Questions for al Qaeda posted online

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CNN (via AP) has said that hundreds of questions were submitted online to al Qaeda’s No.2 leader, showing that its supporters are in the dark about its operations than Western analysts and intelligence agencies.

Among the questions were: Where will it strike next? Does it control small militant groups in the Mideast and Europe? Why hasn’t it hit America again?

The media arm of the terrorist network, Al-Sahab, announced that Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, would take questions from the public in an “online interview.”

More than 900 entries, some with multiple questions, were posted on a militant website before the January 16 deadline. The site has not been disclosed by CNN (or AP). So far, al Qaeda has not given answers, with it saying that al-Zawahiri would respond “as soon as possible”, and the questions have disappeared after the cutoff date.

CNN has reported that it is currently impossible to confirm independently that the questions came from active fighters, nor was it possible to verify that the interview came from al-Zawahiri, though it was posted with the logo of Al-Sahab.

Questions came from many people, including one who said that he was living with his divorced mother and wanting how to join jihad – like many others.

“I want to travel to join jihad and I sought my mother’s permission, but she would not give it to me,” the 23-year-old man said. “Can I go without her permission?”

Others wanted to make sure that al-Qaeda has a long-term strategy, and asked about the current situation with bin Laden’s health. Another hot topic was Iran, with several questions asking why it did not attack the mainly Shiite nation; with some expressing concern over rumors of an understanding between the network and Iran.

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