How Al-Qaeda Facilitates Attacks From Within Prisons

As Leon Trotsky observed, you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. The same is true of terrorism and the Biden administration.

On Saturday, a man named Malik Faisal Akram took four hostages at a Dallas-area synagogue and engaged in a lengthy standoff with law enforcement. Agents from the FBI’s Dallas field office kept Malik Faisal Akram talking until the bureau’s hostage rescue team could arrive from Quantico and execute its main mission, saving the rabbi and his congregants. The FBI and the administration deserve credit for their handling of the threat.

But the fact that the terrorist sought to free the imprisoned, notorious al-Qaeda weapons of mass destruction operative Aafia Siddiqui points to something often forgotten: Like many revolutionary organizations, al-Qaeda began as a prison movement, and it remains intensely focused on its detainees in its propaganda, recruiting, fundraising and even operations.

Al-Qaeda was a 1980s merger (formalized in 2001) of Saudis fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Suspected current leader Aiman al-Zawahiri served time for attempting to assassinate Hosni Mubarak.

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