Posted at 11:58 a.m. ET
This is really fascinating stuff - a family fight within Al Qaida. Consider:
One of Al-Qaida's founders, Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, has waged a harsh verbal attack on the terrorist organization's leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri...
...Sharif, who is serving a life sentence in a Cairo prison, recently wrote a book in which he said, "every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers."
The Al-Qaida figurehead also said called the September 11 terror attacks immoral and counterproductive.
Not bad, not bad. A little prison time can change a man. Sharif goes on:
"What good is it if you destroy one of your enemy's buildings, and he destroys one of your countries? What good is it if you kill one of his people, and he kills a thousand of yours? That, in short, is my evaluation of 9/11."
Notice the lack of talk of "root causes" or "American policies." Maybe some of the "scholars" we hear from regularly could get a little face time with Sharif. He could teach them much.
Sharif also criticizes Muslims who move to the West only to perpetrate terror attacks in their adopted countries. "If they gave you permission to enter their homes and live with them, and if they gave you security for yourself and your money, and if they gave you the opportunity to work or study, or they granted you political asylum" wrote Sharif, then it is "not honorable" to "betray them, through killing and destruction."
I hope this gets a lot of publicity. But what will the hard left say?
According to Reuven Paz, an expert on Islamist movements, Sharif is considered one of the leading ideologues within the Egyptian group that cultivated Jihad starting in the 1970s...
...Sharif's writings have enraged Zawahiri's followers, who claim Sharif is working for Egyptian intelligence.
Let them fight among themselves. Sharif seems a fascinating guy.
February 22, 2009.