Al-Qaeda's secret plan left behind by fleeing Mali Islamists
Fleeing advancing French and Malian forces, al-Qaeda militants left a strategic blueprint outlining their general plan for Mali and the region. The nine-page document unlocks a door to the world's most feared terrorist network.
The letter was discovered by the Associated Press in Timbuktu in a pile of papers and trash inside a building occupied by the Islamists for almost a year. It is signed by Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the nom de guerre of Abdelmalek Droukdel, the senior commander appointed by Osama bin Laden to run al-Qaeda’s branch in Africa.
The document is comprised of six chapters, only three of which were recovered. The pages are not dated, but a reference to June 2012 events in Mali indicates that the message was sent as recently eight months ago.
In his address to the fighters, Droukdel, the emir in the Islamic Maghreb, predicts that Western intervention would occur sometime in January. He writes, “It is very probable, perhaps certain, that a military intervention will occur… which in the end will either force us to retreat to our rear bases or will provoke the people against us because of starvation or the cutting of supplies and salaries….”