In the words of al-Qaeda spokesman and son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith: Why they hate America:
It is interesting to note that all the values we hold dear are a source of hate for al-Qaeda — democracy, separation of church and state, freedom of religion, to name a few.
Al-Qaeda turned 30 in August 2018. Although the notorious terror group has become a household name, many may think its shelf life passed, and it’s merely hanging around our domiciles like a dusty old product surpassed in modernity and efficiency (read: ISIS). Not so fast, the State Department warned on August 11 as it doubled the bounty on two of al-Qaeda’s top-dogs to $10 million.
So why don’t we here about al-Qaeda anymore? In contrast to ISIS, al-Qaeda is composed primarily of an older generation of ideologically-committed terrorists. Most importantly, the al-Qaeda leadership is in the fight for the long haul and imparts this message to its members and followers. Part of that message is a “mature” approach to realizing its goals, for example, no attacks on fellow Muslims. Besides violating the group’s morality (if such a word can be used in conjunction with the murderers of thousands of innocent people), the group disproves of burning bridges with Muslim communities.
In other words, al-Qaeda is patient. It is not out to get itself destroyed by establishing a caliphate now, clearly before it has made the world ready for this end goal. (If this strategy sounds familiar, it’s because it is – it’s the same strategy used by the Muslim Brotherhood, the global Islamist organization that laid the roots for al-Qaeda and its brainchild Osama bin Laden. The connection of al-Qaeda to the Muslim Brotherhood was documented in the cache recovered by the CIA during the raid that killed bin Laden. Those documents show that from the beginning, bin Laden’s ideology was rooted in the Brotherhood. And in reality, the only difference between the Brotherhood and al-Qaeda is methodology – and even those differences are not born out by facts on the ground.)
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