Text of Zawahiri's letter to Zarqawi released by Negroponte

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The document has not been edited in any way and is released in its entirety in both the Arabic and English translated forms. The United States Government has the highest confidence in the letter's authenticity.

Al-Zawahiri's letter offers a strategic vision for al Qa'ida's direction for Iraq and beyond, and portrays
al Qa'ida's senior leadership's isolation and dependence.

Among the letter's highlights are discussions indicating:

  • The centrality of the war in Iraq for the global jihad.

  • From al Qa'ida's point of view, the war does not end with an American departure.

  • An acknowledgment of the appeal of democracy to the Iraqis.

  • The strategic vision of inevitable conflict, with a tacit recognition of current political dynamics in Iraq; with a call by al-Zawahiri for political action equal to military action.

  • The need to maintain popular support at least until jihadist rule has been established.

  • Admission that more than half the struggle is taking place "in the battlefield of the media."

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