It is unclear whether al-Qaida has consciously decided to change its focus, or whether the shift was forced by U.S. success against the Iraqi insurgency in the past year.

Al Qaeda has been fighting their main battle against us inside Iraq for several years? Gosh!

I won't complain about the author, Pamela Hess, since my impression of her is pretty good as a reporter. But admissions such as this from our press have been rare in the rush to ignore al Qaeda in favor of painting the bombers as noble resisters of our so-called occupation.