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Al-Qaeda losing support among Muslims: Report

But Al-Qaeda's status as a global player has been unintentionally enhanced by the way US and its allies have reacted to the attacks.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2006 11:33 IST

Al-Qaeda is losing sympathy among the world's Muslims five years on from the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, a report said on Friday.

But Al-Qaeda's status as a global player has been unintentionally enhanced by the way the United States and its allies have reacted to the attacks, said the study published by Chatham House, a respected London-based foreign affairs think-tank.

Osama bin Laden's global terror network has forced Western policies towards the Muslim world to be examined and sparked a rise in home-grown terrorism in Europe, said the report titled "Al-Qaeda Five Years On: Threats and Challenges".

And it has scored a propaganda gain by ingraining the link between terrorism and regional crises such as the war in Iraq or the Israel-Palestine conflict, it added.

Doctor Maha Azzam, the report's author, said that five years after Al-Qaeda crashed planes into the World Trade Centre in New York and The Pentagon defence headquarters in Washington, a mixed picture of the network's fortunes was emerging.

"Although its image as a powerful terrorist organisation has been enhanced, its leaders hide in caves and have lost the broad support of Muslims," she told the agency.

"Al-Qaeda's biggest success is that it has put on the table very clearly the link between regional crises and terrorism. Policymakers are still in denial.

"It has forced Muslims and non-Muslims to say much more clearly that the policies of Western governments have consequences -- including terrorism.