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Old 10-11-2005, 11:21 PM   #1
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"Al Qaeda letter called 'chilling'"

Al Qaeda letter called 'chilling'
Al-Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi: Prepare for U.S. to leave Iraq soon
From David Ensor
CNN



Tuesday, October 11, 2005; Posted: 11:27 p.m. EDT (03:27 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senior U.S. intelligence officials call a letter from al Qaeda's No. 2 man to its leader in Iraq "chilling" because of how "calm, clear and well argued" it is in urging preparation for a U.S. departure from Iraq.

According to a translation of the 6,300-word letter provided by the U.S. government, Ayman al-Zawahiri predicts "the Americans will exit soon" from Iraq and says "things may develop faster than we imagine."

U.S. leaders have refused to set a timetable for troop withdrawals, saying such a move would embolden insurgents. Military leaders have suggested a reduction in 2006 is possible, depending on the preparedness of Iraqi security forces.

But in the letter, al-Zawahiri is clearly worried that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, with his televised beheadings of hostages and attacks on Shiites, could lose what he calls a "media battle" for the "hearts and minds" of Muslims. (Full text)

"I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media," al-Zawahiri writes.

"The Muslim populace who love and support you will never find palatable ... the scenes of slaughtering the hostages," he warns al-Zarqawi, self-proclaimed leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Al-Zawahiri also criticizes al-Zarqawi's attacks on Shiites and reminds him that Shiite Iran is holding more than 100 al Qaeda prisoners -- many of them leaders such as Saif al-Adel and Osama bin Laden's son, Saad.

"Is the opening of another front now in addition to the front against the Americans and the government a wise decision?" al-Zawahiri asks. "Or does this conflict with Shia lift the burden from the Americans by diverting the mujahedeen to the Shia, while the Americans continue to control matters from afar?"

A senior U.S. intelligence official said he was "absolutely confident" the letter is genuine.

This official described the letter's language as that of "an al Qaeda elder to an occasionally hotheaded field commander" -- language, sources said, that President Bush had seen before he delivered a speech on the war on terror last week.

"It is cowardice that seeks to kill children and the elderly with car bombs and cuts the throat of a bound captive and targets worshippers leaving a mosque," President Bush said October 6. (Full story)

Details on when or how the letter was intercepted have not been disclosed, and the full text had not previously been released.

Its existence was publicly confirmed last week after what officials called an incomplete and partially inaccurate version was leaked to news organizations. (Full story)

A senior U.S. official said the text was released because the letter would no longer hurt ongoing operations or compromise intelligence sources and methods. The American public and the world, he said, "should be fully informed about the enemy."

The letter outlines a four-stage plan to expand the war in Iraq: Expel U.S. forces, establish an Islamic authority, take the fight to Iraq's secular neighbors and battle with Israel -- "because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity."

The letter says: "We must be ready starting now, before events overtake us, and before we are surprised by the conspiracies of the Americans and the United Nations and their plans to fill the void behind them."

Dated two days after the London terror attacks of July 7, the letter makes no mention of those attacks and pleads for more information, suggesting al-Zawahiri , who has a $25 million reward on his head, feels cut off.

He describes difficulties he and al Qaeda are facing more than a dozen times and says the real danger to him comes from Pakistani army operations in the tribal areas.

Al-Zawahiri even asks al-Zarqawi for $100,000, saying the recent capture of a high-ranking al Qaeda operative has left him in need of cash.

The Egyptian-born physician also says the U.S. hunt has taken a toll on his family -- that his "favorite wife," son and daughter have been killed, but that he has fathered a daughter while in hiding and his health is fine.

Asked about the letter Sunday, Iraq's national security adviser said "these people are the dark forces, the anti-Iraqi forces." (Full story)

"They are frightened of democracy in Iraq," Mowaffak al-Rubaie told CNN. "They want to bring us to Iraq a Taliban-style regime, like the one which used to be in Afghanistan, and the Iraqi people will not have this."

"We are so determined to proceed with our political process," he said, first with Saturday's national referendum on a proposed constitution and then, if that is approved, parliamentary elections by year's end.

Iraqi and U.S. officials have predicted insurgent violence will surge in the days leading to the referendum in an effort to keep voters from the polls.




http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/...ter/index.html
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:24 PM   #2
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Letter from al-Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi
October 11, 2005
ODNI News Release No. 2-05


Today the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a letter between two senior al Qa'ida leaders, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, that was obtained during counterterrorism operations in Iraq. This lengthy document provides a comprehensive view of al Qa'ida's strategy in Iraq and globally.

The letter from al-Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi is dated July 9, 2005. The contents were released only after assurances that no ongoing intelligence or military operations would be affected by making this document public.

The document has not been edited in any way and is released in its entirety in both the Arabic and English translated forms. The United States Government has the highest confidence in the letter's authenticity.

Al-Zawahiri's letter offers a strategic vision for al Qa'ida's direction for Iraq and beyond, and portrays
al Qa'ida's senior leadership's isolation and dependence.

Among the letter's highlights are discussions indicating:

The centrality of the war in Iraq for the global jihad.


From al Qa'ida's point of view, the war does not end with an American departure.


An acknowledgment of the appeal of democracy to the Iraqis.


The strategic vision of inevitable conflict, with a tacit recognition of current political dynamics in Iraq; with a call by al-Zawahiri for political action equal to military action.


The need to maintain popular support at least until jihadist rule has been established.


Admission that more than half the struggle is taking place "in the battlefield of the media."




http://www.dni.gov/release_letter_101105.html



To read the entire letter in english, go here:

http://www.dni.gov/letter_in_english.doc
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:43 PM   #3
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A "free" Iraq will never exist because such a state could never be allowed under Islamic teachings. "Freedom", especially regarding religion, is not tolerated. Iraq and all arab countries will always be under the smothering hold of Islam. And people think Christians in the USA are bad....so fucked up.
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Old 10-12-2005, 12:31 AM   #4
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So really what was the point? I thought Iraq was part of fight on terrorism?!

Are Conservatives finally realizing that a war will not end terrorism?
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Old 10-12-2005, 12:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
So really what was the point? I thought Iraq was part of fight on terrorism?!

Are Conservatives finally realizing that a war will not end terrorism?
If anything, this should show anyone who thinks the current war in Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism is wrong. It also shows contrary to what several have said here in the past, that Al Quada is deeply concerned about image and what is said in the media.

Once again as stated by "Al-Zawahiri" himself, the second in comand of Al Quada, Al Quada considers Iraq to be the central front in the war, and that the #1 priority for winning in Iraq is GETTING THE AMERICANS TO WITHDRAW. General control of Iraq by Al Quada and the building of the Muslim Superstate from Iraq would then follow. After Iraq the goal will be to invade and control the neighboring "Secular" states around Iraq.

Thats "Al-Zawahiri" general mission statement to "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi".
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Old 10-12-2005, 04:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by theblazer
A "free" Iraq will never exist because such a state could never be allowed under Islamic teachings. "Freedom", especially regarding religion, is not tolerated. Iraq and all arab countries will always be under the smothering hold of Islam. And people think Christians in the USA are bad....so fucked up.
interesting, especially when one recalls that iraq's record on religious freedom prior to the war was considered superior to many of its neighbours.
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:19 AM   #7
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And the means to achieving that level of religious freedom is irrelevent?

Having brutal secular dictators emplaced for so many decades has been a driving force for the Islamist cause, one only needs to look at the Muslim Brotherhood to see an example.

The only way for good secular governance to emerge is within the confines of free society that may in time be tempered with individual rights.
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:03 PM   #8
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This just makes me feel sick
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:46 PM   #9
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If and when the Americans pull out, I don't think Al Qaeda could seriously try to take over Iraq. They'll be majorly over matched in troops and munitions by both the Kurds and the Shia...the majority Shia will be backed by Iran. Not sure how interested Al Qaeda would be in joining forces with the Sunnis for a protracted war against Iraq's Shia majority.

Sure, these groups are good at insurgency against "occupying forces"...but all out civil war for who knows how many years? Doesn't make sense to make it an inter-Muslim war, when America's the real enemy to them.
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Old 10-12-2005, 07:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Judah
If and when the Americans pull out, I don't think Al Qaeda could seriously try to take over Iraq. They'll be majorly over matched in troops and munitions by both the Kurds and the Shia...the majority Shia will be backed by Iran. Not sure how interested Al Qaeda would be in joining forces with the Sunnis for a protracted war against Iraq's Shia majority.

Sure, these groups are good at insurgency against "occupying forces"...but all out civil war for who knows how many years? Doesn't make sense to make it an inter-Muslim war, when America's the real enemy to them.
Their plans to take over Iraq if the United States were to leave are no different than what they actually did in Afghanistan. The Taliban did not exist in Afghanistan prior to 1996. The Soviet Union pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989 and the Communist Government was overthrown by the Mujahadeen in 1991. After 1991, the country split up into regions controlled by warlords and the Mujahadeen fractured. A Civil war started and then the Taliban came into the weakened state from across the border in Pakistan and dominanted events crushing all resistence with the exception of the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance was pushed into a very mountainous corner of the country. Al Quada came in on the backs of the Taliban and established their base and training camps in Afghanistan.

Just as Al Quada used the Taliban in Afghanistan to strengthen its position and establish bases and training camps, Al Quada will try to use the Sunni insurgence, primarily the remainder of Saddam's regime, to establish a new base in Iraq if the United States and Coalition leaves without putting in place a strong government that can defend itself.

The Sunni insurgents are far better armed and trained than any of the Shia militia's or Kurdish militias. The US military reported these differences from fighting in 2004 with Sader's Shia Militia VS. fighting with Sunni insurgents in Fallugah and other hot spots in the Sunni Triangle. Saddam's special Republican Guard was nearly all Sunni and currently make up a good part of the leadership and corp of the sunni resistence in Iraq.

The only thing that stands in the way of the Sunni's is the US Military and the growing new Iraqi military. If these obstacles to Al Quada victory in Iraq were some how removed, Sunni Groups with Al Quada help would have an excellant opportunity to establish control of Iraq. If you don't think it can happen, look what happened in Afghanistan. Iran would probably not be any more successful at intervention and preventing such a state than they were at preventing the same thing from happening to their nothern neighbor Afghanistan in the 1990s.
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Old 10-12-2005, 09:06 PM   #11
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This opinion piece is pretty relevent & many would agree with it -

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/o...796586023.html
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Old 10-13-2005, 04:07 PM   #12
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Further developments on the Al Qaeda letter:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/...ter/index.html

Al Qaeda in Iraq: Letter to al-Zarqawi a fake
U.S. official says multiple sources verified document

Thursday, October 13, 2005; Posted: 4:39 p.m. EDT (20:39 GMT)
(CNN) -- Al Qaeda in Iraq said Thursday a letter purportedly from Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a fake, according to a statement on several Islamist Web sites.

The terrorist group denied the letter was from al Qaeda and claimed it was "another fabrication ... by the Black House," using its term for the White House.
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Judah
Further developments on the Al Qaeda letter:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/...ter/index.html

Al Qaeda in Iraq: Letter to al-Zarqawi a fake
U.S. official says multiple sources verified document

Thursday, October 13, 2005; Posted: 4:39 p.m. EDT (20:39 GMT)
(CNN) -- Al Qaeda in Iraq said Thursday a letter purportedly from Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a fake, according to a statement on several Islamist Web sites.

The terrorist group denied the letter was from al Qaeda and claimed it was "another fabrication ... by the Black House," using its term for the White House.
I'm sure Al Quada would let us know if it was the real thing.
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
And the means to achieving that level of religious freedom is irrelevent?
clearly not, but iraq's level of secularism prior to the 2003 war did seem particularly relevant in the context of another poster's comments on "the smothering hold of Islam."
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


I'm sure Al Quada would let us know if it was the real thing.
Agreed!

Though, when it comes to the Iraq War, all sides are sorely lacking in the credibility department.
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Old 10-19-2005, 11:18 AM   #16
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Captain Ken Masters, British chief police investigator in Basra died under mysterious circumstances. The cause of death was not mentioned. According to a Ministry of Defense spokesman, his death was "not due to hostile action" nor to natural causes.


Ken Masters was Commanding Officer of the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police. He was "responsible for the investigation of all in-theatre serious incidents, plus investigations conducted by the General Police Duties element of the Theatre Investigation Group." (Statement of Britain's Ministry of Defense, 16 Oct 2005).


In this capacity, Captain Masters was responsible for investigating the circumstances of the arrest of two undercover elite SAS men, wearing Arab clothing, by Iraqi police in Basra.*on September 19 (London Times (17 Oct 2005)..


"The Ministry of Defence refused to reveal details about his [Masters] work but it is believed he was involved in the inquiry into the dramatic rescue of two SAS soldiers held in a prison in Basra." (Daily Mail, 16 Oct 2005)


The two British undercover "soldiers", who were driving a car loaded with weapons and ammunition, were subsequently "rescued" by British forces, in a major military assault on the building where they were being detained:


"British forces used up to 10 tanks " supported by helicopters " to smash through the walls of the jail and free the two British servicemen."


The incident, which resulted in numerous civilian and police casualties has caused political embarrassment.


Several media reports and eyewitness accounts suggested that the SAS operatives were disguised as Al Qaeda "terrorists" and were planning to set off the bombs in Basra's central square during a a major religious event.


On the 14th of October, Britain formally apologized to Iraq and confirmed that it "will pay compensation for injuries and damage caused during the storming by the army of a police station in Basra in the operation to release two SAS soldiers" (The Scotesman, 15 Oct 2005). In the British raid on the prison, 7 Iraqis were killed and 43 were injured .(The Times, op cit)


"Compensation to the families of alleged Iraqi victims who died during the fracas depended on the official investigation being carried out by Captain Masters and his team." (ibid)


Captain Ken Masters died in Basra on the 15th. According to the MoD "the circumstances [of his death ] were not regarded as suspicious."


The reports casually suggested that Masters might have been suffering from "stress", which could have driven him to commit suicide. In the words of a Defense analyst quoted by the BBC:.


"Capt Masters was part of quite a small outfit and his job would have been quite stressful. It's quite an onerous job..... I think, [there is] quite a lot of stress involved" (BBC, 16 October 2005).


The Daily Mail (17 Oct 2005), however, tends to dismiss the suicide thesis "Little is known of his private life and it is said to be unlikely that the pressures of work would have led him to commit suicide."


British statements concerning the "rescue operation"

The attack on the 19th of September to "rescue" the two SAS men was launched under the command of Brig John Lorimer. In a statement, Lorimer said that the purpose of the raid was to ensure the safety of the two SAS men: .


"... I had good reason to believe that the lives of the two soldiers were at risk and troops were sent to the area of Basra near the police station to help ensure their safety. ... "Later in the day, however, I became more concerned about the safety of the two soldiers after we received information that they had been handed over to militia elements. As a result I took the difficult decision to order entry to the Jamiat police station. By taking this action we were able to confirm that the soldiers were no longer being held by the IPS. An operation was then mounted to rescue them from a house in Basra."



Ironically, Brig Lorimer's account was challenged by the US appointed interim government. Iraqi interior minister Baqir Solagh Jabr, in an interview with the BBC "denied that the Iraqi police had handed over the SAS men to the local militias, as Brigadier Lorimer had stated....'That is not right, totally not right,' he said. He accused Brigadier Lorimer of reacting to 'rumour' when he ordered his men to storm the police station and said that the building where the SAS men had been found was actually part of the police station" ( The Independent, 12 Oct 2005).


In a subsequent declaration, Lorimer said that the police in Basra were involved in terrorism, and were being supported by Iran (This alleged link to Iran is now denied by British Defense officials).


Lorimer also said that that the two arrested undercover SAS men had been investigating torture and abuse within the prison: The SAS men had been "given the task of trying to establish who was behind the reign of terror at the jail" (quoted in the Daily Telegraph, 16 Oct 2005). According to Lorimer the prison was a "very nasty place". (Ibid)


The Investigation


The citizens of Basra witnessed the arrest. Civilians were killed and inhured when British forces under the command of Brig Lorimer led the military assault on the prison. Al Jazeera reported the circumstances of the arrest in an interview with Fattah al-Shaykh, member of the Iraqi National Assembly:


If you really want to look for truth, then we should resort to the Iraqi justice away from the British provocations against the sons of Basra, particularly what happened today when the sons of Basra caught two non-Iraqis, who seem to be Britons and were in a car of the Cressida type. It was a booby-trapped car laden with ammunition and was meant to explode in the centre of the city of Basra in the popular market. However, the sons of the city of Basra arrested them. They [the two non-Iraqis] then fired at the people there and killed some of them. The two arrested persons are now at the Intelligence Department in Basra, and they were held by the National Guard force, but the British occupation forces are still surrounding this department in an attempt to absolve them of the crime. (Al Jazeera TV 20 Sept 2005).


Nobody in Basra believes that the two arrested SAS men were "working undercover against militants linked to Iran":


"The Iraqi police stopped a car with two foreigners dressed as Arabs, and full of weapons and explosives," he said. "There have been terrorist attacks and explosions in Basra - of course the police wanted to investigate.".... Mr Hakim dismissed as "propaganda" reports that the soldiers were working undercover against militants linked to Iran. Officials in Basra have called for an espionage trial for the two in an Iraqi court. British soldiers' legal immunity "does not apply when they are out of uniform", Mr Hakim said. (Mr. Hakim is a leading official in Iraq's largest Shia Muslim party, quoted in the Financial Times, 29 Sept 2005)


Was the British military blocking Captain Masters police investigation?


There were apparent disagreements between British military commanding officers and the military police officials dispatched to the war theater in charge of investigating the actions and behavior of military personnel. (The Independent 17 Oct 2005).


Was pressure put to bear on Captain Masters by the Ministry of Defense? According to Michael Keefer, the British Army led by Brig Lorimer was determined


"to remove these men from any danger of interrogation by their own supposed allies in the government the British are propping up—even when their rescue entailed the destruction of an Iraqi prison and the release of a large number of prisoners, gun-battles with Iraqi police and with Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia, a large popular mobilization against the British occupying force, and a subsequent withdrawal of any cooperation on the part of the regional government—tends, if anything, to support the view that this episode involved something much darker and more serious than a mere flare-up of bad tempers at a check-point."



Captain Ken Masters had a mandate to cooperate in his investigations, with the civilian Iraqi authorities. As part of his mandate he was to investigate "into allegations that British soldiers killed or mistreated Iraqi civilians". Specifically in this case, the inquiry pertained to the circumstances of the British assault on the prison on 19 September. The press reports and official statements suggest that the assault on the prison was authorized by the Ministry of Defense.


General Sir Michael Jackson, Chief of the General Staff was in Basra a few days prior to Captain Masters untimely death to deal explicitly with the matter.


While in Basra, he no doubt also had meetings with both Brig Lorimer and Captain Masters. General Jackson has upheld the rescue of the elite SAS men:


"Let me make it clear that it was important to retrieve those two soldiers." (quoted in the Times, 12 Oct 2005)
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Old 10-19-2005, 05:45 PM   #17
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Usually, with these kinds of things, I like to say "well, i'll wait and see how they resolve this...get to the truth, etc., before having a strong opinion on it." But just like so many other sad, pathetic stories coming out of this whole colossal Iraqi misadventure, we'll probably never get to know the whole truth.
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