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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
Support for Bin Laden 'declining'
Osama Bin Laden
Bin Laden has not been seen in public since 9/11
Support for Osama Bin Laden and Islamic militant violence is falling in several key Muslim countries, according to a new survey by a US organisation.

The Pew Research Center poll suggests that support for suicide bombing is declining sharply.

The survey examined public opinion in Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon and 11 other states.

The poll also found that concern about Islamic extremism was prevalent in several nations with a Muslim majority.

Correspondents say this may be partly because violent acts in some of the states interviewed have been blamed on Islamist radicals.

Down and up

The Washington-based centre questioned about 1,000 people in each of the 17 countries selected, in May.

The group also examined views in nine North American and European countries, as well as India and China.

Support for the al-Qaeda leader has dropped in Morocco and Indonesia, where backing ran at about half the population in a similar poll two years ago.

In Morocco, 26% now say they have a lot or some confidence in Bin Laden and 35% feel the same way in Indonesia.

However, in Jordan, confidence rose to 60% from 55%. In Pakistan, it went to 51% from 45%.

Analysts say a similar picture emerged when respondents were asked whether suicide bombings were justifiable.

In Morocco 13% said they often or sometimes could be justified, down from 40% in 2004.

However, support rose in Jordan, to 57% from 43% in 2002.

The centre noted that there had been devastating attacks on civilians in Indonesia, Morocco and Turkey in recent years, and a recent wave of assassinations and bombings in Lebanon.

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