Letter Criticized al-Qaida Head in Iraq

Letter Criticized al-Qaida Head in Iraq
October 3rd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Letter Criticized al-Qaida Head in Iraq

Letter Criticized al-Qaida Head in Iraq
Media: The Associated Press
Date: 03 October 2006


CAIRO, Egypt_A top al-Qaida official warned Abu Musab al-Zarqawi six months
before he was killed by a U.S. airstrike that he would be removed as the
terror group's head in Iraq if he did not consult with the group's
leadership on major issues.

An al-Qaida leader named "Atiyah" cautioned al-Zarqawi in an 11-page letter
against the war he had declared on Shiite Muslims.

The letter also criticized attacks the Iraqi branch had carried out in
neighboring countries _ an apparent reference to last year's triple suicide
attacks on hotels in the Jordanian capital of Amman that killed dozens.

"Anyone who commits tyranny and aggression upon the people and causes
corruption within the land and drives people away from us and our faith and
our jihad and from the religion and the message that we carry, then he must
be taken to task," Atiyah wrote, saying he was in the northwest Pakistani
tribal region of Waziristan.

"We must direct him to what is right, just, and for the best. Otherwise, we
would have to push him aside and keep him away from the sphere of influence
and replace him and so forth," he wrote.

Atiyah tells al-Zarqawi that on major issues he should consult with "your
leadership, Sheik Osama (bin Laden) and the doctor (Ayman al-Zawahri) and
their brothers ... as well as your Mujahedeen brothers in Iraq."

Two U.S. government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because
of the sensitivity of the information, said the letter is believed to be
authentic. They said Atiyah is considered to be bin Laden's emissary to Iraq
and served as a link between the al-Qaida leader and al-Zarqawi.

It wasn't clear when Atiyah, a 37-year-old Libyan whose full name is Atiyah
Abd al-Rahman, took over that role or precisely how close to bin Laden he

One of the officials said he is a religious scholar with knowledge of the
Koran and Islamic law and a veteran of the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.
He joined al-Qaida in the early 1990s, when it was first formed, and spent
some time in the mid-1990s in Algeria.

Atiyah is believed to be an explosives expert, the official said.

First revealed by Iraq's National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie on
Sept. 18, The Washington Post reported in Monday's editions that the letter
was the first document to emerge from what the U.S. military described as a
"treasure trove" of information uncovered from Iraqi safe houses at the time
of al-Zarqawi's death.

Al-Zarqawi was asked in the letter to correspond with al-Qaida in Waziristan
through reliable messengers and was told not to attack Sunni clerics in Iraq
or abroad _ an apparent reference to the Sunni clerics who were assassinated
after calling for Iraqis to take part in last year's general elections.

"The war is long and our road is long. What is important is to keep the good
reputation of yourself, the mujahedeen and especially your group," Atiyah

The letter also praised al-Zarqawi, saying "you have hurt America, the
largest infidel Crusader forces in history."

It was dated the 10th of the Muslim month of Zhul Qadah, which was around
mid-December last year and about six months before the Jordanian-born
al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike north of Baghdad.

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