Did We Change Al-Qaeda?

Suicide bombings have become the major characteristic of Jihadi attacks around the globe – but what if that strategy, that way of attacking military as well as civilian targets is now not even necessary to cause terror and fear?

Mumbai changed al-Qaeda´s tactic. It was the multi-day stand-off, the terror assault by armed gunmen and subsequent siege of several Western targets, hotels and a Jewish culture center in India´s coastal town of Mumbai in November 2008 that made the terror network realize – the ultimate sacrifice, killing yourself while setting off just one bomb, was overrated.

Ten attackers armed with assault rifles, handgrenades, smart phones and GPS caused a massive hysteria and huge media coverage, something even beyond the effect a suicide bombing would have.

Blogger colleague Aaron Azelin wrote an interesting article about „How We Have Changed Al Qaeda“ for The Atlantic. He analyzes the fact that al-Qaeda is limited today in teaching bomb-building and providing explosive training courses to terror recruits in Waziristan. The example of Times Square Bomber Faisal Shahzad shows – foolish amateur terrorists are the result of 4-day bomb-making courses under the constant attack by CIA drones. The bombs do not work, the attacker is arrested, terror has failed.

So wouldn´t it be easier for al-Qaeda to send commando units, armed with common guns and grenades into Western cities, causing more harm and casualties than one badly prepared suicide bomber?

Read Aaron´s article here.


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