Tom Ricks's Inbox

Sunday, January 28, 2007

This item, sent by a defense expert in the federal government and supposedly only for internal distribution, is a translation of a complaint from al-Qaeda members hiding in Waziristan, Pakistan, along the Afghan border, about how tough their lives are. I didn't feel sympathetic.

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Mujahid Khalid Al-Muhajir Letter on Hardship in Waziristan, Muslim Support

GMP20070109340001 Jihadist Websites -- OSC Report in Arabic 08 Jan 07

[Corrected version; correcting spelling in subject]

Terrorism: Al-Muhajir Posts Letter on Hardship in Wazirstan, Urges Muslim Support

On 8 January, Al-Fajr Media Center posted on World News Network, formerly Global News Network, a letter from a mujahid named Khalid al-Muhajir who claimed to be "in Wazirstan, Afghanistan, and facing winter hardships along with his fellow mujahidin." The letter was not dated.

The World News Network at is back on line after four months' absence. Its "Statements, Reports, and Publications" forum is a major source of statements issued by insurgent groups in Iraq.

The following is a summary of the letter:

Under the title "A letter from Wazirstan by brother Khalid al-Muhajir", the writer addressed "the people with hearts of love, kindness, and mercy who feel for the problems of the Islamic nation." He went on to say: "I write to you with the tears of those who lost their children and from the blood of the weak, as I am one of them. It is bad enough that you all are sitting around, avoiding the jihad [struggle], enjoying your food, while your brothers here have nothing to eat". He added: "I am not writing about the killing of the old and young, displacement of people, or rape, but rather about the poor conditions the mujahidin are facing during this harsh winter". He gave the following details: "We are in a very cold area where electricity is on for 3-4 hours a day, 2-3 days a week, and the houses we are in are big and open on all sides. We use wood for burning and heating but wood prices increased by 100 percent when the winter arrived. We usually eat bread and drink tea in the mornings, have rice later with or without meat or garlic. When we get cold at night, two blankets per person are needed to stay warm but we all have one each."

Al-Muhajir then said that "if our bodies are tired, our spirits are not, and we found peace and eternity in these lands." Using Islamic sayings of famous clerics, he assured readers that "the caravan [of jihad] will continue until it reaches paradise, God willing, because victory is so close."

He praised "the Wazirstan people for their support to the mujahidin who sacrificed everything for Jihad." He went [on] to say that "the people who lost their homes and cattle for their support of the mujahidin, are still patient and brave, and are living on almost nothing but the word of God".

He confirmed that "the enemy is on its last breath and that real facts of the war are not told since enemy victories represent only 10 percent of the actual reality."

In conclusion, he called upon "all Muslims not to hesitate and assist all the needy, poor, and oppressed people, since life is short and we will all stand in front of God soon and ask for His mercy."

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Tom Ricks is The Post's military correspondent. This feature aims to give readers a snapshot of the conversations about Iraq, Afghanistan and other matters that play out in Ricks's e-mail inbox. Have an interesting document? Send it to

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