Thursday, November 17, 2005

Terrorist Threat Video Productions, Intl.

The BBC reports today a new terrorist threat video has surfaced in Indonesia and authorities believe it is "Noordin Mohammad Top, a key figure in Jemaah Islamiah, the radical group blamed for bomb attacks on Bali and elsewhere."

Popularized, if not invented, by Osama, terrorist threat videos have, as some fads do, become a part of culture. I don't follow news on the genre as closely as the MSM and I don't remember seeing any after the first few that came out shortly after 9/11. But then I am not one to participate in counter-terrorism's data mining and analysis where, no doubt, it is valuable information. CT is unenviable task when it comes to devoting time and resources to it. (And a big hats-off to those that do.)

Anyway, it's a fairly good report but the emphasis seems misplaced. The report notes that the video included three of the suicide bombers from the 1 October Bali bombing. It also reports that "Police found the video in a house they raided last week, when Noordin Top narrowly escaped being captured," and goes on to note "A near-simultaneous raid on another house, in East Java, ended in the death of his [Top's] associate, Azahari Husin."

So to write of this video genre that "Such video messages have regularly surfaced in the Middle East, but this is believed to be the first to come to light from South East Asia", which heaps videos successfully distributed for public airing, with one found during a raid on one safehouse while killing an associate at another during the same operation, misses just that point. And by leaving it at that, the report also fails to draw attention to the fact that in over a month since the (Oct 1 Bali) bombing, it never made its way through their normal channels of distribution and airing.

Should I be snidely facetious and suggest the terrorists have changed distribution philosophy and leave it at that? Is it okay to find humor in that this surfacing suggests a story line of our team reporting "Hey, we found one of their threat videos while we were trashing their outposts and killing some of their leaders and we just want to let you know that the message they were planning to send us was "They are going to kill us!"

No, I should stay serious, note this is a rare event in a long war to come, and cheer a small victory. But I can't help hinting that I think this is another, tiny indication this war is not a stalemate and that we are winning.

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