Al Qaeda Praises and Curses Turkey
By Micah Halpern
Sunday August 15, 2010
I've Been Thinking:
A new audio message was posted on an al Qaeda web site today. It was a message from Ayman Zawahiri, the second most important leader of Al Qaeda. The message, in Arabic, was 20 minutes long.
Most significantly, Zawahiri calls Muslim leaders to task for abandoning the cause of their people.
He also discusses Turkey, delivering a complex and serious message. Al Qaeda's # 2 both calls for ousting Turkey's leadership and compliments the Muslim leadership for supporting the Palestinians and for sending the flotilla to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
He delivers a biting critique of Turkish military cooperation with Israel. On the one hand Zawahiri says Turkey is doing the right thing and on the other he says Turkey is just like all the evil leaders in the Muslim world who co-operate with the enemy.
Zawahiri is not speaking in circles. This critique shows a multi-leveled understanding that until now has been missing in al Qaeda's public messages. Until now, al Qaeda messages have always been mono-dimensional.
This could signal a significant change in al Qaeda's approach to their disciples. Or it could just be a reflection of an obvious reality that needed to be articulated.