Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Letter Captured After Zarqawi Bombing Shows Friction Within Al Qaeda

CENTCOM has released the translation of a letter to Zarqawi found in the rubble of his safehouse after his death.

The letter takes Zarqawi to task for the brutality of his terrorist efforts and laments losing the hearts and minds of many Muslims who, in the words of the letter-writer, "...are ignorant and simple, and upon whom the afflictions of stultification, misguidance and corruption pile...".

The letter also confirms the authenticity of a previously intercepted letter to Zarqawi from Ayman al-Zawahiri:
I saw that their opinion centered on a group of observations and instructions, of which you will find a summary in the Doctor’s message that the Americans published.
The letter-writer, "Atiyah", a so far unidentified al Qaeda leader, promises Zarqawi that he will be brief. Eighteen paragraphs later, he starts to get to the point:
I command you, my brother, and I am your brother and I have nothing except these words that are between the two of us and God as the third party, that you send messengers from your end to Waziristan so that they meet with the brothers of the leadership, and the rational and experienced people and the shaykhs here, because you have a greater chance to send messengers (brothers that you choose) than your brothers have here. God willing, you have the ability to enlist guys and men who have not been exposed, and who can move about and carry messages and convey responses to you and such.
This indicates that the al Qaeda leadership is alarmed at Zarqawi's excesses and wants him on a shorter leash.Then Atiyah tries to cool Zarq's jets vis-a-vis headlopping:
The other matter is to take caution against being zealous about the name “al-Qa’ida”, or any name or organization. Although all mujahidin are our brothers, the Sunni are our brothers and our friends, as long as they are Muslims, even if they are disobedient, or insolent; whether they come into the organization with us or not, for they are our brothers, our friends, and our loved ones. We should cooperate with them, help and support them, and work together. Besides, how do you know you won’t be humbled tomorrow, while they will be strengthened?
Though cloaked in flowery diplomatic speech, the letter indicates dissatisfaction with Zarqawi's methods and a high level of friction between him and the al Qaeda high command. It also reiterates the complaints of Ayman al-Zawahiri.