In an interview with Congressional Quarterly the following stunning exchange took place between senator Reyes, interviewee, and Jeff Stein, CQ's National Security Editor and interviewer:
We warmed up with a long discussion about intelligence issues and Iraq. And then we veered into terrorism’s major players.Now, I know a goodly part of my readership will roll their eyes. Partly because I'm late to the party, so to speak, and partly because of the wild guessing by a man who, given his aspirations, should *know* the right answer.
To me, it’s like asking about Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland: Who’s on what side?
The dialogue went like this:
Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?
“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”
“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.
“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.
He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball.
But any readers new to anti-jihad may be thinking: "Iran? Al-Qaeda? What's the diff?". For those (especially those with senatorial inclinations) Dean Barnett of the Townhall blog has prepared a handy cheat sheet. Go and be wiser.
And if you're appetite for information about this stuff is whetted, check out books written by Robert Spencer.