Thursday, October 13, 2005

What Extremists are Saying

(Via Centcom)

Centcom posted a letter today from Al-Qaida’s second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaida in Iraq. It should be, at the very least, eye-opening to those who have any doubt as to the intentions of Al-Qaida and also who ultimately is winning the War on Terror (Hint: It's not them!)

There are several passages in the letter that confirm what many of us have known from the beginning:

1. This war, in their minds, is not just about Iraq, but ultimately world-wide domination if allowed to pursue their goals unchecked.

“…the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals: The first stage:
Expel the Americans from Iraq . The second stage: Establish an Islamic
authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level
of a caliphate over as much territory as you can spread its power in Iraq, i.e.,
in Sunni areas. . . . The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular
countries neighboring Iraq . The fourth stage: …[This is ] the clash with
Israel , because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic
entity. . . . [T]heir ongoing mission is to establish an Islamic state, and
defend it, and for every generation to hand over the banner to the one after it
until the Hour of Resurrection.”

It is an absolute certainty that they will not cease until the goal is accomplished or they are otherwise prevented from advancing by an opposing force.

2. They will attempt to overthrow the government in Iraq as soon as coalition troops are removed.

“And it is that the Mujahidin must not have their mission end with the
expulsion of the Americans from Iraq , and then lay down their weapons, and
silence the fighting zeal. We will return to having the secularists and
traitors holding sway over us.”

This is precisely the reason we should not consider withdrawal of troops prematurely. If we leave before Iraq is able to adequately defend herself, we leave the door wide open for terrorists to take over the country and establish a foothold in the region much like the Taliban did in Afghanistan.

3. They are intollerant of any belief or action that doesn't fit within their world view and will stop at nothing to make that view a reality.

“People of discernment and knowledge among Muslims know the extent of
danger to Islam of the 12’er school of Shi’ism. It is a religious school
based on excess and falsehood whose function is to accuse the companions of
Muhammad of heresy [in] a campaign against Islam, in order to free the way for a
group of those who call for a dialogue in the name of the hidden mahdi who is in
control of existence and infallible in what he does. Their prior history
in cooperating with the enemies of Islam is consistent with their current
reality of connivance with the crusaders.”

“The collision between any state based on the model of prophecy with the
Shi’ites is a matter that will happen sooner or later. This is the
judgment of history, and these are the fruits to be expected from the
rejectionist Shi’a sect and their opinion of the Sunnis. These are clear,
well-known matters to anyone with a knowledge of history, the ideologies, and
the politics of states.”

“[M]any of your Muslim admirers amongst the common folk are wondering about
your attacks on the Shi’a.”

It should be noted that Zawahiri is not trying to protect the Shi'a by suggesting Zarqawi limit the attacks on them. It is a stategic move designed to deceive them until they either buy into their version of extremism or they can be eliminated. They are unable to fight a two front war so they are forced to string the Shi'a along for the time being. Continued attacks on them only add additional complications to their long-term plan.

4. As the idea of freedom gains a foothold in region, support for the cause will diminish.

According to Zawahiri:

“…[W]e will see that the strongest weapon which the Mujahidin enjoy .
. . is popular support from the Muslim masses in Iraq , and the surrounding
Muslim countries. So, we must maintain this support as best we can, and we
should strive to increase it….”

“[T]he Jihadist movement must avoid any action that the masses do not
understand or approve. . . .”

If support of the Muslim masses disappears, so ultimately will their ability to continue the fight.

5. The strongest ally they have is the mainstream media.

“I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half this battle is
taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media
battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our nation.”

As long as many members of the media continue to paint an unrealistic picture of the events on the ground, the terrorists will continue to be emboldened. If at some point reality and perception become equal, they will be in a no-win situation and they know it.

6. As time passes their revenue streams will dry up and their ability to carry out operations will be greatly diminished.

“The brothers informed me that you suggested to them sending some
assistance. Our situation since Abu-al-Faraj is good by the grace of God,
but many of the lines have been cut off. Because of this, we need a
payment while new lines are being opened. So, if you’re capable of sending
a payment of approximately 100,000 [units of currency] we’ll be very grateful to

7. Cut off the head and the body will die.

“Likewise I would like you to inform us about the Iraqi situation in general and
the situation of the Mujahidin in particular in [sufficient] detail. . . . At
the least, we should know as much as the enemy knows.”

The flow of information has been disrupted to such a point that Zawahiri has to request it in a letter. One can reasonably assume from this that secure forms of communication have been either eliminated or severely disrupted.

In summary, the letter demonstrates to me not only what the terrorists wish to accomplish, but also the increasing difficulty they are facing while trying to accomplish it. I suspect it will only become more difficult with each passing day.


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