Articles

Mar 25, 2003

Script of Al Qaeda 2.0, Discovery-Times documentary – Part 2

>>> the begining is in a part 1<<<
SOT ZACH ABUZA
I think one place that we have to look next is Bangladesh, which, so far, has remained off most people?s radar screens. It?s a large Muslim country, it?s a very poor country, and there are a lot of militant Islamists there.

SOT COFER BLACK
There is speculation about this, there is concern about this, but I will tell you that we do not have definitive information or intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda is reforming in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh may not be on the radar screen of counter terrorism officials, but our reporting suggests that this South Asian Muslim country of 130 million may be a new hiding place for al Qaeda. One of the first terrorist groups to endorse bin Laden?s 1998 fatwa to kill Americans is Bangladeshi. And in 2001 an Islamist party gained important positions in the government providing a sympathetic environment for militant groups, particularly in the south east of the country.

SOT LINTNER:
In March 2002 I traveled down to the southeastern tip of Bangladesh. I have been visiting on and off for the past 20 years. This time, I have been shocked by the persons and numbers of madrasas, Islamic institutions and fundamentalist groups, which were both armed and dangerous.

The search for al Qaeda in Bangladesh starts here in Chittagong, the country?s largest port, a haven for pirates, gunrunners and smugglers. Normally, ships come and go around the clock, but one night in late December 2001. Chittagong?s harbor fell strangely silent.

SOT SUBIR BHOUMIK
That night the Bangladeshi military intelligence had apparently cleared off the place all of the schedule has been changed. No ship was really berthing in.

Until dock-workers spotted a mysterious ship: the MV Mecca?pulling into port.
Indian intelligence later learned about the secret mission of the MV Mecca, and the people who came ashore.

SOT BIBHUTI BHUSHAN NANDY
Well, when the ship MV Mecca arrived the exact number of people I wouldn?t be able to confirm, but there was a fairly sizeable number, maybe around 80 to 100 people. they got down, they were received.

SOT SUBIR BHOUMIK
The few dock workers who were that in that area, who then told us that these were people, big tall people, many of them wearing the traditional Afghan shalwar but some of them were in battle fatigues as well which made them look like any other army.
After two hours the group had gone ashore.

SOT SUBIR BHOUMIK
They had weapons, they had large number of assault rifles, standard AK series assault rifles, they had ammunition boxes and some of them had bigger weapons they were lugging in.

At this point the trail goes cold, but there are accounts of fighters disappearing into the Bangladesh countryside.

BERTIL LINTNER
In early 2002 I received an email from a social worker in this part of Bangladesh, the south-east. And he was quite alarmed because hundreds of armed people had arrived in the village next to his and they were heavily armed and they?d arrived obviously as a group. And they came over to his village and said that if you tell any outsiders about this we will kill you, and not one of you but everyone in this village. And this coincided with the arrival of M.V. Mecca.

The Bangladeshi government categorically denies allegations that Islamic militants have found a hiding place in the country. However, this internal paper prepared by a Bangladeshi terrorist group lists nineteen training camps for militants operating in the country today. The document strongly suggests that Bangladesh is one of the several dozen countries where members of the terror network have now taken refuge.

SOT BOB BAER
2003, Qaeda is a beehive. It?s just a smacked with a baseball bat and a bunch of the bees were killed, but most of them have dispersed. They don?t need a centralized organization. They?re everywhere ? and no where, we don?t know where they are ?

No matter where al Qaeda?s ranks have scattered, they have found common ground in cyberspace. When we come back al Qaeda?s virtual war, and what the world?s most dangerous terrorist group may do in the future ??

Commercial

London. We returned here for a closer look at what may be the final frontier for al Qaeda: cyberspace.
Paul Eedle is a veteran journalist fluent in Arabic who runs his own website analyzing what is happening on al Qaeda?s new battle front.
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SOT PAUL EEDLE & PETER BERGEN:
What are we seeing here?
EEDLE: This is the main Al Qaeda website Here you?ve got Zawahari latest book.This is being updated at the moment. It does appear and disappear, at the moment it?s squatting on the servers of a Dutch football club, who I presume, have no idea that it is there.
EEDLE: You could argue that Al Qaeda has moved it?s whole leadership and organization into the virtual world. I think the importance of this site that Al Qaeda has set up, is that you don?t have to go to Afghanistan anymore to sit at the feet of the leaders and hear and buy the philosophy and strategy. So when I first saw the full range of material here, I thought that you had everything needed to support a spontaneous or dispersed Qaeda cell.
You can even find manuals about how to build your own high tech explosives. And you can certainly find discussions about Al Qaeda?s future attacks.
BERGEN: Looking at present trends if these continue over the next five years, what is your prediction?
EEDLE: Al Qaeda is out there, unchallenged, campaigning for political support to create this endless campaign against the West. The West needs to do far more than a military and intelligence action against these people if its to defeat their threat. It needs to campaign for political support among Muslims with the same energy and imagination that Al Qaeda does.

Building political support among Muslims around the world will only get more difficult following the United States? latest war against Iraq.

SOT AHMAD
The attitude of America shows that it has started a war against Muslims, against Islamic countries and against Islam.
From Asia to the Middle East ? many Muslims see a conspiracy against their religion.

SOT FAGIH
What the American leaders have done is actually to implement what bin Laden wanted. That is to wage a cosmic campaign against Muslims. At least that?s the way many Muslims see it.

Will war against Iraq trigger even more terror in the future? And will it create even more recruits for al Qaeda itself?

SOT Dr. TAN
This is what Al Qaeda has been hoping for. Long after Al-Qaeda is gone we are going to be faced with many mini Al-Qaedas that?s going to be springing up.

SOT BOB BAER:
It?s catastrophic. It?s absolutely catastrophic. We are doing the worst possible thing in the situation the way the Middle East is now. You go in, you attack an Arab country, humiliate it. It?s going to bring more recruits to Qaeda than we?ve ever seen before.

Despite the anger in the Muslim world, US officials are confident that in the long term they will put al Qaeda out of business.

SOT COFER BLACK
Tremendous strides have been made, more than 3,000 al-Qaeda and their supporters have been arrested and detained. More than 1/3 of their leadership is no longer in the picture, we are actively after these guys, they know it. The odds are with us, we will be victorious, no question about it?you can quote me. However, between now and then we are very concerned about the losses we risk.

OSAMA BIN LADEN audiotape
You will be killed just as you kill, and you will be bombed just as you bomb. And expect more that will further distress you.

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