FFI explains al-Qaida document with appendix: Iraq al-Jihad: amal wa akhtar (Arabic original)

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  Innhold FFIPostboks 252027 Kjeller Telefon: 63 80 70 00Militær tel: 505 7000Telefaks: 63 80 71 15E-post FFI E-post Vevredaktør  Forsiden Aktuelt Forskningsenheter  Forskning/prosjekter  Publikasjoner  Pressemeldinger Om FFI Kontakt oss Verksted English  Forside : Fellesinstitusjoner  : Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt : FFI , 2004-03-19 FFI explains al-Qaida document Since the Madrid bombings on 11 March there has beenconsiderable media interest in a document found on radicalislamist websites some months ago by researchers at theNorwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). The document recommends "painful strikes" against Spanish"forces" specifically around the time of the Spanish elections andthere has naturally been much speculation about the relationshipbetween this text and the Madrid events. Brynjar Lia and Thomas Hegghammer   now present someclarifications and reflections on the significance of the 42-page Arabic document called "Jihadi Iraq, Hopes and Dangers".   Date and srcin of the document   According to the author, a provisional draft of the document wasfinished in September 2003, but it was not published untilapproximately 10 December. FFI’s Brynjar Lia came across thedocument in December on website called "Global Islamic Media"which regularly posts various kinds of radical islamist texts. Liathen skimmed the document and interpreted it as a strategydocument intended for the islamist resistance within Iraq. However, just after the Madrid bombings Brynjar Lia recalled thedocument and started analysing it in more detail with hiscolleague Thomas Hegghammer. The detailed reading providedmany interesting new insights, particularly when coupled withdetails from the investigation of the Madrid attacks. Authorship and audience   According to the heading of the document, it was prepared by the"Media Committee for the Victory of the Iraqi People (MujahidinServices Centre)". This entity is previously unknown, but thereference to a "services centre" (markaz al-khidamat) echoes the"Services Bureau" (maktab al-khidamat), the organisation fromwhich al-Qaida grew in the late 1980s. The document is writtenby a single person whose name does not appear anywhere in thedocument. However, the text contains a dedication to Yusuf al- Ayiri and several quotations from his books. Yusuf al-Ayiri was a key al-Qaida ideologist and mediacoordinator who was killed by Saudi security forces in May 2003.The fact that al-Ayiri is the only named person to receive adedication in the document, and the fact that the author stronglyrecommends reading al-Ayiri’s books indicate that the author waseither part of the circle around al-Ayiri, or would like to beassociated with his ideological legacy. Al-Ayiri wrote extensivelyon the Iraq war and his style was characterized by a verypragmatic military and political approach to jihad. His books paidlittle attention to religious and theological issues. Jihadi Iraq, Hopes and Dangers  is similarly pragmatic andanalytical, and this further suggest that the author is at least of the same ideological orientation of al-Ayiri, who was closely   Relaterte artikler  Ingen relaterte artikler. Dokumenter  "Jihadi Iraq, Hopes andDangers"  (pdf) Go FEB  MAR N 8 2004  2005 237 captures 8 Mar 05 - 11 Jan 15  associated with al-Qaida. At several points in the text the author says "we think" or "we find", suggesting perhaps that the"Mujahidin Services Centre" does indeed refer to a closed circleof al-Qaida followers. The document is also dedicated more generally to islamists whohave fought in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia and Iraq. Thisindicates that the text is not intended for internal organisationaluse but rather seeks to provide general strategic advice to awider international audience of radical islamists. At the sametime, the author presumes that the readers share his underlyingideological vision, because he does not deal with theological justifications for the strategy he proposes. Like al-Ayiri, the author sees no reason to spend time preachingto the choir about the need to wage jihad against the crusaders.He cuts straight to the crucial issue, namely how should theMujahidin proceed in practical terms in order to oust theoccupation forces from Iraq ? Thus he remains faithful to thesubtitle of the document: "(A review of) the practical steps for theblessed jihad". Major themes  The main thesis proposed in the document is that Americacannot be coerced to leave Iraq by military-political means alone,but the Islamist resistance can succeed if it makes theoccupation of Iraq as costly as possible - in economic terms - for the United States. The document therefore offers a number of specific "policyrecommendations" in order to increase the economic impact of the insurgency and the jihadi campaign in Iraq. The mostimportant of these recommendations consists of trying to limitthe number of American allies present in Iraq, because Americamust not be allowed to share the cost of occupation with a widecoalition of countries. If the mujahidin  can force US allies towithdraw from Iraq then America will be left to cover theexpenses on her own, which she cannot sustain for very long.The intermediary strategic goal is therefore to make one or two of the US allies leave the coalition, because this will cause othersto follow suit and the dominos will start falling. The document then analyses three countries (Britain, Spain andPoland) in depth, with a view to identifying the weakest link or thedomino piece most likely to fall first. The author provides asurprisingly informed and nuanced analysis of the domesticpolitical map in each country. He argues that each country willreact differently to violent attacks against its forces because of domestic political factors: Poland  , for example, is unlikely to withdraw from the coalitionbecause there is political consensus on foreign policy, and thecountry has a very high tolerance for human casualties. Britain  is easier to force out of Iraq, because the popular opposition to the war and the occupation is so high. However, theauthor estimates that Britain will only withdraw from Iraq in one of two cases: either if Britain suffers significant human casualties inIraq or if Spain and Italy withdraws first. Spain  on the other hand is very vulnerable to attacks on itsforces, primarily because public opposition to the war is almosttotal, and the government is virtually on its own on this issue.The author therefore identifies Spain as the weakest link in thecoalition. References to Spain The author devotes 6 out of 42 pages to a review of the domesticpolitical situation in Spain. In the process he displays aknowledge of and interest in Spanish society which is striking.We do not know whether the author himself has intimateknowledge of Spanish politics or whether he is plagiarising goodsecondary sources. However, the very fact that he deems such ahigh level of detail necessary for his argument indicates that weare dealing with a politically very developed mind. It must also benoted that of the three case studies, the chapter on Spain is byfar the best in terms of analytical clarity.  The most interesting passage of the whole text is the author’sconcluding remarks regarding Spain: "Aznar’s position does not express the Spanish popular stance,and if the disparity between the government and the people wereat the same percentage rate in Britain, then the government would fall. But this has not happened thus far, for a number of reasons, including: - That the Spanish people, despite the passing of more thanquarter of a century of democracy, has not reached the level of e.g. Britain in terms of accountability of its rulers. So far it (the people) has accepted the lies of the politicians as the truth and it does not see a reason for holding them accountable. This iscontrary to the British who try to hold Blair accountable for hislies in making a case for Britain’s entry in the war on Iraq. - That most of the rightist electorate are very loyal to their party.Despite the fact that the vast majority of the Spanish opposed the war, in the last local elections the Popular party electoratevoted for their party and remained loyal to it. - The power of the group Opus Dei in the Popular Party.. - The lack of direct influence of the Iraq events on life in Spain... - The weakness of the leftist opposition and the failure of mounting a political struggle.  Therefore we say that in order to force the Spanish governmentto withdraw from Iraq the resistance should deal painful blows toits forces. This should be accompanied by an informationcampaign clarifying the truth of the matter inside Iraq. It isnecessary to make utmost use of the upcoming general electionin Spain in March next year. We think that the Spanish government could not tolerate morethan two, maximum three blows, after which it will have towithdraw as a result of popular pressure. If its troops still remainin Iraq after these blows, then the victory of the Socialist Party isalmost secured, and the withdrawal of the Spanish forces will beon its electoral programme. Lastly, we are emphasise that a withdrawal of the Spanish or Italian forces from Iraq would put huge pressure on the Britishpresence (in Iraq), a pressure that Toni Blair might not be able towithstand, and hence the domino tiles would fall quickly. Yet, thebasic problem of making the first tile fall still remains." (The passage is underlined and in bold types in the Arabicsrcinal) Relationship with the Madrid events  The document’s significance derives first of all from the way inwhich it might be linked to the Madrid events. FFI’s researchersthink it is likely that the perpetrators of the attacks knew thisdocument in some way or other. There are three reasons for this. First of all, the document highlights Spain as the politically mostconvenient target of the coalition countries present in Iraq, and itspecifically mentions the Spanish elections as a good time tostrike. Second, the recommendation to strike Spanish forces does notexclude attacks on other types of Spanish targets in other partsof the world. The perpetrators may have adopted the overallstrategy outlined in the document while altering the tacticssomewhat and taking the campaign onto Spanish territory. After all, the author makes a point out of the fact that the Iraq war hasso far not affected life in Spain ("..lack of direct influence of theIraq events on life in Spain") . Moreover, the fact that thedocument is addressed to global jihadists, and that it was postedon the "Global Islamic Media" website indicates that its scopewent way beyond the Iraqi battlefield. Third, the man who assumes responsibility for the attacks  appears on a video under the name Abu Dujana al-Afghani,echoing a reference to the historical Abu Dujana on page 2 of thedocument, which goes as follows: "Verily (the crusaders) do not and will not be turned away (from aggression against Islam)except by the youth who have sold their souls to God Almighty,and who have put on the headband of death ... the headband of  Abu Dujana".   Abu Dujana was one of the companions of the ProphetMuhammad and known as a brave fighter. His trademark was ared headband known as the "headband of death" (‘asbat al-mawt) ,which he wound around his helmet before going into battle. For this reason "Abu Dujana" has sometimes been used as an aliasby mujahidin  in various parts of the world. In this case, however,we cannot exclude the possibility that the person on thevideotape has chosen the alias Abu Dujana after reading thisdocument. Alternatively, perhaps it is the author who deliberatelyhints at the Moroccan-Spanish cell by mentioning Abu Dujana. One must always be very careful to link anonymous ideologicaltexts with specific events on the ground, especially when thetexts contain few operational details. One by one, theabovementioned the points of convergence are not enough to linkthe document to the attacks. However, when the indications areconsidered as a whole and coupled with details from theinvestigation such as the videotape, a very interesting pictureemerges. This leads us to suggest that we are dealing with a textwhich served as ideological inspiration and policy guidance for the terrorist attacks in Madrid.    راخأو    ام  ا      1 r خأو     دھ   ا   قا   ق  ط   ى         خو   ل      ف  شس  و   ع     لت  را        ا    :  دإ   ي      بش     ص     م         ( ندھا     امدخ   ز  م )  محا   نحا   ﷲ   مس   ﺌﺒﺪ  ﺒ   ﺒ ] ( ﻮﺦ     ﺐ     ﺦ  ﺜ   ﺚﻮﺦ      ﺦ    ﺎﺦ  و ) ﷲﺒ   ﺚﻮ       ﺎ   ﺪ    نﺎ        ﺐ : ﺮ  ﺪﺦ   31  ﺮﺦ  و   ﺒﺮﺦ      ﺦ  ....[ ﺔ  ﺒ    ﺎ  أ   ﻰ    ﺞﺎ  ﺒ   ﺤ  ﺒ       ﺎ  ﺒ    أ    ﺎ     ﺜو   ﺎﻬ  ﺎ     ﺒ   ﺧوﺮ  ﺒ   ةﻮ     ﺜ    ﺒ    ﺜﺎ           ﺐ   لﺎﺦﺦ  ﺒ   ﺨﺪﺦﺦ    نﺎﺦﺦ  ﺒ   لﺎﺦﺦ      ﺦﺦ    تﺪﻬﺦﺦ    ﺮﺦﺦﲪ  ﺒ   نﺎ  ﺮﺦﺦ  ﺒ   لﺎﺦﺦ    ﺘ   ﺦﺦ  ﺒ     ﺦﺦ   ﲪ     ﺦﺦ    ﺎﺦﺦ       ﺦﺦ  ﺐ . ﺜﺒﺮ  ﺒ    و   ﺚﺎﻬ  ﺒ   ضﺜأ    ﺮ       ﺎ      ﺐ .  وﺜو    و   كﺮ    ﺒﺪ  ﺎ  .. ﺨﺒﺮ  ﺒو   ﺔ  ﻮ  ﺒو   نﺎ  ﺒ   ﰲ  ... بﺜﺪ  ﺒ   ﺔ  ﺒﻮ        ﺒو   ﺔ   ﺒ    و   ﺜﺒﺮ  ﺒ       ﺒ         نأ     ﺦ  ﺎ  أ   ﺪﺦ  أ   نأو     ﺦ     ﺆﺦ   ﺒ   ﺔﺦ    نأ   ﺒﻮﺦ  ﺮ     ... كﻮﺦ  و   كوﺚﺜﺎﺦ  و   كﻮﺦ     ﺬﺦ  ﺒ     ﺦ    ﲔ  ﺎ  ﺒو   نﺒﻮ  ﺒ     ﻬ  ﺬ     نأ   ﺪ      ﻬ   ﺪ   أ   ﻰ      ُ   .  ﻰﺦ      ﺦ       و    ﺬﺦ      ﺦ  .. ﷲﺒ     ﺦﲪﺜ   يﲑﺦ    ﺒ     ﺦ  ﻮ       ﺦ  ﺒ ... ﺬ  ﺒ   ﺮﺦ   ﺒو   ﺪﺦ  ﺎﺒ   ﺪ   ﻬﺦ  ﺒ    ﺐﺒﺪ  أ   ﷲﺒ   نأ    ﺎﺦ  و    ﺎ   ﺦ     ﻮﺦ   ﺒ   ﺎﺦ  ﺒﺜ     ﺦ  ﺒ     ﺦ  ﺒ   ﺒﺬﺦ    يﺪﺦ  أ     ﺦ  ﺎ  ﺒ     ﺦ  و     ﺦ  ﺒ     ﺦ  أ   ﺎﺦ      ﺐﰲ   م  ﺒ   ضﺜأ   ﰲ   نوﺪ  ﺎﺒ   ﺎ  ﺒﻮ  ﺐ         نأو   ﺒﺮ  أو   ﺎ  ﺒﻮ           ﺒ   ﺨﺒﺮ  ﺒ  : ﺚﻮ  ] (  أ    ﺐو    ﻮ       ﷲﺎ     ﺐ    ﻮ    ﺎ  و    ﺒ   ﺎ    ﺘ  ﺒ    ﺐ   ﺪ   ﺜأ   نﺐ ) 88 [  :  ا   ل   ضﺜأ    ﺪﺦ  ﺒﺮ  ﺒ   ضﺜأ   ﰲ    ﺪﺦ  ﺎﺒ   ةﻮﺦ    تﺎ   ﺦ  ﻮ  و    ﺎﺦ  و   ﺮﺦ  ﺒو     ﺦ  ﺒ       ﺦ    تﺎﺦ     ﺬﺦﻬ  ﻮ  ﺮ  و    ﺒ   ﻰ  أ   ﺎﻬ    ﺎ  ﺬ    ﲔ  ﺎ  ﺒ   ﺌﺎ  و  ﺒو   ﺜﺎﻬ  ﺒ   ﺔ  ﺒﲔ   ﺦ  و   ﺎﺦ    ﰲ   ﲔﺦ    نﻮ    نأ


Dec 20, 2018
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