Per my friends at the MNF & WH:

 

Al Qaeda Leader’s Diary Reveals Organization’s Decline

Document Entry: “The Renegades And Americans Started Launching Their Attacks To Destroy Us. We Lost Cities, And Afterwards Villages, And The Desert Became A Dangerous Refuge”

Diary Entry: “The Al Qaeda Emir Claimed That He Once Commanded Almost 600 Fighters, But That After ‘The Tribes Changed Course,’ Many Of His Fighters Quit, While Others Joined, Quote – ‘The Deserters.’”

View Excerpt From Translated Document (PDF)

Read Full Briefing & View Slides

Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, MNF-I

Press Briefing

February 10, 2008

“Today I want to talk with you about two recently captured al Qaeda Iraq documents that tell a great deal about the enemy we are facing here in Iraq. …

“On November 18th of last year, Coalition forces … killed Abu Maysara, a senior advisor to Abu Ayyoub al-Masri. Among his effects, we discovered a number of electronic storage devices – computer hard drives, thumb drives, compact discs and DVDs, along with original documents. One item seized in this operation was a 39-page typed document, undated and unsigned. …

“Overall, the document is a pessimistic assessment of al Qaeda Iraq’s long-term prospects in the al-Anbar area. The author describes the difficulties involved with trying to manage foreign fighters. He states that al Qaeda Iraq has lost popular support in the province. He recommends that al Qaeda Iraq’s remaining foreign fighters in al-Anbar be moved to other areas of Iraq, where the terrorists might have greater freedom of action. …

“He credits Iraqi and Coalition forces with having learned lessons from past mistakes … [says] ‘traitors and factions’ are taking on al Qaeda … warns his superiors that the Sunni citizens of the area are growing weary of the misfortunes and tribulations brought about by violence. … says that Sunni Anbaris are becoming more willing to join the Iraqi Security Force, and to participate in elections. … also laments the Americans have waged a quote ‘ferocious media campaign against al-Qaeda.’

“The document also describes the growing problems al Qaeda is having with its recruits and terrorist operations. …

“The author says, ‘The renegades and Americans started launching their attacks to destroy us. We lost cities, and afterwards villages, and the desert became a dangerous refuge. We got away from people and found ourselves in a wasteland desert.’ ….

“Let me now turn to a second al Qaeda Iraq document found near Balad late last year. On Nov. 3, while conducting raids south of Balad, Coalition Force soldiers captured a diary kept by an al Qaeda operative named Abu Tariq. …

“Abu Tariq’s diary provides clear and compelling evidence that Iraq’s volunteer citizen groups are making their country safer by weakening al Qaeda and restricting the terrorists’ freedom of movement. His diary shows that al Qaeda regards these volunteer citizen groups as a grave threat, and that the terrorists are increasingly targeting them. …

“On the first page, shown here of his diary, the al Qaeda emir claimed that he once commanded almost 600 fighters, but that after ‘the tribes changed course,’ many of his fighters quit, while others joined, quote – ‘the deserters.’

“In these pages, the al Qaeda emir said that the changing turn of events reduced his strength from almost 600 fighters to just 20 or fewer terrorists. …

“Describing the Battalion of Abu-Haydar al-Ansari, the al Qaeda emir claimed that it once had 300 fighters well equipped with weapons and vehicles. He then tells that the leader of this unit deserted just before the Awakening movement was organized. After this, the unit’s strength declined to just 16 fighters, and then later only two. Of these two, the emir wrote that one was arrested and the other captured as well. The rest of the fighters joined Awakening groups.