In a speech to Chatham House, Robert Mueller, head of the FBI, says Britain and the US are less than four years from defeating al-Qa’ida. The FBI have developed a three-tiered threat from al-Qa’ida:
- A top tier based along the Afghanistan-Pakisan border.
- A middle tier with some links to the top; this is apparently the most complicated.
- A third, lower, tier which meets largely on the internet and not training camps.
Mueller’s remarks seem to tie in with the ‘leaderless jihad’ theory promoted by Marc Sageman (who used to work for the CIA), although Sageman is more forceful in saying the first two tiers (the ‘leadership’ and those trained by the top) have been devastated — the third tier, in his view, is dangerous but does not pose a “civilisational” challenge.
Where does this assessment by Mueller leave the ‘long war’ the Bush administration has talked about so much?
Over at Global Dashboard notes that the current head of head of MI5 and his predecessor are quoted by Mueller, prompting the question: why do we only learn of British counterterrorism efforts through American officials?
Plus, if we win in 4 years time, will the state returns the rights it has taken in the fight against terrorism?