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February 09, 2004

AN INTERESTING AL QAEDA STRATEGY MEMO that was captured in Iraq, allegedly authored by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi:

The memo says extremists are failing to enlist support inside the country, and have been unable to scare the Americans into leaving. It even laments Iraq's lack of mountains in which to take refuge.

Yet mounting an attack on Iraq's Shiite majority could rescue the movement, according to the document. The aim, the document contends, is to prompt a counterattack against the Arab Sunni minority.

Such a "sectarian war" will rally the Sunni Arabs to the religious extremists, the document argues. It says a war against the Shiites must start soon at "zero hour" before the Americans hand over sovereignty to the Iraqis. That is scheduled for the end of June.

The big losers in this would be the Iraqi Sunnis, who are deeply unpopular already. But that's consistent with the Ladenite approach, which leaves its coreligionists dead in large numbers wherever it appears.

UPDATE: More observations here.