People across the world think the U.S.-led "war on terror" has not weakened al-Qaida and many believe it has actually strengthened Osama bin Laden's network, a poll for the BBC World Service said Monday.
The poll of almost 24,000 citizens found people in 22 out of 23 countries surveyed thought attempts to counter al-Qaida since its Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States had not weakened it.
The predominant view was that neither side was winning, the BBC said.
"Despite its overwhelming military power, America's war against al-Qaida is widely seen as having achieved nothing better than a stalemate and many believe that it has even strengthened al-Qaida," said Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes, which helped carry out the research.
Kenya — which experienced deadly al-Qaida attacks on the U.S. embassy in 1998 and on an Israeli-owned hotel in 2002 — was the only country where a majority thought al-Qaida has been weakened.
In the United States, only 34 percent believed al-Qaida had been made weaker with 26 percent reckoning the "war on terror" had had no effect and 33 percent thinking it had made the militants stronger.
The majority U.S. perception was that neither the United States nor al-Qaida were winning.
Mixed or positive views of al-Qaida in Egypt, Pakistan
More than 40 percent of citizens in France, Mexico, Italy, Australia and Britain believed the "war on terror" had strengthened al-Qaida.
While the majority of people questioned had negative views of al-Qaida, more citizens in Egypt and Pakistan had mixed or positive views of the group than negative feelings.
The poll, conducted by GlobeScan with the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, involved 23,937 people in 23 countries between July and September 2008.