May 03, 2012
Letters From Abottabad
You can read CTC at Westpoint's analysis of letters (and the letters) seized in the raid on bin Laden's compound here[PDF]. [WaPo may have a much easier read here, without the forward I have posted, they also link to PDF here].
I just started reading about the affiliates. This is just a short breakdown of each of them:
Rather than a source of strength, Bin Ladin was burdened by what he viewed as the incompetence of the “affiliates,” including their lack of political acumen to win public support, their media campaigns and their poorly planned operations which resulted in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Muslims.
• Islamic State of Iraq/Al-Qa`ida in Iraq (ISI/AQI): The documents conclusively
demonstrate that the failures of ISI/AQI weighed heavily on Bin Ladin, as he
urged other groups not to repeat their mistakes. Adam Gadahn advised that al-
Qa`ida should publicly dissociate itself from ISI/AQI.
• Al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP): While routinely described as “the
most dangerous” al-Qa`ida affiliate, as of 2010-2011 Bin Ladin seemed to have
spent more time worrying about this group than appreciating its contributions.
In a strongly worded letter, the leader of AQAP, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, was directly
warned against pursuing any expansionist plan, such as declaring an Islamic
state in Yemen, and was urged to refocus his efforts on attacking the United
States, not the Yemeni government or security forces.[Sammy, even OBL knew you were ghey!..ed]Beyond domestic considerations, Bin Ladin was worried about the amateurish, ill advised and badly timed public statements released by AQAP’s leaders
• Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP): The TTP seems to have come incredibly close to provoking a direct and public confrontation with al-Qa`ida’s leadership. Its indiscriminate attacks against Muslims caused `Atiyyatullah and Abu Yahya al-Libi to write to TTP leader Hakimullah Mahsud to express their displeasure with the group’s “ideology, methods and behavior.” They also threatened to take public measures “unless we see from you serious and immediate practical and clear steps towards reforming [your ways] and dissociating yourself from these vile mistakes [that violate Islamic Law].”
• Al-Shabab: Bin Ladin appeared to have seen little practical value in formally
recognizing the group’s pledge of loyalty (bay`a). His motivations for
withholding this recognition were largely pragmatic and reflected his concern
over their poor governance and inflexible administration of hudud (deterrent
penalties for certain crimes). He also wanted them to focus on “construction and
development” and feared that a formal merger with al-Qa`ida would prevent
investment and foreign aid in Somalia.
• Al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Taliban and Jaysh al-Islam: While there is mention of these groups in the documents released to the CTC, these discussions are not substantive enough to inform an understanding of the
relationship between al-Qa`ida’s senior leaders and these groups