Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wilson Center Event Report: Al Qaeda Network in Iran and Iraq

January 31, 2006

The Wilson Center hosted Rohan Gunaratna, Head of Terrorism Research, Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore; he is also author of Inside Al Qaeda. The following is LCHR’s synopsis of the event.

Not every terrorist attack is the work of Al Qaeda, Head of Terrorism Research at the Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies said at the Wilson Center panel on Al Qaeda Network in Iran and Iraq. After 9/11 there were many organizations that were established all around the world which trying to started copy Al Qaeda acts.

Gunaratna also said that there has not been any proof what that Saddam Hussein, former dictator of Iraq had any connection with Al Qaeda.
He also gave the background which confirmed his statement. Long before the attacks in the United States, many Kurds in Northern Iraq went to Iran and made links with the Al Qaeda because of their hate against Saddam Hussein.

One thing Gunaratna encouraged people to take with them after the lecture was that “no terrorist group would survive without support.” He also said that he did not think that the world would get rid of terrorism ever, but to limit the organizations all over the world the powerful countries have to work with the poor countries and especially the Muslim countries. Some terrorist organizations are also willing to negotiate, which the world should have in mind, according to Gunaratna.

Gunaratna said before the Unites States was going into Iraq that it would be a big mistake; today he says that it would be an even bigger mistake to withdraw the troops. “That will result in a reestablishment for the Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations” he said.

Gunaratna also said he thinks there will be an Islamic government in Egypt, and more and more terrorists are moving to Egypt.

Rohan Gunartana ended with the observation that the United States should consider dealing with Iran now so that it will not provide Al Qaeda leaders with nuclear weapons in the future.


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