Never underestimate your enemy. Long article throwing light on a little part of the manifesto from one of the thousands of architects of the coming Caliphate. Still think the enemy is just a bunch of violent gangs and easily defeatable ?
Rukmini Callimachi writing at AP:
In their hurry to flee last month, al-Qaida fighters left behind a crucial document: Tucked under a pile of papers and trash is a confidential letter, spelling out the terror network's strategy for conquering northern Mali and reflecting internal discord over how to rule the region.
The document is an unprecedented window into the terrorist operation, indicating that al-Qaida predicted the military intervention that would dislodge it in January and recognized its own vulnerability.
The letter also shows a sharp division within al-Qaida's Africa chapter over how quickly and how strictly to apply Islamic law, with its senior commander expressing dismay over the whipping of women and the destruction of Timbuktu's ancient monuments. It moreover leaves no doubt that despite a temporary withdrawal into the desert, al-Qaida plans to operate in the region over the long haul, and is willing to make short-term concessions on ideology to gain the allies it acknowledges it needs.
The more than nine-page document, found by The Associated Press in a building occupied by the Islamic extremists for almost a year, is signed by Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the nom de guerre of Abdelmalek Droukdel, the senior commander appointed by Osama bin Laden to run al-Qaida's branch in Africa. The clear-headed, point-by-point assessment resembles a memo from a CEO to his top managers and lays out for his jihadists in Mali what they have done wrong in months past, and what they need to do to correct their behavior in the future.
Droukdel, the emir of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, perhaps surprisingly argues that his fighters moved too fast and too brutally in applying the Islamic law known as Shariah to northern Mali. Comparing the relationship of al-Qaida to Mali as that of an adult to an infant, he urges them to be more gentle, like a parent:
"The current baby is in its first days, crawling on its knees, and has not yet stood on its two legs," he writes. "If we really want it to stand on its own two feet in this world full of enemies waiting to pounce, we must ease its burden, take it by the hand, help it and support it until its stands."
He scolds his fighters for being too forceful and warns that if they don't ease off, their entire project could be thrown into jeopardy: "Every mistake in this important stage of the life of the baby will be a heavy burden on his shoulders. The larger the mistake, the heavier the burden on his back, and we could end up suffocating him suddenly and causing his death."...........
.........The reason for this is now clear in his letter: Droukdel asks his men to lower their profile, and allow local groups to take center stage.
"We should also take into consideration not to monopolize the political and military stage. We should not be at the forefront," he says. "Better for you to be silent and pretend to be a `domestic' movement that has its own causes and concerns. There is no reason for you to show that we have an expansionary, jihadi, al-Qaida or any other sort of project."..........