The Pew Research center released a survey earlier today detailing the Muslim world’s opinion of Al Qaeda, the most widely known Islamic terror group, and its former leader Osama Bin Laden. The rport is published one year after the terrorist’s death in Pakistan at the hands of a Navy seal Team. The report shows declining support for the group and an increasingly unfavorable opinion of the man held ultimately responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks and other major attacks across the world.
The poll shows that the majority of Muslims in many countries hold an unfavorable opinion of the terror group. In Turkey and Lebanon support for the international terror group is 6% and 2% respectively. Country’s with more widespread support include Egypt and Jordan with 21% and 15% of those questioned favoring the group. In Pakistan, the country that was harboring Osama bin Laden on his death, just 13% of Muslims have a favorable view of Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda, “The Database”, is finding itself increasingly weakened since the death of its leader twelve months ago. Military strikes have taken out several other high profile commanders in the organisation and as this report shows their popularity among ordinary people is waning. The Pew Research Center also points to the decline in the popularity of Osama Bin Laden in the years leading up to his death. By 2011 only 34% of Muslims in the Palestinian Territories had confidence in the leader. In 2003 he enjoyed confidence of 72%, the highest in the world.
The news will seem a confirmation of the policy of the United States in the region in recent years. Many worried that increased military presence in the region might drive the population toward a more extreme alternative. Despite ending the war in Iraq last year the scope of American military operations in the Middle East is widening. Apart from the liberation of Libya last year, US involvement in which was greeted mostly favorably there and globally, the country has stepped up operations in its drone program which os most active in Yemen and Pakistan.