Allen B. West

The monster grows: al-Qaida in Yemen announces support for ISIS

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Back when I was growing up in Atlanta we would play pickup basketball games at the local courts. There would be two fellas picked as team leaders and they would pick their team members from the guys sitting on the side. If you were winning, you kept the same team while someone would call “next” in order to put together the next team to challenge the winners. The point was that you always wanted to associate with the winning team and be picked among the most capable in order to win.

And so it goes in the very deadly game of pickup called Islamic jihadism — seems ISIS is the winning team with whom everybody else wants to play.

Despite their initial concerns that ISIS was even too violent for al-Qaida, the al-Qaida branch in Yemen wants to be part of the team.

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As reported by CNS News, “The world’s two most dangerous Islamic terror groups appear to be joining forces. A statement purportedly by al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based branch — al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula — expresses support for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL), the Yemen Times reported on Tuesday. “We announce solidarity with our Muslim brothers in Iraq against the crusade. Their blood and injuries are ours and we will surely support them,” the newspaper quoted the AQAP statement as saying. “We stand by the side of our Muslim brothers in Iraq against the American and Iranian conspiracy and their agents of the apostate Gulf rulers.”

Yes, AQAP, you know, those guys who were on the run and decimated. The axis of evil now forming threatens the entire concept of global security. We already reported here that in the Philippines, Abu Sayyaf and in Indonesia, Jemaat al-Islamiyah, are also pledging allegiance to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This is what happens when politics and campaign promises outweigh strategic vision and truth: the enemy gains strength and momentum.

Right before our eyes, we’re watching a repeat of the Taliban-al-Qaida alliance that established itself in Afghanistan – the last time was on President Clinton’s watch, now on Barack Hussein Obama’s. But ISIS is far more serious because of its financial viability and its extensive – and successful – recruiting program which extends into western countries.

Al-Qaida’s statement went on to offer ISIS fighters tips on how to avoid airstrikes, like those President Obama ordered against the jihadists in northern Iraq 12 days ago. “Based on our experience with drones, we advise our brothers in Iraq to be cautious about spies among them because they are a key factor in setting goals; be cautious about dealing with cell phones and internet networks; do not gather in large numbers or move in large convoys; spread in farms or hide under trees in the case of loud humming of warplanes; and dig sophisticated trenches because they reduce the impact of shelling,” the statement said.

In other words, AQAP is sharing lessons learned and tactics, techniques, and procedures to defeat drone technology and strikes with ISIS. This is why Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s decision to cancel the US Air Force A-10 close air support platform is mindless. And we must realize the longer we dither, the more ISIS fortifies its defenses and better prepares against assaults. This is precisely why I recommend developing an aerial task force which can perform the full spectrum of air campaign operations from close air support, to air interdiction, to strategic bombing.

No doubt we will see an internal struggle for the true Islamic jihadist leadership. CNS reports “an AQAP statement in support of ISIS would be significant since al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri publicly disavowed ISIS last year, after al-Badri made a bid for leadership of all al-Qaida elements among the anti-Assad forces in Syria. Yemen Times quoted a Yemeni strategic affairs specialist as saying some AQAP members were in Syria and Iraq, affiliated with ISIS, while some ISIS gunmen were training al-Qaida fighters in Yemen. Saeed Al-Jamhi said AQAP appeared to be divided over ISIS, with one faction supporting it and another not.”

We may also see a deadly race for viability and relevance as al-Qaida may execute terror attacks to maintain influence, prestige and power. It’s like rival gangs bidding for top billing in order to build recruiting – but they won’t be killing each other. They’ll be going after us.

So far all President Obama has promised is to bring those who murdered James Wright Foley to justice and he’ll be initiating an FBI-type investigation. Heck, let’s just resurrect Peter Falk and send him in as Columbo (dating myself there, I know).

It really does amaze me. Islamic terrorists are committing genocide against Christians and religious minorities. They just beheaded an American, videoed the whole thing and posted it YouTube. And Obama talks about forming a coalition to condemn this action. Yep, that’s hope and change.

Doggone, how did ISIS get so freakin’ lucky to come along right when America has the worst and weakest president ever?

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