Counter-Terrorism: Libyans Ordered To Attack NATO

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April 18, 2011:  Ayman al Zawahri, the Egyptian second-in-command of, and chief spokesman for, al Qaeda, recently released a video in which he urged Libyans to fight NATO and American forces in Libya. While al Qaeda and Libyan dictator Kaddafi have been attacking each other for years, al Qaeda is much more hostile to the non-Moslem West. Still, al Qaeda does not ask its followers to support Kaddafi, just to save some bullets and bombs for the hated infidels (non-Moslems). Technically, this call to arms includes fighting the Turks. But al Qaeda, like most Arabs, likes to avoid taking on the Turks.

Al Qaeda has been describing the "Arab Spring" rebellions sweeping the versions as an opportunity. But that is mostly to cheer up their followers. It's pretty obvious that most of the Arabs out overthrowing their dictators are doing so without much help from Islamic radicals. Al Qaeda is still hated throughout the Arab world, mainly because of its callous attitude towards the tens of thousands of Moslems it killed in Iraq and elsewhere. Many local al Qaeda organizations have given themselves new names and, at least for PR purposes, denounced their former loyalty to Osama bin Laden and his followers.

The Islamic radicals do see an opportunity with all the uprisings, since outfits like al Qaeda are the most disciplined and ruthless non-governmental organizations in places like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen. But in all these countries, the general population knows that the Islamic radicals want to take over, and there is very little popular support for such an action. Moreover, the Islamic radical organizations tend to attract the least educated and skilled young Arabs. Al Qaeda gets some college educated recruits, but these are very much the minority. Most Arabs have come to consider Islamic terrorists a bunch of homicidal, not-too-bright, young people with anger management issues.

 

 


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