Friday, May 4, 2012

Al Qaeda letter, dated 2007, refers to "brothers in Lebanon"

[Originally posted at NOW Lebanon]

Among the 17 previously classified letters captured during the killing of Osama bin Laden and released yesterday by the US military is one addressed, according to the document guide, “to a legal scholar by the name of Hafiz Sultan” and authored by an unnamed al-Qaeda operative “of Egyptian origin”.

In most respects it’s a fairly typical one – the author inquires as to the possibility of using “chlorine gas” weaponry in Iraq, and attaches some upbeat correspondence from “the brothers in Algeria” (“Things are steadily improving: morale is rising […] Every week there is a bombing”).

What caught my eye, however, was the following aside: “We will try to make arrangements with the brothers in Lebanon to have one of their representatives visit us in the near future. God grant us success.”

Of particular interest is that the letter is dated 28 March, 2007 – less than two months before the start of the mini-war between the Lebanese army and members of the Salafist outfit, Fatah al-Islam. Of course, post hoc need not imply propter hoc, etc., but that the group had links to al-Qaeda now looks all but certain. Hopefully, further releases from the archive will shed more light on this still-murky history.

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