Friday, January 22, 2010


Man Claims Jihadi Attack

In “Who Is ‘al-Qaeda’?” I discussed the difficulty of pinning down claims about who is or is not AQ, and the various motives for claiming one way or another on both sides. Now we have a news story that illustrates this very conundrum. A man who killed a soldier outside a military recruiting office claims it was a jihadi attack, and that he has ties to AQ in Yemen. So how do you know whether he’s lying or telling the truth? As I said before, you just check his official AQ membership card. But seriously, there is no way to know for sure how much is truth and how much is fabricated. Probably he thinks that identifying himself as an AQ operative confers some sort of advantage, or will scare the bejesus out of many people by making them believe American society is thoroughly infiltrated with terrorist cells. Certainly some Americans too are happy about this because it will ratchet up the fear level and reinforce the perception that the US is “at war.”

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