The letter is dated December 11, 2005:
Know that we, like all the Mujahidin, are still weak...We are in the stage of weakness and a state of paucity. We have not yet reached a level of stability. We have no alternative but to not squander any element of the foundations of strength, or any helper or supporter.Criticizing the violent actions taken by Zarqawi against civilian and religious leaders in Iraq, Atiyah writes,
The long and short of the matter is that the Islamic theologians are the keys to the Muslim community and they are its leaders. This is the way it is, whether you like it or not...If you appear before the community in the guise of a pariah to the class of religious scholars, contradicting them, disrespecting them, and insulting them, then you will lose the people and you will fail in any call "to religion" or "political act".This past June, the Pakistani military signed a ceasefire agreement with the tribal elders of south Waziristan and recently in September signed an agreement with the tribal elders of north Waziristan. Both accords stipulate that al-Qaida forces may remain in the trbal areas so long as they do not undertake any offensive actions in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Essentially, if al-Qaida behaves they can live peacefully in the Waziri triabl areas. As well as providing a safe haven for the bad guys, the agreements also concentrtates the bad guys in a specified land area rather than scattered to the four winds.
Written before the accords were signed, the letter writer gives evidence that al-Qaida's leadership is within the agreed upon boundries of Waziristan:
I command you, my brother, and I am your brother and I have nothing except these words that are between the two of us and God as the third party, that you send messengers from your end to Waziristan so that they meet with the brothers of the leadership, and the rational and experienced people and the shaykhs here, because you have a greater chance to send messengers (brothers that you choose) than your brothers have here... [Your couriers are preferred because] you have the ability to enlist guys and men who have not been exposed, and who can move about and carry messages and convey responses to you and such...Readying the brothers and mobilizing them and preparing them to be messengers between you and the leadership here is more important than preparing and sending the brothers for some operations like the recent operation of the hotels in Amman! (triple bombings in Jordan.)Also in the letter is authentication of the Zawahiri/Zarqawi letter (The Fourth Rail) in which Zarqawi is seriously upbraided by the al-Qaida leadership for acting on his own without approval from the elders, especially Zarqawi's penchant for wanton destruction of civilian lives and property. Last fall, when that letter was intercepted, many intelligence analysts and anti-war groups claimed it was a forgery.
The two letters together spell out fairly clearly that al-Qaida feels itself stretched to the breaking point, the leadership is overwrougt, organizational communication has broken down necessitating the use of couriers rather than sat-phones, serious crimps have been put on financial sources, living conditions are of the most rude sort. In short, al-Qaida has a very clear understanding that events are moving in a direction not anticipate, that they are not just losing ground, but losing the international jihad and losing fast.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.