Al-Qaeda has directly threatened Barack Obama, the US president, with more attacks on American soil unless the situation in Palestine is resolved.

A man believed to be Osama bin Laden hailed the failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up a plane between Amsterdam and Detriot in an audio tape obtained by Al Jazeera on Sunday.
Al-Qaeda's leader may talk about the Palestinian situation, but Palestinian factions are distancing themselves from the Islamist movement.

After Hamas were voted into power in Gaza, al-Qaeda urged them to continue their struggle - whilst condemning their participation in elections. Hamas responded by rejecting the notion that the two groups shared any ideology.

Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, said later that the Palestinian struggle was not about religion or race but against occupation itself. He stressed that Jews, Christians and Muslims had lived side-by-side for centuries and that this was the ideal.

But has the Palestinian issue ever been part of al-Qaeda's agenda? And does the group serve or scupper Palestinian dreams?

Inside Story presenter Imran Garda is joined by Michael Griffin, an independent analyst and author on al-Qaeda, Abdelbary Atwan, the editor of Alsharq Alawsat, a pan-Arab newspaper, and Richard Pape, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and the author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, January 25, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera