The state of the Jihad, as he might
By Michael Scheuer
Special to The Washington Post
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell warned the
Senate intelligence committee earlier this month that al-Qaida
is regrouping, not retreating - and boosting its capacities for
launching another attack inside the United States. So how does
the war on terrorism look these days through our enemies' eyes?
Here's an informed - albeit fictional - guess.
Post" -- -
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate -
Brothers, I write to give my view of how far we have, with God's
help, traveled since declaring war on the United States in 1996.
Al-Qaida has today become all that we hoped for when we formed
it in 1988: a vanguard organization whose main mission is not
fighting, but rather inciting and inspiring young Muslims to arm
themselves and defend Islam from the American crusaders, their
Zionist offspring and their agent regimes in the Muslim world,
especially the House of Saud. We must thank God for the steady
flow of young Muslims to our ranks, men who now make the forces
of al-Qaida and its allies larger, more intelligent and more
pious than ever.
By God's grace, al-Qaida's incitement has met with wondrous
success; Western polls show that hundreds of millions of Muslims
now believe that U.S. foreign policy aims to undermine or
destroy Islam. Ironically, Washington itself has become a major
inciter of Muslim hatred for the United States, simply by
maintaining policies - slaughtering the innocent in Iraq,
propping up the House of Saud and Hosni Mubarak's tyranny in
Egypt, blindly backing the pretender state of the Jews - that
drive Muslims into our ranks. Not all these Muslims are ready to
take up arms, but even the limited number who are now fighting
have proved more than enough to stymie U.S. plans in Afghanistan
and Iraq and to support the jihad in Algeria, Lebanon, Thailand,
Somalia, Gaza and Europe.
And so, even with limited numbers, al-Qaida appears to Muslims
as a huge, rising and conquering army. Just as important,
Americans have been taught by their leaders to see al-Qaida
behind every rock and tree, ready to pounce. American leaders,
in effect, now terrorize ordinary Americans, making Washington
appear to be the enemy of its own people's civil liberties.
This all gives us confidence in our plan to defeat America, by
bleeding it into bankruptcy and tempting it to spread out its
Brothers, the amount of money that Washington spends on wars to
murder Muslims and on pointless "homeland security" measures is
staggering, with no end in sight. The war in Iraq alone is
costing $12 billion per month. Bush is also burning money to
deploy troops to Africa, under a new Pentagon command created to
steal the continent's oil. And after America's Iraq "surge,"
U.S. generals cannot scrape up the few thousand troops they
would need to fight our Taliban brothers in Afghanistan because
Washington's NATO allies refuse to send reinforcements.
Thanks be to God, brothers, America is hemorrhaging money and
ruining its military by trying to fight al-Qaida's mujaheddin
wherever they appear - or, more accurately, wherever U.S.
officials imagine they appear.
Our military and media operations have advanced the ultimate
goal of our grand strategy - restoring Islamic rule to the
Muslim world. We have a winning formula:
- Driving the United States from the Middle East;
- Destroying Israel and the region's Arab tyrannies; and
- Settling scores with the heretical Shiites.
Frankly, brothers, things had to get much worse for Muslims
before they could get better. We had to goad America into
sending a larger, more vulnerable presence into the Muslim world
before we could bleed its forces and treasury. The mujaheddin's
9/11 raid did just that; the inexplicable U.S. decision to
invade Iraq vastly expanded the American presence. (Only God
could grant such a miracle!) Al-Qaida and the groups we have
inspired are now exploiting both the triumph of 9/11 and the
hornet's nest in Iraq that the Americans so foolishly kicked
But to win this war, our strategy's three parts must be pursued
in order: First, drive America from Arab lands, then finish off
Israel, Mubarak and the House of Saud, then deal with the Shiite
apostates. But we risk defeat if we (ital) simultaneously (end
ital) fight the Americans, the Zionists, the corrupted Arab
regimes and the Shiites.
When the Americans occupied Afghanistan after 9/11, we were
confident that we could defeat them there, which would start
their retreat from the region. When the Americans madly invaded
Iraq, we grew more confident, perhaps cocky. Brothers, we lacked
humility for these gifts from God, and now we are on the edge of
a setback - one that could disrupt our grand strategy.
Military success came too fast in Iraq. The Iraqi mujaheddin are
not ready to unite in an Islamist government to replace the U.S.
agent, Nouri al-Maliki. Part of this failure is al-Qaida's
fault. We allowed the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, may God accept
him as a martyr, to remain al-Qaida's commander in Iraq for too
long. He was consumed by hatred for Iraq's Shiites and struck
them murderously, angering Shiite and Sunni alike. His excesses
helped create what, for now, is an unbridgeable split between
the two sects, and he raised the specter of civil war in Iraq.
Such a conflict would hurt our ability to keep the world's
Muslims focused on the Crusaders and Zionists and allow the
apostate Arab regimes to pose as Islam's protectors by supplying
guns, money and fighters to Iraq's Sunnis in their battle with
Al-Qaida and its allies in Iraq are laboring to repair the
damage left by our martyred Abu Musab, and have had some
success. But Saudi preachers and spies are deepening the hatred
for Shiites among Iraq's Sunni insurgents faster than we can
heal the wounds. As in post-Soviet Afghanistan, the perfidious
House of Saud is stealing the fruit of Islam's military victory
by preventing the emergence of a united Sunni front through
bribery, false religious guidance and efforts to stoke
We must face this reality, brothers, and be ready to retake the
initiative in 2008. While U.S. forces are in Iraq, the
mujaheddin will focus on them, but after they retreat - and a
new U.S. president could leave quickly - the chance of civil war
increases. If such a conflict erupts, the mujaheddin might focus
on Iraq, not America.
For this reason, I urge you to consider two military options for
al-Qaida to have in hand if needed:
- An attack on a major oil-production plant in the Land of the
Two Holy Mosques, which suffers under the rule of the House of
Saud, to greatly disrupt the world's oil supply and compel U.S.
forces to rush into the kingdom to protect the undamaged
facilities and rebuild the others; or
- A raid greater than 9/11 in the United States, an option that
could do graver and graver damage as the U.S. economy
Brothers, we can execute either operation. Each would make
Washington overreact, again unleashing the Americans' military
ferocity. Such a response would have only a minor impact on the
dispersed forces of al-Qaida and our allies in jihad, but
America's vengeance would kill many, many innocent Muslims -
and, perhaps, with the approval of the despised House of Saud,
find the Americans again desecrating the holy soil of Arabia
near Mecca and Medina. These results would focus the wrath of
the world's Muslims on America, delay a Shiite-Sunni civil war
in Iraq and keep our grand strategy viable.
Brothers, think about these ideas, and join me in praying for
Michael Scheuer was chief of the
CIA's Osama bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999. His latest book is
"Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq."
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