"Bin Laden, al-Zawahri, and others fled at the beginning of the American bombing [in Afghanistan], to the point of abandoning their wives and families to be killed along with other innocent people. I think that a sharia court should be established, composed of reliable scholars, to hold these people accountable for their crimes even if in absentia so that those who are ignorant in their religion do not repeat this futility," - Sayyed Imam al-Sharif, senior al Qaeda theologian and Jihadist pioneer.
I don't mean to make light of this. It seems like a big deal to me and hugely encouraging in the effort to expose and defang the credibility of al Qaeda among many Muslims. It's a reminder that al Qaeda is often its worst enemy, as we've seen in Anbar and Jordan most spectacularly. Ed Morrissey notes:
Critics of Sharif claim that he has been tortured into his recantation. Undoubtedly, the Egyptian authorities have applied their usual techniques to Sharif, but Rohan Gunaranta says it matches a trend in Egypt over the last few years. The author of Inside al-Qaeda believes that Muslims have begun to see the disaster that 9/11 has brought to their standing in the world, and even the radicals want a new direction. The personal revelations of Zawahiri as a snitch may make it easier for them to make that transition, and for us to then destroy what remains of AQ.
There are times when the best strategy is to give the Jihadists enough rope to hang themselves in the Arab-Muslim world. Know hope.
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