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  House intelligence chair calls al Qaeda Shi'ite
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ContributorPenguin 
Last EditedPenguin  Dec 11, 2006 09:09pm
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MediaWebsite - Yahoo News
News DateTuesday, December 12, 2006 03:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Is al Qaeda a Sunni organization, or Shi'ite?

The question proved nettlesome for Rep. Silvestre Reyes (news, bio, voting record) of Texas, incoming Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Predominantly -- probably Shi'ite," he said in a recent interview with Congressional Quarterly, a periodical that covers political and legislative issues in Congress.

Unfortunately for Reyes, the al Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden is comprehensively Sunni and subscribes to a form of Sunni Islam known for not tolerating theological deviation.

In fact, U.S. officials blame al Qaeda's former leader in Iraq, the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi, for the surge in sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

But Reyes' problems in the interview didn't end with al Qaeda.

Asked to describe the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Congressional Quarterly said Reyes responded: "Hezbollah. Uh, Hezbollah," and then said, "Why do you ask me these questions at five o'clock?"
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