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Reading Ayman al-Zawahiri's Mind

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Now the duty is entrusted to me. Now I am the amir of al-Qaeda’t al-Jihad, better known – indeed, known everywhere on Earth – as al-Qaeda. This comes at the right time. This month, I complete my 60th year -- still young enough to think clearly and strategically, but old enough to fully comprehend that I will not live forever and that it is truly blessed to die a martyr’s death as did my friend and leader, Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may he rest in peace.

I have waged jihad against the disbelievers for a very long time. I joined the Muslim Brotherhood when I was just 14. A child of wealth and privilege, I could have led an easy life. My skills as a surgeon could have been put to use healing the elite of Cairo. I chose, instead, to be a Knight under the Prophet’s banner. I have never regretted that decision, al-Hamdu Lillah.

In 1981, when I was half the age I am now, I brought justice to Anwar al-Sadat. He had betrayed the nation of Islam by making peace with the accursed Jews. Death to any swine who even considers following his example!

Exactly twenty years after that, surrounded by the good people of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Sheikh bin Laden and I brought justice to thousands of Crusaders and Zionists, arrogant Americans who thought they were safe in their steel towers – safe to plot and steal from the Muslims. Those in the Pentagon -- that vipers’ den! -- thought they were safe, too. But they learned: All the guards and guns and metal detectors in the world cannot protect them from our Mujahideen!

The Americans are accustomed to soft beds and decadent pleasures. But their economy is crumbling -- as is their will to fight. With the passing of bin Laden they will be eager to declare their mission in Afghanistan accomplished and fly away.

The woodworm has begun to eat the idol, though Americans do not yet yearn for the sweet relief of surrender as the Europeans do. The Europeans, in a time of war, are disarming. When in history has that happened before? They can’t even defeat that mad jackal, Kaddafi! In this we can see the hand of Allah, may peace be upon him.


Still, there is a long road to walk before the distant enemies are defeated. But that will happen, insha'Allah. They will submit and accept the sharia, Allah’s law, as they must, insha'Allah.

I now have great decisions to make. It is for me to avenge the death of Sheikh bin Laden and demonstrate that I deserve the honor that has been bestowed upon me. Under my leadership, al-Qaeda must again strike the snake a mighty blow. Bringing down the Twin Towers in 2001, and collapsing the walls of the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar el Salam in 1998 – in these battles we hurt America as no one else has, ever in history. Allah hu akbar!

But such battles are more difficult to organize now. Resources are not as plentiful or accessible as they once were. Many of our most dedicated jihadis have been martyred by the missiles fired from the drones that fly in the skies above us like vultures. Pakistan is brimming with Islamist streams. Our friends here could do more to protect us. The traitors who do not protect us must be held to account!

Our brothers in the Lashkar-e-Taiba have provided a useful model. The Battle of Mumbai was fought according to a simple plan and with simple weapons. Yet our victory over the Hindu usurpers of Kashmir and the Jews and the Christians who dwelt among them was no less glorious. I must deliberate carefully.


It also is imperative to send a message to the Arabs who are rising up against the traitor-despots and Muslim Zionists of the Middle East. The Muslim Brothers are increasingly taking control in Egypt. But too many do not understand the lessons taught by the great teacher Sayyid Qutb, may he rest in peace. They are timid. They form alliances with military secularists who employ religious scholars to justify their acts. There are Brothers who mix nationalism with Islam, who use composite slogans, and, indeed, cause Islamic ideas to intermingle with those of the socialists and communists. There are Brothers who show a friendly face toward apostates and Christians. Some collaborate with renegades, writers of falsehoods, those who exploit principles for personal gain, and sell their fatwas as commodities.

This can only produce confusion in the minds of Muslim young men. The ideology of Jihad should rest only and purely on loyalty to Allah's religion, and to its practical implementation.

The Palestine issue is a good example of intermingled slogans and beliefs. Some say this is a clever strategy. Deception of one’s enemies is blessed. But only fools deceive themselves. The path that is soaked in blood leads to victory. The path of compromise, conciliation and acquiescence leads into the desert where hyenas await even the cleverest Bedouin. Israel, America’s stepdaughter, must face the sword of Islam. The Jews must be driven into the sea. The Americans must be deprived of their military base in the heart of the Islamic world. Every inch of Palestine must become an Islamic emirate. Anyone who would accept less is an enemy of Allah and must be dealt with. The Muslim youth need to see clearly the lines that divide friends and enemies.


Which brings to mind the guardians of the Muslims in Tehran, the Shia, the Persians who are growing ever more powerful; who control strong and capable fighting forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas; who have put down roots even in South America where believers are few but hatred of America runs deep as a wadi in the rainy season; who soon will have nuclear weapons.

The followers of Khomeini will help us – until they hurt us. They are our allies -- until they are not. They despise the Crusaders and Zionists no less than we do. They assist our Taliban brothers. They shelter our families. They extend a hand in friendship. I extend my hand to them in return. But never would I turn my back on them. It is easy to guard against wolves. It is more difficult to guard against foxes.

The global jihad has reached a critical stage. I have a duty to our generation and the generations that will follow. They depend on me, my leadership, my strategic acumen. Allah, in His bountiful mercy, has given me a strength drawn from His strength. May I use it wisely!

The will of Allah -- may He be praised and Whom we thank for the good and the bad that befalls us – is clear: Jihad shall continue until the infidels submit, once and for all time, and the Muslim nation shall rise again and be restored to power and glory, as it was in the time of the Prophet, may peace be upon Him!


Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism and political Islam.

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