Sunday, July 03, 2005

Al Qaeda loses another one

I note this morning that Saudi Arabia is reporting the death of another of Al Qaeda's leadership in yet another gun battle in Riyadh. One of their officials - unidentified, of course - makes the claim that this particular leader was nominated to the position by his peers. As opposed to... what? Being sent in from somewhere else with a letter of promotion from bin Laden? I wonder how common either of those events are compared to each other and other methods of determining leadership. If cells were routinely seeing members promoted by a central authority (bin Laden, for example) and you noted a steady change in that to elevation by peer nomination, would that be a sign of leadership erosion? Could be an interesting and useful datapoint if we knew.