Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lawrence Wright: al Qaeda, Iraq and Islamic Terrorism

Lawrence Wright on the Hugh Hewitt Show:

Lawrence Wright: "There's al Qaeda in Iraq, which is really the heart and soul of al Qaeda right now. And that's where the main effort is. It's where the Jihadis are going to be trained, and when that conflict is over they will be returning to their own countries and into the west to cause additional havoc.

"And then there's al Qaeda in Europe, which is very widespread, loosely connected, centered largely in London, England, but also in the outskirts of Paris and Italy - all over Europe, really. And finally, there is the mother ship, which is located in Pakistan.

"Those... entities are loosely connected and but have a common cause and are still directed overall by bin Laden."

Hugh Hewitt: "The penetration of the book into some leadership circles is profound, and in other places, I still find myself amazed that leading public figures are not only unacquainted with it, but unacquainted generally nature of al Qaeda. Is that phenomenon still surprising to you, that our political leadership is still in the dark about the nature of our enemy?"

Lawrence Wright: "I get so discouraged about this. It's not just the political leadership, it's the intelligence community, which is supposed to know... you know, it's not a joke when the head of the counter terrorism division for the FBI testifies under oath that he doesn't know the difference between a Sunni and a Shi'ite."

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