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Who is this Al Qaeda?

Friday’s CQ.com has a terrifying article exposing the Democrats’ incoming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes’ knowledge, or lack of it, about America’s enemies.

Jeff Stein, CQ’s National Security Editor, recaps a recent interview with Mr. Reyes:

We warmed up with a long discussion about intelligence issues and Iraq. And then we veered into terrorism’s major players.
To me, it’s like asking about Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland: Who’s on what side?
The dialogue went like this:
Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?
“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”
“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.
“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.
He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball.
That’s because the extremist Sunnis who make up al Qaeda consider all Shiites to be heretics.
Al Qaeda’s Sunni roots account for its very existence. Osama bin Laden and his followers believe the Saudi Royal family besmirched the true faith through their
corruption and alliance with the United States, particularly allowing U.S. troops on Saudi soil.
It’s been five years since these Muslim extremists flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center.
Is it too much to ask that our intelligence overseers know who they are?

1 thought on “Who is this Al Qaeda?

  1. It is also interesting that Saddam Hussein had loose connections to the Sunni. “Hussein’s severely weakened status after his huge setback in 1991 led him to publicly embrace Islam as a means of strengthening his legitimacy, a step he had initiated even before the Gulf War in order to draw maximum international support. He opened hundreds of new mosques in the country and established a major new theological school called Saddam University that taught only the Sunni version of Islamic theology…” http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr108.html

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