Monday, November 01, 2004

Zarqawi Overrated? 

Jordan thinks so:
analysts, as well as some Western diplomats, say Zarqawi's group is just one of many jihadist factions that attract fighters from Iraq and across the Arab world -- and that Zarqawi's capability and ties to Osama bin Laden have been exaggerated.

They say American counter-terrorism officials are ignoring a wide array of fundamentalist groups at work in Iraq and surrounding countries in their effort to portray all terrorist activity in Iraq as the handiwork of a single mastermind.

''The bottom line is that America needs to create a serious public enemy who is not Iraqi so they can claim Iraqis aren't responsible for the resistance," said Labib Kamhawi, a Jordanian political analyst who regularly meets with Iraqi government leaders as well as opposition militants.

A Western diplomat familiar with evidence against Zarqawi said the US government often paints terrorist activity in Iraq and Jordan with a broad brush, attributing the activities of a disparate array of terror groups and individual operatives to the ''Zarqawi network."


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