Did an al Qaeda leader say America is their enemy because he thinks America represents Christianity?
CNN just released a video of what appears to be the "largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years."
The gathering occurred outside under clear skies – with apparently no threat of a drone strike. CNN points out, "the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike." The US government hasn’t commented on the event.
"The U.S. intelligence community should be surprised," national security analyst Peter Bergen told CNN, "that such a large group of al Qaeda assembled together, including the leadership, and somehow they didn’t notice."
In one of the most striking parts of the video, Nasir al-Wuhayshi – second in command of al Qaeda – says to those gathered, "We must eliminate the cross. … The bearer of the cross is America!"
Is "the cross" a reference to the Christian faith? And, if so, does al Qaeda really view the U.S. as the custodian of the Christian faith? This would appear to support an interpretation of Islamic terrorism as a continuation of centuries of Christian-Muslim conflict.
What do you think?