New Al Qaeda Kidnap Guide to Force Release of Detainees in US, Saudi, Yemeni Hands

Just 24 hours after its countdown threat to the United States (reported below), al Qaeda has compiled a detailed kidnappers manual for snatching American troops, diplomats and civilian personnel working with US forces – or any Americans at all – in Muslim countries.
The manual, a copy of which has reached debkafile‘s counter terror sources, lists dos and don’ts for the Islamic kidnap team. They are told how to organize for a mission, trail their quarry and cover up their tracks cunningly enough to buy time and lose themselves before the abduction is discovered and the “enemy” sets out in pursuit.
Young soldiers, they are told, can hold out for several days without food or water until the previously prepared hideout is reached.
Hiding places must be selected in sparsely-populated regions. The kidnappers or their commanders must know the locals well enough to be sure they can be trusted “not to go running to the authorities to sell the whereabouts of the secret prison for monetary gain.”
debkafile‘s sources read this specific directive as drawing on the lessons of Saddam Hussein’s two sons, Uday and Qusay. Hiding in a densely populated part of northern Mosul, they were betrayed to the Americans by Kurdish neighbors and killed in their place of hiding on July 22. The new al Qaeda instructions are especially strict about keeping the kidnap victims out of sight.
The abductors are also forbidden to make any direct or indirect contact with Americans. A separate al Qaeda command will take charge of negotiations, but be kept in the dark about the locations of the captives’ place of imprisonment. The two separate groups, kidnappers and negotiators, will receive encrypted instructions and messages issued as needed. This third “command” group is not identified but appears to be made up of al Qaeda operatives senior to the other two.
debkafile‘s terrorism experts note that the technique of using parties kept apart from the kidnap gangs as negotiators was developed by the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite terrorist Imad Mughniyeh in the 1980s, when he masterminded a disastrous kidnap-murder campaign against Western targets in Beirut. No Western intelligence service ever managed to run to earth the places where Mughniyeh’s gangs hid their victims – a mystery in a country as small as Lebanon and awash with foreign spies. Long sought by Washington, Mughniyeh has figured on the list of 22 most wanted terrorists since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. At present, he is believed by our sources to have gone to ground with the Hizballah in Lebanon.
The last part of the al Qaeda Guide to Kidnappers deals with the conditions for releasing abductees – freedom for all 600 al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, as well as American nationals who fought with al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan and are in custody in the United States and all the fundamentalist network’s adherents captured in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
These demands first turned up in the terror network’s releases at the time of the November 9 suicide attack on the Riyadh district of Muhaya. They were repeated in notices appearing after the car-bomb blasts at Jewish synagogues in Istanbul on November 15 and again, five days later, when British locations were hit. Attacks will go on, al Qaeda promises, until all its followers are set free.
Monday, November 24, debkafile‘s counter-terror sources revealed:
Al Qaeda marked Eid al Fitr, the festival closing the Muslim festival of Ramadan, with a dramatic warning. debkafile‘s counter-terror sources reports that a message published over al Qaeda’s electronic channels and websites declared that the countdown has begun for the biggest operation ever carried out in the United States. “The big blow will fall very shortly. It will consist of a series of surprise attacks that will cut America off from communication with its armies in Muslim countries.” The reference is clearly to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The largest number, around 115,000 soldiers, is present in Iraq.
Muslims living in the United States are urged to “take advantage of the short time left” to escape the country and harm’s way.
Some of the messages say that a new Osama bin Laden videotape will soon be out. It will also carry statements by al Qaeda members who executed the last suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia and adherents who died in clashes with Saudi security. They will be shown describing how they were prepared for action. Bin Laden will intersperse these cuts with comments explaining the selection of Saudi targets.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources report that some of the new messages are signed by Abu Assam al Yamani, who also threatens to murder Abdul Rahman Rashid, editor of the Saudi London-based paper Sharq al Awsat. Al Yamani says the al Qaeda passed sentence of death against the editor because he not only met President George W. Bush in the British capital last week but interviewed him and appeared with the president in a joint photo.

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