RealNews

Syrian leader questions al-Qaida's existence

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview published Sunday that he doubts the existence of al-Qaida, the terror group blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks and recent strikes in Saudi Arabia and Morocco. “Is there really an entity called al-Qaida? Was it in Afghanistan? Does it exist now?” Assad asked, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba. Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born Islamic extremist who heads al-Qaida, “cannot talk on the phone or use the Internet, but he can direct communications to the four corners of the world?” Assad said. “This is illogical.” Such speculation is popular among some in the Arab world who say Washington has manufactured or exaggerated the threat posed by al-Qaida in order to paint Muslims as dangerous. On Mideast matters, Assad complained that the United States put Israel at the center of its dealings with Arab states. Full Story

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