Archive for the ‘bin Laden’ Category

Muslim Backing Of Al-Qaeda Wanes

February 8, 2008

By Walter Pincus
The Washington Post
February 8, 2008

The violent attacks by al-Qaeda and by the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq have led people and religious groups in the Muslim world to reduce their financial support for Osama bin Laden‘s terrorist network and to question its leadership, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Congress yesterday.

“There seems to be a greater indication on the part of people within Islam to question the vision of al-Qaeda and the future that they’re holding out,” CIA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence during a hearing on worldwide threats. He said al-Qaeda’s leaders are “being forced to enter into a frankly open dialogue . . . with the body of believers.”

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told the panel that “the brutal attacks unleashed by al-Qaeda in Iraq and the other al-Qaeda affiliates against Muslim civilians have tarnished al-Qaeda’s self-styled image as the extremist vanguard.” He told the panel that “al-Qaeda has had difficulty in raising funds and sustaining themselves” over the past year since the Saudi government began arresting alleged al-Qaeda terrorists following attacks in that country.

Despite those signs, McConnell said, al-Qaeda remains “the preeminent terrorist threat to the United States here at home and abroad.”

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Should America Dump Musharraf In Pakistan?

January 4, 2008
By Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto killed the Bush administration’s last hope that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf could simultaneously defeat al Qaida and the Taliban and return his country to democratic rule.

This hand out picture released by Pakistan's Press Information ... 
This hand out picture released by Pakistan’s Press Information Department shows Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf addressing reporters in Islamabad, 3 January 2008. A team of police from Britain’s Scotland Yard is expected to arrive in Pakistan on Friday to help probe the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto as the controversy over her death rages on. (AFP/PID-HO)
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Now, experts on Pakistan say the administration faces a tough choice: Press its unpopular and isolated ally to resign or share the blame as Musharraf drags his nation toward a violent implosion that could give Islamic extremists a more extensive haven in western Pakistan than the one they already have.

“Musharraf has become a symbol of everything that is wrong,” said Ijaz Khan , a Peshawar University professor of international relations….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20080104/wl_
mcclatchy/2804302_1

Doubt Concerning Continued Unilateral Support for Mr. Musharraf

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 4, 2008

We have been involved with the situation in Pakistan for several years.  We have been blessed to know Muhammad in the tribal areas of Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan.  And we have been perplexed by America’s unquestioning support for Pervez Musharraf as exemplified by Vice President Cheney’s statement of unilateral support for Musharraf in the autumn on 2006 and the early winter of 2007.

By that time the depth of U.S. commitment to Mr. Musharraf was already $130 million (USD) every month. And a deal that kept U.S. troops out of Pakistan – even out of the tenuously “controlled” tribal areas where Osama bin Laden and the Taliban are the rumored “guests.”

Mr. Musharraf became the beneficiary of some of the strongest verbal and financial support the United States was doling out to an ally in the war against terror.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert on Sunday, September 10, 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney expressed such strong U.S. Government support for President General Musharraf of Pakistan – that I thought at the time the words were clearly over the top.

Mr. Cheney expressed U.S. support for Musharraf as follows:

“President Musharraf has been a great ally. There was, prior to 9/11, a close relationship between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized, diplomatically recognized the government of Afghanistan at that particular time. But the fact is Musharraf has put his neck on the line in order to be effective in going after the extremist elements including al-Qaeda and including the Taliban in Pakistan.”

“There have been three attempts on his life, two of those by al-Qaeda over the course of the last three years. This is a man who has demonstrated great courage under very difficult political circumstances and has been a great ally for the United States”.

“So there’s no question in that area along the Afghan/Pakistan border is something of a no man’s land, it has been for centuries. It’s extraordinarily rough territory. People there who move back and forth across the border, they were smuggling goods before there was concern about, about terrorism. But we need to continue to work the problem. Musharraf just visited Karzai in, in Kabul this past week, they’re both going to be here during the course of the U.N. General Assembly meetings over the course of the next few weeks. We worked that area very hard, and the Paks have been great allies in that effort.”

“Pakistan, we’ve gone in and worked closely with Musharraf to take down al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, same thing. In all of those cases, it’s been a matter of getting the locals into the fight to prevail over al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-related tyrants.”

“Think of Musharraf who puts his neck on the line every day he goes to work, when there’ve been attempts on his life because of his support for our position. And they look over here and they see the United States that’s made a commitment to the Iraqis, that’s gone in and taken down the old regime, worked to set up a democracy, worked to set up security forces, and all of a sudden we say it’s too tough, we’re going home. What’s Karzai going to think up in Kabul? Is he going to have any confidence at all that he can trust the United States, that in fact we’re there to get the job done? What about Musharraf? Or is Musharraf and those people you’re talking about who are on the fence in Afghanistan and elsewhere going to say, ‘My gosh, the United States hasn’t got the stomach for the fight. Bin Laden’s right, al-Qaeda’s right, the United States has lost its will and will not complete the mission,’ and it will damage our capabilities and all of those other war fronts, if you will, in the global war on terror.”

Have you ever heard any President or Vice President of the United States express such unbridled support for anyone at any time?

Now the U.S. needs to reassess — and our options are limited.

Related:
Either Way, Pakistan’s Musharraf Is In Trouble

Musharraf: He’s The Best Hope That Was Available At the Moment

November 6, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
November 6, 2007

Let’s face it: if anyone in the government of the United States of America ever though President General Pervez Musharraf was dedicated to a future democratic Pakistan, he was naïve, stupid or smoking some illegal substance.

Just try to name one other U.S. ally ever who wanted to be called “President General.”
Photo

Musharraf is and always has been a military man.  He came to power in a coup. And he is a strong man holding together a rats nest of Islamic extremists, militants and terrorists. In Pakistan, the question isn’t “Are these guys bad guys?” The more appropriate question almost always is, “Who’s side are these bad guys on?”

I have been into and out of Pakistan a few times assisting people battling the Taliban and other terrorists. It is not a pretty place to “vacation,” as my friend Mike dubbed my sojourns today.

And I have always questioned the full-throttled support for Musharraf that the U.S. has proclaimed.  And the support is not just words: it amounts to about $130 million (USD) every month.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert on Sunday, September 10, 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney expressed such strong U.S. Government support for President general Musharraf of Pakistan – that I thought at the time the words were clearly over the top. Mr. Cheney expressed U.S. support for Musharraf as follows:

“President Musharraf has been a great ally. There was, prior to 9/11, a close relationship between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized, diplomatically recognized the government of Afghanistan at that particular time. But the fact is Musharraf has put his neck on the line in order to be effective in going after the extremist elements including al-Qaeda and including the Taliban in Pakistan. There have been three attempts on his life, two of those by al-Qaeda over the course of the last three years. This is a man who has demonstrated great courage under very difficult political circumstances and has been a great ally for the United States”.

“So there’s no question in that area along the Afghan/Pakistan border is something of a no man’s land, it has been for centuries. It’s extraordinarily rough territory. People there who move back and forth across the border, they were smuggling goods before there was concern about, about terrorism. But we need to continue to work the problem. Musharraf just visited Karzai in, in Kabul this past week, they’re both going to be here during the course of the U.N. General Assembly meetings over the course of the next few weeks. We worked that area very hard, and the Paks have been great allies in that effort.”

“Pakistan, we’ve gone in and worked closely with Musharraf to take down al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, same thing. In all of those cases, it’s been a matter of getting the locals into the fight to prevail over al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-related tyrants.”

“Think of Musharraf who puts his neck on the line every day he goes to work, when there’ve been attempts on his life because of his support for our position. And they look over here and they see the United States that’s made a commitment to the Iraqis, that’s gone in and taken down the old regime, worked to set up a democracy, worked to set up security forces, and all of a sudden we say it’s too tough, we’re going home. What’s Karzai going to think up in Kabul? Is he going to have any confidence at all that he can trust the United States, that in fact we’re there to get the job done? What about Musharraf? Or is Musharraf and those people you’re talking about who are on the fence in Afghanistan and elsewhere going to say, ‘My gosh, the United States hasn’t got the stomach for the fight. Bin Laden’s right, al-Qaeda’s right, the United States has lost its will and will not complete the mission,’ and it will damage our capabilities and all of those other war fronts, if you will, in the global war on terror.”

Have you ever heard any President or Vice President of the United States express such unbridled support for anyone at any time?

I think not.

So why did Musharraf get the full trust and confidence of the United States – and billions of dollars? Because he was in power on 9-11 and we were in no position to invade Iraq, Afghanistan AND Pakistan. Pakistan at least had a ruler that didn’t drop gas on his own people, the way Saddam used gas on the Kurds.

So, Musharraf was a guy we were stuck with: not the guy we chose to take to the dance.

It rankles me some that Mr. Cheney felt he had to so obviously oversell this lemon. I wish he had just said: “Musharraf will never give us democracy in Pakistan. But he might keep the various factions from creating total chaos.”

Today Musharraf said he would still hold democratic elections in January. That, my friends, is happy talk nobody in Pakistan believes. Musharraf is holding on for dear life. And it is uncertain if he’ll still be above ground in January. If he is it will be because many of his enemies disappear without a trace.

Now we may be on the brink of total chaos in Pakistan and the U.S. can do little but stand on the sidelines like a deer in the headlights.

But it looks like we already decided to stay with the gal we’re dancing with. As long as she can do it.

Al-Qaida angry at Jazeera on Laden tape

October 26, 2007

By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press Writer

CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Osama bin Laden‘s latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq.

Users of a leading Islamic militant Web forum posted thousands of insults against the pan-Arab station for focusing on excerpts in which bin Laden criticizes insurgents, including his followers.
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Analysts said the reaction highlighted militants’ surprise at bin Laden’s words, and their dismay at the deep divisions among al-Qaida and other Iraqi militants that he appeared to be trying to heal.

“It’s not about Al-Jazeera….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com
/s/ap/20071026/
ap_on_re_mi_ea/
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Bin Laden: Sinking in the Polls

September 17, 2007

By Karen P. Hughes
The Washington Post
Monday, September 17, 2007; Page A19

The video reappearance of Osama bin Laden is a reminder that extremists with murderous methods continue to threaten innocent people worldwide. His emergence after three years of hiding also provides an opportunity to take stock of how differently the world now views the terrorist leader — and that view is turning darker than bin Laden’s newly dyed beard.

People in America and many other Western nations have expressed strong disapproval of bin Laden and al-Qaeda since the Sept. 11 attacks. What’s new is the dramatic decline in his standing in majority-Muslim countries. Polls in the two nations that have suffered some of the worst of al-Qaeda’s violence — Afghanistan and Iraq — show that more than 90 percent of those populations have unfavorable views of al-Qaeda and of bin Laden himself.

Read the rest at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/16/
AR2007091600909.html

Muslim rejection of suicide hits on the rise

July 25, 2007

By Harry Dunphy
The Washington Times
July 25, 2007

Muslims around the world increasingly reject suicide bombings and other violence against civilians by those purporting to defend Islam, according to an international poll released yesterday.

A wide-ranging survey of international attitudes in 47 countries by the Pew Research Center also reported that in many of the countries where support for suicide attacks has declined, there also has been decreasing support for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Read it all:
http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070725/FOREIGN/107250068/1001