Osama Supported The Arab Spring. Obama Supported The Arab Spring. What Does That Tell The World About Obama?
By Johanna Kassel in New York
Osama bin Laden was a surprising proponent of the Arab spring, according todocuments found after his capture and released on Thursday.
In his last private letter written just a week before his death, he said the revolutions represented a “formidable event” and a turning point in the Arab world. Before the release of the 17 letters by the US government, the revolutions were viewed as a concern for bin Laden as they could cause instability and potential western involvement in the region.
At the time of the letter, the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt had fallen to rebel uprisings.
“The fall of the remaining tyrants in the region was inevitable,” he continued, and said al-Qaeda must increase efforts by “educating and warning Muslim people” about “half solutions” touted by the Muslim Brotherhood and similar Islamist groups. If al-Qaeda were successful in recruiting the newly freed rebels, bin Laden said, “then the next phase will [witness a victory] for Islam”.
He said al-Qaeda could capitalise on the revolutions, including “inciting people who have not yet revolted and exhort them to rebel against the rulers” and calling for jihadis to unite in a broader media campaign to that point.
Though the documents – analysed and released by a privately funded academic institution within the West Point military school – were translated into English, analysts noted that bin Laden’s original Arabic wording helped to understand his views on the Arab spring.
He did not call the people involved with the revolutions “mujahidun” or “warriors of faith”, but instead referred to them as “free revolutionaries” or “thuwaar ahrar” taking part in a “liberation (tahrir) enterprise”.
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