The London-based daily Al Hayat recently published a letter allegedly written by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, America’s most sought after man in Iraq due to his connections with Al Qaida.
The US has placed a reward of $10 million on his capture.
If true, the letter provides invaluable insight into the workings of a terrorist’s mind. Its publication has stirred much debate and received wide condemnation – as well as scepticism – from Arab writers and intellectuals.
Some analysts have expressed doubt over the letter’s authenticity, since all of Al Qaida’s content is marked by optimism for future actions and plans.
This particular letter, according to critics, more or less harbours pessimism as it repeatedly mentions how all doors are being shut in the face of the mujahideen. The contents of the letter are highly inflammatory and full of religious overtones.
Gulf News publishes this letter to give the reader some understanding of the writer’s perspective, and it should be read in this context.
The letter, according to the website Elaph, was found on a man – captured by Kurdish troops – who they claim was a close confidante-cum-messenger of Al Zarqawi. The man captured was en route to delivering the letter to his supporters in Iraq.
The Jordanian Al Zarqawi was sentenced in absentia in 2000 by a Jordanian court to 15 years in prison for his role in plotting to carry out a series of attacks against Western interests in Jordan.
The US State Department last year also labelled Al Zarqawi as one of the most senior Al Qaida leaders with close ties with Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri.
Addressed to ‘two brothers’, a reference that is assumed to be made to bin Laden and Al Zawahri, the letter maps out in detail the agenda for the coming four months in carrying out attacks against the Americans. It calls for turning Iraq into a new battlefield against the Americans.
It further details the ethnic break-up of Iraqi society, describing each group in detail, whether they are supporters of Al Qaida or not, and how they are to be treated accordingly.
Gulf News has translated excerpts of the controversial letter.