Is Bin Laden Moving on from Iraq?

[BBC News] Paul Reynolds - The two latest messages believed to be from Osama Bin Laden emphasize the centrality of a struggle against Israel and raise the question as to why he did not concentrate on Iraq. Perhaps the shift from Iraq to the "Palestinian question" is meant to attract support, leading to a theory among some Western intelligence analysts that al-Qaeda accepts that it is in trouble in Iraq. "Al-Qaeda could now be preparing its followers for a strategic failure in Iraq. It therefore needs a rallying cry and Palestine is a no-brainer," said Nigel Inkster, Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. "There is some evidence that support for Osama Bin Laden has been dropping in the Arab world because of revulsion about al-Qaeda behavior and especially the killing of Muslims." "On the other hand, there is still an appetite and ambition to engage in terrorism spectaculars in Western Europe and the U.S., though the capacity might not match the ambition. But they only have to be lucky once."

2008-05-21 01:00:00

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