An insider account of al-Qaida's latest assault.

Opinions about events beyond our borders.
June 16 2004 6:05 PM

Al-Qaida's Next Action Hero

An insider account of the Khobar assault.

(Continued from Page 1)

To thrive, any ideology must offer its adherents an ideal. As improbable as it is that these events occurred as al-Nashmi describes them, his idealized narrative presents them as they appear to the mind's eye of al-Qaida. More important, it is how al-Qaida wants its fighters and followers to see them. The pool of potential recruits teems with young men adrift amid feelings of humiliation and powerlessness, eager for a worldview that answers their questions, and hungry for action. In his account of a blood-soaked day, al-Nashmi gives them what they lack—power over life and death, a mission to rid the world of enemies, and violence as the path to deliverance.

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