When the United States Navy unceremoniously dumped the body of the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Ladin, into the ocean, President Obama announced that al-Qeada was dead along with its notorious leader. Unfortunately for the world, President Obama never reckoned with the rise of Ayman Zawahiri to the leadership of Al-Qaeda.
Actually, Ayman Zawahiri has been there ever since he merged his Egyptian Islamic Jihad with al-Qaeda in 1998. He is the philosophical genius behind the lethal religious dogma of al-Qaeda. While Bin Ladin was the money man and the figure head, it has always been Zawahiri who created the doctrine, used the Qur’an to justify the murder of innocents, and gave the group its intense focus on waging an endless Jihad to make Islam supreme over all other faiths. Even Bin Ladin’s hand picked biographer referred to Zawahiri as the “real brains of al-Qaeda.”
Zawahiri spares no one from his religious fervor or his rage. Sadly, the fruits of his efforts have killed more innocent Muslims than “evil infidels.” Zawahiri has a relentless hatred for any Muslim who doesn’t meet his standards for piety and dedication to Jihad. Tales run rampant about the al-Qaeda members executed on the orders of Zawahiri for failing to meet his expectations.
Western journalists still refuse to take Zawahiri seriously. Paul Cruickshank, a CNN terrorism analyst, dismissed him based on his lack of charm and charisma.
“Zawahiri has none of the charisma of bin Laden. He wants to inspire people, not just people who are joining al-Qaeda, but people who have never joined al-Qaeda and are trying to launch attacks in their name. Without bin Laden there any more, they won’t be as inspired.”
Meanwhile, the attacks continue, and al-Qaeda has their hand on the detonator of every attack. The main change is the shift of focus for the present, from the “Far Enemy” of America to the “Near Enemy” of Middle Eastern monarchs and tyrants who do not uphold the flag of Jihad or appear willing to work with Western governments. It seems the only thing that will satisfy Zawahiri an Islamic world that lives by his strict interpretation of the Qur’an, in which woman stay in their homes and wear the Niqab and every able bodied man who has reached the age of puberty wages violent Jihad until the world wide Caliphate is established.
Yesterday the UN Security Council announced another ruling, one that sounds great on paper and is largely unenforceable without starting another war in another distant nation. The Security Council added The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) to the UN’s list of al-Qaeda groups and individuals. The ever expanding list of al-Qaeda linked organizations bans MUJAO and its affilates from travel and freezes any assets of the organization that are somehow discovered. Tracing the money and identifying the members is a largely futile effort given the fear the terrorists inspire and the impenetrable network of Islamic charities they exploit to move their funds.
MUJAO has turned the once peaceful nation of Mali into a battlefield. The Islamists are terrorizing everyone, even local Muslims who once again fail to meet some bizarre test of piety. Draconian punishments including public flogging and amputations of limbs have been imposed everywhere the Jihadis appear. Even the graves of devout Muslims have been violated due to the accusation of idolatry. The famous and irreplaceable library of Timbuktu has earned the wrath of these fanatics, and the last of the world’s great storehouses of priceless historical documents is in danger of complete destruction. Once again, the world is bearing the bitter fruits of the endless rage of Ayman Zawahiri and his fanatical, murderous followers.
The idea of negotiating with such an individual is simply a waste of oxygen. Reason and compromise do not enter into the discussion. Ayman Zawahiri has spent his entire life studying his religion with the finest minds in Islam, and he rationalizes his every thought and action based on his own understanding of what he feels are sacred teachings directly from the mouth of God. How one would negotiate with such a man is a question that no one can answer.
The world must realize that al-Qaeda is alive and well, and, as far Ayman Zawahiri is concerned, his Jihad is mandatory and eternal. Most sane individuals, including the vast majority of peace loving Muslims who are tired of being blamed for the behavior of fanatics, are hoping that Ayman Zawahiri meets the same end as Osama Bin Ladin and the sooner the better.