Politics & Policy

Al Qaeda Announces Support for the “Arab Spring”

In the latest issue of Inspire the world’s only English-language magazine produced for Jihadis, by Jihadis, senior Al Qaeda propagandists welcome the revolution:

 

“The mujahedeen around the world are going through a moment of elation,” Mr. Awlaki wrote in a new issue of the English-language Qaeda magazine Inspire, “and I wonder whether the West is aware of the upsurge of mujahedeen activity in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Algeria and Morocco?”

Mr. Awlaki’s four-page essay, titled “The Tsunami of Change,” is among a handful of statements by Al Qaeda’s leaders countering the common view among Western analysts that the terrorist network looks irrelevant at a time of change unprecedented in the modern Middle East. In ousting the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt and threatening other Arab leaders, a core of secular-leaning demonstrators have called for democracy and generally avoided violence — all at odds with Al Qaeda’s creed as it tries to instill rigid Islamist rule across the world.

 

Mr. Awlaki’s essay is more colloquial and confident, asserting that the momentous change in Arab countries left Western leaders “confused, worried, and unhappy for the departure of some of its closest and most reliable friends.”

He quotes American commentators who describe the uprisings as a refutation of Al Qaeda, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s assertion last month that “the success of peaceful protests has discredited the extremists.”

Mr. Awlaki, who is thought to be hiding in Yemen, argues that such conclusions are premature. “The outcome doesn’t have to be an Islamic government for us to consider what is occurring to be a step in the right direction,” he writes.

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