When he unveiled his new Iraq plan Wednesday, Jan 10, US President George W. Bush touched on al Qaeda’s counter-plan, as disseminated 24 hours earlier in internal Iraqi websites.
He said: “Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq. Its home base is Anbar Province. Al Qaeda has helped make Anbar the most violent area of Iraq outside the capital. A captured al Qaeda document describes the terrorists’ plan to infiltrate and seize control of the province. This would bring al Qaeda closer to its goals of taking down Iraq’s democracy, building a radical Islamic empire, and launching new attacks on the United States at home and abroad.”
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s al Qaeda experts report that Tuesday, Jan 9, the Islamist organization’s Iraq cells disseminated over their internal websites a new 100-page treatise titled Manifest for Proud People on the Birth of the Islamist State.
The subtitle: Research on the Reasons for Establishing the Iraqi Islamic State and Its Connection with the Strengthening of Jihad and its Political Mission.
The work is signed by a Saudi Arabian called Osman Bin Arad al Rahman al Tamimi, identified by our sources as one of the regional commanders (emirs) appointed in Iraq by Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
Like his master, al Tamimi was killed last year. According to US sources and al Qaeda, he died in one of the battles in western Iraq. The book’s preface says he died heroically by blowing himself up next to a group of US soldiers. However, since the work describes Iraqi and Palestinian events which occurred in recent weeks, the real author of the new work seems to have chosen to hide behind the name of the dead Emir al Tamimi.
Al Qaeda’s next plan of action unfolds in its pages. It rests on the goal of strengthening the “emirate” they established last year in Al Anbar and central Iraq, following which additional “emirates” will be founded in all the world arenas in which al Qaeda is active.
Emirates across the Middle East by winter 2007
By winter 2007, such Islamic state-lets are planned for the Levant, Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia and Egyptian Sinai. Each will be governed by the local al Qaeda commander who defers to the central regime headed by al Qaeda’s top leadership.
Therefore, should Osama bin Laden or Ayman Zuwahiri, decide to put in an appearance, they will speak as leaders of the Bloc of Islamic States. The author places them in counterpoint to the “Bloc of Conservative Arab Regimes,” which are destined to be overthrown, and the Bloc of Western States led by the United States, which must be vanquished.
Al Qaeda has therefore borrowed the Bush formula: Despite hardships, the war in Iraq must be won. Vanquishing the enemy is the only way to achieve al Qaeda’s goals. And just as President Bush is resolved to fight to win in Iraq, al Qaeda is convinced that the process of establishing Islamic states must start in Iraq and spread to the rest of the Muslim world.
The jihadi writer’s rationale dates from the disintegration of the Muslim Ottoman Empire as a result of the 1914-1917 World War One. It was succeeded by a “colonial structure” in the Middle East, he says, which collapsed later, only to rise and fall again under the weight of the current Iraq War.
There is no need to wait for the final American downfall in Iraq, says the al Qaeda author. The jihad must forge ahead, fighting every step of the way, until it is able to redraw new and different frontiers in the Middle East.
One of the perennial difficulties confronting al Qaeda, according to this volume too, is how to adapt day-to-day conditions and needs to Islamic canon law.
A primary obligation of the Muslim state is to provide its citizens with security. Al Qaeda admits it cannot meet this duty in Iraq or anywhere else in the world. Therefore, the writer lays down a new statute, which revolutionizes Islamic thinking of the past 1,000 years. Instead of the structure of a modern state which apes the American-Western format, it is incumbent on the faithful to create a series of “just regimes”, which are managed according to Islamic principles without regard to whether or not they exist within permanent borders.
Al Qaeda’s Latest Dodge: Emirates without borders
The writer conducts an internal debate with himself: A state of war is the natural state of every Arab nation. The reason is that the commandment of jihad is sacred and binding. This creates a contradiction. An Islamic nation at war is unable to provide security. The Palestinian Hamas government is brought as an example of this internal doctrinal contradiction. This government does not command a state within defined borders but heads an indistinct, indeterminate state entity. Although Hamas is incapable of providing its people with security, the writer rules nonetheless that its government is legitimate in every sense of the word.
This brings the writer to his second important doctrinal determination.
An Islamic state does not need frontiers, as conceived by the United States and the West. Frontiers, says the al Qaeda writer are bad; they are at the root of strife and wars. Therefore, al Qaeda’s great new objective today is to get rid of permanent frontiers and found Islamic states without any borders at all, or bounded only by flexible and changeable frontiers.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Middle East analysts comment that this new al Qaeda precept presents extreme danger to Arab countries like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt, whose frontiers were drawn in negotiations between the former colonial powers, Great Britain and France. The frontiers of the Gulf Arab states were established in subsequent negotiations between Great Britain and the Gulf rulers after the Second World War.
Now, Al Qaeda comes along and nullifies these frontiers, providing yet another catalyst for instability in the Arab world if one were needed and a new recipe for anarchy.