Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Letter was found on the floor of former rebel headquarters in Timbuktu.

The Associated Press has found a secret letter from Al Qaeda's commander-in-chief in Africa to Islamic fighters in Mali. The letter details the group's long-term strategy for carving out an Islamic state in northern Africa, as well as pointing out mistakes and how to improve.

A softer approach is being suggested for Al Qaeda operatives in Mali.

A softer approach is being suggested for Al Qaeda operatives in Mali.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Al Qaeda, Mali, terrorists, letter, strategy, Africa


TIMBUKTU, MALI (Catholic Online) - The secret document was discovered by an AP reporter combing through papers left behind at the groups former headquarters in Timbuktu. The letter is incomplete and part of a larger document, but the nine recovered pages provide a treasure trove of information about the group.

The letter is signed by Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, which is the pen name of Abdelmalek Droukdel, the commander appointed by Osama bin Laden to supervise Al Qaeda operations in Africa.

Perhaps the most shocking admission found in the letter is that the organization needs to compromise on their strict Sharia standards to gain acceptance and victory. 

Droukdel compares the movement to a baby, saying that they must be more gentle with the people they conquer, much like a parent with an infant.

"The current baby is in its first days, crawling on its knees, and has not yet stood on its two legs. If we really want it to stand on its own two feet in this world full of enemies waiting to pounce, we must ease its burden, take it by the hand, help it and support it until its stands," he wrote.

He chided the fighters by adding, "Every mistake in this important stage of the life of the baby will be a heavy burden on his shoulders. The larger the mistake, the heavier the burden on his back, and we could end up suffocating him suddenly and causing his death."

What Droukdel was criticizing was the swift imposition of Sharia law on the populace. Following the Islamic occupation of northern Mali and Timbuktu in particular, stories quickly emerged about stoning and  beatings for those who infracted Sharia rules.

The letter suggests fighters should take a softer approach, at least at first. The letter also indicates that Al Qaeda is willing to accept some temporary setbacks and losses in order to preserve forces for future success.

Perhaps that is the most alarming bit of information extracted from the letter. Al Qaeda clearly plans to fight a very long-term conflict, grounded in ideology. Such conflicts can last for decades, or even generations.

The war on terror and the effort to dismantle Al Qaeda will not be easily won anytime soon. Any commitment to fighting Al Qaeda is likely going to be a lifelong commitment filled with difficult struggles and sacrifice.

Still, the letter also acknowledges that Al Qaeda is vulnerable to organized military intervention. In the face of sophisticated and disciplined military force, the organization is at a distinct disadvantage. However, the fact they recognize this is part of the reason Al Qaeda will be around for a very long time to come.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Africa

Has Ebola gone airborne? Fears spread that virus could mutate Watch

Image of The World Health Organization has reported that the West African outbreak of Ebola has caused 2,500 deaths since it began in early 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Concerns have been raised that the federal government is anticipating a rapid spread of the Ebola virus, as evidenced by the U.S. State Department ordering 160,000 hazmat suits. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Market Watch posted a press release in which ... continue reading


Obama declares war on Ebola! 3,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers head to Liberia Watch

Image of 3,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines are going to be sent to Liberia to help stop the current Ebola outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of U.S. troops will arrive in the West African nation of Liberia as part of President Barack Obama's response to the Ebola outbreak that is wreaking havoc in the region. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "U.S. Africa Command will set up a Joint Force ... continue reading


Traditional methods of fighting disease are not working in West Africa Watch

Image of Health workers transport the body of an Ebola victim wrapped in a plastic bag. Ebola victims are burned in the bags they're collected in.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which continues to ravage countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, has so far proved resistant to traditional methods of combating epidemics, notably contact tracing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lt. Rebecca Levine, ... continue reading


STUDY: Ebola outbreak could shortly infect surrounding African nations Watch

Image of Bats are being blamed for the transmission of the Ebola virus -- adding to the urgency is the fact that bats are eaten, frequently raw, in parts of Africa.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The organ-melting virus known as Ebola tearing through West Africa will most likely grow to infect other African nations, according to a worrisome new study. According to research by the University of Oxford, the deadly virus threatens to spread - not necessarily ... continue reading


Some people have all the luck! $13 million diamond found in South Africa Watch

Image of This 232.08-carat  diamond has been unearthed at the Cullinan mine in South Africa and has a possible value of nearly $13 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 232.08-carat D color Type II diamond has been unearthed at a mine in South Africa, with a possible value of nearly $13 million. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The diamond was found at Cullinan mine owned by Petra Diamonds.You can be a light in the darkness ... continue reading


The terror grows: Islamic State created in Maghreb and Sahel region Watch

Image of The chief terrorist leader in the Maghreb and Sahel regions is

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

A version of the dreaded Islamic State - which has seized large sections of both Iraq and Syria, subjecting its citizens to terrorist rule - has now been created in both the Maghreb and the Sahel. A meeting held last month in the Ubira region of Libya laid out ... continue reading


Boko Haram carving out heinous 'caliphate' in Nigeria Watch

Image of Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau declared Gwoza, a town near the Cameroon border an Islamic-ruled enclave last month. He made the proclamation in a video showing his fighters running amok, firing in all directions and killing captives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group has been following the lead of Islamic State, going from Nigerian village to village to massacre and then preach radical Islam. Survivors from town seized in the northeast part of Nigeria have told horror stories of ... continue reading


African peacekeepers in Somalia routinely rape, pay women for sex Watch

Image of Human Rights Watch has released a shocking new report entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

African Union peacekeepers in Somalia are there to keep people safe and prevent anything untoward from happening, but alas, this is not the case. There are more and more horrific accounts of these peacekeepers raping and paying women for sex. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


WHO warns that Liberia faces extinction by Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of Aid workers in protective clothing treat a woman infected with the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa-the worst in recorded history-jumped by almost 200 in one day, bringing the total to at least 2,296 deaths the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on September 9. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Gambia passes anti-gay legislation that threatens life imprisonment Watch

Image of Gambia's president Yahya Jammeh, a ruthless autocrat who has made numerous anti-west speeches and threatened to kill all homosexuals within the country, is known for his anti-gay stance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gambia has passed a bill that punishes homosexuals by imposing a sentence of life imprisonment, worsening the climate for sexual minorities within Africa's most anti-gay nations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bill that amended the criminal code was passed ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
12 For as with the human body which is a unity ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:11-17
11 It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 16th, 2014 Image

St. Cornelius
September 16: Cornelius whose feast day is September 16th. A Roman priest, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter