Why death of al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri will have little impact | Al-Qaeda

At first look, the July 31 killing of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri by a US drone attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, seems to be probably the most vital setback the group has skilled for the reason that demise of its founder, Osama bin Laden, in 2011.

Nevertheless, all through the last decade he administered al-Qaeda, al-Zawahiri labored to make sure the organisation has all the required instruments in place to outlive his demise. As such, whereas the operation that eradicated one of many organisers of the 9/11 assaults is undoubtedly a significant win for the present US administration, it’s unlikely to debilitate the group.

Certainly, the fallout from this focused assassination will likely be minimal for al-Qaeda. Al-Zawahiri, seen by many as nothing aside from a “grey bureaucrat”, can simply get replaced by somebody with an analogous managerial mindset. He might even get replaced by somebody extra charismatic, boosting the group’s attract amongst present and would-be members alike.

On the worldwide stage, the drone assault in Kabul will undoubtedly impact the US’s relationship with the Taliban, in addition to the way forward for Washington’s drone operations. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely that it’ll result in any vital change or mark a turning level within the regional not to mention world established order.

Impression on al-Qaeda

A terror group tends to survive the demise of its chief if it possesses a functioning organisational paperwork, a permanent ideology, and communal assist. Al-Qaeda advantages from all three.

First, it has a strong operational paperwork. Al-Zawahiri didn’t possess the charisma of his predecessor. However after bin Laden’s demise, he created an in depth, self-sufficient bureaucratic system, with clear chains of command, that ensured the group’s destiny is just not tied to any single chief, together with himself. Throughout al-Zawahiri’s tenure, al-Qaeda adopted an enlargement mannequin which may greatest be described as “franchising”. Beneath his command, the group expanded its attain from Mali to Kashmir with the addition of quite a few largely autonomous and financially self-sufficient branches or “franchises”. As these branches are in a position to proceed operations with out a lot intervention from the central command, the demise of any chief is unlikely to trigger the community to disintegrate.

Second, al-Qaeda adheres to a violent ideology that doesn’t rely upon a pacesetter for its articulation or propagation. The set of concepts that information the group existed lengthy earlier than al-Qaeda, and can undoubtedly proceed to be supported by some in zones of failing governance or alienation after its elimination. Al-Zawahiri was no ideologue. And he knew that he didn’t have to be one to make sure the group’s enlargement and longevity. Al-Qaeda’s ideology will proceed to draw assist it doesn’t matter what occurs to its leaders.

Third, below al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda loved vital communal assist in areas the place it has been energetic. The late al-Qaeda chief was a pragmatist who castigated as counterproductive the ideological rigidity and excesses of the likes of ISIL founders Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In contrast to them, al-Zawahiri inspired the group he managed to cooperate with, reasonably than totally dominate, locals and native armed teams. This technique allowed al-Qaeda to increase its attain. In Syria, its affiliate, Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham, nonetheless endures to today thanks not less than partially to Zawahiri’s insurance policies. Likewise in sub-Saharan Africa, throughout al-Zawahiri’s tenure, al-Qaeda associates entrenched their presence by forming native political alliances and garnering assist from clan leaders, nomads and farmers. This communal assist is unlikely to die solely because of al-Zawahiri’s killing.

Al-Qaeda confronted probably the most vital problem in its historical past throughout al-Zawahiri’s tenure – it was not a US drone raid or the assassination of a pacesetter however the emergence of a breakaway faction within the type of ISIL, which not solely recruited members from al-Qaeda, however created a rival, state-centric narrative that undermined al-Zawahiri’s bureaucratic, decentralised imaginative and prescient of a terrorist community.

On condition that al-Qaeda managed to outlive the existential problem posed by ISIL, there is no such thing as a purpose to doubt it’s going to additionally handle to endure the lack of its most up-to-date chief.

Implications for Doha settlement

The US didn’t discover al-Zawahiri in some hidden cave complicated in a hard-to-access rural space of Afghanistan. He was discovered, and killed, in a suburban district of Kabul. This brought about many to query whether or not the Taliban or not less than some components inside the group, knew of or facilitated his presence there.

The 2020 Doha Settlement made the American and NATO withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan contingent on the Taliban’s assurances that the nation wouldn’t function a haven for al-Qaeda or ISIL to launch assaults towards the US.

On this regard, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the Taliban of violating the Settlement, by “internet hosting and sheltering” al-Zawahiri in Kabul, whereas the Taliban condemned the drone raid, additionally calling it a violation of the Settlement. These statements are paying homage to these exchanged in 2011 between the US and Pakistan after bin Ladin was discovered and killed in a residential district of Abbottabad.

Again then, the US and Pakistan managed to discover a strategy to proceed with the modus vivendi they established after airing their grievances. We’re more likely to witness the identical between the US and the Taliban after al-Zawahiri’s killing. As soon as they’re carried out expressing their grievances about what occurred, they may proceed with their cautious relationship as a result of they share a typical foe: The Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-Ok), the Afghanistan affiliate of ISIL. Because the Biden administration is presently occupied with deterring China and Russia, it nonetheless wants the Taliban to discourage ISIL, or to not less than preserve the peace in Afghanistan.

Drone assassinations to proceed

In contrast with the Trump administration, the variety of US drone assaults dramatically dropped throughout Biden’s tenure – an obvious acknowledgement by the present administration that such raids contribute to grievances that gas violence, battle and anti-US sentiments in the long run.

The 2020 assassination of Iran’s Qassim Soleimani in Iraq, for instance, disadvantaged it of a charismatic chief and allowed then President Trump to attain some simple factors along with his base at house, however didn’t in any approach break Iran’s sway over Iraq. The truth is, it achieved little greater than strengthening anti-US resolve in each nations.

The present US president and people in his administration are undoubtedly conscious of this. However, the killing of al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan exhibits that even Biden is unable to withstand the temptation of the short-term political beneficial properties supplied by such high-profile, low-risk drone assassinations.

All this means that when the information cycle strikes on from al-Zawahiri’s demise, the actors concerned will probably proceed with enterprise as common. Al-Qaeda will appoint a brand new chief and proceed operations, the US and the Taliban will maintain on to the modus vivendi they established below the 2020 Doha Settlement regardless of elevated tensions, and the US will proceed to make use of drones throughout the Muslim world, whatever the unfavourable long-term affect of such operations.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. 

Japan executes man over 2008 stabbing rampage | Death Penalty News

Tomohiro Kato was convicted of killing seven individuals in an assault on Tokyo’s common Akihabara district.

Japan has executed a person convicted of killing seven individuals in a stabbing rampage in Tokyo’s common Akihabara electronics district in 2008.

Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa stated Tomohiro Kato had undertaken “meticulous preparation” for the assault and had proven a “robust intent” to kill.

“The loss of life sentence on this case was finalised by way of adequate deliberation in court docket,” he informed reporters.

“Primarily based on this reality, I authorized the execution after extraordinarily thorough scrutiny.”

The June 2008 attack, which additionally injured 10 individuals, started with Kato driving a truck right into a crowd. After stabbing a number of individuals, the then 25-year-old was arrested on the scene, telling police: “I got here to Akihabara to kill individuals. It didn’t matter who I’d kill.”

Police stated he documented his journey to Akihabara on web bulletin boards, typing messages on a cell phone from behind the wheel of the truck and complaining of his unstable job and loneliness.

Japan’s high court docket confirmed Kato’s loss of life sentence in 2015, saying there was “no grounds for leniency”. The assault was the nation’s worst mass killing in seven years.

Police arrest Tomohiro Kato, who is wearing a beige suit and glasses, on a street in Akhibara after he killed seven people in Tokyo.
Tomohiro Kato was arrested on the scene. He drove a truck into pedestrians earlier than occurring a stabbing spree [File: Jiji Press via AFP]

The son of a banker, Kato grew up in Aomori prefecture in Japan’s north, the place he graduated from a high highschool. He failed his college entrance exams and finally educated as a automobile mechanic, experiences stated.

Prosecutors stated Kato’s self-confidence had plummeted after a lady he had chatted with on-line abruptly stopped emailing him after he despatched her {a photograph} of himself.

His anger in opposition to most of the people grew when his on-line feedback, together with his plans for a killing spree, drew no response, prosecutors stated.

Whereas awaiting trial, Kato wrote to a 56-year-old taxi driver whom he injured within the stabbing spree, expressing his regret.

The victims “have been having fun with their lives, and so they had goals, shiny futures, heat households, lovers, pals and colleagues,” Kato wrote based on a duplicate printed within the Shukan Asahi weekly.

Kato’s execution is the primary in Japan this 12 months and comes after three prisoners were hanged in December 2021. These have been the primary executions within the nation in two years.

The usage of the loss of life penalty in Japan is shrouded in secrecy. These on loss of life row may solely discover out the sentence shall be carried out just a few hours earlier than or generally by no means, whereas their households are often solely notified afterwards, based on Amnesty Worldwide.

Amnesty, which is against the loss of life penalty in all instances, says the final pattern all over the world stays in direction of the abolition of capital punishment.

Singapore carries out fifth execution since March | Death Penalty News

Nazeri bin Lajim was hanged early on Friday morning for drug offences, the most recent in a ‘relentless wave’ of executions.

Nazeri bin Lajim, who was convicted of drug trafficking 5 years in the past, has been hanged in Singapore’s Changi Jail.

The 64-year-old Singaporean was executed on Friday morning as scheduled, the city-state’s jail service confirmed in an emailed assertion to the AFP information company.

Singapore has carried out a collection of hangings in latest months, fuelling uncommon debate over the nation’s continued use of the loss of life penalty, notably in medicine circumstances.

“5 individuals have been hanged this yr in Singapore in interval of lower than 4 months,” Amnesty Worldwide’s loss of life penalty skilled Chiara Sangiorgio mentioned in a press release, noting that each one these executed had been drug offenders. “This relentless wave of hangings should cease instantly.”

Abdul Kahar Othman, a Singaporean, was the primary to be hanged, together with his execution on March 30 ending a two-year pause in the usage of the loss of life penalty.

In April, the nation went forward with the execution of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, a Malaysian with studying disabilities, whose case drew international consideration and quite a few appeals for clemency from his household, United Nations consultants, the European Union and the Malaysian authorities.

The court docket listening to his last appeals mentioned the efforts to avoid wasting Nagaenthran’s life had been a “blatant and egregious abuse” of the authorized course of, and that it was “improper to interact in or encourage last-ditch makes an attempt” to delay or cease an execution.

Nazeri too hoped for a final minute reprieve, arguing from jail by way of Zoom on Thursday for a keep of execution to permit him to discover a lawyer. M Ravi, who represented him beforehand, has had his certificates to apply regulation taken away. The court docket rejected his attraction.

Nazeri was arrested in 2012 after being discovered with 33.39 grams (1.18 ounces) of heroin. Singapore considers anybody with greater than 15 grams (0.5 of an oz.) of the drug to be a trafficker and imposes a compulsory loss of life sentence.

Singapore argues that the loss of life penalty is important to discourage crime and drug trafficking.

In a press release launched after Nagaenthran’s execution, a gaggle of UN human rights consultants mentioned Singapore’s continued use of capital punishment for drug-related crimes was opposite to worldwide regulation. It burdened that nations that maintained the loss of life penalty ought to use it for less than “essentially the most critical crimes” and that drug offences didn’t meet the brink.

The United Nations Workplace on Medication and Crime (UNODC) and the Worldwide Narcotics Management Board (INCB) have additionally condemned the usage of capital punishment for drug crimes.

In its most up-to-date report on the usage of the loss of life penalty world wide, Amnesty Worldwide mentioned that whereas executions surged in 2021, the worldwide development stays in direction of abolition.

At the moment, some 110 nations have abolished the loss of life penalty for all crimes and greater than two-thirds of countries are abolitionist in regulation or apply, it mentioned.

UN decries rising death toll, rights violations in Haiti | News

UN rights workplace says at the very least 234 folks had been killed or injured in gang-related violence from 8-12 July within the Cite Soleil district of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The UN human rights workplace has expressed concern about rising violence round Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, saying 99 folks have been reported killed in current combating between rival gangs within the Cite Soleil district alone.

The warning on Saturday got here hours after the UN Safety Council unanimously approved a resolution renewing the mandate of a UN workplace within the Caribbean nation and calling on all nations to cease the switch of small arms, mild weapons and ammunition to anybody there supporting gang violence and legal exercise.

UN humanitarian companies stated they had been prepared to assist embattled communities as soon as it’s secure to take action.

“We’ve got thus far documented, from January to the top of June, 934 killings, 684 accidents and 680 kidnappings throughout the capital,” Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the UN’s Excessive Commissioner for Refugees, stated on Saturday.

As well as, “Over a five-day interval, from 8-12 July, at the very least 234 extra folks had been killed or injured in gang-related violence within the Cite Soleil space of town.”

He stated a lot of the victims “weren’t immediately concerned in gangs” however had been focused by them.

Individually, the UN’s humanitarian affairs workplace reported that 99 of the current casualties in Cite Soleil had been deaths.

A woman with her son walks past a barricade
A lady along with her son walks previous a barricade that was arrange by demonstrators to protest the nation’s gas scarcity in Port-au-Prince, Haiti [Odelyn Joseph/AP Photo]

Laurence known as on gangs to halt the violence, whereas additionally urging Haitian authorities to make sure that basic human rights are “positioned on the entrance and heart of their responses to the disaster. The combat in opposition to impunity and sexual violence, together with the strengthening of human rights monitoring and reporting, should stay a precedence”, he stated.

The Safety Council decision drafted by america and Mexico was authorized 15-0 Friday. It demanded a direct cessation of gang violence and legal actions — some extent careworn by China.

“The closely armed gangs have gotten more and more subtle of their actions, conducting simultaneous, coordinated and organised assaults in several areas,” Laurence stated.

The federal government, he stated, has an obligation to guard residents’ proper to life even from threats that come from non-public entities.

The UN companies stated some gangs even deny entry to consuming water and meals as a way to management the inhabitants, aggravating malnutrition.

US Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills stated the brand new decision will enable the UN mission to advertise political dialogue and bolster the capability of the Haitian Nationwide Police to regulate gang violence and defend human rights.

A yr after the unsolved assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, gang violence has grown worse and plenty of Haitians have tried to flee a rustic that appears to be in financial and social freefall. Makes an attempt to kind a coalition authorities have faltered, and efforts to carry basic elections have stalled.

The United Nations has been concerned in Haiti on and off since 1990, and the final UN peacekeeping mission was within the nation from 2004 till October 2017. The political mission now there advises Haiti’s authorities on selling political stability and good governance.