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Bin Laden vs. the Gory Islamic "Camelot"

Reader comment on item: Bin Laden Documents Released

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jun 7, 2015 at 14:36

Thank you, Daniel, for sharing your insights on bin Laden.

I didn't know, before now, that bL was obsessed with conspiracy theories. From the list of those you named, he would fit in with some Conservative Christians I know, as well as Jewish leftists.

Concerning the comparison between bin Laden and Da'esh, I agree that Da'esh (the Islamic Caliphate, or ISIL) has been more effective -- if at nothing else, then at garnering followers. The majority of former bin Laden followers, in fact, seem to have "converted" recently to Da'esh in Iraq-Syria, the Maghreb, Libya, even in Afghanistan and Gaza. Besides this, they have gotten eager recruits from the Free Syrian Army, the Muslim Brotherhood and they are even allied with Iranian allies in Gaza.

Bin Laden might even be considered as a transitional figure in the Middle East, bridging the gap between the anti-American rhetoric and hatred of former Soviet-backed republics, on the one hand, and the Islamist actors of today. That transition period would have been from around 1992, when bin Laden was banished from Saudi Arabia, to his death in 2011. The WTC and Pentagon attacks on 9/11/2001 were obvious highlights of this period of history.

Since 2011, we are in a new era, initiated by the "Arab Spring", along with the momentary rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and its replacement, untimately, by Da'esh. It's interesting, that American foreign and domestic policy is still stuck in the bin Laden era, with its focus on airport security and air strikes against former Al Qaeda strongholds. Our airports are no longer an important part of Islamist strategy, nor is there likely to be a spectacular attack like 9/11 from Da'esh. The main danger from Da'esh today, is its successful recruiting -- which troubles the Middle Eastern and European (including Russia) countries more than North America; as well, of course, its obvious success on the ground.

The war against bin Laden was focussed on mainly American targets, plus Al Qaeda base camps. The war today is focussed on the minds of the Muslim people, which are becoming attracted (especially among the youth and converts) to fantasy ideas of greatness in an Islamic Camelot of legend -- a land of "Happy Ever-aftering" in the bloody, gory Islamic parallel of chivalry.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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