Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Al Qaeda takes aim at Al-Jazeera over Bin Laden Coverage

Associated Press

"Al Qaeda sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Usama bin Laden's latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq."
"Analysts said the reaction highlighted militants' surprise at bin Laden's words, and their dismay at the deep divisions among Al Qaeda and other Iraqi militants that he appeared to be trying to heal."
"The recording aired Monday contained unusually strong criticism of insurgents in Iraq from bin Laden, who urges them to admit mistakes and unify."
"the Al-Fajr Media Center, which usually posts Al Qaeda video and audio tapes on the Web, accused Al-Jazeera of "counterfeiting the facts" by making the speech appear as exclusively critical of insurgents."
"The editor-in-chief of the Qatar-based station, Ahmed Sheik, refused to comment on the criticism but said the tape had not been misrepresented."
"Bin Laden's message came at a time of deepening splits in the Sunni Arab insurgency in Iraq."
"The splits are believed to have been caused by anger over Al Qaeda attempts to dominate the insurgency as well as by its killings of Sunni tribal leaders and its attempts to impose Taliban-like rules."
"Kara Driggers, Mideast analyst for the Terrorism Research Center, said bin Laden's criticisms of Al Qaeda in Iraq and his rhetoric addressing all Iraqis — including tribal leaders — 'seems to have brought more authority to the request (for unity) and the groups are taking it more seriously.' "
"But Eric Rosenbach, a terror expert ... said the splits will be difficult to mend, pointing out that Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq view bin Laden as being as foreign as the Americans."

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