Or: Life imitates Marc Sageman.
Lost in all the noise about the possible arrest of al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn - later proven to have not occurred - was the content of his latest message delivered on behalf of the leadership of his organization. This is unfortunate, because there is much in it to like - though I will grant you that the transcript of the message is more tolerable than watching Gadahn deliver it.
al-Qaida Central is admitting that they are incapable of striking the United States to the extent they would like to, if at all. Lone wolves like Ft. Hood attacker Nidal Hasan are elevated to the level of recruited and trained al-Qaida operatives such as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, in the hope that there will be many more attacks like Hasan's. The problem for al-Qaida is that lone wolf terrorism is extraordinarily rare - even more so than ordinary terrorism, which itself is a rare event. Such an act requires - among other things - a great deal more effort on the part of the perpetrator, which in turn makes such attacks that much less likely.
Individuals inclined to engage in terrorism in the United States are advised by Gadahn to not consult with anyone - not offline (too dangerous, their friends at the mosque might actually be government agents), and not online (the kuffar spies will read their every word) - and neither shall they seek out training with al-Qaida or any of its affiliates (they'll just end up on a terrorist watch list). Furthermore, the aspiring terrorist must prepare and carry out their attack in total isolation, while simultaneously avoiding undertaking any action that might harm the good name and reputation of the mujahideen and the jihad. A degree of mental instability - if not outright clinical mental illness - is necessary to overcome the lack of social support that confronts the true lone wolf terrorist. The finer points of target selection may well be lost on such people, leaving al-Qaida to bear the political costs of the actions of its leaderless jihadis - in the event the latter manage to do anything at all.
Finally, Gadahn's message is not without humor, as when he suggests that with just a little imagination the lone wolf al-Qaida terrorist can carry out an attack like 9-11, not to mention the irony that his message must be delivered over the Internet, thus exposing al-Qaida's legions of loners to the very surveillance they are told they must avoid.
In summary: When Adam Gadahn speaks, he's doing the work of the Zionist Crusader Alliance™ So much so that you'd almost think he was on the payroll...
 See "Why Ahmed Can't Kill" for further discussion of this issue.
 Hasan's co-workers - all psychiatric clinicians - had serious doubts about his mental health, for example.Posted on 12 March 2010 @ 19:57