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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Does Al Qaeda Leadership matter in Africa Anymore?

Part of a March 20. 2009 Commentary by Douglas Farah


Fight on, Champions of Somalia,” is, in effect, a lambasting of the current Somali leadership of Sheikh Shareef as too moderate, and a hand-wringing over how any serious Islamist could engage in negotiations with non-Islamists.

"..How can intelligent people believe that yesterday’s enemies on the basis of religion can become today’s friends? This can only happen if one of the two parties abandons his religion. So look and see which one of them is the one who has abandoned it: Shaykh Shareef or America? ...These sorts of presidents are the surrogates of our enemies and their authority is null and void in the first place, and as Shaykh Shareef is one of them, he must be dethroned and fought.”

This clearly someone who has no real influence on the ground and is reduced to watching from the sidelines, shouting instructions that no one feels obligated to listen to.

This is not to imply there is not a strong ideological/theological affinity among these groups, only to point out that bin Laden and Zawahiri are trying to become relevant in theaters of operations where they are no longer the guiding lights, and least in an operational sense.

For the Rest:

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