RealNews

Anger on Iraq Seen as New Qaeda Recruiting Tool

On three continents, Al Qaeda and other terror organizations have intensified their efforts to recruit young Muslim men, tapping into rising anger about the American campaign for war in Iraq, according to intelligence and law enforcement officials. In recent weeks, officials in the United States, Europe and Africa say they had seen evidence that militants within Muslim communities are seeking to identify and groom a new generation of terrorist operatives. An invasion of Iraq, the officials worry, is almost certain to produce a groundswell of recruitment for groups committed to attacks in the United States, Europe and Israel. “An American invasion of Iraq is already being used as a recruitment tool by Al Qaeda and other groups,” a senior American counterintelligence official said. “And it is a very effective tool.” Another American official, based in Europe, said Iraq had become “a battle cry, in a way,” for Qaeda recruiters. Some of the information about Qaeda recruiting comes from interrogations of captured operatives and from materials found at the house in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, where Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the third-ranking Qaeda leader, was arrested this month, officials say. The surge in Qaeda recruitment efforts has been most visible in Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, the officials said. Investigators have significantly increased their use of informants and, in some cases, bugging devices, to monitor mosques and other gathering places, where they have observed a sharp spike in anti-American oratory. Full Story

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