Al Qaeda facing alienation from fellow jihadists, claims US expertJune 9th, 2008 - 11:50 am ICT by ANI
New York , June 9 (ANI): Al Qaeda is said to have lately started attracting alienation from fellow jihadists because of its brutal campaign in Iraq , as most of its victims around the world are Muslims, as also that the terror network has continued to target civilians for slaughter in the West, writes Cruickshank in the New York-based Daily News.
Cruickshank is a fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security and the co-author of the current cover story The Jihadist Revolt against Bin Laden published in the New Republic .
According to him, among the jihadi leaders who have openly attacked Al Qaeda in the recent past, include Salman al Oudah, a Saudi cleric with a large international youth following and whose fiery anti-American audiotapes in the 1990s were a huge inspiration for Bin Laden and his circle, Sayyid Imam al Sharif, the Egyptian spiritual godfather of Al Qaeda, and Noman Benotman, a former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
While mainstream Muslim leaders have long criticized Al Qaeda, these critics have the jihadist credentials to make their criticisms bite, wrote Cruickshank.
According to the writer, recent polls show that Al Qaeda has hemorrhaged support in places where its terrorist campaign has reached people’s doorsteps. By one measure, pro-Al Qaeda sentiment is now down to 10 percent in Saudi Arabia - and has dropped from 70 percent to 4 percent in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. The number of Al Qaeda sympathizers in Britain fell dramatically after the 2005 London bombings.
According to him, this tectonic shift beneath the headlines in the wider war on terrorism could within a few years significantly lower the likelihood of terror returning to New York s streets.
Many leading figures in the jihadist movement like Benotman were skeptical of Bin Ladens anti-American jihad even early on, concerned that violence against innocent Americans would be counterproductive. Benotman himself traveled to Afghanistan in 2000 to personally plead with Bin Laden to stop his operations against the US , but fatefully made no headway. In five years, Al Qaeda will be more isolated than ever, he reportedly said.
Al Qaeda - which views dissenting Muslims as apostates worthy of death - has been a victim of its own success, the writer said and added that instead of trying to win over Iraq s population, Al Qaeda went on a killing spree that alarmed even fellow insurgents. (ANI)
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