Is Assassination Al-Qaeda's Next Tactic?
The Northeast Intelligence Network thinks so. They monitor and translate Islamist communications including on-line magazines and message boards.
Al Qaeda has been highly focused on assassinations in recent weeks, with articles by Saudi Al Qaeda leader Abu Hajir Abdul Aziz Al Moqrim outlining the techniques to be used in a successful assasination. Based on the extensive coverage given to this topic, it is likely that there will be additional assassinations in the near future. The death of Chechyan rebel leader Abu Al Walid several weeks ago was memorialized in Voice of Jihad, and in that article the author vowed that Al Qaeda would seek revenge against the Chechyan leaders for Abu Walid's death.
Of course assassination doesn't have to mean Hollywood style high-powered rifle stuff. The Chechyan President was killed with a land mine planted in the stadium where he sat. The bombing of the UN HQ in Iraq last summer killed the UN top envoy. Was that assassination by truck bomb? In effect if not intent. You have to admit it's both frightening and cost effective - use large explosions to kill political leaders (and anybody nearby). We should look for more of this in the near term.