- The Washington Times - Monday, September 18, 2006

Iraq’s national security adviser yesterday released a letter captured after the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi, in which he was criticized by another al Qaeda figure for his brutal methods.

Mowaffak al-Rubaie cited several points in English from the Arabic-language document, saying the letter reveals Zarqawi’s intention to spur sectarian violence in the country.

The long letter was from Attyia al-Jaza’ri, purportedly an al Qaeda leader of Algerian origin, to Zarqawi before he was killed in an air strike on June 7.

Mr. al-Rubaie’s statement and the letter were given to journalists by the U.S. military at the request of the adviser with the caveat: “We have no knowledge of the matters contained in this message. If you have any questions, please contact the government of Iraq.”

According to Mr. al-Rubaie, in the letter “the leader of al Qaeda criticizes Zarqawi for making decisions without seeking the counsel of senior al Qaeda leadership [and] reminds Zarqawi that he is not on the same level of these historic leaders.”

Al-Jaza’ri also reprimanded the Jordanian-born terrorist for putting military acts above political action, expressed his reservations on Zarqawi’s attempts “to prematurely declare war on the Shi’ites,” and chastised him for not cooperating with Sunni scholars and tribal leaders.

The letter “expressed that al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan are unhappy with [al Qaeda in Iraq] methods in Iraq [and] criticized [its] method of selectively choosing brutality and violence over mercy and kindness.”

Zarqawi was the mastermind behind a number of gruesome videotaped beheadings, executions and kidnappings in Iraq, making him one of the most wanted men in Iraq.

U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell told reporters on June 8 that Zarqawi’s death and 17 simultaneous raids in Baghdad and the city’s outskirts led to a “treasure trove” of information and intelligence.

But the euphoria over Zarqawi’s death quickly faded as sectarian violence dramatically increased in the capital, leaving thousands dead in the past three months, their tortured and bound bodies found strewn around the city.

There was no immediate independent confirmation of the veracity of the documents released. Phone calls to the Iraqi national security council spokesman were not answered.

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