The al Qaeda NIE leaked
On a day when much of the capital's attention was focused on leaked excerpts of an intelligence estimate report that suggested the Iraq war was creating more jihadists, the military quietly released an intercepted letter from Al Qaeda complaining that the terrorist organization was losing ground in Iraq.There is much more. It appears that al Qaeda disagrees with the Democrat spin on the situation in Iraq. It appears that Iraq is indeed a honey trap that has smoked out the enemy and sent them to die in a quagmire. Again, it appears the Dems are so eager to lose in Iraq they are willing to ignore the hard evidence that refutes their speculation and the speculations of some of their allies in the intelligence agencies who are still trying to undermine the war.
The letter, found in the headquarters of Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, after he was killed on June 7, was sent to Zarqawi by a senior Al Qaeda leader who signs his name simply "Atiyah." He complains that Al Qaeda is weak both in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and in Iraq.
A former jihadist who fought in Algeria in the 1990s, Atiyah appears from the text to be speaking for Al Qaeda's Shura Council — the group's decision-making panel chaired by Osama bin Laden. In the letter, he sharply criticizes Zarqawi's leadership, saying he alienated key allies necessary for the implementation of jihad in Iraq.
"Know that we, like all the Mujahidin, are still weak," he wrote in the letter dated December 11, 2005. "We are in the stage of weakness and a state of paucity. We have not yet reached a level of stability. We have no alternative but to not squander any element of the foundations of strength, or any helper or supporter."
That assessment from Al Qaeda is in stark contrast to the key findings of a declassified national intelligence assessment released to the public by President Bush yesterday. While the National Intelligence Estimate says America has disrupted Al Qaeda's global leadership, it cautions, "Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion."