….Terror Recruitment Fueled by U.S. Military Strikes
As part of the war on terror, America has conducted military operations in at least eight Muslim-majority countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Niger. Polling clearly shows the use of U.S. military force has inflamed grievances among Muslims. A survey of 11 Muslim-majority populations, for example, found that more respondents agreed than disagreed with the statement, “The United States’ interference in the region justifies armed operations against the United States everywhere.” That trend even held true among the citizens of supposed U.S. allies like Kuwait, Jordan, and Iraq. Osama bin Laden expressed the roots of this sentiment back in the 1990’s. He referred to the “American crusader forces” and “American occupiers,” as he railed against the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s two holiest sites. Later, in the midst of the Iraq war, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, echoed that sentiment as he exhorted a subordinate leader, “The Muslim masses…do not rally except against an outside occupying enemy, especially if the enemy is firstly Jewish, and secondly American.”10
10 Footnote: See the Arab Barometer http://www.arabbarometer.org/content/online-data-analysis , FBIS, “Compilation of Usama Bin Laden Statements: 1994 – January 2004,” January 2004, https://fas.org/irp/world/para/ubl-fbis.pdf , and Ayman al-Zawahiri’s letter to Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi, https://ctc.usma.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2013/10/Zawahiris-Letter-to-Zarqawi-Translation.pdf .
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