Al Qaeda leader questions use of excessive force against Shiites
A letter written by Al Qaeda’s second in command has critiziced the use of excessive violence against Iraq’s Shiite majority and Al Qaeda captives as a means to further the organization’s goals. The letter, written by Ayman Al Zawahiri, was made public by US intelligence services on Tuesday.
Zawahiri wrote the letter to Al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musad Al Zarqawi, saying that the tactics applied in Iraq were counterproductive and unacceptable to most Muslims, according to the AFP.
Zawahiri also condemns Zaraqawi for the public killing of hostages in the letter, and argues for a balance of attacks with political efforts to gain the support needed to establish an Islamic government body in Iraq following the withdrawal of foreign troops.
Though Zawahiri is critical of Shiites for their cooperation with the US, he notes that more than 100 Al Qaeda fighters are themselves Shiite, and that such acts also provoke the response of Iran at a time when the US enemy is targeting both Al Qaeda and Iran.
He also questions attacks against mosques, and says, “Many of your Muslim admirers amongst the common folk are wondering about your attacks on the Shia.”