I tend to think that Europe is the modern epicenter of jihad, but it’s striking that Gates used the word “jihad,” if this report is accurate. Is the SecDef deaf to his new boss’s distaste for what he calls “stereotyping” of Islam? Doesn’t he know that jihad is an interior spiritual struggle and that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have nothing to do with Islam? Obama might want to call Gates in for a reeducation session.
“Af-Pak border is ‘modern epicentre’ of jihad: Gates,” from ZeeNews, October 6 (thanks to James):
Washington: Strongly opposing any move to withdraw the US troops, Defence Secretary Robert Gates Tuesday said that such a decision would allow al-Qaeda to gain a foothold in Afghanistan and described the tribal region between Af-Pak border as the “modern epicentre” of jihad.
Any withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, before the mission to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban is achieved, would bolster the Islamic radical movement in other parts of the globe, Gates said in an interview with CNN before an audience at George Washington University.
“The Afghan-Pakistan border “is the modern epicentre of jihad,” he said….
He warned that if Taliban regained control of significant portions of the country, “that would be added space for al-Qaeda to strengthen itself” and embark on expanded recruitment and fund raising activities there.
“The reality is, because of our inability — and the inability, frankly, of our allies — to put enough troops into Afghanistan, the Taliban do have the momentum right now, it seems,” he said….