Al Qaeda Adopts Al-Zarqawi’s Watchword: Slaughter the Infidels
Britain has appealed to Iraqis to help recover the body of the British hostage Kenneth Bigley who was beheaded 10 days ago and bring him home for burial. His compatriots cannot comprehend how it was possible for an innocent construction worker to meet so cruel an end. Two American co-workers abducted with him in Baghdad, Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong, were murdered first in similar fashion. Their remains were found and repatriated. debkafile‘s al Qaeda experts stress that the fundamentalist group`s ideologues of terror, utterly impervious to Western “infidel” opinion and sensitivities, have been immersed in a cold-blooded doctrinal debate on the integration of decapitation in their “jihad.”
The upshot of this debate was a judgment handed down Thursday, October 10, by al Qaeda’s spiritual guides which, summed up with brutal clarity, declares: Americans in Iraq, all foreigners, and their Iraqi collaborators fit “every Muslim religious and traditional criterion that permits their slaughter.” i.e. decapitation.
The decree itself is divided into two long sections, each signed by a different group.
The first, 17 pages long, addresses Questions and Doubts on the Nature of the Jihad and its Functions, and is signed by a “Supporters of the Jihad Fighters.”
The second, 16 pages long, Revival of the Tradition of Slaughtering Infidels, is signed by “Sheikh Abdullah Rashid”, whose real identity is known only to senior al Qaeda leaders.
According to our experts, the first section addresses the questions and uncertainties stirred up in many parts of the Muslim world by the barbarous depictions of masked Muslim men snatching living human beings by the hair and slashing their throats with large knives. So monstrous are these images that even Arab TV stations are loath to air them.
The reluctant broadcasters are taken to task in this first section, accused of spurning “deeds sanctioned by Islam.”
After section one addresses the queries of the doubters, section two lays down the law: “The slaughter of infidels is compelled by religious precept and must be implemented in letter and spirit as determined by the Prophet Mohammed, who declared that decapitation is the most effective means of intimidation and deterrent against the enemy.”
Saturday, October 16, two days after publication of the two-part decree, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s Tawhid Wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War) announced the execution by beheading of 11 members of the Iraqi police and national guard. Even for his cutthroats, this was a record in a single day. “Today alone,” bragged the group’s Internet message on one of the main Islamic websites, “your brethren were able to decapitate 11 apostates… affiliated to the so-called national guard force, on Haifa Street.”
This message was a form of Islamic salute to al Qaeda for coming around to Zarqawi’s norms of operation.
A few hours later, he took the critical step of relinquishing his avowed (and probably fictitious) semi-freelance status in the terrorist network and placing himself and group fully under the supreme authority of Osama bin Laden. In a declaration marking Ramadan, Zarqawi honored al Qaeda’s leader as “the teacher of the generation” and vowed to obey his decrees henceforth.
debkafile‘s counter-terror experts interpret this crucial development in the workings of the terrorist organization as follows:
Zarqawi’s following in Iraq is clearly under severe pressure from relentless US pummeling in Fallujah and in retreat from most of its bases. Samarra has been conquered in a US-Iraqi offensive and in Balad, Yousefiya, Latafiya and Baqouba, US siege forces are poised to attack the terrorists. Yet inside bin Laden’s network, the Jordanian terrorist’s policy has triumphed. The parent body of al Qaeda has bought his disputed mode of operation as a tenet of its fundamentalist jihad doctrine, adopting his argument that to prevail in their holy war, adherents must abduct heretics and are bound to behead them.
The first section of the new decree pronounces on three contentious issues:
1. Al Qaeda’s combat strategy.
2. Its combat doctrine.
On the first two points, the writers quote the queries received from inside the Muslim faith and provide answers. They cite the suggestion that al Qaeda is not governed by a strategic master-plan and central policy but only responds to the deeds of heretics and the occupants of the Black House (al Qaeda’s locution of the White House.) Additional questions repeated in the document: Do our Jihad fighters correctly perceive the enemy? Are we certain that the American war against us is truly a crusade against Islam? Perhaps it is only a war for economic gain. If so, “are we wrong to wage a religious war against America?” What is the sense in fighting in Iraq? Why are not enough Iraqis fighting the infidels and the occupation? – a hint that foreign Muslim fighters are bearing the brunt of combat. Should the struggle continue in Arabia?
The writers conclude that while such questions deserve serious attention, they must not be allowed to lead believers astray. “Anyone who opts out of the Jihad is guilty of heresy and condemned to death.”
After section one lays the foundations to justify a religious war against the Americans, section moves in with the corollary, the religious grounds for beheading infidels and apostates on camera.
debkafile‘s al Qaeda experts note that the 33 pages are studded with quotes from the Koran and Islamic canon law, which al Qaeda’s theologians interpret as permitting and advocating the killing of unbelievers by “slaughter.” One cited is Koran’s Sura Muhammed, Verse 4: “When you meet in battle those who have disbelieved, smite their necks…
Not only does the new al Qaeda decree vindicate Zarqawi’s tactics in the eyes of al Qaeda; it represents a recast policy formula for the entire network that portends stepped up brutality in its terrorist methods in Iraq and also in countries where the group maintains active cells. Once the message is communicated to al Qaeda’s operatives everywhere, counter-terror experts foresee an upsurge in hostage-taking and decapitations spreading out of Iraq and Saudi Arabia and targeting Western civilians and anyone doing business, or maintaining military, personal or cultural relations with the West.
The first American victim to be slaughtered by al Qaeda was the Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl, who was murdered in February 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan.
From April 2004, 22 have suffered his horrendous fate. They are listed from last to first hereunder with the dates of their murder by beheading:
Kenneth Bigley, a British civilian working in Baghdad, October 7.
Yilmaz Dabka, a Turk, October 2.
Iyad Anwar Wali, Italian-Turk, October 2.
Jack Hensley, American, September 21.
Akar Besir, Turk, September 21.
Eugene Armstrong, American, September 20.
Durmus Kumdereli, Turk, September 13.
Nasser Juma, Egyptian, September 5.
12 unnamed Nepalese hostages, August 31.
Enzo Baldoni, Italian, August 26.
Mohammed Mutawali, Egyptian, August 10.
Osman Alisan, Turk, August 5.
Murat Yuce, Turk, August 2.
Sajjad Naeem, Pakistani, July 28.
Raja Azad Khan, Pakistani, July 28.
Ivailo Kepov, Bulgarian, whose body was found July 22.
Georgi Lazov, Bulgarian, July 13.
Keith Matthew Maupin, American, his June 28 murder never confirmed by US authorities.
Kim Sun-il, South Korean, June 22.
Hussen Ali Alilyan, Lebanese, June 12.
Nicolas Berg, American, May 11.
Fabrizio Quattrocchi, Italian, April 14.
Foreign nationals beheaded in Saudi Arabia
On May 29, Al Qaeda attacked foreign oil offices and installations in Khobar City and took hostages. An official news blackout was imposed and the number and names of the hostages taken and murdered was never released. debkafile‘s sources estimate that 9 foreign employees were murdered by beheading after being identified as non-Muslims and separated from Muslim hostages. This group is believed to include one American, as well as Italian and Indian nationals.
Paul Johnson, American electronics engineer, June 2004 in Riyadh.