Osama bin Laden’s sudden media blitz this month isn’t just a message to the West—it’s also to his own fractured terrorist organization, a Taliban official tells Newsweek. An al-Qaeda faction had long told bin Laden to remain secluded for his own safety, advice the spotlight-loving leader now thinks was meant to sideline him.
Al-Qaeda's Egyptian faction leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may have imposed the gag order. Zawahiri earlier this year had a dispute with the Libyan wing over whether to focus on eliminating Pervez Musharraf or fighting America. But Musharraf’s attack on the Red Mosque and bin Laden’s recent call for the Pakistani president’s head should unite the factions.