The Yemen-based branch of Al-Qaeda has vowed to continue attacks against the West such as last month’s cargo plane parcel bombs, in a “strategy of a thousand cuts” that will “bleed the enemy to death”, a monitoring group said.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said the packages it put aboard freight planes bound for the US in late October were never intended to cause mass casualties, but were aimed at creating maximum economic damage.
The group said the parcels, which were intercepted by security officials in Dubai and Britain, were part of “Operation Hemorrhage” a plan that had cost just 4,200 dollars to mount.
It said there was now little focus on large-scale mass-casualty attacks like those on New York and Washington in September 2001.
“To bring down America we do not need to strike big,” the terror network said, in an English-language magazine called Inspire which was monitored by the US-based Intel center.
“In such an environment of security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve less players and less time to launch and thus we may circumvent the security barriers America worked so hard to erect.
“This strategy of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to as the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death.”
The two parcels were addressed to synagogues in Chicago and found to contain the hard-to-detect explosive PETN hidden in ink toner cartridges.
A massive global security clampdown on airfreight followed the discovery, with a number of countries banning cargo or flights originating from Yemen, including the United States, Canada and several western European countries.
The AQAP magazine details the “total bill of 4,200″ dollars for Operation Hemorrhage, adding that it was three months in the planning and execution.
“On the other hand this… will without a doubt cost America and other Western countries billions of dollars in new security measures. This is what we call leverage.”
“It was determined that the success of the operation was to be based on two factors: The first is that the packages pass through the latest security equipment.
“The second, the spread of fear that would cause the West to invest billions of dollars in new security procedures.”
“We will continue with similar operations and we do not mind at all in this stage if they are intercepted. It is such a good bargain for us to spread fear amongst the enemy and keep him on his toes in exchange of a few months of work and a few thousand bucks.”
The magazine says AQAP intends to pass on its know-how to other radical Islamists around the world, to encourage them to mount similar operations.
“We are laying out for our enemies our plan in advance because… our objective is not maximum kill but to cause a hemorrhage in the aviation industry, an industry that is so vital for trade and transportation between the US and Europe.”
Dawood’s helping al-Qaeda ultras plot Germany attack
A group of al-Qaeda terrorists trained in Pakistani camps and assisted by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim are planning to storm Germany’s Parliament in a Mumbai-style attack, a media report has said, prompting authorities to step up security of the building.
Police have cordoned off the area around the historic Reichstag building housing Parliament here and heightened security after authorities received a tip-off that a group of militants were on their way to stage a Mumbai-style attack.
Hundreds of extra police have been pressed into service to protect other possible targets as well such as airports, railway stations and places of mass gatherings across the country.
The heightened security for the Reichstag comes after the news magazine ‘Der Spiegel’ reported that a group of six al-Qaeda terrorists, who have visited training camps in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan, are planning to storm the building housing Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, early next year.
Two of them have already arrived in Berlin six to eight weeks ago and their accomplices, a German, a Turk, a North African and an unidentified man are waiting to enter the country. Their attacks are planned for February or March next year, the magazine said.
The warning about the planned attack on the Reichstag came to the Federal Criminal Office (BKA) from a German Islamic militant, who slipped to Pakistan some time ago to receive training in the terrorist camps there and now wants to return to his family.
However, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere issued a separate warning about ‘concrete evidence’ for an attack by Islamic terrorists at the end of this month on the basis of a second tip-off received by the BKA from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the magazine said.
The US domestic intelligence service warned that a Shiite militant group called Saif had entered into a pact with al-Qaeda to carry out an attack in Germany and two men dispatched by the group were waiting to enter Germany via the UAE on November 22 with Schengen visas, Der Spiegel said.
The FBI has identified Mustaq Altaf Bin-Khadri as the mastermind behind the plot and he is assisted in getting the men across to Germany by weapons and narcotics smuggler Dawood Ibrahim, the report said.
A government spokesman yesterday declined to comment on the Spiegel report and said the government has nothing new to add beyond the warning of a possible terrorist attack this month issued by the Interior Minister.
The ‘Focus’ magazine published from Munich, meanwhile, said security authorities are investigating reports that Schengen visas may have been issued to some suspected terrorists in India, Pakistan and the UAE, possibly also with forged passports.
They include two Pakistanis, two Indians as well as two German nationals of Syrian and Moroccan origin, it said.
Dawood Ibrahim (Born Sheikh Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar; December 26, 1955), is a terrorist leader and crime boss. Dawood’s D-Company has been identified as a criminal-terrorism syndicate by the US Congress. Dawood is currently on the Interpol wanted list for organised crime and counterfeiting, besides association with Al-Qaeda as identified in UN Security Council resolutions 1822 (2008) and 1267 (1999). He was No. 4 on the Forbes 2008 list of The World’s 10 Most Wanted criminals, and no. 50 on the Forbes 2009 list of The World’s Most Powerful People.
Dawood Ibrahim is accused of heading a vast and sprawling illegal empire. After the 1993 Bombay bombings, which Ibrahim allegedly organized and financed, he became India’s most wanted man. According to the United States, Ibrahim maintains close links with al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden. As a consequence, the United States declared Dawood Ibrahim a “global terrorist” in 2003 and pursued the matter before the United Nations in an attempt to freeze his assets around the world and crack down on his operations. The Bush administration has since imposed several sanctions on Ibrahim and his associates. Indian and Russian intelligence agencies have pointed out Ibrahim’s possible involvement in several other terror attacks, including the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Pakistani authorities deny any knowledge of his whereabouts. Indian intelligence agencies, such as Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), believe that some of his addresses include House No. 37, 30th street, DHA, Karachi and White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan, and is provided protection by Pakistani intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The issue of extradition of Dawood Ibrahim is one of the major hurdles in the frosty relations between India and Pakistan.