This week and weekend there has been State Department warnings that al Qaeda may launch attacks on the US, mainly on overseas embassies. The State Department has their super secret tactics on how to figure these things out. But usually once they announce that they have caught on, al Qaeda drops such plans. Throughout their history al Qaeda has valued the element of surprise.
According to CNN; al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond in coming weeks, a threat that prompted Sunday's closure of 21 embassies and consulates.
They have also shown concern over the U.S. consular compound in Benghazi, Libya, in which an attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
To be fair, yes al Qaeda has targeted American civilians and likes to indiscriminately kill them. So staying away from those embassies is not a bad idea. If I were traveling across the sea, I would avoid them and take the State Department’s advice.
However, I mainly see al Qaeda a problem for the US government. I don’t agree with their tactics or their political objectives. I do share their discust with this government and its constant meddling in the in the Middle-east. They are also resilient. Despite losing important leaders, and despite constant proclamation by US pundits that al Qaeda has been rendered immobile and irrelevant, the group keeps make dramatic comebacks. There is their growing influence in Syria and other contested areas.
There have also been the dramatic jailbreaks in nine countries, including Pakistan. Such actions are hardly the work of a group in decline. In fact they are pretty dramatic and a real blow to the US government who has treated them as terrorist enemy number 1.
So for most of us we will simply stay home (we can’t afford to travel anyway) and ignore the problem. Although these people are dangerous and misguided, they are really the problem of the US government who sees them as a stumbling block to the US foreign policy agenda. And this is one thing that doesn’t really affect our well being.