Is Al Qaeda Over-Rated?

Is al-Qaeda Over-Rated?


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Marauder06

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http://www.newsweek.com/id/135654

Al Qaeda just isn't the existential-twilight-struggle threat it's often cracked up to be.

"I reject the notion that Al Qaeda is waiting for 'the big one' or holding back an attack," Sheehan writes. "A terrorist cell capable of attacking doesn't sit and wait for some more opportune moment. It's not their style, nor is it in the best interest of their operational security. Delaying an attack gives law enforcement more time to detect a plot or penetrate the organization."

Is al Qaeda over-rated? What do you think?
 

SpitfireV

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No, I don't think so. The amount of support they give as well as their own operations shows this.

I do think they are a different threat to what they used to be though.
 

AWP

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They aren't as capable as they once were, but we have a LOT of things to thank for that. If they aren't the biggest threat, then who is?
 

RackMaster

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I don't think there is an individual "biggest" threat any more in that arena. Because of the reduction in their individual capabilities over the years, we know they are cooperating with or letting others use their name to meet the same ends. Giving the some what cooperation between groups that previously would not have, it is just creating a larger entity of unorganized terrorism. But that's just my thoughts.
 

Marauder06

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They aren't as capable as they once were, but we have a LOT of things to thank for that. If they aren't the biggest threat, then who is?

I guess that depends on what you mean by "biggest threat," and over what period of time we're talking about.
 

car

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Part of the problem is that many people roll up all jihadists with a-Qaeda. I think they have some capabilities. One of which is their ability to use the media to agrandize their accomplishments, thus creating a more spectacular picture of an event than is actually the case.

No, they're not what they once were. But they're not to be dismissed. Like Sheehan said, somebody still needs "to crush them" wherever we find them.
 

AWP

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I guess that depends on what you mean by "biggest threat," and over what period of time we're talking about.

To me, if al-Q is over-rated then that implies there is something bigger out there.

"Biggest threat"..... whatever is capable of attacking us either with a large 9/11 style attack or repeated small attacks. I don't think that al-Q is capable of either right now.

I haven't voted on the poll yet. I'm still thinking my way through this.
 
B

Boondocksaint375

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AQ is capable and is carrying out attacks throughout the world. They also serve as the poster child for a new ideology that has attracted many to their cause. The organization has been responsible for uniting a significant number of groups and has rapidly expanded across the globe. I don't think they are over rated by any means.
 

SpitfireV

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"Biggest threat"..... whatever is capable of attacking us either with a large 9/11 style attack or repeated small attacks. I don't think that al-Q is capable of either right now.

Domestic terrorists would fit into that then, yes?
 

Marauder06

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To me, if al-Q is over-rated then that implies there is something bigger out there.

"Biggest threat"..... whatever is capable of attacking us either with a large 9/11 style attack or repeated small attacks. I don't think that al-Q is capable of either right now.

I haven't voted on the poll yet. I'm still thinking my way through this.

I haven't voted in the poll yet either, I hadn't really thought about the question until I read the article. I always just assumed they were.

I do think al Qaeda is a major threat. I think in over time China will emerge as the #1 military threat, but for a number of reasons I think that the #1 overall long-term threat to the United States of America as we currently know it is... illegal immigration.
 

0699

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I think they're more dangerous for their ideology than for their actions.
 
S

Simmerin' SigO

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I voted "yes"

They are over-rated because they enjoy certain protections and near-immunity from counteraction. Therefore, their "global affect/effect" is in part a product of the duplicity (intended or not) of others.

Were we to kick it up a notch and go after them, in all their havens, and pursue them relentlessly, then I don't know that they'd be as much the bogeymen.
 

JBS

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What 0699 said.

IMO, they are overrated, but still need to be crushed.

Sun Tzu warned of underestimating even the most feeble, or numerically inferior of foes.
 

pardus

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What 0699 said.

IMO, they are overrated, but still need to be crushed.

Sun Tzu warned of underestimating even the most feeble, or numerically inferior of foes.

So you quote Sun Tzu then ignore his advice? :uhh: LOL
 

JBS

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Over-Rated is not exactly a precise term; its rather subjective.

To me, an example of that would be a football team that gets media coverage and hype, but at the big game, with 50,000 people watching, they utterly lose the match.

Afterwards, everyone says the same thing about them: "overrated".

They certainly are capable of mayhem, and they are capable of extreme violence. Part of why they are still around, however, is their ability to take advantage of media, and leverage religion to get new recruits.

Take away their ability to manipulate the media, and they would be severely handicapped- having to resort, instead, to more primitive means of recruitment (which is inherently less productive). Like the hypothetical football team, or the loud-mouth boxer, they rely on hype and media to get attention for their cause.


For these reasons I say they are both "over rated" (in terms of hype and media), and yet still dangerous enough to be worthy of a committed and dedicated offensive effort. They've already demonstrated the capability to do great damage if left unchallenged. Those two views aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.
 

AWP

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Michael Chertoff seems to think they are:
"Someone described Hezbollah like the A-team of terrorists, in terms of capabilities, in terms of range of weapons they have, in terms of internal discipline," Chertoff told FOX News. "To be honest, they make Al Qaeda look like a minor league team.

"They have been more disciplined, and they've been in some senses more restrained in the kinds of attacks they carry out... in recent years, but that's not something we can take for granted," he warned.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,359594,00.html
 

JBS

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I misread your quote initially...

Freefalling said:
Michael Chertoff seems to think they (al Qaeda) are (overrated):


Hezbollah is a potentially greater threat than AQ in a strategic sense too, in that they seem to find much more sympathy in the mainstream Islamic community than AQ does.
 
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