Saudi Cell Commanders Resent Iraq Offensive

Al Qaeda’s operational chiefs in Saudi Arabia are posing some hard questions about the huge investment of resources and manpower the organization is sinking in Iraq, where Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is riding high with guns blazing and the blessing of al Qaeda leader Osama in Laden. These top men say openly that the movement’s massive involvement in the anti-American campaign in Iraq is a mistake and should be withdrawn.

One group even signed a dissenting article in the latest issue of Sawat al Jihad newspaper and its Internet site, Al Fatah (The Occupation). Both publications are aimed at the terrorist group’s Saudi audience.

Their arguments were tactical rather than ideological.

“Every jihad fighter should do battle in his own country and not fight in Iraq,” said one article by an author identified only as “one of the sheikhs of jihad” and signed also by a group whose members identify themselves as Abdel Aziz Ahmed, Abu al Fadal “the Iraqi”, Abu Omar and Abdullah Beer, head of the propaganda committee of the Algerian terrorist movement.

Abu Fadal’s nickname shows that he fought in Iraq.

Most of the names, of course, are clearly pen-names or noms de guerre, although insiders most probably know who they are. Their main argument is that ever since al Qaeda began pumping fighters into Iraq, they have become fish in a barrel. President George W. Bush was given the chance to kill off or capture a large section of the organization because of its concentration in a single theater of war.

“Al Qaeda and its adherents are wearing themselves out in a campaign they have no chance of winning,” the article said, describing it as a plot hatched by Washington and the royal family to dispatch to certain death in Iraq young Saudis who would otherwise be fighting to overthrow the House of Saud and sabotage the kingdom’s oil exports.

This proves, according to the dissenting authors, that al Qaeda’s “main target should really be the rulers of Saudi Arabia, not Iraq.”

The group is clearly spoiling for action against the Saudi ruling house.

“Ambush them! Strike them at every turn! Do not fear the battle to come. Instead of gradually working your way to the top, take on the ruling gang without delay. A viper fights with his tail, not his head. That is what our fighters are doing in Iraq (instead of Saudi Arabia). “Easy prey (American and Iraqi troops) are of no value, and the hunters (al Qaeda fighters) only give their own hiding places away by going after them.”

The dissenting terrorist commanders spice their arguments with down-to-earth advice to operatives on how to keep their fixed-line, cellular and satellite telephones safe from US intelligence eavesdroppers. The Americans, they say, can identify members talking on the phone by their “voice signatures.”

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