Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Al Qaida in Zimbabwe?

This article from the latest edition of Focus, a magazine published by the Helen Suzman Foundation makes a case for links between Robert Mugabe and Al Qaida.

"According to Walter [an intelligence sourse], Zawahiri spent 4 to 5 days in Zimbabwe and met with Mugabe and a number of ministers and top officials. His instructions from Bin Laden were to acquire an al-Qaeda base in Zimbabwe where, far from the scene of action, it could train its militants and plan its military strikes: there are many large, remote farms in Zimbabwe where they could be invisible. He offered large sums of money for Mugabe personally, with more to follow. Zawahiri doubtless already had the September 11 action in mind but would hardly have disclosed any details of that. The al-Qaeda strikes against the US embassies in East Africa could not have left Mugabe in any doubt as to what he was dealing with, nor that he was risking extreme US displeasure - particularly since it must have been obvious that al-Qaeda was planning further large-scale strikes against US targets. Later, Walter said, Zawahiri returned a second time to Zimbabwe, this time staying for two weeks. This return visit and Zawahiri's quick fade into invisibility are perfectly consistent with what one would expect if, as Walter was inclined to believe, al-Qaeda had then proceeded to construct some sort of safe-house base in Zimbabwe."

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