In 2008, World Public Opinion polled 17 countries to find out what people thought. Was Al-Qaeda behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States? Almost 50 percent of people thought Al Qaeda was behind the attacks (the blue lines on the chart).
But was it? Is there even a real outfit called Al Qaeda? Wikipedia thinks so, saying it “is a global militant Sunni Islamist group founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989.”
Al Queda itself does not exist, except in the fevered imaginations of neo-cons and Likudniks, some of whom, I suspect, also know it is a myth, but find it extremely useful as a bogeyman to spook the public and the politicians to acquiesce in otherwise unacceptable policy initiatives at home and abroad. By those terms, Al Queda is cast like “the Mafia” and similar nonsense coming from police lobbies.
Former French intelligence officer, Pierre-Henri Bunel, observed:
The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.
So the next time you hear “Al Qaeda” on CNN or FOX News, think of this formula: CIA + Mossad + MI5 = Al Qaeda. And you might be right.