Needless to say, all six of the gambits cited here were dreamed up by our side [and hinted at on Swedish Meatballs Confidential] long before 2007.
From Strategic Insights (Summer 2009), Center for Contemporary Conflict -- Naval Postgraduate School.
"Could Al Qaeda’s Own Strategy to Defeat Itself Actually Work?" by Carl J. Ciovacco
Abu Yahya al Libi’s importance within Al Qaeda and influence on its strategic decisions cannot be overstated. However, in his video titled "Dots of the Letters" released on September 9, 2007, Abu Yahya sabotaged the terrorist organization from within by providing the United States with six of the most potentially effective policy solutions to combat Al Qaeda to date. While not out of swagger or self-defeating tendencies, Abu Yahya offered these policy recommendations to illustrate just how far off the United States has been in its quest to defeat Al Qaeda. [...]
Since his 2005 escape from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Abu Yahya al Libi’s stock within Al Qaeda has continued to rise. As a member of the infamous "Bagram Four" which escaped U.S. custody, Abu Yahya publically defied and embarrassed the United States and gave hope to his fellow jihadists. Overnight he became the jihadist movement’s Robin Hood. He is young, energetic, intelligent, charismatic, well-spoken, and considered by many to be the future of Al Qaeda.
Further strengthening his resume within the jihadist movement, he, unlike Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, is trained in religion. Abu Yahya is not only a senior member of Al Qaeda and member of its Shari’a Committee, but he has also been dubbed Al Qaeda’s Defense Minister, Theological Enforcer, and the High-Command’s attack dog. In addition, his numerous appearances on as-Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media entity, ranks second only to Zawahiri. Abu Yahya’s importance within Al Qaeda and influence on its strategic decisions cannot be overstated. Why then would he personally wheel a Trojan Horse into Al Qaeda Central’s compound in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan? This Trojan Horse arrived eight months ago in the form of a 93 minute video where Abu Yahya laid out how the United States could defeat Al Qaeda. In his video titled "Dots of the Letters," the Libyan provided six steps for the United States to win the war of ideas.
Jarret Brachman at the Combating Terrorism Center, West Point, has offered his insights as to why Abu Yahya has provided the United States with Al Qaeda’s weaknesses. He argues that it was neither out of "goodwill nor self-destructive tendencies." Brachman explains Abu Yahya’s actions as an "explosive cocktail of youth, rage, arrogance and intellect," with the purpose of first, exposing how far behind the United States is in competing with Al Qaeda in the war of ideas and second, dispelling fears from within Al Qaeda that the United States will win the war anytime soon. As one of Al Qaeda’s chief strategists, however, Abu Yahya may now be regretting letting this as-Sahab video get away.
[...]Abu Yayha’s six steps for defeating Al Qaeda are:
- Focus on amplifying cases of ex-jihadists who have renounced armed action
- Fabricate stories about Jihadist mistakes and exaggerate mistakes when possible
- Prompt mainstream Muslim clerics to issue fatwas that incriminate the Jihadist movement and its actions
- Strengthen and back Islamic movements far removed from Jihad, particularly those with a democratic approach
- Aggressively neutralize or discredit the guiding thinkers of the Jihadist movement
- Spin minor disagreements among leaders of Jihadist organizations as being major doctrinal or methodological disputes