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SITE Publications
An Exposition on the Absence of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq
By SITE Institute
February 23, 2006

A member of a password-protected al-Qaeda-affiliated forum recently posted a discussion of considerable length concerning the absence of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from a leadership position within the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella group for seven insurgency groups in Iraq, including al-Qaeda in Iraq, in which he was formerly the Emir. The author mocks analysts and pundits who allegedly do not understand the nature of mujahideen or jihad organizations, and are ?confused? about both the whereabouts of Zarqawi and the truce made by Usama bin Laden in his most recent speech from January 2006.

The author believes that regardless of the language, there is a lack of understanding between the West and those who embrace jihad. He states: ?They do not believe that martyrdom for the sake of Allah is the best they can ever wish… They do not understand that this life is the last thing mujahideen think about and the thing for which they fight.? He uses questions asked by the media of Zarqawi, such as if he willingly resigned, was removed by bin Laden from al-Qaeda for the Jordan hotel bombings, ?complaints? from Abu Yehia al-Libi, or ?did the Shari?a Council fire him or put him on pension?. Rather, the reason the author posits is that their was a belief within ?all organizations under the leadership? of bin Laden that the Mujahideen Shura Council should merely be led by someone other than Zarqawi. The seamless transition of power stands in contrast to that which is believed ?reactionary and bloody?. Also, the author questions if Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi is the real name or nom de guerre of the emir of the Mujahideen Shura Council, who has undertook the mission of uniting the mujahideen.

Further, the author believes that the Council and bin Laden?s truce with America are two legs of an ?equilateral triangle? that will cause the fall of America, and the third, final leg is ?coming with the help of Allah.? He concludes: ?After that the Muslims will have victory in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine.?

A translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.

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