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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Africa

Triumph in the midst of chaos: Survivors of Ebola in Liberia Ebola now viewed as part of cure Watch

Image of A supply of a new serum may not meet demand. Extreme care must be taken to avoid infecting Ebola victims with other diseases such as HIV or hepatitis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once shunned and feared, Ebola survivors in Liberia are now seen as an important part of the fight against the deadly virus that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa. Once rejected by their communities, survivors are now coveted for the antibodies ... continue reading


Tunisian police fighting terrorist group Ansar Charia claims life of officer Watch

Image of Security forces have seen heavy losses during violent incidents.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Street battles continue to rage between Tunisian police and the terrorist group Ansar Charia. There has been an increase in violence between armed forces and Islamic armed groups ever since the toppling of President Benali. These ongoing clashes have now ... continue reading


Islamists abduct 25 Nigerian girls after ceasefire Watch

Image of Nigerians protest the ongoing abduction of girls by the Islamic Boko Haram terrorist group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram, has abducted another 25 girls from a remote town in the country's northeast, despite ongoing talks between the group and the government over securing the release of over 200 other hostages the group had seized back in ... continue reading


At least ten people injured in Cairo explosion Watch

Image of The attack targeted security forces, which are frequently in large numbers in front of schools.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

At least ten people, including six policemen were injured at an explosion in front of Egypt's Cairo University this week. Unrest continue to roil in this North African nation, where intensively trained terrorist groups from neighboring Libya have worked to ... continue reading


From the infected could come life! Blood from recovered Ebola patients could hold key to stopping outbreak Watch

Image of A potential serum from the blood of infected and recovered Ebola patients could provide the key to halting the ongoing outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new tool in the fight against Ebola could come from those who have been infected with the disease and lived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The World Health Organization (WHO) says that serums made from blood of recovered Ebola patients may be available within ... continue reading


New documentary reveals King Tut had a club foot and other startling discoveries Watch

Image of More than 100 walking sticks were found inside his tomb. While historians originally thought they represented his power, it's now more likely that Tut used them to get around.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

King Tutankhamun, or as he is more commonly know, "King Tut" was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who ruled over much of the civilized world until his untimely death at the age of 19 years of age. Researchers in a new British television documentary have conducted a ... continue reading


Programs help young women in Kenya flee prostitution Watch

Image of Poverty forces many young women in Kenya into lives of prostitution.

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The alcohol lining the 12-year-old Kenyan girl's stomach did nothing to quell her hunger pangs. NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - So when one of her mother's drunken customers, in the one-room drinking den that doubles as their home in Nairobi, offered her a ... continue reading


Algerian-Libyan border under lockdown due to deteriorating situation in Benghazi Watch

Image of Algeria has since taken serious measures to reinforce the country's security.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

The deteriorating situation in Libya - in particular in the eastern city of Benghazi, has the Algerian people calling for more protection along the borders it shares with that nation. The Algerian government has decided to deploy important methods to enhance ... continue reading


Fierce fighting rages in Benghazi amid political instability Watch

Image of Analysts say the recent surge in violence in Libya could jeopardize dialogue initiated in late September by the United Nations, in order to stop the violence and institutional anarchy in the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fierce fighting between troops loyal to the retired general, Khalifa Haftar and those loyal to Ansar Charia continues to rage on in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. The city has been one of the most troubled areas of this North African oil rich country. The ... continue reading


Liberian bishop reminds world that the poor must not be forgotten during Ebola crisis Watch

Image of Alluding to Pope Francis's repeated emphasis on mercy and service to the poor, Bishop Borwah said that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga in Liberia says that the world that "it is the poor who are the Church's priority." Ebola, which has ravaged this West African nation is chiefly concentrated among those living in poverty. "Whole families are being ... 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, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... 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