Oct 10 2007

al Qaeda Leadership Fractured And Dysfunctional, Movement Spurned By Muslims

Published by at 4:23 pm under All General Discussions,Iraq

An analysis of captured al Qaeda correspondence, spanning many years, shows an al Qaeda that is inept, fumbling and in disarray. From its beginnings when Bin Laden apparently ran the organization aground in Somalia, to its recent failures and fractures in Iraq, the analysis concludes al Qaeda has barely been able to retain its brand name since its heyday of 9-11.

The report includes translations of letters noting serious internal conflicts within the Jihadi movement that surfaced after 9-11 and the might of the US response was felt. Here are some quotes from the letter repeated in the report (less trouble than copying the PDF text).

In one particularly blunt letter, dated 13 June 2002 and addressed by Saif al-Adel to a certain Mukhtar, the former writes bitterly of Usama bin Ladin’s precipitous folly having plunged al-Qa’ida “from misfortune to disaster.”[92]Echoing a view often expressed in the writings of Abu’l-Walid, Saif al-Adel complains of Bin Ladin’s autocratic leadership of the organization, whereby “if someone opposes him, he immediately puts forward another person to render an opinion in his support, clinging to his opinion.” The incompetent leadership, writes Saif, “every time it falters, gets up again and rushes headlong with no understanding or awareness.” In an apparent attempt to wrest some control over al-Qa’ida from Bin Ladin’s disastrous leadership, Saif urges his addressee to “stop all foreign actions, stop sending people to captivity, and stop devising new operations, regardless of whether or not orders come from Abu ‘Abdullah.”

The picture painted by this report is one of rivalry and prejudice by Arab Jihadists that alienated their allies. Uzbek, Tajik and Chech Jihadis were so put out by this dissing it came to a point where these factions were turning over al Qaeda members to Pakistani authorites.

There has recently been some speculation that al-Qa’ida has been regrouping in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, perhaps even regaining the organizational capacity to operationally manage terrorist agents, but there is no evidence to suggest that it has overcome the persistent weaknesses identified in this report.[106] On the contrary, recent events have highlighted al-Qa’ida’s continuing vulnerability to them. For example, in 2005, after the capture in Pakistan of senior al-Qa’ida operative Abu Faraj al-Libi, it was revealed that Central Asian jihadis, a contingent of whom have established a foothold in the Waziristan tribal areas, provided the information to Pakistani intelligence that led them to al-Libi. Bad blood generated by the chauvinistic disdain for Central Asian jihadis displayed by Arab al-Qa’ida personnel in the region had led captured Uzbek, Tajik and Chechen jihadis to provide information on al-Qa’ida’s operations, leading to a series of raids and arrests that ultimately led to al-Libi’s capture.[107]

It is a fascinating read. It may have some optimism added to its conclusions, but the fact is al Qaeda is struggling and has many times called for help when pressed. And it is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of Muslims everywhere. With continuous acts of violence aimed at Muslims (like targetting a school full of children with mortars) it is not a surprise the Muslim street is rising up and swearing on the Koran to destroy al Qaeda. And there have been many reports over the summer regarding infighting among the Jihadi enclaves now hiding out in Pakistan (see here and here for example). So these conclusions have supporting evidence outside the links listed in the repor.

To understand how badly al Qaeda has destroyed its reputation check out this plea by an Iraqi cleric to open a dialogue with al Qaeda:

A top Iraqi Sunni cleric, Sheikh Harith al-Dari, who heads the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI), has said the group is open to dialogue with the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

We reject the actions of al-Qaeda but they are still part of us, Sunnis, and we are 90 percent of them, because al-Qaeda is by now, Iraqi,” said al-Dari in an interview with the Doha-based satellite TV channel Al Jazeera.

“For this reason we can speak to them and try to make their change their ideas and get them to return to reason,” said al-Dari who is based in Jordan.

Emphasis mine. This cleric in exile in Jordan is not even pretending to cover for al Qaeda’s actions. He is begging for a chance to return them ‘”to reason”. The reaction from Iraq to this plea is one of disgust:

This statement offering dialogue to the terrorist group has angered Iraq’s main Sunni Arab political bloc, the National Concord Front.

The bloc published a statement on its internet site calling al-Dari’s position “dangerous because it pushes the terrorists to commit new crimes.”

Those Sunnis IN IRAQ know that al-Qaeda atrocities are falling primarily on the Iraqi Muslims. They want vengeance – not reconcilliation. They want al Qaeda destroyed for what they did. Again, this plays into the essence of the report and its findings. I think we will see some stunning changes in Iraq and the Middle East in the coming months as the ramifications of this sea change in the Muslim community’s attitude towards al Qaeda settles out.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “al Qaeda Leadership Fractured And Dysfunctional, Movement Spurned By Muslims”

  1. Soothsayer says:

    fractured and disfunctional

    Do you mean dysfunctional?

    I think we will see some stunning changes in Iraq and the Middle East in the coming months as the ramifications of this sea change in the Muslim community’s attitude towards al Qaeda settles out.

    Are you predicting that Sunni and Shia will put aside their 1,000 blood feud over who shall inherit the mantle of Mohammed, eschew centuries of vendetta based upon insults real and imagined, that the dispossessed and the possessors shall come together and the Lion shall lay down with the Lamb and the last shall be first??

    You’re sounding like a TV preacher . . . promising pie in the sky, by and by

  2. crosspatch says:

    No, I thing you, Sooth are sounding like the congregation when the preacher turns out to be a fraud. You refuse to believe. You cling to your beliefs in the face of an ever growing mountain of evidence. It is a religious thing with you. You just “believe”. There is no room for reason.

    The truth is that if the Shiite and Sunni are ever to live together then it must be in a country with a secular government. Iran is a Shiite country, Saudi Arabia is a Sunni country. Iraq must be neither and both at the same time. The promise of a more democratic Iraq is the promise of people living together in the only thing that resembles a democracy in the entire Arab region.

    It is sad, really, Sooth, that you can not find it in your heart to want to support the notion of an Arab country that is not a dictatorship or a monarchy. One would think that those with liberal values would be the ones who would champion the notion of a more democratic government the most. But we see again how the American “liberal” is really an Orwellian term for the most closed-minded world view I have ever seen in my life.

    Every time you type you prove the point. Sooth, try to look at things a little differently. From the sound of your postings, you must have a horrible feeling for the world in general and be a very unhappy person. That isn’t good for the health.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Lets see …

    Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

    BAGHDAD – After more than 20 months of violent insurgent activity, September marked the first month that there were no murders within the western Ameriya neighborhood of the Iraqi capital.

    Multi-National Division – North PAO

    MUQDADIYA, Iraq – Approximately 70 tribal leaders, representing 25 tribes from areas throughout the northern Diyala River Valley, met at an Iraqi Army base in Muqdadiya, Iraq, to discuss the way ahead and the need to unite in the fight against terrorism, Oct. 8.

    Multi-National Division – Center PAO

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Concerned Citizens groups are local volunteers who are committed to cooperating with Coalition Forces to decrease violence in their communities, much like a neighborhood watch program. Soldiers from Company D have been working to establish Concerned Citizens groups in Jisr Diyala, a town southeast of Baghdad, since July. Currently, two Concerned Citizens groups total approximately 300 volunteers.

    And so it goes on and on the past couple of weeks. It is more than a “temporary lull”.

  4. 66flh says:

    a/q may seem to be in in conflict. but keep an eye the muslim brotherhood @ counterterrorismwatch.com. mbh is in command of disinformation in the usa!

  5. Terrye says:

    sooth has completely rejected that whole Jack Kennedy, bear any burden pay any price crap. Liberty sucks. Right soothie? A good liberal would champion passing a resolution to condemn an atrocity that took place a century ago, while doing everything to encourage one today. Right?