Turks increasingly turn to Islamic extremism
Al Qaeda's reliance on Arabs is altering as recruits from Turkey and Turkic-speaking areas of Central Asia form a recent wave of trainees, experts say.


By Sebastian Rotella
Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2009

Reporting from London -- In an audio message from a hide-out in South Asia this month, an Al Qaeda chief did something new: He sang the praises of an ethnic group that once barely registered in the network.

"We consider the Muslims in Turkey our brothers," said Mustafa Abu Yazid, the network's operations chief. Lauding Turkish suicide bombers killed in recent attacks near the Afghan-Pakistani border, he declared, "This is a pride and honor to the nation of Islam in Turkey, and we ask Allah to accept them amongst the martyrs."…….

"They are attempting to broaden their appeal, and it certainly looks like an instinctual competitive reaction to the sudden flourishing of Turkic-speaking jihadi groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater," Kohlmann said. "It's an evolving recruitment and financing market for them, and they don't want to be left out in the cold."

rotella@latimes.com

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-turk-terror28-2009jun28,0,2926336.story?track=rss

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