Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I have received from a friend via email a batch of writings, pamphlets, and statements by Al-Qa`idah.  He did research on Saudi Arabia and became skilled in finding their sites as they change them regularly and frequently.  First, I am amazed at their skill in using the internet, and their publishing skills.  The documents in question are quite advanced from a technical point of view.  I also for the first time saw the use of the name Al-Qa`idun (from Al-Qa`idah) to refer to supporters of Al-Qa`idah, as a synonym of Al-Mujahidun.  It is amazing how they mix in their political literature/propaganda military/religious/technical information all together.  You will be reading a commentary on Hadith in one chapter, and then a training in weapons in another chapter, and then techniques of physical fitness in another chapter, etc.  They also give details about how to maintain a safe house, etc.  Again (and I make that point in my Saudi Arabia book) the religio-political doctrine of Al-Qa`idah is the one on which the House of Saudi founded their state.  Bin Laden and his fanatical supporters disagree with House of Saud on foreign policy, not on domestic policy.  And the two sides got along famously prior to 1990 invasion of Kuwait.  One particular section attracted my attention in the book Questions and Dubiosities Regarding the Mujahidin and Their Operations.  This contains the fullest exposition of the ideology and practice of Al-Qa`idah that I have seen.  And it is written in terms of questions and answers very much like the ABC of Communism during its fame.  In one section of the book (the section that offers guidance to those who seek to serve "Jihad"--defined in Al-Qa`idah's kooky way of course--) there is section 34 on Electronic Jihad.  In that section, supporters are urged to visit sites and chat rooms and to inject their ideology of Al-Qa`idah (under assumed names of course), and to chase and harass enemies of Al-Qa`idah, and secularists are included here.  They always express their rage against Arab secularists, and I take such condemnations personally, of course. It makes me wonder who among some of the writers of comments here may be propagandists for Al-Qa`idah?  They also encourage computer hacking, and consider it as part of "Electronic Jihad." I also am struck by the extent to which Al-Qa`idah kooks keep up with Western press.  In one recent audio yelling statement by none other than Abu Mus`ab Az-Zarqawi he refers to a report in the Daily Telegraph, and in one Al-Qa`idah publication I read references to media (TV and publications) in English, German, and French.  I wonder what that means.  There is also absolutely no hint of apologies or regret for the killing that Al-Qa`idah fanatics have done not only of Western civilians but also of Muslims civilians, in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.  I also am struck by the repulsive ideology of embracing and worshipping death, which is against the original principles of Islam, where pleasures of earth were accepted unlike Augustinian philosophy.  And their language is no less violent than their deeds.  In one obituary of Al-Muqrin (the Al-Qa`idah leader in Saudi Arabia) they describe the Saudi rulers as "the slaves of the slaves of crusaders, the soldiers of Iblis and the soldiers of satans, servants of tyrants and shoes of apostates."  I really worry that Al-Qa`idah and their affiliated fanatical networks have been increasing their influence and danger since the US occupation of Iraq.  This was something that Richard Clark was talking about.  This is what Egyptian president Husni Mubarak (and I never quote him) meant when he said that the Iraq war will produce "hundreds of Bin Ladens."  And some of you think that Bush deserves praise for his "war on terrorism"?