May 7, 2008

NOTHING QUITE LIKE...:

Al-Qaeda on a Slippery Base (Mona Alami, 5/07/08, IPS)

According to a report by the Saban Centre at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, Islamist militancy in Lebanon merged with Salafism -- a movement built on the belief that Islam's purest form was practised during the time of the prophet Muhammad -- when local and foreign Salafist jihadist leaders penetrated the generally non-violent Lebanese Islamic community. [...]

According to a high ranking Lebanese security officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, what makes Zawahiri's message particularly relevant to Lebanon is his call for transforming the country into a new theatre of operations for extremists. However, the officer maintains that the fractionalisation of the country would greatly limit the ability of fundamentalist groups to freely manoeuvre on Lebanese soil.

"Lebanon has been historically considered by al-Qaeda as a land of logistic support and not one of jihad," the officer said. "Its pluralistic social structure, consisting of various religious communities, allows for a more tolerant approach to religious practice."

Moreover, the officer stresses that the 2007 victory of the Lebanese army against Fatah el-Islam, which is allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, was a hard blow to extremist groups, and reduced the chances of another conflict. "This (defeat) will undoubtedly make them (terrorist groups) wary of plotting any new attacks."

The source explains that Lebanese security forces have been able to curb the steady flow of jihadists from the Ain el-Helweh Palestinian camp in the south to Iraq in recent months. The refugee enclave, known for its connections to al-Qaeda, is home to rival extremist factions. According to the officer, Hezbollah's influence over certain Islamist factions in the Palestinian camps has caused them to shift their support away from al-Qaeda, further weakening the group's power in the area.


...proposing Salafism in an area where Sunni Muslim are a minority.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 7, 2008 10:13 AM
Comments

Algeria, however..........

Posted by: Sandy P at May 7, 2008 11:25 AM

Zawahiri is not the sharpest doctor around.

Posted by: ratbert at May 7, 2008 11:53 AM
« GRANTED THAT BEING ON THE LEFT REQUIRES YOU TO BELIEVE A LOT OF INSANE THINGS...: | Main | "ENTERTAINMENT ULTRASOUND": »