The Future AQ Threat

My thoughts on the future threat of al-Qaida include three kinds of potential motivations for attacking the U.S. in some major way in the coming months.
1) There is the oft-cited concern about retaliation, avenging the death of bin Laden. A group or even an individual somewhere is already thinking about this, and considering how they would “make a name for themselves” by carrying out an attack like this in the name of bin Laden.
2) There is also a real possibility that a future terrorist attack will be the product of senior individuals within al-Qaida trying to position themselves to claim the mantle of lead philosopher-warrior that is left behind by bin Laden’s death. Possible culprits include Abu Yahya al-Libi, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Adnan Shukrijuma, or even Anwar al-Awlaki.
3) Finally, I am convinced that al-Qaida members are generally going to feel increasing pressure to “do something” in the near future, for the simple reason that the absence of an AQ-attributed attack will speak volumes in terms of the network’s capabilities, or lack thereof.
We must be vigilant. A storm is coming . . .
– James Forest