Al Qaeda’s New Monthly Concludes: Destroying the Iraqi Baath Was a Gift for Islam

Al Qaeda has taken pains to buttress its actions with an ideological base and keep its adherents abreast of the official political-religious take on current affairs. The terrorist organization runs the Western equivalent of a think tank which publishes updated ideological-operational materials.


This week, al Qaeda issued a new monthly in print and Internet called The Tip of the Camel’s Hump. The 45-page edition is of the highest quality of any of its publications in recent years. Showing the hand of a professional editor, its columns come closest of any published word to representing the tactical views entertained by Abu Musab al Zarqawi, head of the organization’s Iraq, an indicator of his high place in its hierarchy.


The publication brings out four principal arguments:


A. Its writers explain at length why it is important at this time for al Qaeda to strike out with all its might on all fronts.


B. They maintain that a historic opportunity is presenting itself to defeat America in Iraq in the same way as the mujaheddin defeated the Russians in Afghanistan.


C. Islam has stepped into the place of Arab nationalism (the Iraqi Baath) which the Americans destroyed.


D. Al Qaeda’s Achilles heel at a time of great military victories is the image the West has built up of a terrorist organization. This perception must be corrected.


 


Arab nationalism will be distilled as jihad in the Iraq crucible


 


The anonymous author of one article dwells on what he calls America’s biggest mistake in Iraq – and biggest favor to al Qaeda – destroying the Baath movement. Arab nationalism was ever the greatest foe of Islam and it is now gone for good. “We are now able to demonstrate by day and by night on Iraqi soil that it is the jihadists who are fighting the Americans rather than Iraqi freedom fighters.”


According to DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Iraq experts, the writer is indirectly casting aspersions on the Iraqi Sunni and Baath representatives who have joined the Americans in peace negotiations (which we have reported on at length in recent issues) and hinting at the broadening Zarqawi-led offensive.


“Iraq,” the writer goes on to say, “is the crucible in which nationalism melts away and is reborn as jihad, in which conflict is distilled into a war to drive the Americans out of Iraq, and in which Islam confronts its foes in open combat.”


He then asserts that America can be beaten in Iraq and argues, “We have managed to wound America on the Iraqi battlefield. George Bush is faltering like a boxer after a mighty blow. The whole world sees their losses. But above all, we have deprived them of the grounds for claiming they represent an advanced, humane and tolerant culture. The whole world has seen how they left Falluja and Samarra in ruins.”


At the same time, the writer in the new al Qaeda publication admits “along our path we have lost very many Muslims, those who abdicated to join forces with the Americans and the Zionists {Ed: He is talking about the Palestinian Authority which negotiates with Israel, and Egypt and Jordan which signed peace treaties with the Jewish state]. But these are side issues of little importance compared with the principal campaign fought by the allies of Allah against the allies of Satan.”


 


Al Qaeda’s “terrible mistakes” in Afghanistan and Bosnia


 


Turning to another conflict, the writer admits to “terrible mistakes” the movement made in Afghanistan and Bosnia.


After vanquishing the Russians, he writes, we began to fight each other for control of the country [Ed. The Afghan civil war joined by the mujaheddin which brought the Taliban to power].


” In Bosnia, just when we were certain we had triumphed in our objective to bring Islam into Europe, we allowed NATO to steal our victory. These mistakes must be avoided in Iraq.”


DEBKA-Net-Weekly notes that this is the first time al Qaeda has ever owned up to plotting to use the Balkan conflict in the first half of the 1990s to capture a part of Europe for Islam.


Another part of the Camel’s Hump is set aside to eulogize Sheikh Omar Hadid, the late commander of Zarqawi’s force in Falluja who died in action against the Americans during the April 2004 capture of the Iraqi city. Hadid is held up as a brave and brilliant fighter who fought Saddam Hussein as an active member of the Muslim underground.


According to our Iraq sources, most members of Zarqawi’s command have a similar history of warfare against the Saddam regime. This distinction is important because it is the key to the difference between the two guerrilla forces fighting together in Iraq today , the Baathists and al Qaeda.

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