Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hatred of U.S. drives al-Qaida recruiting

by Robert Windrem and Richard Engel from NBC News

When asked if the war in Iraq created a recruiting tool for al-Qaida, making the pool of jihadists deeper, Adm. Scott Redd who heads the National Counterterrorism Center, responded: "In the short term, that is ... that is probably true. But the question is — you’ve got to look at this, I believe, in the long-term strategic deal. And that’s — that remains to be seen." Not all U.S. officials agree with the president’s top counterterrorism advisors, Fran Townsend and Redd. Asked if the war in Iraq made his job harder, New York police commissioner Ray Kelly expressed no doubt whatsoever. "I think there is no question about it that the war in Iraq has been a catalyst, has brought together people who perhaps otherwise be bent on attracting U.S. interest, not only overseas but over here as well," he said. Bruce Riedel, a former Middle East expert with the CIA, says the administration cannot admit its mistake and agrees that Iraq has made things much worse.

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