Five Al-Qa’eda Terrorists Killed in Kuwait

Al-Qa’eda men killed in Kuwait (Telegraph)

Kuwait passed emergency anti-terrorism laws yesterday that granted police wider search powers after foiling a plot to bomb an American residential complex and breaking up an al-Qa’eda cell. A seven-hour closed session of parliament discussed ways of meeting a new threat from the terrorists, who appear to have turned their focus on Kuwait following a series of setbacks in Saudi Arabia.

Parliament convened the day after five al-Qa’eda militants were killed and three, including their suspected leader, were captured. Security forces said the group were part of a 24-member cell that had been virtually eliminated in four gun battles in the last month. Eight terrorists had been killed and 14 captured. Two were still on the run.

Police discovered plans to bomb the Alia-Ghalia apartment complex, also known as Fintas Towers, twin high-rise buildings overlooking the sea south of the capital.

Interesting. Ed Morrissey adds this insight:

Apparently, AQ has found the going a bit too tough in Saudi Arabia these days. Either the Saudi security forces’ get-tough policy really works, or the Saudis might have bought them off, although that seems very unlikely to me. (If they did, AQ leadership certainly blew their investment in this cell.) That alone qualifies as a victory, driving AQ from the holy land that they originally formed to protect from American infidels. Choosing Kuwait as its next target shouldn’t surprise anyone. Kuwait has stood outside of mainstream Arab opinion by allying with their American and British liberators, a position that guaranteed a feud with Islamists. However, AQ does not appear to have been terribly successful in establishing its cell, at least in this case, which points to a lack of effective leadership.

A good point. While al Qaeda has demonstrated that terrorist organizations can thrive in the absence of state sponsorship, they still need to establish themselves inside states to have places from which to plan, train, and organize. They’ve lost Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia and are barely holding on in Iraq. Eventually, they’ll run out of hiding places–especially if our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan persuade governments that even tacitly sheltering the group will have consequences.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. ScottJ says:

    Ya think this might have been part of the Bush plan from the beginning?
    I remember his comments about hunting them down wherever we found them brought derisive comments from the left about the “cowboy” and his simple thought processes.
    Seems pretty simple to me. Chase them so that they can’t plan and execute, and continue to chase them until you catch them.