In a video recently posted on Islamic websites, Islamist Sheikh Abu Osama Al-'Iraqi calls on Osama bin Laden to denounce Al-Qaeda in Iraq for harming Sunnis and for targeting jihad fighters from other Sunni factions. While declaring his loyalty to bin Laden, he also criticizes him, for appointing a non-Iraqi to head Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The following are excerpts from the video:
"[Al-Qaeda in Iraq] Began to Liquidate Religious Scholars"
"A message to the noble commander Osama bin Laden [from] Sheikh Abu Osama Al-'Iraqi, one of the commanders of the jihad fighters in Iraq.
"My message to you is a candid message of clarification. I ask you to follow my words to their end, so that you will recognize their truth...
"With time, the Group of Monotheism and Jihad, whose late commander [Al-Zarqawi] swore allegiance to you, became the organization of Al-Qaeda-Jihad in Iraq. And from the moment the commander of that group swore an oath of allegiance to you, and until today, we have been faced with a nightmare. We beseech Allah to spare the life of the mujahideen. Perhaps you will not believe my words, for I am going to mention some details that may cause children's hair to turn white, [about] the excesses of the internecine warfare... [Al-Zarqawi's] organization in Iraq has deviated [from the right path], in the full meaning of the word.... and they have completely scorned your words, as well as those of the mujahid Sheikh Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi...
"Then [after a while,] the [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] organization suddenly and inexplicably began to act in a strange manner. They began to liquidate religious scholars... I do not want to mention names, for they are well known in Iraq..."
"They Planted Explosives in Front of Homes, Schools and Hospitals"
"This was followed by acts of persecution against Sunni Muslims, harming their livelihood. They planted explosives in front of homes, schools and hospitals, [or] under electric transformers, without taking any account of the consequences for society, without whose support and help we will become easy prey for the Crusader occupation and its helpers, the vicious Shiites.
"[Al-Zarqawi] did not remember Dr. Ayman [Al-Zawahiri's] counsel that they should serve the population and protect it. In addition, this organization [i.e. Al-Qaeda in Iraq] [is taking] the funds of the employees of the departments of health, education, and religious endowment, after confiscating them as spoils of war, and using them to support the jihad, leaving the owners [of these funds] to be a burden on the population. They have also driven out worshippers and fought them in the mosques, killed dozens of imams and preachers, and threatened hundreds [of people]. Consequently, mosques have been emptied of worshippers, and some of them have been closed due to their unwarranted presence in them, and their use of [these mosques] to store and transfer arms."
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is Using Muslims as Human Shields
"They stretched the [principle of] using human shields to the utmost, and they did not consult their upright 'ulama, as you yourself [bin Laden] advised them to do in one of your sermons. Their campaign to cut off all contacts among Muslims is a heinous act, because it [has sometimes led to] sick children dying in their mothers' arms, and to homes burning down with people inside them. I do not believe that Allah gave them the right to defend themselves against [foreign] agents at the expense of the sick and the needy...
"Despite all this, the other jihad factions, which are no less powerful than [Al-Qaeda in Iraq], are holding their tongues, because they are waiting for Allah to correct its ways, or [hoping that] true information about its actions will reach you, and that you will take the necessary steps. The other [jihad] factions are watching the Sunnis sinking deep into hunger and oppression, and [if] any [member of these organizations] speaks out and opposes [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] he is silenced... He is kidnapped [and placed] in the trunk of a car, and is subjected to severe torture or killed. What kind of behavior is this? Is this [in accordance with] religious behavior?
"When they - that is, the [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] organization - saw that the other jihad factions were keeping silent, they began to think seriously that they might [be able] to force everybody to join the Shura Council of the Jihad Fighters in Iraq. But we, who are in the field, know who joined this council. [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] invented this Council [just] in order to satisfy you...
"They began to terrorize the jihad fighters under the pretext that they [wave] populist flags. They have killed some leaders of the Islamic Movement of the Jihad Fighters of Iraq. Although we have some reservations about this group, still, it is not permitted to make their killing licit. They have killed them treacherously in front of their homes, in their mosques, and among their children. [The Islamic Movement of the Jihad Fighters of Iraq] is a faction that has to its credit hundreds of operations against the Crusaders, and the markets are full of their CDs.
"After they [i.e. Al-Qaeda in Iraq] succeeded in finishing off this movement, they attacked the leaders of the faction known as The 'Ishrin Revolution Brigades, may Allah guide them, and they killed them and dispersed them. I mention here [from amongst those were killed], just as an example, the heroic jihad fighter Abu 'Uqab, may Allah have mercy on him. They killed this brave lion. When his body was brought to his mother, she prayed that Allah would punish his killers, saying: 'You will take care of them, Allah'...
"They attacked the homes of those whom they knew to be members of the 'Ishrin Revolution Brigades, and killed them in front of their wives and children. Let me mention here the story of one of these good people, a man of 65 who was known for his support of jihad fighters, and had incurred great losses for the sake of jihad, and whose children were among the first martyrs of the 'Ishrin Revolution Brigades.
"Members of the [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] organization encircled his home with rocket launchers; but the jihad fighters of 'Ishrin Revolution [Brigades] fought back and pushed them back, and cut them down, killed [some of] them, and burned their cars. After that they ran away, defeated.
"It did not end there. They attacked him again and carried off this Muslim man from in front of his house, beat him severely and broke his arms and legs. They seized hundreds of weapons from the storehouses of the brethren in other jihad factions, and specifically, our brethren in the Islamic Army, under the pretext that they [wave] populist and heretical flags.
"My distinguished sheikh [bin Laden], if you have reliable people, send them to Ramadi so you can verify these two incidents. They [i.e. Al-Qaeda in Iraq] have also killed leaders from the rest of the factions, leaders on whose heads the Crusaders had put [a prize] of hundreds of thousands of dollars for their killing or arrest...
"Some of the jihad fighters were forced to stay in their homes in order to stay clear of internecine war [fitna], while others escaped from the land of jihad with their faith intact. Still others chose to fight the [Al-Qaeda] Organization [in Iraq], relying on the fatwas of well-versed scholars, which ruled that they must go out [to fight]. That is what Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir alluded to in his last sermon...
"In Ramadi, armed men attacked leaders of the [Al-Qaeda] Organization [in Iraq] after prayer in the mosque, denounced them, and killed them in front of the people. Incidents of this sort have recurred in a number of places: in Al-Jurma, Khalidiyya, Al-Fallujah, and elsewhere.... After these incidents, they slid even further into error, and fearing for their own lives, they began to frighten and terrorize people in order to deter them from entering the schools and universities. They are doing this by means of communiqués [published] on behalf of invented organizations, and I specifically wish to cite the example of The Jihad Fighters of Al-Anbar. [These communiqués] do not bear the signature of the Shura Council [of the Jihad Fighters in Iraq]... You may perhaps find it difficult to believe my words, but they [represent] a real and a bitter truth.
"We beseech Allah to spare us such internal strife. These dangerous events, which occurred recently, have alerted the jihad fighters to the danger inherent in the [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] organization. Now that the people of knowledge and virtue [in the organization] have fled, and others have fallen as martyrs, and the organization has come to be led by most depraved elements of society, with everything that that entails, there is no doubt that the Ba'thists have found in the organization [of Al-Qaeda in Iraq] the tool they needed in order to eliminate the virtuous people and everyone who opposes them, now that their idol [i.e. Saddam Hussein] has fallen in Baghdad. Things have become so bad for the Sunnis that they are beginning to suspect that the Crusaders and the Shiites have contact with the leaders of [Al-Qaeda in Iraq], because this group helps them to achieve everything they want. Whenever someone from Al-Qaeda in Iraq is arrested, he is released after two or three days, and becomes a 'wanted man' with his pictures decorating the walls."
"You [Bin Laden] Erred in Choosing the Commander [for Al-Qaeda in Iraq]"
"Distinguished Sheikh [bin Laden], by Allah, we love you for the sake of Allah. If we did not perceive it as having disadvantages as well as advantages, we would have sworn allegiance to you. Our heart is with you and we beseech Allah to preserve you. For you forsook property and family and all worldly delights in order to raise the banner of jihad. Therefore, we do not want an old woman to curse you in her prayers during the third watch of the night because you erred in choosing the commander [for Al-Qaeda in Iraq].
"There is no lack of brave men in Iraq, and your unfamiliarity with the men in Iraq is no excuse for selecting [a non-Iraqi] who pushed himself forward. I wish we had someone like Mullah Muhammad Omar to lead the war against the Crusaders, and the brothers in Al-Qaeda in Iraq could rally around him. I wish that this matter [of leading the war against the Crusaders] would be entrusted to an Iraqi as it was entrusted to an afghani in Afghanistan.
"My dear sheikh, we pray to Allah that our message will reach you, and that it will not be kept away from you by one of the people around you, so you may make the right decision. You [must] revoke your authorization of Al-Qaeda in Iraq - [and I can assure you] that we, your sons, will not fail in leading the war and the jihad here [in Iraq].
"If you keep silent [in the face of their conduct], don't expect us to wish them well or to keep silent, for [protecting] the life and property of Muslims in Iraq is a responsibility incumbent upon every jihad fighter in Iraq. We will cut them down [i.e. the members of AL-Qaeda in Iraq] and humiliate their mighty ones. The lock and keys of civil war are in your hands. You can either lock it [i.e. stop the war] or open it. We are intrepid, and the fighting tribes... are all behind us, waiting for our signal [to fight]."