Posted by: Christian | May 25, 2007

New al-Qaeda Commander for Afghanistan, Plus A Comparative Beard Analysis

May 26, 2007.

So al Qaeda has a new head of operations in Afghanistan. Or rather for Afghanistan since he will likely not set foot west of the Durand line. According to the CIA and the Pentagon (and according to himself), he’s the replacement for the last guy, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, who was nabbed by the Turks and sent to Guantanamo while on his way back to Iraq to join the struggle in his home country. So let’s look at this handsome fellow before doing any analysis.

Mustafa Abu Yazid

Great. That’s out of the way. First the story: In his first video address via al Jazeera the veteran Egyptian Jihadi says nothing of any value. That is unless you get a kick out of listening to yet another AQ Jihadi drone on about the impending doom that waits the crusaders and their apostate puppets at the hands of the multitudes of suicide bombers that are about to be sent into Afghanistan for their “martyrdom missions.”

This all probably means very little unless Mustafa Abu Yazid has something new to offer in the way of tactics and resources. One area he could make a difference in is facilitating the transfer of knowledge from Iraq to Afghanistan. But he will probably be under the same set of limitations as the last AQ commander for operations in Afghanistan.

Plus he has to watch out for the Pakistanis due to his group’s pledge to take out Musharraf (his predecessor attempted to assassinate Musharraf). Also, Musharraf has an interest in handing over the occasional dead or captured AQ operative to appease the Americans. The ISI may protect Mullah Omar but the new guy won’t likely be on the list of bad guys who get a pass from the Pakistanis.

Well, that was all appropriately vague and noncommittal wasn’t it? However, I will say that I’m sure (or I hope) that Jalaluddin Haqqani is a higher priority target than Mustafa Abu Yazid. I base that assumption on comparative analyses of beard and turban size.

Pic: Haqqani compensating for something with a large beard and turban. The oversize tinted glasses are also nice touch.
jalaluddin haqqani


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