Pentagon: Letter by Al-Qaeda's number two criticizes Iraq tactics
An intercepted letter from Al-Qaeda's number two to the leader of the network in Iraq reveals concern over the impact on Arab opinion of beheadings and videotaped executions, a Pentagon spokesman revealed.
The letter from Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, also complained about communications, unity of command and funding problems to the extent that he asked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi for money, he said Friday, according to AFP.
Bryan Whitman, the spokesman, said the letter lays out Al-Qaeda's strategy of driving US forces from Iraq, establishing an Islamic state across the Muslim world and ultimately destroying Israel.
The 6,000-word letter was dated in July and intercepted sometime after that, apparently by the US military.
Whitman said the letter demonstrates that the "Islamic extremists have the overall goal of the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, establishment of an Islamic state centered on Iraq and its neighboring nations and eventually focused on Israel."
"It also demonstrates that among the terrorist leaders there are differences of opinion concerning the terrorist tactics, but it also shows unity in terms of their overall objectives," he said.
Zawahiri "says they should avoid tactics such as bombing mosques (and) slaughtering hostages in order to not alienate the masses," he said.