Alleged Bin Laden Tape Could Demonstrate Weakening al Qaeda, Says Stratfor

Alleged Bin Laden Tape Could Demonstrate Weakening al Qaeda, Says Stratfor

Austin, TX (PRWEB) January 20, 2006

Stratfor, the world’s leading private intelligence firm, published its 2006 Annual Forecast this week amidst Al Jazeera’s release of taped comments by an individual claiming to be Osama bin Laden. These comments, if they are those of bin Laden, serve to reaffirm Stratfor’s position that al Qaeda will undergo a severe decline in 2006.

Stratfor argues that al Qaeda’s decline will result from its eventual loss of Iraq, but that decentralization of the group will not necessarily decrease the threat level in the West, especially in Europe. Stratfor expects al Qaeda’s usual stream of major operations to continue.

As the report offers, “Al Qaeda is becoming more of a brand name than an actual organization, or even a movement. So long as Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, remain at large, they will serve as figureheads, providing moral support and broad strategic guidance to the fighters dispersed across the globe who will do the actual training, planning and execution of operations.”

Clues from today’s tape release also point to an organization under duress. Fred Burton, Vice President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security, stated today, “The offer of a truce and the reasoning for the lack of attacks against the United States – along with the usual threats of an impending attack against the United States – indicate a reactive and defensive posture on the part of the militant Islamist group.”

Stratfor’s Annual Forecast addresses the decline of al Qaeda, among other developing geopolitical and security scenarios likely to play out in the months ahead.

Media who wish to obtain a copy of the 2006 Annual Forecast or speak with Fred Burton may contact Jason Deal at (512) 744-4309, (512) 653-0051.

About Stratfor:

Stratfor is the world’s largest private geopolitical and public policy intelligence firm providing corporations, governments, and individuals with intelligence and analysis to anticipate the political, economic, and security issues vital to their interests. Armed with powerful intelligence-gathering capabilities and working in close collaboration with Stratfor’s experienced team of professionals, our clients are better able to protect their assets, diminish risk, and increase opportunities to compete in the global market.

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