Sunday, 16 September 2007
Name Brand Islamic Terror

LATimes: WASHINGTON — Secure in its haven in northwestern Pakistan, a resurgent Al Qaeda is trying to expand its network, in some cases by executing corporate-style takeovers of regional Islamic extremist groups, according to U.S. intelligence officials and counter-terrorism experts.

Though not always successful, these moves indicate a shift in strategy by the terrorist network as it seeks to broaden its reach and renew its ability to strike Western targets, including the United States, officials and experts say.

"Certainly we do see Al Qaeda trying to influence the broader movement and to control some of these affiliates in a more direct way," said a senior counter-terrorism official in the Bush administration. "The word I would use is 'co-opt' . . . as opposed to simply associating with or encouraging.

"By that I mean target selection, types of attacks, methodology, funding, all of the things that would make an affiliate suddenly a subsidiary."[unnamed source]...

"Absolutely, we should be alarmed about this. They are creating franchises and buying franchises, offering expertise, networks, money." [Bruce Riedel a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution]...

Posted on 09/16/2007 9:20 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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