ARAB STREET? WHAT ARAB STREET?
Dia'a Rashwan, an expert on radical Islamic groups at Egypt's Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said he has noticed a trend as he navigated Web sites and chat rooms in recent days.
"Now we have many calls to jihad, and those calls aren't only coming from what we usually call radicals or extremists," he said. More moderate clerics are using such language, as are Islamic thinkers who usually confine themselves to political analysis, not calls to arms, he said.
In Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are still pursuing Taliban and al-Qaida holdouts, the Taliban's supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is circulating posters of his fresh decree calling for a holy war against the United States. The signatures of 600 Muslim clerics are attached.
Mullah Omar's old regime has shored up its alliances with remnants of al-Qaida and fighters loyal to rebel commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Already, an increase is noticeable in attacks on U.S. forces, international peacekeepers and nongovernment organizations.