Hizbullah and Al-Qaeda

[International Herald Tribune] Bilal Y. Saab and Bruce O. Riedel - The assumption that Hizbullah and al-Qaeda have a solid operational or strategic relationship and cooperate on matters pertaining to global jihad can be challenged for the following reasons: One, irreconcilable theological differences: al-Qaeda sees Shiite Muslims as even worse than the Jews and the "crusaders." Two, conflicting political strategies: Hizbullah has been engaged in competitive politics, while al-Qaeda is bent on destroying Arab regimes and their allies. Three, strategic differences: al-Qaeda is officially at war with Hizbullah's strategic orbit - Iran and Syria. Several al-Qaeda leaders have described Hizbullah as an agent of Iran that intends to facilitate Persian imperial rule over the Middle East. Bilal Y. Saab is a research assistant at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Bruce O. Riedel is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings.

2007-04-13 01:00:00

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