An in depth interview with Saad al-Faqih, an expert on al Qaeda, provides some insight into this. See also, Frontline, Asia Times, BBC,
- The American mentality is a cowboy mentality-- if you confront them with their identity theoretically and practically they will react in an extreme manner.
- They will then elevate you and this will satisfy the Muslim longing for a leader who can successfully challenge the West. ...(you must) identifying every American as a target.
- The statement in February 1998, which was only 3 or 4 lines, effectively sanctioned shedding the blood of every American.
This decision resulted in the east African embassy attacks of 1998. The result of these attacks were as follows:
- ...the Americans over-reacted by bombing Afghanistan and Sudan and consequently shifted the focus of blame away from al-Qaeda.
- Clinton himself identified Bin Laden as the enemy and, in effect, delivered a hero to the Muslims. Bin Laden was transformed into a popular hero.
- The immediate effect of this was that thousands of Muslims travelled to Afghanistan.
He goes on to explain the motivation for 9/11 and the result of the American reaction:
- The next stage involved initiating a full scale polarization between Muslims and America.
- The 9/11 attacks forced America into a cosmic battle with Muslims.
- Ultimately the real issue here is the perception of Muslims and the vast majority of Muslims around the world feel besieged by America.
The result of this, according to al-Faqih will be internal turmoil in America and its eventual adoption of an isolationist policy:
- Now strategically I think America has not only lost but it is likely to vanish.
- It has started a campaign which has forced the majority of Muslims against it.
- There are many people in America who want to tackle the matter in a much more intelligent manner but they have been silenced by this pervasive McCarthyism.
- Once the next attack occurs they are likely to say ... is the time to try a different approach.
- Now of course the right wingers, the Zionists and the arms lobby will refuse to give ground and then a clash inside America is likely to ensue.