ISIS: STATE OF TERROR
LINKSBlogs of War
Making Sense of Jihad
Views from the Occident
American Al Qaeda Members
News, documents and analysis on violent extremism
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Bashir Release A Crushing Blow To Public View of Terror WarThere's no positive spin that the West can put on the impending release of Abu Bak'r Bashir. Accused of being the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiah, Bashir is widely considered an Islamic extremist idealogue on the scale of Osama bin Laden.
The Indonesian government's inability to convict Bashir of any terrorism-related crimes highlights significant legalistic obstacles that lie ahead. Its political inability to hold him even for the full sentence of his term on lesser offenses highlights how the Western point of view is losing the hearts and minds of moderate Muslims in Southeast Asia.
While there is little doubt the U.S. will ensure a conviction for Osama bin Laden in the event of his capture, Bashir's acquittal serves to legitimize the role of clerics and theologians as adjuncts to operational terrorists. There was little danger of an OBL conviction being considered legitimate by fundamentalist Muslim states in the first place; the Bashir release provides a legal precedent which can only serve to bolster a pro-bin Laden viewpoint overseas.
Bashir's release is likely to revitalize JI, which had been signficantly impacted by the arrests of both Bashir and JI's former operational mastermind, Hambali. Complicating matters further, Indonesia and Malaysia have been pressing the U.S. to extradite Hambali to Southeast Asia for prosecution there. In light of how the Bashir case has been handled, the U.S. can't be enthusiastic about that course of action. But refusing to extradite Hambali runs its own risk of alienating governments whose cooperation the U.S. badly needs.
No matter how one looks at it, the Bashir precedent represents nothing short of a disaster for the West in its War on Terror, one with far-reaching implications in the practical short-term as well as the ideological long view.
Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.
Tweets referencing this post:
"...smart, granular analysis..."ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post
More on ISIS: The State of Terror
"...a timely warning..."Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times
More on Jihad Joe
Explosives Recipes Tie OKC to al Qaeda Manuals
Links between Nichols and Ramzi Yousef timelines p...
Executive Branch Moves To Undercut Padilla Suit
Neo-Nazi May Save Terry Nichols From Death Chamber...
ANALYSIS: New MS Claims Elohim City Link to OKC Bo...
Benevolence-Linked Palestinian Charged in Florida
INTELWIRE Backgrounder: Jose Padilla
New York Pipe Bomb Suspect Linked to Revolution Muslim
The Utility of Lone Wolves
Interview with Online Jihadist Abu Suleiman Al Nasser
A Way Forward for CVE: The Five Ds
How Terrorists Use The Internet: Just Like You
PATCON: The FBI's Secret War on the Militia Movement
Interview About Jihad With Controversial Cleric Bilal Philips
Forgeries on the Jihadist Forums
U.S. Gave Millions To Charity Linked To Al Qaeda, Anwar Awlaki
State Department Secretly Met With Followers of Blind Sheikh
State Department Put 'Political Pressure' On FBI To Deport Brother-in-Law Of Osama Bin Laden In 1995
FBI Records Reveal Details Of Nixon-Era Racial Profiling Program Targeting Arabs
Gaza Flotilla Official Was Foreign Fighter in Bosnia War
U.S. Had 'High Confidence' Of UBL Attack In June 2001
Behind the Handshake: The Rumsfeld-Saddam Meeting