My Op-ed in The Australian
I have an op-ed piece out in today’s edition of The Australian called “Detentions come back to bite”
It’s about Guantanamo blowback now having very real strategic consequences: the formation of a new strategy to kidnap civilians in Afghanistan in order to secure the release of prisoners taken by America.
Sally Neighbour has a front page piece derived from my op-ed here “Afghan foreigner kidnap order by al Qaeda leader Mustafa Hamid”. I haven’t seen the broadsheet yet, so I’m not sure if the photos I provided of Hamid are on it. If they aren’t on the broadsheet, I will post them here later today.
I hope you read the op-ed and article. These are important issues. I am very glad The Australian has run them.
There will be a lot more to come from me on Mustafa Hamid. He’s been one of my obsessions in life for years and his history is fascinating. As I note in my op-ed, he has become more active of late and for the first time has been offering current strategic guidance. I explain the reasons for this activation in my Op-ed: Guantanamo blowback.
I noted in my opinion piece that Hamid has published prolifically. I have been collecting and working through his archives for several years now and cross checking them for my nearly finished and long overdue PhD Dissertation (submitting at Xmas time). I have found his work to be the most comprehensive and accurate of all memoirs or first hand accounts of al Qaeda or the conflict in Afghanistan (his books cover the period 1979-present). I should also note here that Hamid is not an al Qaeda member per se and vehmently disagreed with the 9/11 attacks. It’s a bit too complicated to explain here, but how he figures into things is something I will explain in a later post.
My forthcoming thesis (which fingers crossed I will get published) has a more considered analysis of his writings, especially as they relate to al Qaeda and the general militant salafist milieu. It will also draw in other first hand accounts and primary material I have located on the internet since I started looking for al Qaeda materials online nine years ago.
In my thesis I am using these primary materials and first hand accounts to re-chart the history of al Qaeda and re-interpret its organisational, doctrinal and ideological evolution. I think it is important to build a picture of al Qaeda’s history from what its members and others who were with them or in a position to know, say. It is an important baseline to establish.
More to come later.