The True Face of Al-Qaeda

  • 23 June 2009

The statements of Al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid, to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television channel—that were aired last Sunday—once again exposed the true face of the organization and its unrelenting violent ambitions. Abu Al-Yazid clearly stated that Al-Qaeda would not hesitate from using Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, if it were able to get hands on them, in its current confrontation with the Pakistan military. This kind of talk bears many dangerous connotations. The first cause for concern is that Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations at the international level could pursue their violent campaign, even if that entails the destruction of the world—i.e. in case they are able to seize such weapons of destruction. The second worry is that the possession of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction are among the priorities of terrorist organizations, particularly Al-Qaeda. This underscores the serious importance and need for effective and serious international effort towards preventing the proliferation of such weapons and for plugging the gaps in the nuclear non-proliferation regime to prevent these weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, especially in the wake of reports on the existence of a black market on nuclear weapons and the ease with which chemical and biological weapons can be procured. The third concern is that terrorism poses a global existential threat, because extremist forces that are driven by violent ideologies and distorted understanding of religion could use weapons of mass destruction—if they poses them—at the first opportunity and could bring about a major and real catastrophe to the whole world. This again confirms the importance of wider and stronger international cooperation in confronting the danger of terrorism and the solidarity to destroy it and confront the destructive ideas and ideologies that support it. This is because it is a danger of global proportions, whose effects would extend to everybody without exception. The fourth point here is that the confrontation with forces of terrorism on the Pakistan and Afghanistan fronts is of the utmost importance in the “global war on terrorism” because Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons that Al-Qaeda has clearly stated it wants to possess. This calls for a wide-ranging and effective international support for the two governments of Islamabad and Kabul in order to achieve victory in this significant confrontation where the outcome could affect the future security and stability of the world.

It is becoming increasingly clear that terrorist movements and forces are spreading chaos, destruction and disturbances around the world for the fulfillment of their objectives and for creating conducive environment for their activities. It is also disturbing to note that as the international pressure against terrorist forces increases and the war intensifies on more than one front, terrorist forces become more radical, violent and destructive in their intent. Thus, these organizations could become more dangerous after suffering setbacks because they could resort to any means to save themselves, without any consideration of the results and consequences of their actions. For this reason, it is important to continue the confrontation with consistent resolve, energy and perseverance.