Too good to check: Al Qaeda family feud between Zawahiri, al-Libi

posted at 6:57 pm on July 22, 2007 by Allahpundit

This was in headlines all night but I want to make sure people see it. Newsweek‘s got two named sources as well as general corroboration from a U.S. intel analyst, but it’s still almost too tasty to believe. On the other hand, if it’s disinformation, what goal does it advance? Lulling us into a false sense of security by portraying AQ as divided? Given the grimness of the recent NIE, that’s not going to work. The simplest explanation may be that it is true — and if it is, it’s a golden opportunity for Musharraf to exploit whatever intelligence contacts he has with the al-Libi wing to find out where Zawahiri’s hiding. If the good doctor turns up dead within the next couple of months, this might be why.

Who was the shadowy general behind the wave of violence [in Pakistan in the wake of the Red Mosque assault]? Pakistani and Taliban officials interviewed recently by NEWSWEEK say it was none other than Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Qaeda No. 2 who has also been appearing in a recent flurry of audio- and videotapes. While Osama bin Laden has been keeping a low profile—he may be ill, U.S. intel officials say—Zawahiri has moved aggressively to take operational control of the group. In so doing, Zawahiri has provoked a potentially serious ideological split within Al Qaeda over whether he is growing too powerful, and has become obsessed with toppling Musharraf, according to two jihadists interviewed by NEWSWEEK last week…

The anti-Zawahiri faction in Al Qaeda fears his actions may be jeopardizing [their] safe haven [in Waziristan and Bajaur], according to the two jihadists interviewed by NEWSWEEK. Both have proved reliable in the past: they are Omar Farooqi, the nom de guerre for a veteran Taliban fighter and chief liaison officer between insurgent forces in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, and Hemat Khan, a Taliban operative with links to Al Qaeda. They say Zawahiri’s personal jihad has angered Al Qaeda’s so-called Libyan faction, which intel officials believe may be led by the charismatic Abu Yahya al-Libi, who made a daring escape from an American high-security lockup at Baghram air base in 2005. The Libyan Islamists, along with bin Laden and other senior Qaeda leaders, would love to see Musharraf gone, too. But they fear that Zawahiri is inviting the Pakistani leader’s wrath, prematurely opening up another battlefront before the jihadists have properly consolidated their position…

The Egyptian-born Zawahiri is nominal leader of the Egyptian faction, the Jamaat al-Jihad, which he united with Al Qaeda in the 1990s. It is larger and contains more senior people than the Libyan group. Both jihadist sources who spoke to NEWSWEEK say there is now what Khan calls “a clear divide” between the two factions. In part, the Libyans seem to be irked by Zawahiri’s unchecked ego and self-righteousness. “The Libyans say he’s too extremist,” says Farooqi, and they resent Zawahiri for appearing to speak for bin Laden. “Libyans tell me that the sheik [bin Laden] has not appointed a successor and that only the U.S. government and the international media talk of Zawahiri as being the deputy,” Farooqi says…

Bin Laden himself has not personally intervened to end the internal feud, according to the jihadist sources. For security reasons he rarely has face-to-face meetings with his deputies. “He doesn’t want to get involved,” says Khan. “He’s already too busy with strategic planning and inspirational duties and with directing his own security.” Instead, bin Laden has tried to resolve the dispute by dividing duties between the two factions and appointing a pair of mediators, these sources say.

Suddenly we’ve got two big fish in the net who are alleged to be in personal contact with Zawahiri: Abdul Aziz Ghazi, a.k.a. Burqa Boy, who was reportedly exchanging love letters with him from the Red Mosque about suicide bombs, and Khalid al-Mashhadani, a.k.a. Omar al-Baghdadi, fictional leader of the fictional Islamic State of Iraq, who apparently has confessed to being an intermediary between Zawahiri and AQI leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri. With the intel we should be getting from those two, if we don’t find him soon we’re never going to find him.


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…if we don’t find him soon we’re never going to find him.

There you go with that defeatist attitude again ;)

RedWinged Blackbird on July 22, 2007 at 7:01 PM

Democrats would greatly lament Zawahiri’s capture on bush’s watch. Their first comment would be “Where’s Bin Laden, you can’t catch him!”

Theworldisnotenough on July 22, 2007 at 7:02 PM

Meanwhile back in the USA

peacenprosperity on July 22, 2007 at 7:15 PM

Meanwhile back in what’s left of the USA

fixed

“I am proud to be a Bangladeshi, but at the same time the reality is I am a Bangladeshi-American.” September 11, he says, was “one of the saddest stories anywhere in the world.”

His son Autri, who at 21 is in his fourth year of pharmacy school and lives at home with his parents, does not feel his father’s patriotism. “When we grew up, nobody ever looked at us like we were Americans,” he says. On 9/11, “it sounds bad to say, but I remember thinking that I didn’t care that it happened. A lot of my friends didn’t care. I think it’s because we’re Muslim.”

ta-daaa… The Aristocrats!

SilverStar830 on July 22, 2007 at 7:30 PM

With the intel we should be getting from those two, if we don’t find him soon we’re never going to find him.

and:

Democrats would greatly lament Zawahiri’s capture on bush’s watch.
Theworldisnotenough on July 22, 2007 at 7:02 PM

This has revealed Harry Reid’s constant smiling in this Face The Nation interview.

The Lib’s sinister strategy has been revealed:
(1) Keep pounding away on Bush’s strategy which in turn will (2) get Hillary elected and as such by Jan. 2009 (3) Bush’s Strategy will have been successful enough to (4) for the Lib’s to be able to pull out sufficient troops to satisfy their left wing nuts.

Their are of course only a few problems with this, which I will leave to your imagination.

It will of course generate some real interesting sound bites.

Which should in the final analysis deliver some impressive
web traffic for Hot Air.

Mcguyver on July 22, 2007 at 7:57 PM

His son Autri, who at 21 is in his fourth year of pharmacy school and lives at home with his parents, does not feel his father’s patriotism. “When we grew up, nobody ever looked at us like we were Americans,” he says. On 9/11, “it sounds bad to say, but I remember thinking that I didn’t care that it happened. A lot of my friends didn’t care. I think it’s because we’re Muslim

And he wonders why some don’t trust him. Sounds like there is a reason not to. Too bad he didn’t pick up patriotism for this country from his father.

IrishEyes on July 22, 2007 at 8:04 PM

“… if we don’t find him soon we’re never going to find him.”

I am confident we’ll find him and destroy him.

Zorro on July 22, 2007 at 8:16 PM

This Jerk off will be found and will be attending to justice in the near future. Mark my words.

NEMETI IN SYRACUSE on July 22, 2007 at 8:22 PM

From peacenprosperity’s link:

Fareed Siddiq a successful [Muslim] businessman and a father of two [who]lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio [said,] “If you alienate the Muslim young people from America, that is dangerous.”

Let’s think about that – what other ethnic or religious group in America would one ever say that about? Um, NONE!

It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that on September 10, 2001…[i]f their doctor or accountant was Muslim, the average American probably didn’t give it much thought.

And to Newsweek that’s a bad thing. To me that’s a wonderful thing. Their religion was a non-player just as it should be in America. But then members of their religion launched a massive attack on American soil and most of their religion either failed to condemn the attacks or supported the attacks so our looking at them askance now and wondering if they’re the next attackers is, instead of self-preservation on our part, bigoted. This despite our not having had issue with them before the attacks.

26 percent of Muslims age 18 to 29 believe that suicide bombing can be justified. Thirty-eight percent of that group believe that Arabs did not carry out the 9/11 attacks.

Stupid, violent and fanatical are a bad combination.

They kill each other more than they kill us. How can it be a religion of peace when they are constantly at war with each other and everyone else. Even within their sacred terrorist organization there is an underlying violent tension waiting to erupt. According to Newsweek they are the most integrated immigrant population in America (I assume they mean new immigrant population rather than Western Europeans)yet their children are Muslim first and many of them are willing to kill us or at least support those who would.

deepdiver on July 22, 2007 at 8:25 PM

I hope we never find him, alive.

Entelechy on July 22, 2007 at 9:50 PM

“al-Libi“? You mean Al Qaeda has their own version of Scooter? If so, can we indict him for perjury?

Sorry, but the similarity in names was too good not to notice.

Bigfoot on July 22, 2007 at 10:34 PM

Does al Qeada have a navy?

sonnyspats1 on July 22, 2007 at 10:52 PM

Good, let ‘em kill each other.

As for Been Hidin, I hope now that Mushy has broken off his appeasement deal the Paki’s will flush him out towards our guys on the Afghan side of the border and a sniper drills him in the heart. Gotta keep his face intact for all those photo ops.

Tony737 on July 23, 2007 at 2:02 AM

On 9/11, “it sounds bad to say, but I remember thinking that I didn’t care that it happened. A lot of my friends didn’t care. I think it’s because we’re Muslim.”

Wow Autri! What a coincedence!

I don’t give a rat’s about what happens to (ANY) of you either!

Go figure.

Teddy on July 23, 2007 at 4:50 AM

NewsWEAK???? We are supposed to believe this story because it was published by MSNBC (HAHAHAHA!) and NewsWEAK?

Remember when NewsWEAK reported that US troops had flushed a Koran down the toilet at Gitmo? It caused riots in Pakistan and people died. It was supposedly “confirmed,” too. Turned out to be a BIG FAT LIE.

Now they’re saying that Al Qaeda is having an internal squabble. They say they have “two named sources as well as general corroboration from a U.S. intel analyst…”

WHO??

Oh, their two inside “sources” are TERRORISTS, who, of course would NEVER, EVER LIE about something like this. Oh no. Not TWO JIHADISTS telling the story to NEWSWEAK, the Koran-flush teller of tall tales.

And an unnamed “intelligence analyst” who in involved in “counterterrorism” activities? Was this the same “analyst” who confirmed the Koran toilet flushing story, too?

Do you get the impression that I am VERY skeptical? Skeptical to the point of calling the whole story bullshite?

When Central Command reports the death of Zawahiri due to an internal power struggle, then and only then will I bother to give this story even a cursory glance. Until then, I’m going to assume that it is nonsense.

georgej on July 23, 2007 at 7:03 AM

Who died and made him boss?

Now that’s funny, right there.

Pablo on July 23, 2007 at 8:23 AM

Do you get the impression that I am VERY skeptical? Skeptical to the point of calling the whole story bullshite?

Being skeptical is a good thing, but internal fights inside al Qaeda would not be without precedent. Many experts believe that Abdullah Azzam, the founder of al Qaeda, was killed by Zawahiri or his supporters for getting to close with some in the Pakistani gov’t.

He and his sons were blown to Allah by a remote controlled bomb in Peshwar. Sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it?

JackStraw on July 23, 2007 at 9:32 AM

Is that a prayer welt on your forehead, or just a laser targeting spot, Mr. Z.?

Not that they’re mutually exclusive.

Inshallah.

profitsbeard on July 23, 2007 at 7:10 PM

While I’m almost positive that Osama bin wormfood,Zwahiri may prove to be a tougher catch. Even with the “no options off the table in Pakistan” news today,who knows? My bet is Iran already or tomorrow.

Blitz on July 23, 2007 at 9:23 PM

This douche bag should be captured, put away in some hole for life and let his glorious pedophile Mohamud save his sorry ass. Yeh, like that’s gonna happen!

NEMETI IN SYRACUSE on July 23, 2007 at 9:38 PM