Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Emir (Prince) of al-Qaeda in Iraq, recently issued a four-page statement titled: ?Announcement and Clarification Regarding the Issues Raised by Sheikh al-Maqdisi in his Interview on Al-Jazeerah Channel,? provides counter-arguments to Maqdisi?s allegations in a nine-point presentation that condemns Maqdisi?s views of the jihad in Iraq, and seeks to legitimize the course of the insurgency.
Zarqawi grounds his arguments in the fatwas of Islamic scholars, such as Usama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Qattada, as he clarifies his issues with Maqdisi, and at the same time, supports his position. For example, whereas Maqdisi believes that the mujahideen youth should not travel to Iraq ?because it will be their crematorium,? Zarqawi is incensed that such a statement could be made. To not participate in the jihad and sit passive, Zarqawi considers the ?greatest catastrophe,? and is contradictory to scholarly fatwas of jihad as necessity. Further, Zarqawi refutes several comments by Maqdisi that Zarqawi shared his views on the impermissibility of suicide bombings, and questions Maqdisi?s reservations of the fight between Sunni and Shi?a, which Zarqawi believes the Shi?ites declared on the Sunnis.
While reading between the lines of Zarqawi?s statement, he appears to insinuate that Maqdisi?s statements were forced by Jordanian pressure. Zarqawi states: ?If his purpose was to relay the advice, then he already did this through his [former] message! Why specifically at this point of time, when this plays into the hands of the crusaders and their renegade tails??
Concluding the statement, Zarqawi attests that he is responding to Maqdisi?s statements only for the sake of jihad. He states: ?I am merely a Muslim man, fulfilling that which is upon me - the sorrow is for the Jihad.?
A translation of selection portions of the statement and a summary are provided to our Intel Service members.