What Happened to al-Qaeda?

February 6th, 2009 | Sources: Economist


al-Qaeda has been in a rut lately. It hasn’t been able to strike the West since London, 2005. Its top dogs are pinned down by Predator drones in Pakistan, and the Pushtun are pretty much fed up with their guests.

al-QaedaworldviewAll that leaves bin Laden and al Zawahiri trying to exploit the news rather than making it.

bin Laden’s most recent diatribe for example claims his jihad caused America’s economic collapse and that’s funny because we thought it was bad real estate bets in Las Vegas and Stockton.

And the Big O can’t win according to bin Laden, because if he pulls out of Bush War I and Bush War II, he loses militarily and if he fights on it worsens our economy.

bin Laden thought he could get his mojo back when the Israelis ransacked Gaza but that’s probably not going to work, either.

Israel’s brutal march has surely radicalized thousands more Muslims, but when they look around for someone or something to follow they see plenty of groups that have fought harder against Israel than al-Qaeda.

Hamas and Hezbollah, for example.

Foolishly, al-Qaeda dismisses these groups. They’ve participated in elections meaning they’ve put human laws above God’s. And the Hez and Hamas are Shia meaning they’re apostates.

Oh really? Even former al-Qaeda members are nailing bin Laden and al Zawahiri for these gaffes. For example, Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, an al-Qaeda founder who left the organization after a spat with Zawahiri, has launched a blistering ideological attack against al-Qaeda using a pen-name, Dr. Fadl.

The good doctor says al-Qaeda does “not offer Palestine anything except words,” and that Zawahiri is a yellow-bellied sapsucker who incites others to die for the cause while he enjoys soup with his buddies in a mountain getaway.

Graveyards and prisons overflow with jihadists, writes Dr. Fadl, but al-Qaeda leaders headed for the hills.


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