Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri
The call this week by an al-Qaida leader for Allah to “humiliate” President Bush and the Republican Party in Tuesday’s election was not the first tacit endorsement of Democrat Barack Obama by the terrorist network.
A contributor to a major al-Qaida website last week said the terrorist group will “let the Democrats win the presidential elections, and Obama will take it,” according to Joseph Shahda, an Arabic translator who monitors radical Islamic websites.
Obama’s “goal is to withdraw from Iraq” over a period of time, but “he will be forced to withdraw his forces from Iraq at a much earlier time,” said the Oct. 23 post, written under the name “Wissam” on the Al-Hesbah website. Shahda first posted his translation on the popular forum FreeRepublic.com.
Shahada told WND the Al-Hesbah website is one of four main al-Qaida-related forums.
“Overall there are many more posters on these forums who want McCain defeated, because they want Obama to withdraw the U.S. troops from Iraq so the terrorists will claim victory,” Shahda said.
The Oct. 23 post also called for launching a “crushing strike” after the election.
Shahda explained that all al-Qaida press releases, videos, audios and speeches are first posted on the terrorist forums.
He noted that a Q&A session in January with al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was based on questions posed by contributors to the four major websites.
In the video released Thursday, an al-Qaida leader believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, Abu Yahya al-Libi, declared, “O Allah, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him.”
Libi also called for the wrath of Allah to be brought against Bush, equating him with past tyrants, according to Reuters.
The title of a Washington Post story Oct. 22 suggested the forums indicated significant al-Qaida support for John McCain.
But the story, “On Al-Qaeda Web Sites, Joy Over U.S. Crisis, Support for McCain,” cited only one posting declaring a Republican victory would benefit the terrorist network.
“Al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming election,” the Post quoted from the website posting, which also stated an attack around the time of the election could help McCain win.
“It will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaida. Al-Qaida will then succeed in exhausting America,” it said.
But Shahda said many postings on the Al-Hesbah website mocked the Washington Post article.
“Members were making fun of the Washington Post for not distinguishing between a member’s opinion and an al-Qaida official statement,” he said.
Shahda said that in addition to the Oct. 23 post stating al-Qaida will let Democrats win, there have been previous comments on al-Qaida-linked Internet forums speaking in favor of Obama that the media has not covered.