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US sees shift in Muslim attitudes toward Al-Qaeda

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by Spring Onion, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Spring Onion

    Spring Onion PDF VETERAN

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    US sees shift in Muslim attitudes toward Al-Qaeda

    by Jim Mannion

    Thu Feb 7, 4:32 PM ET



    WASHINGTON (AFP) - US intelligence chiefs said Thursday they are seeing some signs that public opinion in the Muslim world is turning against Al-Qaeda.



    They cited indications that donations to Al-Qaeda are falling off, unusual criticism of the group by other Muslim fundamentalists, and efforts by Al-Qaeda's leadership to reach out to the umma, the body of Muslim believers.

    The shifting attitudes come despite other evidence that Al-Qaeda has gained strength in its safe havens in Pakistan's tribal areas and are improving their ability to launch attacks in the west.

    "We don't know if we've reached a tipping point yet. That's something were trying to get a focus on to get a feel for it," said Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence.

    But he told lawmakers, "There are a number of positive signs."

    McConnell pointed to the turnabout in Iraq's Al-Anbar province as the most dramatic example of Sunnis repudiating an Al-Qaeda affiliate with a resulting decline in sectarian violence.

    Saudi Arabia's forceful response to extremist attacks in 2003 also has exerted pressure on Al-Qaeda and on the flow of donations to it from wealthy Arabs, he said.

    "What we've noticed in the past year and two months is that Al-Qaeda has had difficulty in raising funds and sustaining itself," McConnell said.

    General Michael Hayden, the CIA director, acknowledged that Muslim attitudes toward Al-Qaeda were "hard to measure."

    But he pointed to a jihadist website's open invitation of questions for Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda's number two, as a possible sign that its leaders are worried about eroding public support in the Muslim world.

    "To have people like bin Laden and Zawahiri governing by fiat as to what true Islam is, now being forced into a rather open dialogue with the umma, the body of believers, I think it is a remarkable step, and I don't think reflective of overconfidence on the part of Al-Qaeda now," Hayden said.

    McConnell said US intelligence has noted that several Salafist groups, a fundamentalist Muslim branch that emulates Mohammed and his early followers, have recently denounced Al-Qaeda's actions.

    "So that is another sign for us that the billion Muslims that practice their faith as good citizens are not for Al-Qaeda and that it's the extremist branch," he said.

    On the other hand, McConnell acknowledged that Al-Qaeda has had unprecedented success in uniting Muslim extremists through the Internet.

    "If you're even thinking about this you can sit down and find a website and start having dialogue and be recruited.

    "So we have seen the group that perseveres in the FATA reach from Morocco all the way across to Afghanistan," he said, referring to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan where Al-Qaeda has found sanctuary.

    Nevertheless, McConnell said, "It's my belief that at some point society will disenfranchise that extremist element and we'll see a tipping point going back in the other direction."

    :tup:
     
  2. Spring Onion

    Spring Onion PDF VETERAN

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    Thank God at last someone realized that majority of Muslims do no support Al-Qaeda and majority of Muslims hate Al-Qaeda and want its elemination.
     
  3. x_man

    x_man PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Al-Qaeda , its CEO , its board of directors , its share holders and its partners have done more damage to Muslims than benefiting them in any way. Its time that to boycott their products and doom their business, we had enough of them.:coffee:
     
  4. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    what is needed is a complete dis-connect by the establishment (GoP, Bureaucrats, armed forces (read ISI) with these militant organisations. no overt or covert support. they will die a quick death.