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One Step on the Road to Defeating the Islamists
One of the more interesting things to me in the recent spate of statements by Ayman al-Zawahiri and other al Qaeda leaders is al Qaeda's need now to constantly and viciously attack other Islamist tendencies, particularly Iran and Shities, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Brotherhood-linked Hamas.

In addition to the attacks, the recent communications show two things: a clear awareness of current events, and the ability to comment on them quickly; and a clear lack of understanding of how the world really operates.

The increasingly sharp tone of the attacks and the underlying belief in a broad conspiracy of the United States and Iran to ally against al Qaeda, indicate the organization is under some considerable stress. It may also indicate that Zawahiri's days of trying to work out some sort of tactical if short term alliance with Tehran against the United States have ended in failure.

In this translation of a recent Zawahiri statement by the NEFA Foundation, the al Qaeda leader says:

Regarding Iran, its goals are explicit: annexing southern and eastern Iraq and continuing its effort to establish a continuum with its supporters in southern Lebanon. If their (the U.S.) understanding with Iran is on the basis of accepting some, or all of its goals in exchange for ignoring the American presence in the region, this understanding will only pour more oil onto the fire that is burning at our foundation..and will spark a massive [Sunni] Islamic revival, fed by the Iranian-American conspiracy."

In another statement, Zawahiri accused Iran and al Qaeda of fostering the theory that Israel, not al Qaeda, was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Al-Zawahri accused Hezbollah's Al-Manar television of starting the rumor. "The purpose of this lie is clear —
(to suggest) that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history.

"Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it," he said. "Iran's aim here is also clear — to cover up its involvement with America in invading the homes of Muslims in
Afghanistan and Iraq," he added. Iran cooperated with the United States in the 2001 U.S. assault on Afghanistan that toppled al-Qaida's allies, the Taliban.

This begs the question of what Iran has done with the senior al Qaeda commanders and other high value targets that Iran has been holding.

For some time after 9/11 Iran let those targets enjoy some level of operational capability.

Zawahiri is equally critical of Hamas' leadership and the broader Muslim Brotherhood, accusing them (and Sheikh Qaradawi by name) of selling out to the West and betraying al Qaeda.

In his first Open Meeting where he responds to numerous questions, Zawahiri spends about one-third of his time in attacking Hamas, Qaradawi (whose writings he knows well and quotes at length in order to rebut them) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

All of this points to some growing isolation by al Qaeda and its core leadership, from others outside their group. The splintering of the Islamist groups that share the same overarching objective-our obliteration-can only be good news.

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