Terror Investors Might Want to Look Elsewhere
Today’s Blogger Roundtable interview was with Rear Admiral Greg Smith, Chief, Public Affairs, Communication Division, Strategic Effects, Multi-National Force-Iraq, and MNFI Spokesman.
The staff provided us with a variety of materials illustrating the current state of al-Qaeda – Iraq.
My question went to the unusual amount of paperwork that AQ generates, as compared to traditional terror organizations such as the IRA. We’re recovering job applications, membership rosters, lists of activities and places where IED’s have been placed. That’s very unusual.
The Admiral described it as pure economics. The AQ cells have to justify this month’s money in order to receive next month’s and there is a detailed reporting mechanism. Continued funding, and possible increased funding and promotion depend upon the activity reports.
While AQ cells are raising money through criminal activities such as extortion, theft, etc., the money coming from foreign investors in terror is very important. Given the significant losses in territory and personnel in the last year, Admiral Smith suggested that terror investors are looking to invest their money other places.
al-Masri, the leader of AQI, is still in Iraq, according to the Admiral. There are communications between AQ Afghanistan/Pakistan and AQI but the operations are ordered at the local or regional level. The local emirs are free to stage their attacks as they wish, but are answerable for the money used.
AQI seems to have adopted, in part, the free market notion that competition breeds success. Its top agents get there by being more successful than their counterparts thus receiving more resources. In a declining market, Iraq, the competition must be getting fierce.
Q Good afternoon, Admiral.
Al Qaeda presents me with a curiosity that I haven’t seen in other
terrorist organizations. They seem to be very bureaucratic: job
applications, rosters of members, detailed inventories, things like that that we
can exploit when we capture them. Not the way the IRA ran things or the Red
Army faction or any of the other terror groups.
Could you speak to why you think that they feel the need to make a
list and check it twice?
ADM. SMITH: Well, it’s to this reason. They obviously work in a very
cellular nature, as you know. And they are being held responsible for the
monies being sent to them to carry out the activities that they’re charged with.
So if you’re running a sniper cell then you keep very, very good books as to who
you kill because at the end of the month you turn in that log sheet — very
detailed summaries, pictures, supporting evidence — and that’s how you earn
your paycheck for the next month. In fact, that may be how your small cell or
network rose in stature within the great al Qaeda world, because you become
someone that can get the job done, and money flows your way.
Q So it’s not a traditionally organized terrorist structure?
ADM. SMITH: No it’s not. Don’t look at it from a central bookkeeping
point of view as much of it is as in the individual parts justifying exactly how
they’re operating to the efficiency of whatever this twisted ideology they’re
working under in terms of murder, kidnapping and all the rest of it, for the
sole purpose of really generating the long term support of their efforts.
Because, again, the financing that comes in — and the financing works through a
network structure that then feeds the other things that cost money for al Qaeda,
whether it’s buying arms or weapons or fighters. And so if you’re in charge of
the foreign fighter facilitation network, you’re going to make more money if
you’re efficient at doing it and you’re going to demonstrate that by way of your
Q Okay, thank you.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq Update: Jan. 20 with Admiral Smith
Phantom Phoenix Update: Jan. 23 with Maj. Gen. Bergner
DoD News Briefing with Lt. Gen. Odierno from Iraq January 17 2008
DoD News Briefing, Thursday, 17 January 2008 – slides
Table of contents for Bloggers' Roundtable
- We Don’t Commute to Work Anymore
- Terror Investors Might Want to Look Elsewhere
- I Hear It’s Safe
- In Our Area the Taliban Are Paying More a Month
- Iraqi Police Progress
- Sept. 11 Conspirators Going to Trial
- Continued Courage and Committment
- The Year of Opportunity – 2008
- Competent, Capable, Effective Leadership
- Afghan Army Acts: Decisive, Overwhelming
- Iraqi Military Medical Services
- Dallas Reporting: Aid Mission to Georgia
- Military Integration Into NIMS
- Status Report From the Afghan South
- Status Report From the Afghan East
- Fourth Fleet Is About Partnerships
- Iraqi Police Primer
- Sons of Iraq Status Update
- Army Apologizes
- We Are Here!
- Yar! There Be Pirates!
- Cobra Gold 2009
- Our Best: Sergeant First Class Helen Gillespie
- Africa Partnership Station Comes to E Africa
- Building the Rule of Law in Afghanistan
- Sons of Iraq and the Iraqi Budget
- Air Force Combat Camera – Focus on the Fight
- Afghan Update for July 22, 2009
- The Army Goal: 1.5 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy
- Withdrawing from Iraq – some perspective
- Iraqi security update April 22 2010
- 2012 Federal Budget for Defense
- Pacific Command and the Pacific
This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008 at 1:00 pm and is filed under War on Terror, Iraq, Original writing, Original writing, Reporting, War on Terror. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.