Magazine article National Defense

Irregular Warfare Group Dissects Terrorist Strategy

Magazine article National Defense

Irregular Warfare Group Dissects Terrorist Strategy

Article excerpt

TACOMA, Wash. -- Al-Qaida's strategy for establishing a grand caliphate is laid out in seven specific steps. But without a clear understanding of this plan, the U.S. military will fail to counteract it, said Brian Berrey, a retired Navy SEAL and government contractor.

Berrey is working for a specialized unit within the Defense Department's technical support working group--called the irregular warfare support program--to study, understand and counteract terrorist teachings.

"We're falling into their objectives by not analyzing the strategy with enough detail to provide a counter strategy to attack them," said Berrey, who spoke at a Lodestar Group special operations conference.

The first of seven steps in al-Qaida's strategy began with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, he said. Called the awakening, or the beginning, it took two to three years to tell the rest of the world, '"Wake-up we're here and we're here to stay and oh by the way, we're going to be engaged,'" Berrey said.

The second stage--called opening eyes--began in 2003 and extended into this year, he said. "One of the core objectives that's articulated is that by the end of 2006 to 2007, what they hope to be able to have is Iraq as their operating base," Berrey explained.

The third step is the arising and standing up, which is supposed to take place from 2007 to 2010. During this period, extremists will try to spread terrorism across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, he said. This step is meant to help terrorists acquire the capability to carry out a major attack in the 2010 to 2013 time frame.

The next step will be to defeat the apostate regimes, which is supposed to be carried out through 2017. After that, terrorists plan to establish the caliphate, destroy infidels globally and then declare victory, he said.

To prevent this strategy from being implemented further, Berrey and his group are examining how to "counter motivate" the people who turn to terrorism. …

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