Thursday, September 20, 2007

Democracies on the Brink

Al Qaida declared war on yet more countries in a new videotape. Their list of opponents is already lengthy but apparently the terrorist group has the resources to fight a worldwide battle. Prior to the latest declaration al Qaida had its sights on 11 countries with 1.8 billion people. With the addition of France and Spain the total grows by another 100 million. A complete list is below. According to the CIA Factbook the countries at war with al Qaida have the following population characteristics.

U.S. has 301 million people, 1% of which are Muslims
Britain has 61 million people, 3% Muslim
Israel has 6.5 million people, 76% Jewish and 16% Muslim
India's population is 1.1 billion people, 130 million are Muslim.
Pakistan has 164 million people, mostly Sunni
Iraq is populated by 27 million most Shia Muslims
Afghanistan has 32 million people, 99% Muslim with 80% Sunni
Somalia has 9 million people Sunni Muslim
France has 64 million people, 5-10% Muslim
Spain has 41 million people, 94% Catholic

The group has also denounced:

Egypt with 80 million, mostly Sunni
Jordan has 6 million, mostly Sunni Muslims
Saudi Arabia populated by 28 million, all Sunni

While al Qaida may be a credible domestic terror threat, like America's Ku Klux Klan in the past, they are not in a position to take on the combined military strength of the countries above. While Iraq remains a horrible mess, al Qaida is only 3-5% of the insurgency. The rest is fighting between rival Sunni and Shia groups, both within and between sects.

Also with their call to overthrow Pakistani leader Musharraf, it seems that country is ground zero for defanging the terror group. That Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have books and video equipment in their caves shows Bedrock has evolved. Is it time to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age?

Update 5-1-11:  The U.S. killed Osama bin Laden and took his body into custody.  The raid took place in Pakistan.