Features Detail ......

About Us
The Bureau Chief
Guest Contributors
Op-Ed / Editorials
Middle East Review
Contact Us


The key ideologist of Al-Qa’ida, Lewis ‘Atiyyatullah (a pseudonym), has published an article in the Global Islamic Media Internet forum, in which he reveals Al-Qa’ida’s perception of the international balance of power at present and in the future. ‘Atiyyatullah sees the future very clearly: the balance of power will change; the international system built-up by the West since the Treaty of Westphalia will collapse; and a new international system will rise under the leadership of a mighty Islamic state.

And all of that will occur within a few years -- maybe a few decades.

The article is called, “So Said Al-Qa’ida: A Letter to Reuven Paz.” Dr. Paz is an Israeli scholar who heads the Project for the Research of Islamist Movements – PRISM. “I wrote you this open letter because you were one of the first of those who showed interest in Osama Bin Laden’s old article entitled ‘The New International Regime’…and you advocated that those in the U.S. and Europe interested in Al-Qa’ida must read the article seriously…” explained ‘Atiyyatullah.

Wake up and smell the coffee

The top ideologist writes that contrary to common sense and the situation on the ground, both the West and the Muslim world do not perceive the change that has already occurred. According to ‘Atiyyatullah, there were two kinds of responses to Al-Qa’ida’s writings in the past. The first, from Westerners who completely ignored the writings of Al-Qa’ida’s great thinkers and strategists. They branded those writings as naïve attempts to present Al-Qa’ida in an unrealistic manner. They referred to Al-Qa’ida’s activities as mindless terror.

The second kind of response, says ‘Atiyyatullah, was that of Muslim thinkers. They saw those writings as fictitious, or as wishful thinking. “They mocked us and said: ‘They [the Americans] toppled Taliban and forced Bin Laden to seek refuge in a cave.’” ‘Atiyyatullah responds to this saying, “Al-Qa’ida does not wage wars similar to other wars…Al-Qa’ida is completely willing to sustain the war for many years…The war will be won by the side which will be able to bear the pain longer.”

‘Atiyyatullah finds it difficult to understand how it is that the West has not yet admitted its defeat. His explanation and analysis is as follows: The West suffers from a grave problem. This problem originates from its long-time superiority in many domains including army, politics, intelligence, and economics. This superiority, says ‘Atiyyatullah, made the West think all the rest were inferior, stupid. That is why the West is now suffering from cultural and strategic confusion. That is also why it cannot admit to its defeat, and persists in seeing it as a mere security problem, which can be solved by international cooperation.

The West will eventually realize its mistake, but it will be to late, says the ideologist. “The West will not understand that its dominance is effectively defeated, until the U.S. will suffer a second attack.” Only then will the Muslim people also understand that they have the capability to win over the West, says ‘Atiyyatullah.

Al-Qa’ida – one beast, many heads

‘Atiyyatullah, the ideologist, sees great importance in Al-Qa’ida’s modus operandus, which does not rely on one leader. He explains that the arrest of one leader does not mean activities cease. “Each activist in Al-Qa’ida is trained in a manner that will allow him to become a leader once another leader falls.” ‘Atiyyatullah warns that the day will come when analysts will talk of the rise of the third generation of Al-Qa’ida. “This generation will be hard to deal with as it will be unknown to most of the Arab and international intelligence organizations.”

Rumsfeld the clown, Bush the stupid

The entire article is characterized with contempt for the U.S. and the West, accusing it of not understanding – or refusing to admit – their defeat. “Al-Qa’ida won its greatest victory after 9/11, when it succeeded in isolating the U.S. from the rest of the world. The U.S. has become similar to a scab-ridden dog which everyone tries to avoid, and Rumsfeld turned into a clown in the eyes of the world, when he said the war on Iraq is ‘a good thing’.”

And as for President Bush, Al-Qa’ida turns out to be his biggest fan. It even hopes Bush wins the next election. Why? “We hope Bush stays in power, as he is our favorite enemy…Osama Bin Laden once said: ‘Thank God for providing us with such a stupid enemy’.”

Our goal – world dominance

And with such enemies, Al-Qa’da’s principal ideologist anticipates no major obstacles in the way of the organization to achieving its strategic aims: breaking the existing world order, uprooting Western dominance in the world and bringing the Muslim world to its natural position as the world’s leading power.

Reuven Paz responds

A few days after this letter to Dr. Paz was submitted, he responded with his own open letter addressed to ‘Atiyyatullah.

His letter was republished in many Islamic forums. Paz asked him “Does Al-Qa’ida support your analysis?...I picture in my mind the image of Osama [Bin Laden], sitting in one of his caves holding your article which was addressed to an Israeli Jew, and reading it thoroughly. He must have smiled and said to one of his aides, ‘[B]rother Lewis is wearing me out…he promised in our name that America will soon find itself out of the political scene.’

Paz ended his short letter with this remark: “It seems you mix reality with fiction.”

Will the Israeli scholar and the Al-Qa’ida thinker continue their published correspondence with one another through the internet? The Media Line will follow this story as it develops.

By Yaniv Berman on Thursday, April 01, 2004


Copyright © The Media Line, Ltd