Recently someone sent me an essay written by the jihadist thinker Adnan Hadid back in February 2020 and published by Mu'assasat al-Bayan lil-Ilam al-Islami (which supports al-Qa'ida), discussing lessons that should be applied from the previous nine years of experience to the current state of the Syrian jihad. The essay is supposed to be the first part in a series. I found this essay by Hadid interesting and decided to translate it in full.
In summary, the author argues that the West is conspiring against the Syrian jihad in various ways and its current strategy (in which it has been at least partially successful by the author's admission) is based on corrupting the head of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (Abu Muhammad al-Jowlani) and eliminating in various stages the potential individual figures to his consolidation of power as the leader of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham. At the same time, large numbers of the honest mujahideen have also perished in battles, and what remains is Jowlani surrounded by his loyalists who also dupe the honest fighters still in Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham. The author sees these developments as part of a Western strategy of 'containment' against the Syrian jihad and the 'mujahid group.' The author calls for a 'counter-containment' strategy represented foremost in removing Jowlani as head of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham in some way.
Interestingly the author references the 'Mulla Omar-Mulla Bradley' contrast that was invoked by Anwar al-Awlaki. The idea of this is that 'Mulla Bradley' serves as the West's answer to an honest Muslim leader like Mulla Omar. Jowlani is seen as a 'Mulla Bradley.'
Below is the essay.
Shami Lessons from the First Nine Years
Written by Adnan Hadid
I determined to write a study concerning some of the strategic aspects in the future of the blessed Shami jihad that the intensive group of those waging war on it thinks in ignorance is coming to its end. But the confusion of many understandings, and the hidden nature of many of the facts from the eyes of those of insight, and the accumulation of the scheming of the enemy and the naiveté of the friend over the course of nine years of the age of the revolution of the people of Islam, have made it obligatory for the advisors to remove the confusion and clarify the facts. These things have also made it obligatory for them to uncover the plotting and naiveté. This is so that the Muslim may proceed on this path upon insight of his affair and not expend his blood, time and ink on that besides which he has desired and sought. And when I found the scarcity of advisors and the large number of confused people, I determined I could not meet God while having contained my thoughts that benefit Islam and its people, so I began to write this series in the form of brief sessions that attain the aim and do not prolong for the one who gets bored of reading, so that the series may reach the one who wants to benefit from it if he makes use of it.
So by God I ask that He make it purely devoted to His face and beneficial to His religion.
Investment in Mulla Bradley
In the name of God the Vanquisher over His servants, who shows favour to His believing servants by uncovering the scheme of His enemies, and prayers and peace be upon the one whose banner of jihad did not fall, and on his family and companions and whoso proceeds on his direction to the day of his encounter. Then as for what follows:
Years ago, the just servant- the martyr Anwar al-Awlaki (may God accept him)- informed us about a dangerous duality: few are aware of it in the inundation of emotional zeal and the confining of reason. He told us as he was the expert on the servants of the Cross, and he lived among them for long years until the land became narrow for him in what it had been welcoming so he aligned with the group of his brothers in the peninsula of Muhammad (SAWS). That duality, about whose first signs the mass of men- out of will and fear- are unable to warn let alone make clear their result when it is truly embodied in the reality of the Muslims.
The sheikh has been excused as he was shouting in his Ummah and well aware- unconcerned- that his words were drawing to him the missiles of his enemy, and how surprised I have been about words that were not implemented that were drawn by their proclaimer from his blood in sacrifice for his Ummah.
The duality, or if you like you can say, the strategy of 'Mulla Omar-Mulla Bradley' arises on moral assassination or bodily assassination or both together of the leaders who represent solid rocks that stand as a stumbling block before the implementation of their plans in swallowing the land of Islam and finally breaking its power. The strategy then arises on putting in their place those whose way and path they are content with in a soft and flexible way that is difficult for the mass of people to notice, then there is direct or indirect use in an attempt to reach the final aim.
And Mulla Omar was- and will remain until God wills- the embodied symbol of the Muslim leader whom the Crusaders fear to mention before his impacts on that, so he embodies the first side of the duality. As for the second side, although the symbolism of the name may be a matter of confusion some, its indication is not hidden to one of reason, so even if his outward appearance and characterisation point to you, his interior and truth and actions point to your enemy.
And the Muslims in Somalia experienced this duality and knew it well when the head of the Union of the Islamic Courts- Sharif Sheikh Ahmad- transformed from the 'apparent' head of the Muslim's front to the head of a republic established under the lances of the Crusader occupation. but the matter was not very surprising especially as the man did not reach his destructive position because of his benefit to the Muslims and his precedent among them except in chaos in which the one who is unsuitable was placed in a position of leadership, and that open betrayal helped the people of jihad to deal with the plotting and foil it until we have come to see today the banners of Islam glorious and lofty in the regions of Somalia.
As for al-Sham, another story:
By God I stand surprised at the patience of the people of falsehood upon their falsehood, and the inability of the people of the truth to support what is before them.
And when I write these words I know that the enemies of God in Washington are reading them with care, examination and deliberation, and that is not from an importance of their writer, but rather in realisation of the extent of the danger that those with whom the writer seeks to be affiliated pose to their fruitless Western civilisation, so I want to direct a message to them.
You know and I know that you have pursued in al-Sham the most scheming of what your opinion centres and houses of your political and military expertise have come to in order that you may put out the revolution of its people without your hands becoming stained with a blemish you consider to entrust to your agents and some of your enemies, so you used the Nusayris in the beginning but they did not succeed. Then you cleared the way for the descendants of the Majus but they did not realise the goal, so you went to opening the field before the Slavs of Moscow as a final solution to engineer the new map on the ground through pre-programmed battles, seeking the help in that of your servant in Anatolia and his ilk in the areas of the region such that the Muslim masses today in al-Sham have begun to curse your tools and those working under your cover in one form or another without pointing to you except in a fleeting way here or there.
And this is a great success- temporary if God wills- for your scheme without doubt, and I know full well that I have brothers who will be surprised for the first moment at this acknowledgement, but I have known them well as a people of reason and coming upon wisdom, and they know that the wisdom demands acknowledgement of your enemy in what it possesses so that you can confront it, for if you do not see the weapons in his hand, you emerge without a shield or sword as you wish to cast him down.
But this wholesale success in which you boast is punctured by a partial success of which you are more elated and proud.
And you have thought that you, by this partial success, have clipped the claws of the mujahideen in the land of al-Sham to the point of no nearby return, but I give you glad tidings that your Satan has lied to you in this just as he lied to Bush in Iraq when he announced the end of the greatest operations.
For when the ember of jihad lit up in the hearts of the people of Islam in al-Sham, and your chains that had shackled them for dozens of years began to be undone in their series one after another and you were baffled and not capable of anything, the shoulders of your stepkids from the Jews trembled at the nearness of the fire to their claimed settlement. So you realised that all the schemes and tools you possess would not bring you to your aim so long as you could not control the mujahid entity arising and control its activity, especially as the experience of the Taliban led by the Amir al-Mu'mineen Mulla Omar is still fixed in your minds.
Therefore and after the long direct investigative study through your sources on the ground, and indirect through your collaborationist working systems, you realised- and how burdensome is this matter- that the entity is a candidate for corruption from its head!!!
Yes its head, that head in which there is thought to be wisdom when the minds are confused, and cleverness when the people of dreams are at a loss, and steadfastness when the land shakes with those under it from its brothers, and abstention when the people of ambition are ambitious for authority or wealth, but this thought had nothing to do with the truth.
And it was inevitable for the competition to be feverish between Khorasan and Washington in uprooting the disease from the body and increasing its damage to it, but the slowness of trust and the endurance of the immoral one settled the competition for the interest within the abode of the Cross.
You realised that the love of possession and authority- and it is the last of what is uprooted from the hearts of the just so what then of others besides them?- had taken root in the heart and mind of the head of the entity. And you realised that this passion had become reinforced and its blaze had lit up after the crushing dispute with the Baghdadi group that that let most of 'his authority' be swept away and here you decided to build a strategy directed at an open point of weakness in the inner depth of the heart.
That heart which you knew over the long years was surrounded by men you could only address through the 'smart' missiles of aircraft.
Therefore your strategy has been focused on two main fronts:
1. Commanding the collaborationist regime in Doha to work to establish lines of contact and connection with Jowlani and his narrow circle through its (the Doha regime's) wide and diverse relations with the 'Islamic' groups inside and outside Syria, and beginning in opening the channels of direct financial support after consolidating and making firm the relation. And that was in parallel with the work through the Anatolia regime on political containment and taming through the policy of carrot and stick.
2. Precise study of the developments of the internal events in the mujahid group and defining the points of risk that may threaten the remaining of the head or obstructing 'the head's ascendancy to the precipice', then working to target them systematically and consecutively: each one in its stage that achieves the greatest benefit in neutralising its impact. So the targeting of one of them may be delayed for a few months to benefit from a naïve position of that person that makes firm the support foundations for the project of the scheming head without realisation or knowledge on that person's part.
And with the change of the structure of the mujahid group on the level of the foundation with the martyrdom of around 10,000 of the first predecessors to the jihad in muhajireen and ansar, and the expansion in recruiting new youth who can be easily deceived in thought with some honey-sweetened words and embellished by the liars of the amir: there was the weakening of the pressure of the collective mind of the mujahid group that was restraining the head from committing many of the grave sins.
As for on the level of the summit:
With the consecutive Crusader assassinations noted above and accompanied with campaigns of marginalisation, expulsion and arrest of those in whom something of danger to the 'jihad of the Ummah' was seen, the state of the leadership became analogous to the Taghut collaborationist systems. The sole dear leader surrounded by his priesthood and bearers of his fumigators alone, as there is no place or position for the one who conflicts with the outstanding genius of his sovereignty that will carry the convoys of jihad straight to Damascus!!!
And that was accompanied with the appearance of a band of dervishes who have no knowledge of politics and its ways and turns, as they do not possess in their pocket anything except sincerity that cannot compensate for knowledge and some texts: if they had understood them, they would have refrained from engaging in what they are not good at. And naturally, indeed these volunteer dervishes have greatest impact in allowing the project of their enemy to pass through even as they do not realise, and their owner has rewarded many of them with the reward of Cenmar.
So the projects of extirpating the Muslims from their roots have begun to be rejected openly and implemented in reality, as the purely devoted of the inghimasis and the martyrdom operatives go to their deaths content and awaiting, but not knowing of the betrayal of those who sent them to death, so the tip of the spear of the Muslims against the life of their enemy is broken in battles of unalterable outcome.
Even you have all clapped in wonder at the dazzling success of 'Abu Muhammad Bradley': I mean Mulla Bradley!!
And the original employee in Washington James Jeffrey has testified on his behalf as regards the 'focus on fighting the Assad regime, and not constituting a threat on the international level'- in preparation for removal from the lists and merging into the Crusader project for the final solution.
But this scheme you have contrived and thought as having conveyed you to your desire, bears its undoing even as you have reckoned its success and lasting.
And here I direct my words to the people of sharp insight and penetrating view towards Sham al-Islam:
More than seventy years ago George Keenan the American diplomat in the American embassy in Moscow sent a message immediately following the Second World War to Washington- exploiting the absence of the American ambassador who was opposed to his direction at the time- in which he explained his point of view in outlining a long-term strategy to contain the Communist danger that was expected to grow in the wake of the defeat of the Nazis. This was later known as the policy of containment that America pursued instead of the policy of direct confrontation until the end of the Cold War, and it still uses this policy in many of the fields of politics today.
But what is the benefit of this discussion??!
The benefit lies in knowing the plans of your adversaries that enable you to devise counter-plans to dismantle and undo their scheming, as the Crusaders have pursued this evil policy with the group of the mujahideen in al-Sham until they have thought that they have reached its culmination, but using what can be called the policy of 'counter-containment' will be useful by the permission of God.
The Crusaders have built their strategy in containing the ascendancy of the mujahid group in al-Sham on the great influence of the person of the head of the group in their assessment, just as they have built containment systems of rule in the Arabian Peninsula on the basis of families upon which the regime is based and is in equilibrium by their equilibrium, and any annihilation appended to that point of basis leads to a huge earthquake of unexpected consequences.
And it is clearly known to the one who has the slightest review of the Shami situation that Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham today- in its majority from the honest soldiers as we reckon them- revolves around one centre in whose hand are the command, prohibition, peace and war, to which no one can profess opposition without finding himself in the prisons of the small Tawagheet. Otherwise, the directives and centres of gravity besides him are diverse and conflicting in partisanship, interest and loyalty.
And it is likewise well-known that all the precise files connected with the secret relations with the Tawagheet are in the hands of this head in which an order is not established without him.
For he uses his legitimacy implanted in the minds of many of the bases of the group- something that he has gained through deception as the honest have shed their blood in the path of God over the years of the jihad- in allowing to pass through the outcomes of those secret relations with the collaborationist systems that collaborate with the Crusaders.
And the one of reason is the one who when he knows the place of breach in his fortress rushes to it before his enemy breaks through it, so what of us when the enemy has penetrated into the depth of our abode and has begun commanding in it and prohibiting, thinking that its inhabitants have become subject to him without realisation on their part of will??!!
So I say this awaiting God on the basis of what I will encounter behind that from attack, defamation and falsehood:
Being rid of the presence of Jowlani- in any way possible- at the head of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham or 'neutralising him' in the term of 'his allies' in Anatolia will greatly contribute to foiling the project of the enemy that has been built on his existence and removing the obstacles before him, and it will allow the people of trust and force from the mujahideen to regain the independent decision-making for the people of Islam that still constitutes the main source of their force, and it will be the point of launching to re-merge the powers of the mass of the sincerely devoted that have been wasted in a project whose interest only serves their enemy. And the overturning of the state of affairs in Afghanistan by the removal of the sultan of the amirs of war connected with the collaborationist systems and the wilaya of the Amir al-Mu'mineen over the affairs of the Muslims in Kabul around 25 years ago is not far removed from us.
As for cold piety, and embellished weakness, and tossing the ball of fire back-and-forth, these things have nothing to do with the ways of the builders of glory.
Oh God, support the one who supports Your religion, and repels the aggressor from Your servants, and gives honest advice in word and deed. Oh God, and destroy the one who forsakes Your religion, and wages war on Your allies, and shows what is not inwardly hidden in scheming against Your servants. Oh God, destroy the Crusaders, the Nusayris, the Rafidites and whoso is loyal to them in word or deed or collusion.
And the last of our calls is praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds.
Written by Adnan Hadid
23 Jumada al-Akhira 1441 AH corresponding to 17 February 2020 CE
Mu'assasat Bayan lil-Ilam al-Islami