There is some interesting stuff on the Jamestown Foundation website, including an analysis of the alleged letter from Al Qaeda’s no 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri to its leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Stephen Ulph agrees with Juan Cole that the letter seems to employ Shi’ite terminology that a Sunni fundamentalist would never use. He also raises other doubts.
the text is conspicuous for the way in which it seems to counter, almost point for point, the objections raised by Western critics of the coalition campaign in Iraq, in that:
– al-Qaeda’s aims are not confined to "resistance" of a foreign invader;
– the war would not end with American withdrawal but extend to neighboring states and to Israel;
– the "foreignness" of the mujahideen in Iraq may be a de-legitimizing factor;
– al-Qaeda has actually resigned itself to defeat in Afghanistan;
– the organization is experiencing difficulty in communications; and
– funding has become a problem for the organization. (Jamestown.org)