Before everyone goes and gets hysterical about Shabaab can we have a little perspective please?
I tweeted earlier today that I think I might scream if I see one more headline announcing Shabaab has “joined” AQ. It hasn’t. It has made steps towards this goal, which shows it clearly follows the doctrine I keep harping about. But nothing has been officially sanctioned. Consider their announcement as a form of job application. AQ is still musing over it because of the situation in Somalia, and the fact that all of the groups aren’t unified. It may choose to weigh in to tip the balance if it thinks this will push things towards unity. But this far it has stood back and watched to see how things unfold.
And when the time does come for a merger, if it does, people might want to look back to how things went with the GSPC. I’ve included a small snippet here from 2007 when the GSPC changed its name. The reason I’ve done so is the bottom line, specifically the last few words of the sentence *until it received an order from bin Laden*.This order was for the name change but there was a similar order/announcement approving the GSPC joining AQ.
So until we hear about something along these lines, can we PLEASE quit with panicky fear mongering headlines that only serve to further lionise al Qaeda and pre-emptively make a mountain out of a mole hill. We’re going to have big enough problems when it does eventuate. And I don’t see how lionising it, along the lines of the way al Qaeda in Iraq was lionised before it even formed (and when Zarqawi actually only had 17 men) helps anyone. Ok rant over. And yes I did end up shrieking at the computer screen.
The Group for Preaching and Combat GSPC Changes Its Name to “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib”On January 26, 2007, Islamist websites posted a communiqué by the Algerian Salafi organization “Group for Preaching and Combat” GSPC, signed by organization commander Abu Mus’ab ‘Abd Al-Wadud, which announces that the GSPC has changed its name to “The Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghrib.” The message explains that, after “joining Al-Qaeda [in September 2006] and pledging allegiance to bin Laden… the organization had no choice but to… take a new name reflecting the unity, the strong affinity, and the real connection between the mujahideen of Algeria and their brothers in the Al-Qaeda organization.” The message further states that the GSPC was ready to change its name immediately after joining Al-Qaeda, but refrained from doing so until it received an order from bin Laden.