Global Jihad is now popularity contest
Believe it or not, according to one defense 'specialist,' OBL's latest release can be attributed in part to a popularity contest between him and Zarqawi.
"Al-Qaida messaging volume levels are at the highest now than at any point since the group's inception," Venzke said.Now, I've heard everything - at least until they come up with something wackier.
Rohan Gunaratna of the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore said the increase in propaganda was apparently bin Laden's attempt to compensate for his group's loss of ability to mount attacks. The U.S.-led war on terror apparently has severely disrupted the portion of al-Qaida directly under bin Laden's control, he said.
That has allowed the head of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to capture the spotlight on the world terrorism stage watched by militant sympathizers, Gunaratna told The Associated Press in a call from Singapore.
"The jihadis are increasingly looking to al-Zarqawi, who is on the ground and every day is killing Americans in Iraq," Gunaratna said. "Al-Zarqawi is stealing the thunder of bin Laden."
By stepping up his propaganda, Gunaratna said he believed "bin Laden is trying to maintain his eminence in the global jihad."