Jun 27 2008
Here some important news the US SurrenderMedia has been able to keep a lid on. How many people know that major Islamist extremist groups were abandoning Bin Laden and Jihad? Apparently more than we (in the West) know:
It was the summer of 2000 and Benotman, then a leader of a group trying to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, had been invited by bin Laden to a conference of jihadists from across the Arab world, the first of its kind since al-Qa’ida had moved to Afghanistan in 1996.
Despite the warm welcome, Benotman surprised his hosts with a bleak assessment of their prospects. “I told them that the jihadist movement had failed. That we had gone from one disaster to another, like in Algeria, because we had not mobilised the people,” he recalls, referring to the Algerian civil war launched by jihadists in the ’90s that left more than 100,000 dead and destroyed whatever local support the militants had once enjoyed. Benotman also told bin Laden that the al-Qa’ida leader’s decision to target the US would only sabotage attempts by groups such as Benotman’s to overthrow the secular dictatorships in the Arab world.
“We made a clear-cut request for him to stop his campaign against the US because it was going to lead to nowhere,” Benotman recalls. “But they laughed when I told them that America would attack the whole region if they launched another attack against it.”
Benotman says that bin Laden tried to placate him with a promise: “I have one more operation and after that I will quit”, an apparent reference to September 11, 2001.
“I can’t call this one back because that would demoralise the whole organisation,” Benotman remembers bin Laden saying.
After the attacks, Benotman, now living in London, resigned from the LIFG, realising that the US, in its war on terrorism, would differentiate little between al-Qa’ida and his organisation. However, he did more than just retire. In January last year, under a veil of secrecy, he flew to Tripoli in a private jet chartered by the Libyan Government to try to persuade the imprisoned senior leadership of his former group to enter into peace negotiations with the regime. He was successful. Last month, Benotman told us that the two parties could be as little as three months away from an agreement in which the LIFG formally would end its operations in Libya and denounce al-Qa’ida’s global jihad.
At that point, the group would also publicly refute recent claims by al-Qa’ida that the two organisations had joined forces.
Although Benotman’s public rebuke of al-Qa’ida went unnoticed in the US, it received wide attention in the Arabic press. Benotman was adding his voice to a rising tide of anger in the Islamic world towards al-Qa’ida and its affiliates, whose victims since September 11 have mostly been fellow Muslims. Significantly, he was also joining a larger group of religious scholars, former fighters and militants who had once had great influence over al-Qa’ida’s leaders and who – alarmed by the targeting of civilians in the West, the senseless killings in Muslim countries and al-Qa’ida’s barbaric tactics in Iraq – have turned against the organisation, many just in the past year.
Seems Bin Laden is losing his appeal – must be all those Muslims his Jihad snuffed out. Â He definitely doesn’t have the broader Muslim community behind him, and he seems to lose more and more each day.