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‘Al-Qaeda down, not out’

india Updated: Jan 23, 2010 23:18 IST
Rajiv Arora

‘There will be an end of Al-Qaeda one day, but not of terrorism,” said the Pulitzer-winning journalist and writer Lawrence Wright. Author of the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda And The Road To 9/11, he believes that “the core group and the central ideology of Al-Qaeda have failed in every respect… for its goals are way too big to achieve.” For Wright, that’s what differentiates Al-Qaeda from other religious military outfits like Hamas which have “realistic agendas” and have worked for social welfare, too.

Wright was recently in Gaza. He admitted that the region “hasn’t been destroyed, but has collapsed as a society.” Which makes him think it’ll be a mistake “to write off the threat [of Al-Qaeda]” just because the outfit has lost its prowess.

But terrorism has also brought countries closer. “It has definitely made nations respond to the threat,” insisted the 62-year-old New Yorker journalist. “It is fortunate now governments have been able to communicate.” But will these relations driven by necessity come with an expiry date? “No,” he said after a thoughtful pause.

Wright is “hopeful” on US President Barack Obama’s policies on global terror. “Al-Qaeda is threatened by Obama,” he said. However, it is going to be difficult to predict how the president makes his moves,“if he does make some.” That also includes Obama’s ‘decision’ on Kashmir, which Wright feels the US is yet to address.