Al Qaeda’s PR Campaign
Al Qaeda is coming after Obama hard, not with missiles or rockets, but with a PR campaign designed to turn moderate Muslims against the new President. I predicted this when al-Zawahri released a tape calling Obama a house negro. Before he even took office Al Qaeda was blaming him for the violence in Gaza and calling him a “hypocrite,” a “killer” of innocents, an “enemy of Muslims.”
The torrent of hateful words is part of what terrorism experts now believe is a deliberate, even desperate, propaganda campaign against a president who appears to have gotten under al-Qaeda’s skin. The departure of George W. Bush deprived al-Qaeda of a polarizing American leader who reliably drove recruits and donations to the terrorist group.
With Obama, al-Qaeda faces an entirely new challenge, experts say: a U.S. president who campaigned to end the Iraq war and to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and who polls show is well liked throughout the Muslim world.
Simply put, they’re scared of this guy. Their very existence depends on a widespread animosity toward the United States—it helps recruitment from the fringes, and it causes moderates who may not exactly condone their actions to at least pause in ambivalence. A U.S. President that actually engages the Muslim world can marginalize groups like Al Qaeda, and irrelevance is probably their greatest fear.
There are rumors that Obama plans a major address in an Islamic capital in his first year. That may be one of the boldest and most effective actions he can take when it comes to foreign policy.