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Al-Qaida targeting memo

The NBC News Investigative unit has obtained a planning memo written by an al-Qaida militant that specifies which Americans and others to target in Iraq and worldwide.  A translation.

The NBC News Investigative unit has obtained a planning memo written by an al-Qaida militant that specifies which Americans and others to target in Iraq and worldwide. Below is a translation of that memo.  Note: Within the actual document the writer uses the years as reflected in the Koran. NBC has annotated what that year translates to and that is shown in italics.

Targets inside cities

Targets inside the cities are considered a sort of military diplomacy.  Normally, this kind of diplomacy is written with blood and decorated with body parts and the smell of guns.  It carries a political meaning that relates to the nature of the faith’s struggle.  The intent is to send messages to different directions. Therefore, it is very important to choose accurate targets (similar to Al-Qaeda explosions).  One of the good examples is what four heroic brothers did with their successful choice of target. (Khaled al-Saeed, Riyadh al-Hajeri, Abdul Aziz al-Muthem, Moslih al-Shamrani).  God bless their souls.

Their choice for the target was well chosen as it was a building used by the CIA.  This operation was the beginning and was a wake up call that awakened our young fighters and opened the eyes of the nation for the presence of the Zio-crusaders presence on the land of Mohammad.

The operation in Eastern Riyadh in the year 1424 H [the writer uses the exact translation referring to the years as written in the Koran; this means the year 2003] had a big meaning and a message to the enemy that you cannot hide. We attacked Vinnell Corp in the year 1416 H [1995] and again in 1424 H [2003].  “Our message is clear.  The enemy will never have peace in the land of Mohammad.”

Also, the operation that targeted al-Muhaya compound (used for intelligence) that was performed by our brothers Ali al-Maabidi and Nasser al-Sayari ‘God Bless their souls’ means that military operations are diplomatic messages mixed with blood, body parts and decorated with guns and bullets.

Types of targets inside cities

First:  Faith targets
At the beginning of any Jihad military operation, it is not advisable to target religious places unless it is used for:

  1. Missionaries in Islamic countries, where they try to convert Moslems to Christians such as what happened in Yemen and as what is going on in Iraq as well as well as what was going on in the land of the two Holy Mosques (Saudi Arabia) where they were distributing bibles to homes.  In this case hunting those people is good and we know who they are.
  2. Covert intelligence operations.  Any Moslem religious scholar who cooperates with the enemy.  Targeting those is glorified and makes them as symbols for God’s anger.
  3. Reverends, priests, rabbis and any religious personality that attack Islam or Moslems such as an American reverend that cursed the prophet, we hope to God that we will get his neck.  Also as what Mr. Sayed Nosair did when he killed Rabbi Kahane who cursed the prophet.
  4. Any (Jewish or Christian) personality that provides financial, military, or moral support against Moslems as with what happened with the crusades in the past.

Second: Economic targets
The purpose of these targets is to destabilize the situation and not allow the economic recovery such as hitting oil wells and pipelines that will scare foreign companies from working there and stealing Moslem treasures.  Another purpose is to have foreign investment withdrawn from local markets.  Some of the benefits of those operations are the effect it has on the economic powers like the one that had happened recently in Madrid where the whole European economy was affected.  Such attacks have dual economic effects on the crusaders, Jewish and renegade Islamic countries. 

These are practical examples:

  1. Targeting of Jewish and crusader’s investments in the Moslem lands.
  2. Targeting international companies.
  3. Targeting international economic consultants and experts.
  4. Targeting investments coming from enemy countries using either military methods such as the blowing up of American restaurants (franchises) or using political means such as boycotts.
  5. Targeting stolen natural resources from the Moslem lands such as the attack on the French oil tanker and Iraqi pipelines.  The leadership should decide the selection of such economic targets because it can choose the right time.
  6. Assassinating Jewish businessmen and teach lessons to those who cooperate with them, but after you warn them.  You only assassinate those who have been proven to deal with them.

Third: Human targets
We have to target Jews and Christians.  We have to let anybody that fights God, his prophet or the believers know that we will be killing them.  There should be no limits and no geographical borders.  Wee have to turn the land of the infidels into hell as they have done to the land of the Moslems.  Therefore, all the cells all over the world should not look to geographic borders but should try to make the infidel countries theaters of operations and get them busy with that and themselves. They have made the Moslem lands, experiment fields for their weapons and inventions, we must turn their places into hell and destruction and the sons of the Islamic nation are capable of that. 

The primary targets should be Jews and Christians who have important status in the Islamic countries.  The purpose is not to allow them to settle in the lands of the Moslems.  Our advice is to start with unprotected soft targets and the individuals from countries that support the local renegades.

For example, In the Holy Land (Saudi Arabia), the primary target should be Americans, then the British.  In Iraq, the Americans first, in Afghanistan, the Americans first, and in Algiers, the French and in Indonesia the Australians and so on.

The importance of the targets should be as follows:

  1. Jews:  They are at different levels.  American and Israeli Jews first, the British Jews and then French Jews and so on.
  2. Christians:  Their importance is as follows:
  • Americans
  • British
  • Spanish
  • Australians
  • Canadians
  • Italians

        These groups are divided according to their importance:

  • Businessmen, bankers, and economists, because money is very important in this age.
  • Diplomats, politicians, scholars, analysts, and diplomatic missions.
  • Scientists, associates and experts.
  • Military commanders and soldiers.
  • Tourists and entertainment missions and anybody that was warned by al-Mujahedeen not to go or step in the lands of Moslems.

   3.   Renegades:  Their importance is as follows:

  • Anybody close to the Jewish and Christian governments such as Hosni Mubarak (Egypt’s President) and the rulers of the Arabian Peninsula and their consultants.
  • Seculars and those who spread evil between the believers and those who mock the faith.
  • Intelligence agents and detectives.  These are the protectors of Jewish and Christian tourists and they are used as the quelling instruments for the rulers.

The purpose for human targets

  • To stress the struggle of the faiths.  Targeting Jews and Christians is a proof that it is a religious struggle.
  • To show who the main enemy is.
  • To get rid of the renegades and to purify the land and to use them as examples for others.
  • To spread fear in enemy lines. This is a requirement from God as a Holy Koran says, “Verse from the Koran”.
  • To lift the morale of the Islamic nation.
  • To destroy the image and stature of the targeted government.  America’s nose was smeared in the soil after the attacks on New York and Washington.
  • To obstruct political projects for the infidels and the renegades.  Italy decided not to send soldiers to Iraq after exploding Italians in Baghdad as well as the promise made by opponents of the Spanish Prime Minister to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq because of the Madrid explosions.
  • Punishment for killing Moslems.  God says, “Punish them in the same way they punished you.”

Advantages of operations against cities

  1. To lift the morale of the nation and al-Mujahedeen (fighters) and lower rather destroy the morale of the enemy.
  2. Having targets and operations inside the cities proves the truthfulness of the group.  People can see it and will not allow the news media to fool them.
  3. To punish the ruling government and put limits to its power.
  4. To show the meaning of “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”  And to achieve the belief in one God.
  5. To have those governments and its main figures lose their popular support.
  6. To effect the economies of these countries.
  7. To help al-Mujahedeen to gain experience and qualifications to lead their nations later on.
  8. Study and analyze mistakes to be avoided in future operations.
  9. To prepare the nation and group’s members for future battles that the prophet spoke about.
  10. To gain support every time there is a successful operation and to increase their popularity.
  11. To force governments to change their policies.
  12. To shake the confidence of the governments and have the military establishment turn against the political establishment or have political parties fight each other.  The more infighting, the less people trust their government.

Disadvantages of operations against cities

  1. The killing of the Mujahedeen and their leaders when such operations are discovered.
  2. Big material and human losses.
  3. Low morale of al-Mujahedeen if operations fail.  Good leaders should always keep morale high no matter what happens.
  4. It gives government an excuse for actions against innocent citizens
  5. It can lift the morale of the government and its supporters if they win against Al-Mujahedeen in any battle.
  6. The arrest of some of the group’s members may help the enemy learn some of the operations’ secrets.
  7. Loss of confidence of the people or even group’s members if they have several failed operations.

After all of the above explanations about targets and the advantages and disadvantages of targets in cities, I will talk about the “Dead Box” in the following section.  This is the way of communication between the cells and the cells and their leadership. 

“The Dead Box” is a way of indirect communication between the two sides.  It is a place that is good enough to leave anything regardless of what it is such as (intelligence reports, weapons, preparation material and so on) to be picked up by someone else without direct contact between the two sides.

Conditions for choosing a “Dead Box”

  1. Must be evasive enough that both carrier and receiver could not be noticed and do not create any doubts or fears.
  2. Easiness in reaching it.  The longer it takes to get to the place, the more chances to be discovered.
  3. Should be easy to find out.  The carrier should locate it easily.
  4. Must be protected from environmental conditions.
  5. Should allow enough time to the both sides to unload and pick up.
  6. Should allow putting signs for both sides because that will be the language of understanding between them
  7. Should be a place hard to watch or to observe by the enemy and security apparatus.  Such as common places where there are many people.

Selection of “Dead Box” locations
Parks, museums, mosques, restaurants, hospitals, common places and restrooms.

Advantages of a “Dead Box”

  • It does not allow the carrier and the receiver to know each other.  This is a very good advantage in cities’ wars, as it lessens the losses.
  • It does not allow security apparatus to notice people meeting each other.
  • If one gets caught, the other one will be alerted through signals, which we will explain later.

Disadvantages of a “Dead Box

  1. If it is far and takes long time to reach, it might compromise secrecy.
  2. The time to unload and pick up.
  3. It is hard to operate during darkness, which means it is hard to operate without being noticed.
  4. Sometimes you cannot have control, which could cause the loss of materials such as stuff being taken by a child.

Security precautions

  1. Make sure the “Dead Box” is not being watched.  Must be alert, but do not over react.
  2. Must use whatever cover-up needed on your way to the “Dead Box”.
  3. Hide the material during transportation so you won’t bring attention.
  4. Must estimate the time needed so the carrier will not meet the receiver.
  5. Do not use the same road or the same time continuously.
  6. Do not leave long stretches of time between the drop and pick up.
  7. Must use secured signaling system in whatever chosen location.
  8. This is very important – The “Dead Box” should not be near a police lookout such as (Drug trafficking area, prostitution, or areas where what is called Islamic fundamental areas.)  You should also not get close to areas where there are people who call for Jihad.

Conditions for materials that are dropped in the “Dead Box”

  1. If it is a letter, it has to be scrambled, and it has to be firmly closed because there is always a chance it will fall.
  2. Not to be noticeable.  If it is military materials, it has to be closed.  It is preferable not to be assembled.  For example, if it is a Khalishenkoff (machine gun), we should dismantle it.
  3. Materials should not cause any danger if left for a while (such as explosives and detonators); it should not make noises when leaving it at the “Dead Box” and should be well insulated.  It has to be prepared to be shipped many times.

Transport and pick-up operation

  1. The carrier should signal his movement toward the “Dead Box” by using a predetermined signal so the receiver will see it and should let him know that the carrier is on his way.  The signal does not have to be something physical, it can be a voice or any invention.  The signal should be relatively a distance away from the “Dead Box”.
  2. The carrier should watch out for surveillance after he put up the signal and before he goes to the “Dead Box”.
  3. Entering the area of the “Dead Box”.
  4. Go directly to the “Dead Box”
  5. Unload the material.
  6. Leave the place after unloading and put up the unloading signal on it, which normally will be close to the “Dead Box”.
  7. Completely, leave the area and make sure there is no surveillance.
  8. Put up the safe and secure signal at the agreed location.  At this point, the role of the carrier has relatively ended.
  9. The carrier should see the receiver’s signal, which tells him that the receiver has completed his task; otherwise he has to go back and pick up whatever he unloaded.

Pickup stages

  1. The receiver will go to the location of the signal and make sure that the carrier is on his way to unload the material.
  2. The receiver will go to the safe and secure signal and make sure there is no surveillance.  The leadership decides the timing.  It should be accurate and give enough time to the carrier to unload, putting the secure signal and leave the place safely without seeing the receiver.
  3. Go to the “Dead Box” after receiving the signal and make sure the material is there.
  4. Go to the “Dead Box” and watch for surveillance.
  5. Pick up the material from the “Dead Box”.
  6. Watch for surveillance and put up the pick up signal.
  7. Completely leave the place.

Important notices

  1. If either side felt any danger even if it is external such as a fight between two people where the police is required, they should abandon the operation.  Therefore, as we said earlier, the “Dead Box” location should not be in a problematic area.
  2. Don’t put up any signals before you are done with that stage.  For example, don’t put the sign to move on the day before and then move on today unless it is agreed upon.
  3. Don’t be curious to know who the other person in the operation is, and do not stay longer than needed at the “Dead Box” location.  This point is very important for the leadership to pick the right person for the operation and stress the importance of this point.
  4. Make sure to watch out for surveillance after every stage.  We will discuss this in detail later.


  1. Should be away from any possible foreplay or any wear and tear.  It should not be something written on any wall, where someone can either erase it or add to it. 
  2. Should be natural.
  3. It should not bring any attention; it might bring the attention of those targeted by it.
  4. Both sides should agree to it.

Types of signals

  1. Move on Signal: The carrier puts up this signal which means that he is on his way to the “Dead Box”. It should be a relative distance away from the “Dead Box”.
  2. Transport Signal: The carrier puts up this signal also.  It means the transport operation is completed and normally this signal is the closest to the “Dead Box”.
  3. Safety and Secure Signal: The carrier puts up this signal far away from the “Dead Box”.  It means that the carrier believes the place is secure enough for the receiver to pick up the material.
  4. Pick Up Signal: The receiver puts up this signal.  It means that the pick up is completed.

The plan for the “Dead Box”
One of the most important factors for the success of intelligence work (undercover) is a good plan.  It should consist of two plans, one for the carrier, and another for the receiver.  Both plans should contain the following:

  1. Cover while on the way to the “Dead Box”.
  2. Survey the road and draw a layout of the area.  It should have different routes.  In case one of them is arrested or killed, the other will not be followed.
  3. Areas of signals should be accurately described to the brothers and must have
  • General description of the area. 
  • Accurate description for the square where the signal is or the ‘Dead Box’
  • Define the signal itself or the ‘Dead Box’ and point directly to it.

   4.   Timing:  You must define the following times for the carrier:

  • Define the time to put up the signal.
  • Define the time to prepare or to transport the material for the “Dead Box”.
  • Define the timing when to put up the unloading signal.
  • Define the timing when to put the safety and secure signal.
  • Define the timing for the pickup signal if the carrier is supposed to receive this signal.

You must define the following times for the receiver:

  • Define the timing for the move on signal.
  • Define the timing for noticing the safety and secure signal.
  • Define the timing for the pick up signal.
  • Define the timing for picking up the completion signal.

It is preferable to draw a layout for the “Dead Box”, the signals and the general area.  There should be a plan to survey the location before any operation.