Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Top topic?

The current hot topic among the "jihadi circles in Pakistan" is whether or not it was smart for Al-Qaeda to strike directly at the US, considering that the US has since struck back pretty heavily.

The most recent message, Baran argues, is the result of a debate "in the jihadi circles in Pakistan about the wisdom of bin Laden's action in taking on the U.S. directly by launching the terrorist strikes of 9/11 in the U.S. homeland, which have provoked the US to use its military might to crush Al Qaeda. . . . Critics of bin Laden's action argue that the initial focus of their jihad should have been on identifying and weeding out the surrogates of the US in the Islamic world."

Baran concludes that the two recent assassination attempts against Pakistani strong man and U.S. ally Pervez Musharaff suggest the idea of an offensive "against the surrogates seems to be enjoying increasing support" among bin Laden followers.


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