(originally posted on September 14 2012 on Google+ by Pieter Van Ostaeyen)
How al-Qaeda seems to be testing the newborn “democracies” in the Middle East
First the facts.
A video is published on Jihadist sites wherein Ayman al-Zawahiri admits that his second in command, the Lybian Abu Yahyah al-Libi, was killed in a US drone attack several months ago. As usual he warns the West that repercussions will be grave.
Mysteriously a video is suddenly posted on YouTube. It’s an excerpt of a two hour movie made by an Egyptian Copth, deliberately attacking the prophet Muhammad and Islam. Strange thing is that this video is more than half a year old and nobody cared about it earlier.
As soon as published, people like Muhammad al-Zawahiri, (brother of) who happens to be in Cairo, start calling around and spreading the explicit demand toward all righteous Muslims to join in a protest at the US embassy. Several hours later the mob takes down the Stars and Stripes and replaces it with what is commonly known as the al-Qaeda banner. (actually it’s just a black flag with the words “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet”)
This news spreads around amazingly fast via all kinds of media. The message is that the West is attacking Islam all over again.
This news reaches groups like Ansar al-Sharia (Saviours of the Holy Law) and other Islamist groups in neighboring Lybia. The green light is on.
Several hours later, news is spread about heavy attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, Lybia. No details, just the usual fog of war.
Around 10 am (GMT+1) the first rumors are spread via social media that Christopher Stevens, US Ambassador in Lybia, was killed in the attack. Some gruesome pics of his body being dragged around by some Lybians are posted on Facebook and twitter.
Meanwhile the protests spread like fire, as I anticipated it doesn’t take long before Islamists in neighboring countries organize protests against the USA.
September 13th and September 14th:
The rage spreads throughout the Arab and Islamic world. As far as reported US embassies and consulates are under (threat of) attack in Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen, Sudan, Pakistan, … And the list will most definitely grow. This will grow bigger before it might even stop.
Now my interpretation of this all:
Al-Qaeda was seriously crippled by the death of Usama bin Laden and especially by the successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and the semi-failed one in Lybia. Where hope lived that Islamists could gain power by democratic elections, it turned out otherwise for them. They had to do something to put the new regimes to the test.
This was building up. The attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was probably planned carefully by al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia in Lybia and the al-Qaeda top. We all know how emotionally Muslims can react on an offense against the Prophet Muhammad (proven by the movie Fitna, the Muhammad cartoons, …)
So al-Zawahiri and his companions picked in on this fact. They probably planned this for months on how to take out a US ambassador (Lybia was easy because of the lack of government power) and where to hit him best. They just needed something that would disguise it all as a Muslim uprising and not just a terrorist attack.
They found it perfectly in this obscure movie. It wouldn’t surprise me if al-Zawahiri himself pushed the “publish on YouTube” button.
I wonder what the next days and weeks will bring us, but I am very afraid that we are back were we started exactly 11 years ago. (isn’t it just a coincidence that everything started on September 11th ?)
In the meanwhile the Syrian people pay the price, Bashar al -Assad must be very pleased with these new troubles; he just received a blanco cheque of his enemies to continue the slaughter
These are just my ideas and my interpretation of what’s going on. If you feel in any way offended or disagree please react