According to a letter obtained by the Associated Press, the bosses in Al Qaeda are not unlike the managers at your job; lower level terrorists in the group's North African division reportedly have to fill out expense reports, attend meetings, return supervisor's phone calls in a timely fashion, and, of course, produce (terror-inducing and deadly) results.

The 12-page letter, found by the Associated Press in a building formerly occupied by the group in Mali, focuses on Moktar Belmoktar, an Alegerian-born terrorist in his early 40s. The letter, signed by the al Qaeda's North African chapter's 14-person governing body, was written in response to Belmoktar's threats to resign and start his own terrorist group.

"Your letter ... contained some amount of backbiting, name-calling and sneering," they write. "We refrained from wading into this battle in the past out of a hope that the crooked could be straightened by the easiest and softest means. ... But the wound continued to bleed, and in fact increasingly bled, until your last letter arrived, ending any hope of stanching the wound and healing it."

The group also complained about Belmoktar's (called Abu Abbas in the letter) poor fundraising skills, referring to a time when he accepted just $900,000 in ransom for a kidnapped Canadian diplomat, instead of the standard $3 million.

"Rather than walking alongside us in the plan we outlined, he managed the case as he liked," they write indignantly. "Here we must ask, who handled this important abduction poorly? ... Does it come from the unilateral behavior along the lines of our brother Abu Abbas, which produced a blatant inadequacy: Trading the weightiest case (Canadian diplomats!!) for the most meager price (700,000 euros)!!"

There was also discussion of Belmoktar's job performance.

"Any observer of the armed actions (carried out) in the Sahara will clearly notice the failure of The Masked Brigade to carry out spectacular operations, despite the region's vast possibilities — there are plenty of mujahedeen, funding is available, weapons are widespread and strategic targets are within reach," the letter says. "Your brigade did not achieve a single spectacular operation targeting the crusader alliance."


"(The chapter) gave Abu Abbas a considerable amount of money to buy military material, despite its own great need for money at the time. ... Abu Abbas didn't participate in stepping up to buy weapons...So whose performance deserves to be called poor in this case, I wonder?"

In addition, the letter says Belmoktar wouldn't return phone calls from his superiors, ignored scheduled meetings, refused to send in financial reports, and even bitched about his bosses in online jihadist forums.

Eventually, Belmoktar had enough; he formed his own terrorist group and launched two deadly attacks, one last January at a BP facility in Algeria and another last week in Niger, killing 101 people in all.

[Associated Press]

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