While Islamic State militants announced the establishment of a caliphate earlier this month, it turns out plans for such a Shariah-driven government were in the works years ago by an Al Qaeda group operating in Yemen.
Reuters reported that it was shown an abandoned Al Qaeda notebook in Yemen that mapped out the “blueprint” for establishing an Islamic state.
This photo of the notebook was posted on Twitter:
A notebook of an Al Qaeda fighter, which was found in a former militant training camp in Yemen. (Photo via Reuters) pic.twitter.com/2fOsIAuUMv
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) July 9, 2014
According to Reuters, the notebook included handwritten instructions on weapons maintenance, topography and “elaborate diagrams for creating different ambushes.” The manual described three stages of guerrilla warfare in the pursuit of a hardline Islamist state, one that appear eerily similar to recent moves by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the region. Reuters reported:
The first is the “exhaustion phase”, categorized by hit-and-run attacks, especially on supply routes. “The aim is to disperse the enemy, not kill its men,” say the notes. The enemy may come forward with “secret negotiations for some mujahideen,” before urging “No military truce… No negotiations.”
In the “equilibrium phase”, the mujahideen should focus on creating semi-official forces that can impose security and “launch political campaigns…to clarify the features of the struggle.”
The mujahideen should also “send diplomatic messages either through political language, or the language of blood,” to warn people whose governments support the “enemy” that they are a “legitimate target.”
The writer of the notes instructed the reader to reject any effort at joining the existing power structure and that any negotiation offer should be taken only if it would lead to “conditions for the enemy’s surrender because that will destroy their morale.”
The last phase was called the “categorical phase” which would involve the enemy’s surrender and trying of “apostates” in Shariah courts.
The final pages of the notebook dangled the prospect of followers meeting virgins in paradise if they are found to be deserving.
Reuters reported that the notebook was left behind by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, abbreviated AQAP, an Al Qaeda affiliate founded in 2009. It bore the name Abu al-Dahdah al-Taazi in red calligraphy.
Reuters visited the now abandoned training camp near the Yemeni town of al-Mahfad in May.
In April, the area was attacked by U.S. drones and the Yemeni army after which locals asked the militants to leave.