"Unite around the jihad that is the only alternative power to the apostate regimes that dominate over our lands," Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), said in an audio speech posted on Sunday on Islamist militant websites, the SITE Intelligence Group said.
Abdul Wadud blasted the regimes in Mauritania, Algeria and other North African countries, charging that Mauritania has become "a nest of foreign intelligence" topped by Israel's Mossad.
"Mauritania... has become a nest of foreign intelligence, at its forefront the Mossad, and has become a station of crusader colonial ambition," he said, according to a SITE transcript.
"History will continue to mention that this is the first Arab country, outside of the Tawq (Arab nations surrounding Israel), that recognised the state of Israel and exchanged ambassadors with it," he said.
A nest of foreign intelligence? Why of course -- legions stand ready on the dusty streets of Nouakchott, ready to plunge their poisoned imperial daggers into the heart of Islam, as clearly laid out in the Mauritania section of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Yes! And any minute now, Jewish settlers will start pouring into Adrar and the Hodh ... although, hilltops being absent, they will have to erect their cancerous colonial spy-nests at suitable hardscrabble plains, and, well, the lack of trees and such may yet thwart their scheme to turn the city of Nouadhibou into a Black Lodge of cosmopolitan Freemasonry.
Oh well. Thing is there are people who believe this tripe, and a bit more of them than one would like to think. It is important to recall that they, not you, are his target audience. Because, you see, the thing with a terrorist communiqué is not to appeal to the masses, as commonly but erroneously believed: it is to appeal to the fringes. Droukdel's new recruits will be found among young men already deep in his own Islamist-paranoic mindset, not in the comfortably numb political center, and that is why pointing out the sheer craziness of his statement is not really an argument at all.
Especially potent here, of course, is the charge about the Mauritanian government having political connections with Israel -- it being true and all. This is not the place and time to whine about how Washington has shoved a profoundly pointless Israeli embassy down the collective Mauritanian throat as a prerequisite for its aid and support, but, let us just note in passing that it is counterproductive idiocy. It doesn't advance the Israeli-Palestinian conflict one iota, but it does hand Islamist loons the silver bullet of Mauritanian politics.
On the other hand, chopping up surrendered Muslim soldiers during Ramadan is most emphatically not how you win hearts and minds -- not in Mauritania, not elsewhere -- and it will be hard to convince anyone otherwise, no matter how many times you remind them that Mossad rules the world. AQIM, being the bastard child of the GIA, has a long and proud tradition of alienating its own base by senseless violence, and it seems they're still not quite done with it.
- Al-Qaida central on the same topic.
- The Moor Next Door: 1, 2.
- And I still urge you to read Adrian's piece on Saharan terrorism/rebellion/criminality.
- The USA freezes Millennium Change funding because of the coup. That's approximately $400 million lost to Mauritania, or about an entire year's worth of government revenue. Frankly, that's one hell of a whipping for a country this size. However, it is also a double-edged sword, because (1.) Abdelaziz's coup is judged in Mauritania by his capacity to deliver on all the economic stuff he castigated the overthrown Abdellahi for, and while he never stood much of a chance of doing significantly better anyway, this should put a nail in that coffin. On the other hand (2.) the FNDD opposition is highly vulnerable to charges by the junta, that they strenuously deny, that they are inciting foreigners to impose sanctions on the people of Mauritania.
- Washington also refuses the new foreign minister a visa, presumably meaning he can no longer lecture at Harvard.
- Long interview with Mohammed ould Maouloud, leader of the UFP opposition party (in French). Most interesting is how Maouloud, who is a hardliner within the FNDD, hints at how a compromise could look on their terms:
"Il faut que la junte renonce aux pouvoirs politiques et à ses ambitions politiques et que le président Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi et son gouvernement soient restaurés, ce qui marquera l’échec du putschisme. Par contre nous devons chercher pour le règlement de cette crise militaire, toutes les voies qui s’appliquent sur cette solution entre les partis en cause.
Maintenant il y a la crise politique qui oppose les acteurs politiques, ça c’est le jeu normal de l’institution ; on était dans ce jeu en apparence jusqu’à la fin de la session parlementaire passée. Ceux qui s’opposent au Président de la république avaient tous les moyens constitutionnels de continuer à le combattre ; c’est l’ingérence de l’armée qui a faussé le débat politique et le jeu politique. Si l’armée se retire, en ce moment la controverse politique peut trouver une solution entre les différents protagonistes politiques qui vont se rendre compte qu’il y a eu un tremblement de terre, qu’il y a eu beaucoup de dégâts, qu’il faut restaurer le système démocratique. Dans cette perspective et dans un esprit de responsabilité et de compromis, il serait envisageable d’évaluer toutes les options et de choisir celle qui est la plus avantageuse pour l’union nationale, pour la stabilité du pays et pour le renforcement de la démocratie."
(Short version: if the president is first reinstated, then we can try through normal channels to find a working arrangement between the political currents, including those presently backing the putschists -- implicitly, perhaps including a change in the presidency. But it is unacceptable and in fact impossible to attempt a compromise while the constitutional situation and electoral legitimacy remains suspended by the military.)