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article imageOp-Ed: Al Qaeda Is Losing Support Among Jihadists

By Dave Giza     Jun 8, 2008 in World
Some leaders in the global jihadist movement have publicly denounced Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda for simply going too far in killing Muslims who disagree with their methods and also for slaughtering innocent Western civilians.
Three members of the global jihadist movement have criticized Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda for their methods and strategy. One of these people is Salman al Oudah, a Saudi cleric who has a large global youth following. Ironically, he was an inspiration for Bin Laden because al Oudah made several audiotapes where he severely denounced American foreign policy towards Arabs. Another man is Sayyid al Sharif who is the Egyptian spiritual godfather of Al Qaeda and the final individual is a former head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group by the name of Noman Benotman.
Benotman has been particularly critical of Bin Laden for quite some time now. He traveled to Afghanistan in 2000 to personally plead with the Al Qaeda front-man to cease operations against the United States but was unsuccessful in doing so. Benotman believed then and still believes now that this strategy is counterproductive to Arabs in the long run.
Al Qaeda has done a terrible job of trying to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. They have gone on a killing spree even alarming fellow insurgents. They have lost the support of a majority of Iraqi Sunnis. This is a quote from a leader of the Islamic Army of Iraq from April 2007: ''Anyone who criticizes them or goes against them and demonstrates their error in such actions they try to kill.''
When Al Qaeda's terrorist campaigns reach a neighborhood's doorstep, they tend to lose dramatic support among the people. One poll shows that Al Qaeda's support among Saudi Arabians is down to 10 percent while it has dropped from 70 percent to 4 percent in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. Al Qaeda has also seen a drop-off in support among British Muslims after the 2005 London bombings.
Benotman predicts this: ''In five years, Al Qaeda will be more isolated than ever.'' CIA Director Michael Hayden has noticed this encouraging development as well. However, Al Qaeda has always maintained strong resiliency and their movement isn't dead yet.
The anti-Al Qaeda jihadists aren't exactly American allies. However, they don't believe in obtaining chemical, nuclear and biological weapons to kill innocent civilians either. The United States must isolate Al Qaeda as much as possible.
More about Osama bin Laden, Qaeda, Noman benotman