What a sad turn for al Qaida. Here they are, killing small children, decapitating reporters, and knocking over tall buildings with airplanes when it seems all that bloodshed was unnecessary. In fact, you might even say it was counterproductive as none of the targeted governments fell.
This reality demonstrates what I've always said, even when working in the Terrorism Center. Some people just want to kill and they find an excuse to behave that way. Their methodologies are exactly the kinds of things they would want to do without a cause to justify it.
Imagine their shame when everyone realizes mass murder was never really productive, as least not compared to starting a Facebook page and organizing middle class professionals to protest. OK, they have no shame and will just blame others as usual. Imagine the shame they should feel.
I always said, and it was never really popular with my fellow counter-terrorist analysts, that al Qaida could have achieved the same result with a hundred people lying down in front of Holland Tunnel. Traffic would have been stopped and no one would have died. They would have received massive media attention. They would have shut down the city.
Or, operatives could be infected with a vicious stomach flu that cause someone to vomit and have diarrhea for two weeks. Then they would board airplanes and cause the virus to spread through the vent system. Everyone who flew would get sick for a few weeks. That would hurt the travel industry and be the butt of mockery all over the world.
There are so many creative things you can do to get attention that don't involve killing people. So why would you? And then in the end be exposed as people who soullessly kill when it wasn't necessary.
Al Qaida just lost all it's credibility. And they did it to themselves. And let that be a note to ourselves as well. Widespread killing doesn't change peoples' minds.