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Al Qaeda Fears U.S. Strikes in Pakistan

10:25 AM, Jul 10, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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The Bagram Four:
Abu Abdallah al Shami (upper left); Abu Nasir al Qahtani (upper right); Abu Yahya al Libi (lower left); Omar al Farouq (lower right).

While many here in the West wring their hands over the effectiveness of the U.S. Predator airstrikes against al Qaeda and Taliban camps in Pakistan, al Qaeda apparently is living in terror of U.S. airpower, according to a book released by Abu Yahya al Libi:

The book accuses some in Al Qaeda's ranks of being spies who provide intelligence, including information about Al Qaeda camps and safehouses, to U.S. forces. According to the book, these "Muslim spies" have allowed the U.S. to use its Predator drone campaign to paralyze Al Qaeda leadership.

"It would be no exaggeration to say that the first line in the raging Crusader campaign waged by America and its allies against the Muslims and their lands is the network of spies, of various and sundry sorts and kinds," says the book, translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI

"Their effects are seen: carnage, destruction, arrest, and pursuit, but they themselves remain unseen, just like Satan and his ilk who see us while remaining unseen."

The tone of Abu Yahya al Libi's statements is remarkable, as he is a senior leader and ideologue for the group. Yahya sits on al Qaeda's senior most religious shura, or council. He is known for his fiery oratory and is well respected in the organization. Yahya is one of four al Qaeda members to escape from Bagram prison back in the summer of 2005. Two of his fellow escapees have been killed and another has been captured since the 2005 escape. This spring, the U.S. placed a $5 million bounty on Yahya's head. His statements are often echoed by Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden.

While critics of the Predator campaign in Pakistan claim the strikes only create enemies, one of al Qaeda's most influential leaders says differently. We may be wise to listen what al Qaeda thinks about these strikes.