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Al Qaeda on the Road to Recovery

Posted May. 15, 2003 21:39,   


Although the U.S. has been conducting its war on terrorism for 20 months now, since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the main enemy al Qaeda seems to have gotten stronger.


The LA Times reported the following on May 14 quoting an analysis by U.S. and Saudi officials. According to the analysis, the bombings at the expatriate compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 12 were sophisticatedly planned and well organized attacks.

It seems that it took a mere 30 seconds to a minute for the terrorist group to place the bombs in Riyadh and indicating that al Qaeda knew virtually all of the security arrangements at the housing complex, one that maintains a fairly tight security, the World Tribune, a web-based media company specializing in international relations, reported.

In addition, Worldtribune.com also reported quoting the CIA and the Pentagon`s Defense Intelligence Agency that al Qaeda has already infiltrated the Saudi military, so the terrorists could have been wearing uniforms.

”We essentially ended the war on terror a year ago, and since that time, al Qaeda has regenerate its organizational capacity back to the level it had on September 11 by replacing its leadership,” U.S. Sen. Bob Graham said.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies in England said in its report on Tuesday that al Qaeda has not been intimidated by the U.S. military successes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, more worrisome is the fact that U.S. and western intelligence agencies have hardly been able to look into the reconstructed al Qaeda network and its members, the LA Times reported.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that U.S. intelligence agencies are receiving new leads regarding future attacks by the group in Kenya, Malaysia, and the Philippines. U.S. officials believe that further attacks could also occur in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. State Department recommended that U.S. citizens traveling to Malaysia be on alert. Chris Murungaru, the National Security Minister of Kenya, said that he believes al Qaeda is preparing for further attacks in Kenya at the end of May and that Kenya is taking steps to prevent them.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said on May 13 that the suicide bombers in Saudi Arabia and Chechnya on May 12 are reportedly connected, so an more in depth investigation will be conducted.

In Chechnya, suicide bombings occurred on May 12 after the bombings on May 12 at an Islamic temple in the village of Iliskhan-Yurt, in the vicinity with Gudermes, the second largest city in the Republic. About 30 people were killed and 150 were wounded.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com