1 thought on “The Letter

  1. Varifrank has quit blogging and says he’ll take his site down soon. Here is his post:

    I’m busy trying to make sense of the latest Zawahiri letter. I cant make up my mind what it is that I’m reading, either its a surrender letter or its a very clever fake. Theres more here than meets the eye, Im going over the earlier letters and video transcripts as well forget harriet miers, this is the big news….

    Oh, and the Bedford Incident with Richard Widmark is on TCM.

    No, Im not watching LOST, and I’m probably the only one left in the world. ( ok, I admit it, its on TIVO…)

    Be Back Later…

    UPDATE: While lecturing Zark on attacking the Shia, Zawahiri seems to notice that the Iraninans are primarily Shia, and that they have a big bargaining chip in which to stop Al-queda attacks on their people. Apparently, he’s alluding to Al-queda leadership that are in captivity in Iran!

    “…And do the brothers forget that we have more than one hundred prisoners – many of whom are from the leadership who are wanted in their countries – in the custody of Iranians. And even if we attack the Shia out of necessity, why do you announce it and make it public which compels the Iranians to take counter measures? And do the brothers forget that we and the Iranians need to refrain from harming each other at this time in which the Americans are harming us? …

    Iranian/Al-Queda Internecine warfare? Gosh, perish the thought!

    man, I gotta make some popcorn, this is getting good!

    UPDATE II: Ok, on with the post.

    Page 10

    Lecturing Zark on the use of scenes of slaughter(beheadings) I Caught this:

    …Aren’t cluster bombs and the seven ton bombs and the depleted uranium bombs crueler than slaughtering? Isn’t killing by torture crueler than slaughtering and isn’t violating the honor of men and women more painful and destructive than slaughtering?…

    Now, this seems to be right out of the Cindy Sheehan handbook on America bashing. Cluster bombs are certainly effective, but he doesn’t mention the targeting which ensures that they are only dropped on, oh how do I say this gently, targets of value – like Mr. Zawahiri for example. And “Depleted Uranium Bombs”, well first off, they aren’t bombs – they are shells, and they are fired from the business end of an A-10 Warthog. If you are a tank, this is your natural enemy. If you are a civilian walking down the road, the rule is, don’t stand next to anything with armor while the A-10 is about. As far as the scary word “Uranium” the key word is “depleted”, that means its about as radioactive as lead. Its just that Depleted Uranium is much more dense and much more effective at penetrating armor than normal everyday lead is. That’s why we use it, not because it once had the mystical power of “radioactivity”. I don’t know what Dr. Zawahiri got his degree in, but it wasn’t nuclear physics, of that we can all be grateful.

    Then there is this:

    ..And I say to you with sure feeling and I say: that the author of these lines has tasted the bitterness of American Brutality, and that my favorite wifes chest was crushed by a concrete ceiling and she went on calling for aid to life the stone block off her chest until she breathed her last, may God have mercy on her and accept her among the martyrs. As for my young daughter she was afflicted by a cerebral hemorrhage, and she continued for a whole day suffering in pain until she expired. And to this day I do not know the location of the graves of my wife, my son, my daughter, and the rest of the three other families who were martyred in the incident and who were pulverized by the concrete ceiling, may God have mercy on them and the Muslim martyrs. Were they brought out of the rubble or are they still buried beneath it to this day…

    So, apparently wherever he is, he is not with his family, or at the least he was not with his family when it was killed. Interestingly, he mentions the death of his wife and daughter and provides no details about the death of his son. For someone in a deep paternal culture like Islam, I find this an odd detail to leave out or to not express some form of grief about the death of his son.

    Now this I find very interesting:

    He is asking a question of Zark, and the question is pretty weird:

    I would like you to explain for us another issue regarding Iraq. And I think without a doubt you are the most knowledgeable about it. Can the assumption of leadership for the mujahadeen or a group of mujahadden by non-iraqis stir up sensitivity for some people? And if there is sensitivity, what is the effect? And how can it be eliminated while preserving the commitment to Jihadist work without exposing it to any shocks? Please inform us in detail in this matter.

    More on this later.

    Apparently, he’s had another daughter with another wife. Congratulations.

    Now, this is odd:

    By God, if you are going to Falluja, send greetings to Abu Musab Al-Zarkawi.

    If he is saying “Send greetings to Zarkawi”, then who is this letter to? According to the DNI, it’s from Zawahiri to Zarkawi, but how can that be?

    Now this brings the note I made earlier into sharp relief. When I read the previous note where Zawahiri asks Zarkawi about mujahadeen in Iraq being lead by non-iraqis and what impact that has. Now, who do we know that is not a non-Iraqi leading mujahedeen in Iraq? This is where I was confused, because if he was asking Zarkawi himself this information, its like asking someone to name their replacement. If however, Zawahiri is asking someone else “Say listen pal-o-mine, do you think our Syrian friend Zarkawi is being a drag on our good company name”?

    I have to go check this out. Be right back….

    UPDATE III: Ok, I need someone to help me understand why one arabic speaking man would have to tell another arabic speaking man what a name means. In the passage where Zawahiri is talking about his new daughter, he mentions her name – Nawwar, He says it means timid gazelle and that it was his third mothers name. He then goes on to explain the meaning of the name. Is this necessary? I mean is this something I would do if I was explaining my daughters name to someone? Is “Nawwar” specific to a dialect and thus would not be generally known? Also, he doesnt mention the name of his deceased daughter, only the newly born one.

    Also there is a section where he refers cryptically to Algerian brothers at “their end”. On Thugburg, I found a reference to Tunisians that were captured around the date that this email was written. I wonder if this related, or is it possibly the algerian diplomats that were captured around that time.

    Also – Zawahiri mentions that he wants to travel to visit Zarkawi. I wonder if its just polite banter.

    DCI says the letter is dated July 9, 2005. Double toothpicks analyzes the meta data and finds the source to a ‘year older…” WTF?

    Ok, back in a bit, Im going back to the last known authenticated Zawahiri letter to see if theres anything in that to link the two.

    Spot assessment: At this point, Zawahiri is on the run, blind and out of money, and unable to effect events at a distance and begging for money. thats what I read out of this. Some of it looks like code, some of it looks like lecture, some of it looks like status report questions. Im most puzzled by the fact that its supposed to be to Zarkawi but it asks directly “Hey man, if you are going to falluja, say hi to Zarkawi for me” Falluja? This year? Is this letter to Zarkawi or to another proxy for Zarkawi? What does it read like? well it reads like several emails stuck together at random, which may have been done by the author or by the DNI. I get the distinct impression that I’m reading 80% boilerplate and 10% valuable information and 10% nonsensical garbage.

    How does Zawahiri, who throughout the email complains of being blind to the true situation know for certain that Zarkawi is in Falluja given the press on Falluja is that its been taken over by the US Marines? If you know that your email is being intercepted, as you clearly have to believe that Zawahiri suspects, why blurt out “HEY MAN!, I’ll See you the corner of 5th and lexington at noon”. If hes in falluja, why say so and risk being discovered, if hes not, why say anything at all?

    Timelines. Gotta got over the timelines, I need to put this puppy in context of the time it was supposedly written.

    UPDATE IV: Now, Im really interested. Remember “Nawwar” the frightened gazelle? Lets try this on for size:

    Also Nuar, Nuri, and Nawwar. Arabic word meaning “blacksmith” or “fire-worshipper.” A group bearing this name existed before the 10th century but there is no evidence to connect them with the group known by this name today. The modern group calls themselves Dom and their language Domari.

    The Nawar of today are found in Egypt, Gaza, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and elsewhere (DRC). Nuri bear-trainers were reported in Europe and America in the 19th century, and in 1976 a group came to France and Germany having crossed from North Africa. From the Dom (gypsy) Name List.

    Zawahiri – is an Egyptian.

    Ok, how about this:

    An Arabic dictionary of 981 AD gives the verb ‘nawwara’ meaning “to act like a Nuri (pl. Nawwar), to practise juggling, deceit”.

    Im still looking for an Arabic dictionary to look up “frightened gazelle”. I think were being put on here…

    fire-worshippers? (Zoroastrians?) Another clue from Zawahiri pointing towards Iran?

    UPDATE V: Apparently in the Egyptian Arabic dialect, it means “illuminated”. So far, no tracking of “frightened gazelle”. In the Arabic Female Names directory, it means “May”.

    BINGO – this thing is crap. check this out:

    “Both Al Hayyat and the London-based Al Quds Al Arabi said that they had received a letter bearing an al-Qaida letterhead, in which the attack was claimed as a response to “Israeli crimes” against Palestinians. Al-Hayyat reported that the letter had been faxed to the paper’s office in Islamabad, Pakistan. According to the letter, the attack was carried out by “the Tunisian Nizar Ben Mohammed Nawwar Said el Islam”.

    Last month, the Tunisian government announced that the driver of the truck that exploded outside the Ghriba synagogue was 25-year-old Tunisian Nizar Nawwar. In the interview with A-Sharq al-Awsat, al-Muhajir confirmed that Nawwar, aka Nizar Seif Eddin al-Tunisi, was a member of al-Qaida.”

    A New Zawahiri daughter named “Nawwar” my ass. This is coded information in regards to “the tunisians” he refers to in the document.

    More to follow….

    UPDATE VI: Day 2, and Im still crawling over this thing. Heres a good link of other Zawahiri emails.

    Zawahiri it seems is good at whining about other people should do in their Jihad, but cant seem to run one of his own. His new Varifrank Intelligence Bureau code name is “Loose Cannon”.

    I think “Nuwwar” may be a bad translation from the DNI. Heres a referrence I found today to something close that ties up other loose ends:

    “His only son, killed by US air strikes on Afghanistan in 1998 with his mother, Izzah Nuwair, was called Mohammed”.

    Izzat Nuwair ( nuwwar?) was married to Zawahiri in 1979. She was an educated woman but dedicated to the cause and thus, “a dedicated wife”. So, its possible that the event that Zawahiri is talking about when referring to “American Brutality” is not something thats occured recently since the last correspondence, but in the past. “Nuwwar” may just be a poorly translated bit of text. I will of course provide a service to the reader by looking up “nuwair” to see if it lines up with the Zawahiri translated value of “frightened gazelle”.

    ( Funny, You dont hear anyone talking about Clinton/Gore killing women and children in Afghanistan in 1998, do you? )

    Now Im going to look up air strikes in Afghanistan in 1998 and see if we can get a location for this event. I remember cruise missile hits, but little else. It occurs to me that 1998 was a million years ago. I hate nostalgia.

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