The Muslim world is getting fed up with al-Qaeda, the Los Angeles Times reports, questioning its bloody tactics and ideology. Even former allies are criticizing the group for killing fellow Muslims, relying on suicide bombings, and its occasional hostility toward Palestinian groups. Second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri was concerned enough to attempt to defuse criticism recently in an online Q&A.
“Do you consider the killing of women and children to be jihad?” one man asked. Bin Laden himself went online in October to apologize for the deaths of innocents in Iraq. “We know that all of this matters to al-Qaeda,” said a White House security adviser. “They care about their image because it has real-world effects on recruitment.”