The Counterterrorism Blog cites the final interview of top Taliban leader Mullah Daldullah saying that American and British Al-Qaida recruits are in the midst of planning and training for new terrorist strikes in their home countries.
That possibility is interesting to consider with this report about unrest about how Iraq is destabilizing Iran from the WSJ Opinion Journal, citing an NYT article.
Some Iranians are intrigued by the more freewheeling experiment in Shi'ite empowerment taking place across the border in Iraq, where--Iraq's myriad problems aside--imams can say whatever they want in political Friday sermons, newspapers and satellite channels regularly slam the government, and religious observance is respected and encouraged but not required.
In Tehran's storied central bazaar, an increasing number of merchants are sending their religious donations, a 20 percent tithe expected from all who can spare it, to Iraq's most senior Shi'ite cleric--rather than to clerics closer to Iran's state power structure, said Jawad al-Ghaie, 48, a wholesaler of false eyelashes and nail extensions and a respected lay donor.
Speaking carefully to avoid directly challenging the Iranian government, he and several fellow merchants suggested that Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani holds more spiritual sway because of his lifelong commitment to quietism. That is the school of thought that says Shi'ite leaders should stay out of government, and Sistani has stuck to it despite the great temptation to wade into the chaos of Iraqi politics.
Considered in the context of the troubles now roiling Pakistan, it is reasonable to conjecture that the War which began on September 11 may be widening. With Kurdistan now under attack, the Horn of Africa still active; with North Africa announcing that it is now a second front poised to attack Europe things are hotting up.
To this drumbeat we might want to add the following: The NYT reports that Iran has increasingly perfected its uranium enrichment technology and is going to high gear. "One senior European diplomat ... said Washington would now have to confront the question of whether it wants to keep Iran from producing any nuclear material or whether it wants to keep Tehran from gaining the ability to build a weapon on short notice." Town Commons says the it's crunch time.