Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 5 Comments
"As it turns out, those of us who watched The Sopranos may have better insight into al-Qaeda in Iraq than we knew," writes Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters. "Al Queda Iraq had racketeering operations all over Mosul, involving a Pepsi plant, cement manufacturers, and cellphone companies. All of these play a vital role in re-establishing Iraqi commerce, and AQI taxed them to the tune of $200,000 per month."
This is nothing new. Not only Al Queda in Iraq, but Al Queda in general and most Muslim terrorist groups run various rackets ranging from drug dealing and car theft rings to racketeering schemes, protection money and cigarette smuggling in the States.
Terrorism obviously requires income and if you have a small army of thugs who enjoy killing people, you also have a "work force" that can blackmail, kidnap, kill and engage in criminal operations to generate income.
Many terrorist groups in practice are actually indistinguishable from the mob, except that they have a political ideology. The word 'Mafia' even derives from the Arabic 'Mahyas' or 'Bravo' giving the Mafia a quasi Muslim origin. In many cases the political ideology of terrorists is itself a means to an end for its leaders giving them power and control and letting them create their own crime rings.
Al Queda in Iraq got so big so fast by drawing its recruits from the lowest ranks of society, where Al Queda in general tends to go for the middle class. Al Queda in Iraq were mostly members of bandit gangs and it's why Al Queda in Iraq quickly spun out of control and began repulsing even its supporters.
Unlike Al Queda, the average Arab or Muslim terrorist organization though works on family lines, much like the Mafia. It runs locally, it recruits along the branches of an extended family for its core leadership and soldiers. (These people never actually blow themselves up, those who do tend to be fall guys and pasties.)
The largest portion of the group is dedicated to income generation and the smallest to terrorism. This is why gullible Westerners often describe Fatah or Hamas in terms of the militant wing and the moderate political wing. In fact the "moderate political wing" is just the section that handles the crime and the payoffs. The military wing handles the killings. It's like describing the Mafia boss as the "moderate political wing" and his goons as the "extremist militant wing". It's all one organization with different function.
The core of most local terrorist groups is political on the surface and economic under the surface.
1. For terrorist groups who have some control or freedom of operation, shakedowns and protection money paid by local merchants is a key source of income. Like the mob, these groups often claim to be "protecting" the stores against criminal elements and of course executing them as collaborators, if they don't pay.
2. For terrorist groups who live under a hostile authority particularly in the West, they adapt to the existing criminal operations already in the area and take them over, from drug smuggling to stolen car rings to cigarette smuggling and various other smuggling operations. International smuggling in particular is ideal for them because it employs the overseas contacts that all Muslim terrorist groups have and enables them to make money in the West and in their home country and also bring in weapons if they need to.
3. For terrorist groups operating in an area that is in between 1. and 2., using Sharia as monopoly on vice is commonplace. For example Sadr's assaults on liquor dealers masked a takeover of the liquor sales operation by his own men. The Muslim attacks on liquor stores in Detroit are probably a prelude to something similar or just an outright shakedown for protection money. Either way Muslim groups in areas where their influence is rising will go after what they consider "vice" businesses, liquor, prostitution and theaters on the self-righteous grounds of Islamic law while really being out to either take them over or force them to pay protection money.
Like most mobs, Islamic terrorist groups adapt to the terrain and paying too much attention to their ideology masks their underlying criminal activities. For example Al Queda's attacks on Iraqis and Iraqi businesses engaging in the reconstruction of Iraq was taken at face value as an assault on "collaborators", the reality though was that these assaults masked bids to force those businesses to pay protection money to avoid future attacks. The terrorism masked the racketeering and while Americans paid attention to the Islamic ideology, they overlooked the underlying criminal motives.
Al Queda Iraq had racketeering operations all over Mosul, involving a Pepsi plant, cement manufacturers, and cellphone companies. All of these play a vital role in re-establishing Iraqi commerce, and AQI taxed them to the tune of $200,000 per month
That is exactly how the game is played. The attacks setup the shakedown. Islamic attacks, whether on businesses or entire countries, are shakedowns. When liberals or Ron Paul talk about rethinking our foreign policy after 9/11, they're announcing their intention to give in to the shakedown. And once you give in, the racket really begins.
The thing to remember about Muslim terrorists is that they're not just murderers, they're also hypocrites. Anyone who forgets that need only remember the devout 9/11 hijackers hanging out at a strip club and drinking before they went off to kill. Much like Tony Soprano.