Sunday, July 15, 2007

Clouds Looming

Much sport was made of Michael Chertoff's "gut" instinct with regards to an imminent Al Qaeda attack in the United States (or against US interests abroad). While I mentioned it in passing and may even have given it an air of snark, my own life experiences tell me to keep an eye open when someone speaks of a "gut feeling".

On the heels of that statement comes this:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden praises martyrdom as a weapon and a path to glory for Muslims in a video that CNN said on Saturday was intercepted before it was to appear on radical Islamist Web sites.

CNN, which noted it could not verify the authenticity of the 40-minute video and had translated it from Arabic into English, said on its Web site there was no indication of where or when the footage had been shot.

The news network said the video contained old clips but concluded it had been compiled in the last four weeks.
I have to admit, my gut instinct concurs with Chertoff's: something's brewing. That Al Qaeda would, for the first time since September 11th, trot out footage shot ahead of (and pretty much warning of) those attacks is a tactic I would expect a group that has shown a propensity to go back to the well when something worked.

Already in Algeria this week, we've seen not less than two seperate attacks by Al Qaeda forces in a country that for fifteen years has suffered brutal civil unrest following the nullification of an election that radical Islamist candidates were poised to win. Al Qaeda's swap out of Iraq and Sudan to an African nation is typical of the kind of misdirection play they've been known to run in the past, and may be laying the groundwork for bigger things to come, just as the assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud presaged the 9/11 attacks.

I suspect we here in the States are in for a long hot summer. I suspect President Bush will have to skip his extended vacation, as well.