Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 31-Oct-2010
31-Oct-10 News -- Bomb plot shows al-Qaeda shift from Pakistan to Yemen

Web Log - October, 2010

31-Oct-10 News -- Bomb plot shows al-Qaeda shift from Pakistan to Yemen

Joint Russian/U.S. drug operation in Afghanistan criticized by Karzai

Bomb plot shows al-Qaeda shift from Pakistan to Yemen

A college girl and her mother were arrested in Sanaa on Saturday, the capital of Yemen, a day after parcels containing bombs sparked a global security alert, according to Al-Jazeera.

The arrests were confirmed by Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who said, "Yemen is determined to fight terror but will not allow anyone to intervene in its affairs." This 16 word statement contained two messages to two different audiences: To the West, the message is that Yemen will fight terrorism; to the local audience, the message was that Yemen's government will not allow the United States to interfere in Yemen's internal affairs.

Even so, the U.S. administration is absolutely delighted that Yemeni officials have moved so swiftly and agressively, something that they haven't always done in the past.

The packages were found after a tip from Saudi Arabian intelligence services. One package was found on a UPS cargo plane at East Midlands Airport, north of London, the other in a FedEx facility in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), according to Haaretz.

According to the al-Jazeera article, the Dubai bomb contained the same explosive that was found in the underwear of the "Christmas bomber," who tried to blow an airplane over Detroit on December 25 of last year.

If I were a high-level "executive" in the al-Qaeda organization, I'd be really pretty pissed off right now that, after the failure of the Christmas bomber, yet another bombing attempt has failed. I assume that failures in terrorist organizations are punished not by firing the person responsible, but by beheading him.

Nonetheless, this does show the shift in the center of gravity of the al-Qaeda organization from Pakistan's tribal area to Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). This shift in the past has been credited to the bombing of terrorists in the tribal areas by American unmanned drones, which has caused fighters to flee to Yemen, as well as to North Africa.

Whoops! Airline official complains about too much security

On Wednesday, the chairman of British Airways criticized the U.S. for forcing international airlines to inconvenience their passengers with too much security, according to the Independent:

"The chairman of British Airways won support in the aviation industry last night for attacking "redundant" anti-terror checks imposed by the US, as calls grew for easier passage through British airports.

Martin Broughton said passengers should no longer be required to take off their shoes or have their laptops checked separately in security lines.

Britain should not be required to impose security restrictions on its own passengers that the United States did not deem necessary for domestic flights, the chairman told the annual conference of the UK Airport Operators Association in London.

His comments immediately struck a chord with many in the industry, receiving backing from airport and airline operators as well as pilots, security experts and passenger groups.

"America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do. We shouldn't stand for that. We should say, 'We'll only do things which we consider to be essential and that you Americans also consider essential'," said Mr Broughton. "We all know there's quite a number of elements in the security programme which are completely redundant and they should be sorted out."

However, Broughton has become strangely silent in the last couple of days.

Additional links

After China on Friday angrily canceled bilateral meetings with the Japanese, saying that the Japanese had lied, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met briefly on Saturday. The informal meeting took place in conjunction with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit meeting being held in Hanoi. Kyodo

A number of Chinese actions in the past few months -- threats in the South China sea, Yellow sea and East China sea, and unexpectedly embargoing exports of rare earth elements -- have caused a bit of panic among China's neighbors. Thus, at the ASEAN meeting, "Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao strove to promote regional understanding and cooperation ... and in bilateral talks with Vietnamese and Australian leaders." From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Wen is in China's Artist archetype generation (like America's Silent generation), highly risk-averse and willing to compromise. However, he's at the end of his career and younger officials will not be so conciliatory. Xinhua

A joint operation on Thursday by Russian and U.S. forces captured and destroyed thousands of pounds of high-grade heroin and opium in Afghanistan, destroying a "major hub" of drug production, about three miles from the Pakistan border. However, the operation was strongly criticized by Afghan president Hamid Karzai because he had not given permission for Russian troops to take part. The presence of Russian troops in Afghanistan is a sensitive issue, because the Russians fought a "Vietnam-style" war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. BBC

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 31-Oct-10 News -- Bomb plot shows al-Qaeda shift from Pakistan to Yemen thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (31-Oct-2010) Permanent Link
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