Al-Qaida’s campaign in Iraq has backfired politically due to large numbers of Muslim deaths, prompting the terrorist network to take its holy war elsewhere, according to counter-terror experts.
An Internet magazine published by al-Qaida, Sawt al-Jihad, or “Voice of Jihad,” urges Osama bin Laden’s supporters to stay away from Baghdad and instead hit U.S. military targets in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, terrorist expert Rita Katz told the New York Post.
Katz’ SITE Institute monitors al-Qaida propaganda on the Internet.
An article titled “Do Not Go To Iraq,” by Muhammad bin al-Salim, says: “My instructions to the people of the peninsula [Saudi Arabia], young as old, men as women, is to fight Americans in their homes and the people of Yemen should fight the Americans in their bases, battleships and their consulates.”
The Post notes this is a change in strategy by bin Laden, who reportedly in October shifted some resources from Taliban renegades in Afghanistan to Iraq in order to battle coalition forces.
Katz sees growing evidence bin Laden’s foreign fighters no longer are welcome in Iraq, the Post reported.
“It’s clear that the killing of a lot of Muslims in Iraq is something al-Qaida now wants to avoid,” she told the New York paper.