Kommentar

Selvmordsaksjonene i Irak kan bare være begynnelsen på noe som i neste omgang kan ramme Europa og andre verdensdeler. Hvis/når jihad nedkjempes i Irak, og mye tyder på at det kan skje når sunniene får nok av hjelpen utenfra, vil tusenvis av jihadister vende hjem, til Europa eller opprinnelseslandet.

Ting tyder på at det allerede holder på å skje. Både i Spania og Tyskland har det vært rullet opp celler som rekrutterer og transporterer jihadister til Irak. Den spanske innenriksministeren José Antonio Alonso bekreftet tirsdag at «hjemkomsten» har begynt:

Alonso confirmed suspicions that some of the militants recruited for duty in Iraq have begun returning to Spain and their native lands to begin operations in their native countries or adopted homelands.

One of the networks missions, he said, was harboring veterans of the Iraqi conflict who had returned home to scout for possible terrorist targets in Europe and help identify promising recruits.

Blowback er CIA-jargong, som betyr at en operasjon får en utilsiktet rekyl.

«Blowback» is a CIA term first used in March 1954 in a recently declassified report on the 1953 operation to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government’s international activities that have been kept secret from the American people. The CIA’s fears that there might ultimately be some blowback from its egregious interference in the affairs of Iran were well founded. Installing the Shah in power brought twenty-five years of tyranny and repression to the Iranian people and elicited the Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution. The staff of the American embassy in Teheran was held hostage for more than a year. This misguided «covert operation» of the US government helped convince many capable people throughout the Islamic world that the United States was an implacable enemy.

Dette fra en artikkel i venstreorienterte the Nation av Chalmer Johnson fra oktober 2001, som også så 911 som en blowback! Men da er vi over i ideologien.

Irak kan imidlertid gi en blowback, som stiller Afghanistan i skyggen, skriver Peter Bergen og Alec Reynolds i nov/des-nummeret av Foreign Affaris.

Russernes nederlag i Afghanistan ga en real blowback. Opplæringen av jihadister tok ikke slutt med tilbaketrekningen fra Afghanistan på foråret 1989. Det fortsatte utover på 90-tallet, og glir over i dannelsen av Al Qaida. Mange av terroristene som dukker opp i nyere tid, fikk sin opplæring etter at Afghanistan var befridd.

Med tiden vendte de islamske «frontkjemperne» tilbake til sine hjemland. De var en vesentlig faktor bak borgerkrigen i Algerie, som kostet over 100.000 mennesker livet. Denne krigen hadde også en offshoot i Paris, som er lett å glemme. GIA ville straffe Frankrike for støtten til Algeries myndigheter, og igangsatte terrorbombene på metroen. En klar parallell til situasjonen i Irak. Jihadistene fra Afghanistan sto også bak drapene på turister i Luxor, som torpederte Egypts turistindustri.

The Afghan experience was important for the foreign «holy warriors» for several reasons. First, they gained battlefield experience. Second, they rubbed shoulders with like-minded militants from around the Muslim world, creating a truly global network. Third, as the Soviet war wound down, they established a myriad of new jihadist organizations, from al Qaeda to the Algerian GIA to the Filipino group Abu Sayyaf.

Bergen/Reynolds påpeker at de utenlandske jihadistene spilte en forholdsvis liten rolle i Afghanistan, selv om den USA-kritiske pressen ynder å poengtere at Washington alet opp monsteret selv.

However, despite their grandiose rhetoric, the few thousand foreigners who fought in Afghanistan had only a negligible impact on the outcome of that war. Bin Laden’s Afghan Arabs began fighting the Soviet army only in 1986, six years after the Soviet invasion. It was the Afghans, drawing on the wealth of their American and Saudi sponsors, who defeated the Soviet Union. By contrast, foreign volunteers are key players in Iraq, far more potent than the Afghan Arabs ever were.

I Irak derimot spiller de utenlandske kjemperne en helt annen sentral rolle. Faren for en blowback som rammer Europa er derfor i høy grad til stede.

Several factors could make blowback from the Iraq war even more dangerous than the fallout from Afghanistan. Foreign fighters started to arrive in Iraq even before Saddam’s regime fell. They have conducted most of the suicide bombings — including some that have delivered strategic successes such as the withdrawal of the UN and most international aid organizations — and the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, another alumnus of the Afghan war, is perhaps the most effective insurgent commander in the field. Fighters in Iraq are more battle hardened than the Afghan Arabs, who fought demoralized Soviet army conscripts. They are testing themselves against arguably the best army in history, acquiring skills in their battles against coalition forces that will be far more useful for future terrorist operations than those their counterparts learned during the 1980s. Mastering how to make improvised explosive devices or how to conduct suicide operations is more relevant to urban terrorism than the conventional guerrilla tactics used against the Red Army. U.S. military commanders say that techniques perfected in Iraq have been adopted by militants in Afghanistan.

Finally, foreign involvement in the Iraqi conflict will likely lead some Iraqi nationals to become international terrorists. The Afghans were glad to have Arab money but were culturally, religiously, and psychologically removed from the Afghan Arabs; they neither joined al Qaeda nor identified with the Arabs’ radical theology. Iraqis, however, are closer culturally to the foreigners fighting in Iraq, and many will volunteer to continue other jihads even after U.S. troops depart.

Vi får håpe at den splittelsen mellom irakere og Al Qaida som er rapport den siste uken, er reell og vil vokse. Hvis irakerne avviser Al Qaida, vil det være et stort prestisjetap.

Nå spinnes nettverk som spenner over hele kloden. At europeisk-fødte muslimer dør i Irak, er høyst urovekkende. Det er dem USA frykter skal utnytte visum-friheten til å ta seg ubemerket inn i USA.

Disturbingly, some European governments are already seeing some of their citizens and resident aliens answer the call to fight in Iraq. In February, the Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. troops in Iraq had detained three French militants — and that police in Paris had arrested ten associates who were planning to join them. In June, authorities in Spain arrested 16 men, mostly Moroccans, on charges of recruiting suicide bombers for Iraq. In September, prosecutors in the United States indicted a Dutch resident, Iraqi-born Wesam al-Delaema, for conspiring to bomb U.S. convoys in Fallujah. These incidents presage danger not only for European countries, but also for the United States, since European nationals benefit from the Visa Waiver Program, which affords them relatively easy access to the United States.

But it is Saudi Arabia that will bear the brunt of the blowback. Several studies attest to the significant role Saudi nationals have played in the conflict. Of the 154 Arab fighters killed in Iraq between September 2004 and March 2005, 61 percent were from Saudi Arabia. Another report concluded that of the 235 suicide bombers named on Web sites since mid-2004 as having perpetrated attacks in Iraq, more than 50 percent were Saudi nationals. Today, the Saudi government is exporting its jihadist problem instead of dealing with it, just as the Egyptians did during the Afghan war.

Også under Afghanistan-krigen brukte de repressive arabiske regimene jihad som en ventil. Det har land som Syria, Saud-Arabia og Jemen også gjort denne gang.

Saudi-Arabia har latt imamer slå til lyd for jihad i Irak. Det samme har skriftlærde som Yusuf al-Qaradawi, den åndelige leder av Det islamske brorskapet. Myndighetene tier så lenge de ikke rammes. Det samme skjer til en viss grad i Europa. Så lenge trafikken går til Irak, og de slipper angrep på eget territorium, er det lett å lukke øynene. Det kan bli kostbart.

Foreign governments must also silence calls to jihad and deny radicals sanctuary once this war ends. After the Soviet defeat, jihadists too often found refuge in places as varied as Brooklyn and Khartoum, where radical clerics offered religious justifications for continuing jihad. To date, some governments have not taken the necessary steps to clamp down on the new generation of jihadists. Although the Saudis largely silenced their radical clerics following the terrorist attacks in Riyadh in May 2003, 26 clerics were still permitted late in 2004 to call for jihad against U.S. troops in Iraq. The United States must press the Saudi government to end these appeals and restrict its nationals from entering Iraq. In the long run, measures against radical preaching are in Riyadh’s best interest, too, since the blowback from Iraq is likely to be as painful for Saudi Arabia as the blowback from Afghanistan was for Egypt and Algeria during the 1990s.

Blowback Revisited
Peter Bergen and Alec Reynolds
From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2005 (sub only)