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“The Terrorism Industry”: An Al-Qaeda Course in Security and Intelligence – Part Two

General Security Principles

Certain fundamental principles of security do not change over time and are not dependent on environment, despite advancements in technology. It is therefore important to be familiar with them.

The most important principle is stated in the Qur’an: “O ye who believe! Take your precautions…”. As this verse indicates, just as prayer is an Islamic-legal obligation, so, too, is protecting oneself from the enemy, in times of peace as in times of war. Even in times of peace, the enemy deploys spies and gathers intelligence; for example, the Americans are now collecting information about the mujahideen to learn their movements and capabilities, and to prepare to defend themselves. In fact, the enemy collects so much information and prepares so many scenarios, that he gives the mujahideen ideas they had not had on their own!

All of the world’s most important intelligence services recruit spies. The CIA and Israel’s Mossad collect information about events all over the world. In contrast, the intelligence agencies of Arab countries concentrate on local events. International intelligence agencies operate beyond the borders of their home countries. For example, the Americans send spies to South America, Libya and Iraq, where they attain key posts that enable them to interfere with these countries’ interests, and ensure they match those of the US. The leaders of many countries, like Russia and the US, formerly served in intelligence. In effect, they turn the entire country into one large interrogation room, treating all of their citizens as if they were criminals. Ultimately, this leads their regimes to wrack and ruin.

Until some 20 years ago, the mujahideen were able to exploit the war between the US-led Western Bloc and the Russian-led Eastern Bloc to act and move freely. Since the demise of the USSR and the Soviet bloc, the US has controlled the world. Consequently, nowhere in the world do the mujahideen have a safe place to congregate and launch attacks against the enemy. Today, the mujahideen should be organized in cells, and not in traditional hierarchical organizations. In the police states that Arabs inhabit today, it is enough if one man is caught and gives up his commander for an entire organization to collapse. Conversely, if one member of a four- or five-man cell is arrested and confesses, only one cell will be ruined, and not all of the mujahideen in the country. In a network based on cells, the cells should not have any contact whatsoever with each other, and no one person should know about all of the cells. If one man was responsible for founding the cells and recruiting their members, he would do well to leave the country once they have been organized or, better yet, to perpetrate a suicide attack so that the secret dies with him. This last concept apparently grew out of discussions between al-Adam and Sheikh Abu Musab al-Suri, a senior member of Al-Qaeda who was considered one of the most important analysts of modern jihad and one of its most sophisticated strategists.

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