“Al-Qaida is not only operating in Iraq against coalition forces, it is preparing for the next stage of guerrilla warfare: winning the hearts and minds of ordinary Iraqi Sunnis and wearing down the will of the American public,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
How will they win these hearts and minds? By appealing to their Islamic loyalty. The article quotes Peter Bergen, identified as “an al-Qaida expert”: “In the three most recent Osama bin Laden video cassettes, he refers repeatedly to Iraq.”
The article continues:
The support is not only rhetorical. Bergen added that Dr. Saad al-Fagih, a London-based Saudi radical, told him that, in June and July, 3,000 Saudis went to fight in Iraq – just as many Arab volunteers once streamed into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. ‘For them, as well as many others in the Muslim world, fighting in Iraq is the classical defensive jihad,’ he said.”
I give example after example of Muslim clerics defining the war in Iraq as a defensive jihad as early as last winter in Onward Muslim Soldiers.