Al-Qaeda has issued a chilling new call to arms to recruits who remain undetected by security agencies. In a terrorist manual published on the internet, Osama bin Laden says: ‘After Iraq and Afghanistan will come the Crusader invasion of Saudi Arabia. All fighters all over the world must be ready.’
The manual has been masterminded by Saif al-Adel, the organisation’s third most senior man and the only terrorist other than bin Laden and his partner Ayman al-Zawahiri to have a $25 million reward on his head.
It is directed at new volunteers who are ‘below the radar’ of counter-terrorist authorities and who cannot break cover to undergo formal training in terrorist techniques. Like bin Laden, Zawahiri is quoted in the publication, called ‘The Base of the Vanguard’. Other writers encourage the use of weapons of mass destruction.
The manual is an internal al-Qaeda document and will be of enormous interest to security agencies. The fact that al-Adel, a former special forces colonel in the Egyptian army, has risked discovery to publish it is an indication of its importance.
‘Though it shows that we have taken down a lot of the training infrastructure and made it hard for [al-Qaeda] to operate, it is very worrying in that it implies that there are a lot of recruits around who we have yet to pick up,’ one British senior police counter-terrorist officer said.
In the manual, bin Laden calls on the recruits to be cautious in their operations, given the counter-terrorist surveillance efforts against them. He says that all those Muslims living in the lands occupied by the unbelievers should study the manual and be prepared to act.
The appearance of the manual – the January issue of what promises to be a monthly publication – is a major boost to al-Qaeda’s propaganda effort. Articles include the testimony of a ‘martyred’ suicide bomber and pages of technical advice on physical training, security counter-measures for operational terrorist cells and the use of light weapons. ‘All that is needed to open the ideas of the zealous youthful Muslims to the techniques of our fighters,’ a preface explains.
Al-Adel, 39, even warns operatives not to believe official media. ‘They will try and wear down your morale by publishing false reports about the arrest of other cells,’ he writes.
Another author is Abdul Aziz al-Mukran, who is also known as Abu Hajjer and is one of the most wanted al-Qaeda suspects in Saudi Arabia.
In his contribution, entitled ‘The war of nerves’, he lists the use of weapons of mass destruction, specifically biological and nuclear arms, as a potential tactic in the ‘ongoing war’.