Fawaz A. Gerges, writing in the International Herald-Tribune, notes that one of Osama bin Laden's most prominent Salafist mentors has turned against him.
...the preacher and scholar Salman al-Oadah, publicly reproached bin Laden for causing widespread mayhem and killing.
"How many innocent children, elderly people, and women have been killed in the name of Al Qaeda?" asked al-Oadah in a letter on his Web site, Islamtoday.com, and in comments on an Arabic television station.
"How many people have been forced to flee their homes, and how much blood has been shed in the name of Al Qaeda?"
Al-Oadah is a prominent Salafi preacher with a large following in Saudi Arabia and abroad. In the 1990s, he was imprisoned by the Saudi regime along with four leading clerics for criticizing the kingdom's close relationship with the United States, particularly the stationing of American troops there after the 1991 Gulf war. [....]
Although al-Oadah and other senior Muslim scholars condemned the 9-11 attacks, until now they had refrained from direct criticism of bin Laden.
Now, with al-Oadah's new frontal assault on bin Laden, there is no longer any ambiguity. [....]
... the attack on bin Laden and his group by a respected religious authority is lethal, especially coming at a critical juncture for Al Qaeda and like-minded militant factions worldwide.
The piece recounts some other serious setbacks elsewhere for AQ. So the theory bandied about that America is somehow strengthening AQ by being in Iraq seems even more questionable.
It is too bad the New York Times has not published this article from its wholly owned subsidiary in Paris.Hat tip: Herb Meyer