Al Qaeda is a Terrorist Group… and a Guerrilla Group


Foreign Policy mag’s War on Error article spends a good deal of time parsing the relationship between Al Qaeda and its affiliates. Most of the wordage in the article is unnecessary.

Al Qaeda, as we know it, was always meant as a base, the core that it takes its name from, a revolutionary vanguard to inspire a worldwide movement. The current situation is what it wanted all along.

The article similarly treats the fact that Al Qaeda is moving from terrorism to a larger scale insurgency as a significant revelation. It’s not.

This is the standard path for terrorist groups which begin with terrorist attacks and then try to carve out territories they control and recruit larger forces so that they can become guerrilla movements. All this has already happened with Hamas and Hezbollah.

Lefty critics have tried to make hay out of Al Qaeda’s unstable command structure suggesting that it doesn’t really exist. Again, a brief look at the history of terrorist and insurgent groups shows that this is more common than not. Al Qaeda has never been all that stable. It was always patched together and that’s true of a lot of non-Muslim terrorist groups as well.

Terrorism however is a tactic. Al Qaeda is not conflicted about whether it’s a terrorist group the way that Western pundits are. It sees itself as a classic Jihadist fighting group which uses terrorism and more conventional armed warfare as ways to achieve its religious goals.

Whether Al Qaeda engages in terrorism or armed insurgency depends on context, not identity or philosophy. Al Qaeda doesn’t yet have the manpower and firepower to engage in an insurgency in the UK or the US, so it engages in terrorism. It does have the manpower in Iraq, Syria and Yemen so it engages in something closer to armed warfare.

The term terrorism carries special meaning for the West, but true Muslim armies don’t observe any human rights and commit atrocities regardless of whether they are setting off bombs while pretending to be civilians or moving in bands and beheading civilians. That’s the legacy of Mohammed’s murderous conquests.

Al Qaeda engages in terrorism, it engages in insurgency and it runs towns and villages like a government depending on how much power it has at a given time and place. Its goal is the latter. It wants to be a government. Terrorism and armed warfare are a means to taking over and imposing Islamic law.

These are all just different means of killing people.

  • georgacollins

    You Nailed it, Daniel. Good.

  • GSR

    Spot on analysis!

  • Arizona

    AL-Qaeda was a CIA, code name of the osama bin ladin group who were fighting the russians in afganistan in the 1980’s,THEY WERE STARTED BY THE US STATE DEPARTMENT OF TERROR,and were on american payroll,AND “STILL ARE TO THIS DAY”,every bloodbath they do is completely supported by AMERICAN TAX PAYERS,who pay their wages,DO YOUR HOMEWORK, america supports the death of children everywhere in the WORLD,but you got a problem now,THE INTERNET has let the cat out of the bag,and now their here in america,and their NOT happy with you morons killing their children,THEY figured out who’s behind bombing everyone,AND THEY HAVE COME TO DESTROY YOU FOR IT,and they will,YOU wanted open BORDERS,well their here now,thanks idiots………………

    • A Z

      The war in Afghanistan was won by 1986. Al Qaeda got formed around 1987. The CIA did not create Al Qaeda.

      CIA aid was distributed by the ISI. The ISI were the middle men. So stop with your conspiracy theories. You have not done your homework.

      ‘It assumed responsibility for the “Afghan Services bureau” for recruiting and instructing foreign volunteers.’ p 92 “Tactics of the Crescent Moon”

      For whatever reason, guerilla leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar –
      a fundamentalist internationalist” – may have received the lion’s share of the aid.” p 91 “Tactics of the Crescent Moon”

      Read “Charlie Wilson’s War” by George Crile or the “Looming Tower” by Lawrence Wright

  • A Z

    This might seem like a victory for people who are anti-Al Qaeda, but it is not.

    It is a defeat. It is as much a defeat as when Eric Holder leaves the Justice department. it give the the side respite. they get to change the face, which represents them, but continue to do the same all stuff.

    Even the in fightng works to their favor. Some one will say “They are not a threat” & go golfing.

    Al Qaeda’s chief representative in Syria reportedly killed

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Actually, AQ is comprised of loosely affiliated groups of jihadists dedicated to fighting jihad (holy war) violently as opposed to non-violently as the vast overwhelming majority of Muslims do. They are not terrorists per se; they are jihadists fighting a holy war in the cause of Allah to ultimately make Islam supreme. However, their means of waging jihad happens to be through violence.

    Meanwhile, a holy war relative to terrorism is a much more profound issue, and to illustrate that point, non-violent jihad through mass Muslim immigration to the infidel world, for instance, represents an exponentially far greater threat to the continued freedom of the world relative to AQ or any other violent groups of jihadists.

    However, because the world has become transfixed on fighting a so-called “War on Terror” instead of a war to defeat jihad, at the same time that our troops are chasing down hydra-headed violent jihadists in far away places like Afghanistan, we are letting millions of non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadists through the front door to migrate and infiltrate into our countries.

    Indeed, while this writer is totally obsessed primarily with violence and targeting so-called terrorists in far away places that he foolishly morally equates with non-Muslim terrorists, I, on the other hand, are far more concerned about the millions of non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadists we are allowing to infiltrate our countries through the front door in the spirit of PC multiculturalism, as again that represents an exponentially far greater threat relative to so-called terrorists.

    The solution to our jihad problem isn’t rocket science: ban and reverse mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage ASAP and then isolate the Islamic world. If there are no Muslims inside our country, violent and non-violent jihad becomes impossible. Indeed, without the infiltration of America, the 9/11 violent jihad attacks would have been absolutely impossible.

    And if the case is the infidel world can’t do without oil from the Middle East, then lets pool our resources and take it away from them. As a matter of fact, since they use the profits derived there of to fund and wage jihad, they should be deprived of that resource anyway.

    It is not really that difficult of a problem to solve. We just need to look at the problem in the correct way. Indeed, so for the so-called “War on Terror” has been an unmitigated disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan that has cost the taxpayers trillions of dollars with absolutely nothing whatsoever to show for it in return, with the exception of the creation of two Islamic totalitarian, i.e., Sharia, states that were created because both political parties in America are totally oblivious to the realities of Islam thanks to the farce of PC multiculturalism.