Al Jazeera has broadcast excerpts from Osama bin Laden’s latest tape, and the jihadists are up in arms. The problem is that, as presented by al Jazeera, al Qaeda in Iraq is in disarray, probably even losing, and bin Laden is desperately trying to encourage radical Muslims to confess their errors and stick together:
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.
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, it’s about their shock from bin Laden,” said Diaa Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on Islamic militant groups. “For the first time, bin Laden, who used to be the spiritual leader who gives guidance, became a critic of al-Qaida and is confessing mistakes. This is unusual.”
Gosh, what could cause bin Laden to “confess mistakes”? A serious turn for the worse in Iraq, obviously. Now that it’s gotten to the point where even al Jazeera has noticed, can the New York Times be far behind?
UPDATE: Ryskind comments on bin Laden’s purported rejection of “extremism.”
To comment on this post, go here.