To the terrorists, Obama is ‘Crusader in chief’

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Marc Thiessen writes a weekly column for The Post on foreign and domestic policy and contributes to the PostPartisan blog. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Thiessen served as a chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and before that as a senior aide to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms.

President Obama was not the only one excoriating the Crusaders last week. “The criminal Crusader coalition aircraft bombarded a site outside the city of ar-Raqqah today at noon while the people were performing the Friday prayer,” declared a statement from the Islamic State. 

What, you thought the Crusades ended hundreds of years ago? Not in the minds of our Islamist enemies. The Crusades continue today, just as sure as they began in 1095 — and in the terrorists’ narrative, Obama is the “Crusader in chief.”

Islamic radicals have long invoked the Crusades to justify violence against the West, including the 9/11 attacks. Osama bin Laden called his 1998 fatwa declaring war against America the “Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders.” In it, bin Laden wrote “Since God laid down the Arabian peninsula, created its desert, and surrounded it with its seas, no calamity has ever befallen it like these Crusader hosts that have spread in it like locusts.” 

More recently, in October, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula issued a video featuring ex-Guantanamo detainee Ibrahim Suleiman al Rubaish , one of its chief ideologues, in which he condemns the “Zionist-Crusader campaign against our brothers in Iraq and [Syria].” In another recent video, “ Jihadi John” — the Islamic State terrorist seen in its decapitation videos — declared Obama the “dog of Rome” and promised, “With Allah’s permission, we will break this final and last crusade and the Islamic State will soon . . . begin to slaughter your people on your streets.”

So for the president of the United States to invoke the “terrible deeds” committed “in the name of Christ” during the Crusades is a major propaganda victory for the terrorists. It is the Islamists who constantly opine about the “terrible deeds” committed by the Crusaders. Now they have the man they call the lead Crusader — Obama himself — on tape admitting as much....




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