Opinion

Al-Qaida superiors’ critical letter to top terrorist prompts powerful spin off group

It seems that al-Qaida, whose followers claim to answer to a higher calling, is beset by personnel problems.

Moktar Belmoktar
Al-Qaida’s “difficult employee,” Moktar Belmoktar. Photo credit DailyMail.co.uk
Refusal to follow orders in a timely manner, inability to take direction, failure to return messages and micromanagement of employees are all common complaints in corporate America. These are also problems experienced by the most recognizable name in Islamic terrorism — al-Qaida, according to The Daily Mail.

A letter from al-Qaida to international terrorist Moktar Belmoktar was found by an Associated Press reporter in a building the terrorist organization had abandoned in Mali. Belmoktar was commissioned by al-Qaida to lead the Sahara’s “Masked Brigade.” Among other things, it claimed of the terrorist, “You never answer the phone, you never file your expenses and don’t follow instructions.” Sound familiar to anyone?

Belmoktar performed many terrorist acts in the name of al-Qaida, including the killing of “more than a dozen soldiers at a military garrison in Mauritania in 2005 and gunn[ing] down four French tourists there in 2007, The Mail reported. “On multiple occasions Belmoktar was declared dead, including most recently in March, and each time, he re-emerged to strike again.”

Despite his success, the unkindest cut Belmoktar received in the letter was the accusation that he had not achieved any noteworthy results in the Sahara region he commanded.

“Any observer of the armed actions (carried out) in the Sahara will clearly notice the failure of The Masked Brigade to carry out spectacular operations, despite the region’s vast possibilities — there are plenty of mujahedeen, funding is available, weapons are widespread and strategic targets are within reach,” the letter says. “Your brigade did not achieve a single spectacular operation targeting the crusader alliance.”

This, apparently, was the last straw for the terrorist. Belmoktar turned his back on al-Qaida’s rigid corporate structure and ventured out on his own. The Mail reported:

In December, just weeks after receiving the letter, Belmoktar declared in a recorded message that he was leaving the Al Qaeda chapter to form his own group. He baptised it, “Those Who Sign in Blood.”

A month later, over 600 hostages in far eastern Algeria were assembled by suicide bombers and of those, they killed 37, all but one were foreigners, including Americans.

Belmoktar claimed that his group, “Those Who Sign in Blood,” was responsible. I guess he didn’t take well to micromanagement.

But as far as al-Qaida is concerned, good help is hard to find.

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