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Terrorist Tapes May Be Boosting Morale

His face was hidden behind the loose end of a black turban, his Kalashnikov lay by his side. He fidgeted with the paper on which his message was written. The voice on a videotape of “your brother in faith, Abu Nasir Mahmood from inside Afghanistan,” was strong and clear as it issued the latest in a series of threats and warnings purportedly from al-Qaida or likeminded militants calling on the faithful to target “Christians and Jews.” Such messages, surfacing with increasing frequency, may be meant to reassure or instruct would-be recruits or “sleeper terrorist cells,” says John Thompson of the non-profit Mackenzie Institute in Canada, which studies terrorism and political extremism. “For someone sitting quietly in Paris or New York, these messages can rekindle his sense of identification, keep his ideological purity up to scratch,” he said in a telephone interview. In the newest video, acquired by The Associated Press from the deeply conservative tribal belt of Pakistan, Mahmood warned in Arabic of suicide attacks in Turkey, Yemen and Saudi Arabia and called on militants to “begin your operations in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.” Full Story

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