Obama Wrong On Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's "Rationale"
11:12 AM, Jan 6, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The tape then moves on by continuing to discuss al Shihri’s and al Awfi’s return to terrorism and provides an explicit reason for their jihadist commitment (emphasis added):
Note that the narrator does give an “explicit rationale” for the two Gitmo alumni joining up with AQAP. And what is that reason? It is to provide “aid…against this Crusade, which has come…to take over the Muslim world.” It is not “Guantanamo.”
The president’s words make it sound as if AQAP rationalizes its existence in its propaganda as a response to Guantanamo. But it is not even clear how the existence of a detention facility (not a “prison,” as the president called it) could be used as a “rationale” in the first place unless the terrorists claimed they were fighting for Gitmo’s detainees, or to close the facility, or some other similar excuse for their terror. While AQAP’s leaders mention their brethren at Gitmo, they make no such claims that Gitmo was the rationale for AQAP's formation. It is all about the Zionist-Crusader conspiracy. In reality, Gitmo is just one of many items on a long laundry list of imaginary grievances that al Qaeda uses to demonize the West.
A simple word comparison reveals just how off-base the president’s claim is. The aforementioned NEFA translation includes the words of each of the four AQAP leaders shown in the video. In the text of their diatribes, there is one (1) direct mention of Guantanamo. And this occurs in Said al Shihri’s salutation: “To my honorable nation, nation of good and honor, nation of jihad and martyrdom, may Allah reward you handsomely for me and for my brothers, the prisoners in Guantanamo -- for the time when you were a blessing to us… when you stood with us and shared our pains, and prayed for us.” Note that this isn’t even a rationale. Al Shirhi is simply asking Allah to reward the jihadist world on behalf of his fellow detainees at Gitmo.
There are also three (3) mentions of Cuba and these are of course references to Gitmo as well. Two of them occur in the following sentences, spoken by al Shihri:
Here, al Shihri is again using Gitmo not as a rationale so much as he is tying it to his condemnation of rulers in the Muslim world, which again is a common al Qaeda theme. Al Shihri explains to the “Islamic nation” that their “treacherous leaders” have “cooperated with the Americans” by “dispatching investigators to Cuba.” This should sound familiar, as al Qaeda regularly lambasts Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Saudi royal family, and other Muslim rulers. Al Qaeda tries to stir up the population against their governments because al Qaeda claims they do not represent true Muslim interests, but instead are a de facto part of the Zionist-Crusader conspiracy.