Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Al-Qaeda still active in Iraq, although it has suffered a loss of support. But some within Iraq are actively encouraging it. This from the New York Times, :
American officials here have obtained a detailed proposal that they conclude was written by an operative in Iraq to senior leaders of Al Qaeda, asking for help to wage a “sectarian war” in Iraq in the next months.
The Americans say they believe that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who has long been under scrutiny by the United States for suspected ties to Al Qaeda, wrote the undated 17-page document. Mr. Zarqawi is believed to be operating here in Iraq. . . .
The author offers his services and those of his followers to the recipients of the letter, who American officials contend are Al Qaeda’s leaders.
“You noble brothers, leaders of the jihad, we do not consider ourselves people who compete against you, nor would we ever aim to achieve glory for ourselves like you did,” the writer says. “So if you agree with it, and are convinced of the idea of killing the perverse sects, we stand ready as an army for you to work under your guidance and yield to your command.” . . .
“We were involved in all the martyrdom operations “” in terms of overseeing, preparing and planning “” that took place in this country,” the writer of the document says. “Praise be to Allah, I have completed 25 of these operations, some of them against the Shia and their leaders, the Americans and their military, and the police, the military and the coalition forces.”
But the writer details the difficulties that he and his comrades have been experiencing, both in combating American forces and in enlisting supporters. The Americans are an easy target, according to the author, who nonetheless claims to be impressed by the Americans’ resolve. After significant losses, he writes, “America, however, has no intention of leaving, no matter how many wounded nor how bloody it becomes.”
The Iraqis themselves, the writer says, have not been receptive to taking holy warriors into their homes.
“Many Iraqis would honor you as a guest and give you refuge, for you are a Muslim brother,” according to the document. “However, they will not allow you to make their home a base for operations or a safe house.”
The writer contends that the American efforts to set up Iraqi security services have succeeded in depriving the insurgents of allies, particularly in a country where kinship networks are extensive.
“The problem is you end up having an army and police connected by lineage, blood and appearance,” the document says. “When the Americans withdraw, and they have already started doing that, they get replaced by these agents who are intimately linked to the people of this region.”
With some exasperation, the author writes: “We can pack up and leave and look for another land, just like what has happened in so many lands of jihad. Our enemy is growing stronger day after day, and its intelligence information increases.
“By God, this is suffocation!” the writer says.
But there is still time to mount a war against the Shiites, thereby to set off a wider war, he writes, if attacks are well under way before the turnover of sovereignty in June. After that, the writer suggests, any attacks on Shiites will be viewed as Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence that will find little support among the people.
“We have to get to the zero hour in order to openly begin controlling the land by night, and after that by day, God willing,” the writer says. “The zero hour needs to be at least four months before the new government gets in place.”
That is the timetable, the author concludes, because, after that, “How can we kill their cousins and sons?”
“The Americans will continue to control from their bases, but the sons of this land will be the authority,” the letter states. “This is the democracy. We will have no pretexts.”