Terrorism: Jihad has failed, former Libyan Islamist tells al-Qaeda

Tripoli, 7 Nov. (AKI) - A former leader of an armed Islamic group in Libya, Numan Bin Uthman, has written a letter to al-Qaeda second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri telling him that Jihadi groups in Arab countries have failed.

"Dear Doctor Ayman, as I told you during a meeting in Kandahar [in Afghanistan] in 2000, the experience of the Jihadi groups in Arab countries is failed and despite our appeals, the armed groups are divided and will not unite," he said in the letter, a copy of which was published in the London based pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.  

The letter by Uthman, who is based in London, comes after an audio message by al-Zawahiri - an Egyptian medic - was released on Saturday. In it, al-Zawahiri announced that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, had joined al-Qaeda. He also called for the ousting of regimes in North Africa.

The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group first announced itself in 1995, vowing to topple the Libyan regime. It is the second organisation to allegedly join al-Qaeda after Algeria's Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which changed its name to the al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb last January.

"I ask you and whoever is behind you to review the way you behave because the Jihadi groups are acting very badly towards those who think differently from the way they do," said Uthman in the letter.

"I aks you to stop the armed operations in the Arab countries, to guarantee the security of Muslims and to retract your threats toward the West, to take away from them the terrorism card used by some Western governments to hate Islam and Muslims," he said.

The former Libyan mujahadeen, who assisted the birth of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, also asked that the so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq' insurgent group be dissolved and return to being simply an armed group. The Islamic State of Iraq is an organisation set up by al-Qaeda in a bid to unite the Iraqi is insurgency.

"Only in this way, will it be possible to rebuild ties with other Sunni guerilla groups," he said.

Uthman also said that he had taken part in an important al-Qaeda summit in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2000, in which al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had defined search for and use of weapons of mass destruction as a "Sharia obligation".

"During this occasion, I had a strong dispute with the martyr Abu Hafs al-Kumandan, because he was heavily involved in acquiring weapons of mass destruction," he said in the letter.

"He wanted to use these weapons to dissuade the United State from attacking Afghanistan. And yet I knew that al-Qaeda did not have any strategic vision and would have used the weapons to kill indistriminately and not to dissuade".

According to the former jihadi, if al-Qaeda had chemical or nuclear weapons, they would only increase their destructive power to the detriment of Arab countries in particular.

"After seven years since that meeting, my convictions on these issues have only grown stronger," he said.

"At that time I said that provoking the United States would turn them against the Taliban and by striking the country in an unconventional way would bring occupation to the entire Middle East and not only Afghanistan and that's what's happened," he said.


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