US Terror Reports Boost Jihadis' Radical Cred

Extremists elders complain youth give them less respect than Western analysts do
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2009 5:43 AM CDT
An audio cassette seller shows a cassette of religious Jihadi songs. The jihad movement is becoming fragmented as a younger generation accuses its elders of not being radical enough.   (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash)
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(Newser) – Prominent anti-Western cleric Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi says he isn't going soft in his old age—and he's got the Western intelligence reports to prove it. The Jordanian jihad theorist, under fire from more radical and violent younger extremists, proudly points to a report from West Point's counterterror center labeling him a dangerous and influential extremist, the New York Times reports.

Counterterrorism analysts say seeing their work hailed by extremists like Maqdisi is unsettling, but also faintly flattering. The older Islamic radicals, meanwhile, complain of a lack of respect from the new generation and speak of their foes in Western military organizations with the respect due a worthy nemesis. "Credit is due to the testimony of enemies," Maqdisi wrote in a recent Web posting.