Thursday, March 31, 2011

Al Qaeda's Number 3 Is Back, And This Time He's Libyan

The Cable's Josh Rogan reports that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), is not on board with any administration decision to arm the Libyan rebels.

Rogers wouldn't confirm or deny the report that Obama issued what's known as a "presidential finding" authorizing the intelligence community to begin broadly supporting the Libyan rebels, because such findings are sensitive and classified. But he said that if Obama wanted to arm the rebels, the president would need Rogers' support, which he doesn't yet have.

"Any covert action that happens would have to get the sign off of the intelligence chairmen, by statute. You won't get a sign off from me," Rogers said referring to National Security Act 47. "I still think arming the rebels is a horrible idea. We don't know who they are, we only know who they are against but we don't really who they are for. We don't have a good picture of who's really in charge."

-- snip --

Rogers said he was concerned about al Qaeda's involvement with the Libya opposition.

"The number 3 guy in al Qaeda right now is Libyan. They have put a fair number of fighters into Iraq from Libya. So it is a place where al Qaeda is, [but] that doesn't mean this is an al Qaeda effort."

Number 3 is back yet again? What does it take to put that guy down for good? We've killed him four times already, most recently in June 2010:

As [Slate's] Mr. Noah noted at the time, at least four previous militants identified by American officials as the third-ranking member of Al Qaeda were captured or killed as part of the Bush administration’s effort to “decapitate” the network — Abu Zubaydah in March, 2002; Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in March, 2003; Abu Faraj al-Libbi in May, 2005; Hamza Rabia in December, 2005. Iran may also have had another former No. 3, Saif al-Adel, in custody since August 2003.

We have also repeatedly captured Number 3, but he just keeps getting away.

It does not surprise me that Number 3 is now a Libyan. We have built him up into a mythic figure, an elusive folk hero who frustrates our War on Terror. So of course he would go where the action is.

Number 3 is basically the Scarlet Pimpernel of our day. Like that original elusive hero:

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel.


Anonymous said...

Great Post TSB: It's like those damned racoons lil George "W" hunts each night in the backyard. They all look alike as they peer thru the bushes...or down from the roof! GWB

The Snake's Mommy said...

Give Number 3 a little time and he'll soon join the cult who are tweeting the location of their encounters with the fictional pop culture/twitter phenomenon Bronx Zoo Cobra. She has close to 200,000 followers in 3 days. Stunning.

I'm preoccupied keeping my python off the grid but trust I'm scrutinizing the Cobra cult by the minute, so if Number 3 pops up, I'll let you know!

TSB said...

You know, al-Qaeda Number 3 just might turn up on Twitter. But I think someone who has spent so much time in caves would be depressed by the whole idea of zoos.

Anonymous said...

TSB: The President didn't throw out
the first pitch today because he had to meet with The Secretary of State.
I know that might not sound important
but my guess is that Plan A in Libya isn't working out too well and somebody is worried??

Have you been able to get any less confused than the rest of us about the strategy yet?? GWB

TSB said...


The thinking around here is that Obama won't throw out any more pitches because he looked so preposterous when he did it last year. He 'throws like a girl' even more than most girls do.

Strategy? If there is a strategy, it might be this: when you avoid having a goal, no one can say you've failed to achieve it.

Anonymous said...

TSB: I was thinking about what you said about the former Libyan General
from Fairfax not being a CIA asset.
Aren't they recruiting now for Libya?
Never to late to pick up a check and become a valuable player. And you are right. Obama is no hurler! Hillary probably talked him out of it. GWB

Anonymous said...

TSB: My wife says Obama doesn't throw like a girl. He throws like he makes decisions!.... slow and indecisive.