LUNCH WITH THE FT – AL QAEDA’S GENERAL MANAGER, NASSER AL WUHAYSHI
I meet the General Manager of al Qaeda, Nasser Wuhayshi, at a restaurant in Souq Waqif in Doha.
We order .٢فحسة : المكونات ( لحم مبشور مع بهارات يمنية(
Nasser (alias Abu Basir) comes from Yemen and is apparently Jewish.
Nasser tells me that, in Yemen, the local population converted to Judaism at some point in the late fourth century.
Nasser explains that he once served as Osama bin Laden‘s secretary.
One of Nasser’s CIA body guards brings to our table a bottle of Yarden wine, which comes from Israel’s vineyards on Mount Hermon.
As we eat our meal of meat, egg, rice and potato, I ask Nasser about al Qaeda’s plans for the future.
“We aim to split up all the Muslim countries,” says a smiling Nasser. “Libya is already split up.
“Syria will soon have a Sunni state, an Alawite state, a Kurd state anda Druze city state.
“Iraq will have a Shit state and a Turd state.”
I ask Nasser about the Arab Spring.
“The point about the Arab Spring was that it allowed the CIA, Mossad and MI6 to get rid of the leaders in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen who had resisted al-Qaeda.”
Nasser continues: “We are working with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Our aim is to break up Egypt.
“We control almost all the rebels in Syria.
“We are continuing to break up Iraq.
“Nearly a thousand civilians have been killed in Iraq in the last few months.”
As we finish our salad of cucumber mixed with buttermilk, I raise the question of the ‘caliphate’.
“This is one of our objectives,” says Nasser, “to pretend that we’re fighting for a caliphate.
This helps us to recruit mad young fools from around the world.”
I suggest that al Qaeda’s aim is to destroy the Muslim world.
“Exactly,” says Nasser. “We are creating an ‘arc of instability’ across the Sahara and the Sahel. We are causing chaos in Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, Mali and elsewhere.
“Who gains? Israel and its friends.”
I ask Nasser about Pakistan.
“Our main bases are still in places such as Langley, Tel Aviv and London.
“However, we have bases of course in North Waziristan.”
Finally, I ask Nasser about reports that he is in fact dead.
“Yemeni military officials reported that I was killed in 2011. But, you must remember that all the guys who work for the CIA have their body doubles.”