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UK-based Islamist Believes the Internet is Al-Qaeda”s New Leader | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- An Islamist who observes the activities of &#34Al-Qaeda&#34 organization believes that its &#34offspring&#34 consider the internet their sheikh and not Osama Bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Dr. Hani al-Siba”i, director of the London-based Al-Maqrizi Studies Center, told Asharq al-Awsat, &#34The new generation of Al-Qaeda organization in the West and East does not have a sheikh that it receives instructions or orders from. This &#34generation”s&#34 sheikh and leader is not Al-Zawahiri or Bin Laden but the jihadist instructions on the fundamentalists” websites and also the photos of the massacres in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine.&#34

He said the problem now is that Al-Qaeda”s new generation does not trust the sheikhs who are in the West and considers them loyal to the Western authorities in Britain, the United States, France, and elsewhere &#34and they therefore act alone without consulting or seeking a fatwa (religious ruling) from any sheikh and herein lies the danger.&#34

Al-Siba”i believes there is no ideological connection between &#34Al-Qaeda”s&#34 new generation in the various countries hit by the terrorist operations – Egypt, Britain, and Turkey – but &#34they share one concern and one idea, namely, that the West is insulting Islam and humiliating its sons.&#34

He added that Al-Qaeda”s new generation surpasses the old fundamentalist organizations like the Egyptian &#34Islamic Group&#34, &#34Jihad&#34, and others because they are born in the West, are proficient in modern sciences like chemistry and physics, speak several languages, and are proficient in using computers and the internet. He says: &#34It is obvious that they know how to design websites for spreading their ideas and also to air tapes, sermons, and films that they obtain or are published by some media organs.&#34 He called Al-Qaeda”s new generation &#34a transcontinental generation that went beyond some of the local jihad groups in some Arab countries.&#34

He noted that &#34Al-Qaeda”s&#34 new grandchildren have never met Bin Laden or visited Afghanistan or Iraq, barely know how to use a machine gun, and are not known to the security services and therefore pose a danger that is not easy to pinpoint and hence confront. He added &#34They take their guidance from the internet, videotapes, and satellite channels. They speak Arabic and are proficient in English. What is their understanding of Islam? It is a mixture of the anger and disappointment that characterize their generation.&#34 He pointed out that &#34Al-Qaeda”s&#34 new generation have superb ability to move freely because of the various nationalities they have and also do not have black records with the local and international security circles.