Italian authorities have been wiretapping jihadists, and now the Alphabet City Yahoo group has posted some of the transcripts. (Thanks to LGF.) These are extraordinarily revealing in all sorts of ways.
Italy’s Il Nuovo explains: “Here is the text of intercepted conversations from the inquiry into the recruitment of future Islamic terrorists in Italy. It paints a worrying picture of a little known phenomenon with deep roots. In the context of the investigation in Milan into the Ansar al-Islam transnational terrorist organization, what has emerged is a ‘fresco’ of the world of radical Islamism full of secret projects but also a propensity for subversion that is completely different from the one that we were accustomed to seeing here in Italy in connection with our own form of domestic political terrorism.
“Thus over and above the more strictly investigative aspect, a thorough read through some of the documents or wiretaps conducted in the course of the investigation can be revealing in terms of the group’s plans but also, and above all, in terms of its political, religious, and social implications. We can gain a clear idea of the prestige and program of Emir Krikar, the acknowledged leader of Ansar al-Islam, a group that is in turn linked to al-Tawid whose leader is Emir Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, still a leading member of Al-Qa’ida.”
Some excerpts from the transcripts:
[Man] And that is not the end of it. There are so many things to change in order to eliminate God’s enemies, the policy of Israel and those who pursue it.
[Abu Umar] That is our hope…
[Man] On 16 of last month there was a confidential meeting with the shaykhs in Poland; the final decision was to completely change the Hizb al-Tahrir front and to build a new organization that concerns itself with the national territory and with the international territory but we need highly trained people at every level.
[Abu Umar] It takes time.
[Man] We have time; we are moving very gradually. There are people
already on the inside.
[Abu Umar] What do you mean?
[Man] Now Shaykh Adel and Shaykh Abd al-Wahab have set up various groups in which there are various brothers who have come back from Chechnya.
[Abu Umar] How about Shaykh Adlen?
[Man] He moved before I came here. I met him in 1987. But let us now return to our topic. Our project needs intelligent and highly educated people. Where the Jihad part is concerned, there is Abu Serrah who is planning to set up a battalion of 25 to 26 units but the plan needs to be thoroughly prepared.
[Abu Umar] As long as the Devil does not work his way into it.
[Man] The first thing that I will tell you is that we are aware that we are under surveillance. We know that half the brothers are in jail, including those who have been accused of gathering funds. I repeat, the plan must be studied in detail because the thread begins in Saudi Arabia; the person taking care of this plan is Abu Salman (or Abu Suleyman) who is of the same blood as Emir Abdullah so there is no need for any comment.
At that point both men laugh.
[Man] But the mosques have too high a profile; they must be left alone. We need new structures; we are seeking from seven to nine buildings. We recently bought a four-story building.
[Abu Umar] Are we not concerning ourselves with the mosques?
[Man] Yes, we are concerning ourselves with them. We are also concerning ourselves with financing them, but money has to generate money because the aim is also to form an Islamic army with the name of Force 9 (source translator’s note: the term used is Kawa).
[Abu Umar] How are things going in Germany?
[Man] I cannot complain. There are 10 of us; we are taking an interest in Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, Turkey and Egypt, Italy and France, but the nerve center is still London… Shaykh Adlen has given a great deal of money; as I told you this plan has no need of any further comments or words.
[Abu Umar] I hope that this will cause our youth to shine.
[Man] That is our objective; each of us has a task, for instance if one has 10 operatives available, he becomes their leader and then it is up to him to decide whether to organize them into smaller groups or to keep them like that. The important thing is to use one’s intelligence.
[Abu Umar] Even if they are foreigners (source translator’s note: not Arabs)?
[Man] That is not important. We need also foreigners; we have Albanians, Swiss, British… It is enough that they be of a high cultural level. In Germany we have interpreters and interpreters that translate books; we have also in telecommunications [as published], also in Austria; the important thing is that their faith in Islam be sincere.
[ . . . ]
[Man] Never worry about money, because Saudi Arabia’s money is your money; the important thing is not to rush ahead, because it is all new; there are old things too, but the training is completely new. The man who wanted to set up the plan is close to Emir Abdullah and we are grateful to Emir Abdullah. Get prepared.
[ . . . ]
[Man] . . . Dear Abu Umar, technology is needed to fight God’s enemies.
[Abu Umar] That is true.
[Man] That is why the shaykhs insist on having highly educated people.
[Abu Umar] Yes, yes.
[Man] It is necessary to have a great deal of intelligence. If Shaykh Abu Khalil, Shaykh Abu Qatada, and Shaykh Aden the Syrian are under surveillance, there are other people who run the group in their stead, who handle the situation; second, one needs to be careful of the way he speaks, one must not just throw words about carelessly, one must control his tongue; our groups are spread from Algeria throughout the world. For instance a person can manage the group perfectly well from Poland, like Shaykh Abd al-Aziz; he has a group called the Katilea group, its organization is stunning, it is a perfect organization, communication is possible even via a book.
[Abu Umar] What, has he written a book?
[Man] Even more. He, in books, they are books, but they are full of dollars. [sentence as published]
[Abu Umar] He sends dollars via books?
[Man] Yes, and other things too.
[Abu Umar] How? Through the mail?
[Man] Yes, also through the mail.
[Abu Umar] With such ease?
[Man] Yes, because it is not Europe. Europe is now under surveillance by air and by land, but in Poland, in Bulgaria, and in countries that are not members of the European Community it is all easy. First, they are corrupt, you can buy them with dollars. I take the substance from there and I place it here and there; they are countries that are less monitored, there are not too many eyes; but the country from which all kinds of things depart is Austria. Three I meet with all the shaykhs and all our brothers are there… At this juncture that has become the country of international communications. It has become the country of contacts; as I told you before, all the contacts arrive from Austria or from Poland. The most convenient country is Austria, and all the other neighboring countries. If you are on the wanted list, you have two options. Either you hide there (in Austria) or in the mountains. Above all the mosque of Sahafi (or Sahawi), the old mosque, has been a very hot mosque for a long time, very hot; they are very united especially after the event that occurred recently.
[Abu Umar] There is only one God and Muhammad is his Prophet.
From another transcript, of two jihadis conversing in prison:
[Mera’i] I have been reciting the Koran all night.
[Mohammad] So have I.
[. . . ]
[Mera’i] The enemies of God, sons of dogs; stupid questions. Have you been to Iran? Yes, so what? What is the problem with my having been to Iran? Have you been to Syria? Stupid questions.
[Mohammad] They told me that I am Sudanese.
[Mera’i] You tell them yes, no, perhaps, I have forgotten; take them for a ride. These people here, the Americans’ servants, they are slaves.
[ . . . ]
[Mera’i] Very soon they will be getting news, a splendid thing to behold… and they pay because they are dogs, they are like dogs, they are sons of dogs, they are cursed, they are the enemies of God; the others in front and them behind on a lead. They have no worth; they are dogs. They are devils. The American power does not frighten me. Are you afraid of them? Whatever questions they ask you, do not answer. Or else tell them that you do not know. Tell them that it is the Koran that answers.
[Mohammad] The enemy of God came to touch my Koran.
[Mera’i] And did you let him?
[Mera’i] Tell him to go away and not to touch it even with his finger.
[Mohammad] He told me that he wanted to check it and I told him that I would open it, page by page; he made me open it three times.
[Mera’i] Enemies of God. They will undoubtedly ask you about the people who were in Afghanistan; they want the head (the leader — Il Nuovo editor’s note). They like life; I want to be a martyr, I live for the jihad . There is nothing in this life; life is afterward; above all, brother, the indescribable feeling is that of dying a martyr. God, help me to be your martyr. [Mera’i ends]
They recite verses from the Koran. [ . . . ] There follows more chat in the course of which the two men insult the Americans and their allies, then recite verses from the Koran and the anthem of the jihad , then:
[Mera’i] Do you know the anthem of the jihad against the Americans?
[Mera’i] By Shaykh Abu Faysal. Come on, let us recite it together. [Mera’i ends]
The two men recite the anthem.
[Mera’i] We have freedom and we go to paradise, but they will have only woes. Come on, brother, paradise is ours. We have not lost the day. We have learned so many things.
[Mohammad] But when they arrest people, do they usually put two of them together?
[Mohammad] So how come they put us together?
[Mera’i] They conducted a roundup and everything is undoubtedly full.