Friday, February 24, 2006

Files reveal al-Qaeda's worries over marketing

Files reveal al-Qaeda's worries over marketing - World - "IT COULD be any employment contract stating salary, paid holidays, home leave and grievance procedures - except in this case the employer is al-Qaeda and the recruit's job is "carrying out jihad".

By signing the contract, the recruit commits himself to al-Qaeda's objectives: "Support God's religion, establishment of Islamic rule, and restoration of the Islamic Caliphate, God willing".

The documents set out the internal structure of al-Qaeda and illuminate disputes over tactics. They also analyse past failures, such as the crushing of an Islamist uprising in Syria in 1982, speculate on new regions for jihad and bemoan the lack of publicity about al-Qaeda's role in driving the US out of Somalia.

Some documents reveal dismay over the loss of al-Qaeda's bastion in Afghanistan. One writer, Abdel-Halim Adl, wrote to a man identified as "Mukhtar", in June 2002, complaining of Osama bin Laden's stubbornness and "the capture of a large number of brothers".

The most striking reveal al-Qaeda's personnel policies. The "employment contract" lists many requirements of recruits: obedience, secrecy, avoiding all links to other groups, being physically healthy, having integrity on matters of religion and morality and reciting the pledge to al-Qaeda.

A draft of al-Qaeda "bylaws" stipulates extra pay of 700 rupees a month for each additional wife as well as 20,000 rupees for married members to buy furniture and free health care.

The bylaws describe an organisational structure headed by an "emir" and "command council", which in turn oversee an "external relations branch" and "executive council", a "military committee", "security committee" and "political committee".

The military committee has a special "nuclear weapons" section, but there are no further details.

Job descriptions are set out in detail. To qualify as "emir", the leader (presumably bin Laden) should not be "too anxious to be an emir" and must have "adequate knowledge to qualify him to carry out the responsibilities".

The chairman of the military committee must be, among other things, older than 40 and "a university graduate, preferably from a military academy".

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