A few months ago, Zarqawi's mentor Abu Mohammed al-Maqdessi made headlines with a very public denunciation of his former disciple's methods - the beheadings, the targeting of civilians and of Shia, and so on. It made quite an impact in salafi and Islamist circles.
Today, Elaph reports on a new Maqdessi video, and experts are already hard at work trying to decipher its real meaning.
One of the very first lines reads: "I never know what you want... what you are thinking of... you don't tell me and you don't inform me." Later, the message says "Oof, oof, you don't attend to me... oof, oof you don't inform me." This seems to suggest a serious breakdown in communications within the salafi networks, and to portend a fragmentation in the al-Qaeda ranks. For Maqdessi to be complaining that he doesn't even know what Zarqawi is thinking, and to publicly admit that they no longer have contact, suggests that the latter's isolation is deeper than had been generally suspected.
Experts, including myself, remain mystifed as to the meaning of "Oof, oof", though. Is this some kind of coded message to other salafis? Is it perhaps a local dialect kind of thing - something that only Jordanians would understand? Either way, this clearly represents evidence that the good guys are winning and the bad guys are losing.
UPDATE: Here's an image from the new Maqdessi video:
I think he's changed his hair in prison.
He used to look like this - must be the hat? Or the beard? Truly a master of disguise.
UPDATE 2: Doh! Wrong Maqdessi! Nelly.. Abu Mohammed...it's so hard to tell all these people with the same name apart.... But the text just seemed so authentic! And I so badly wanted to believe that stuff about Zarqawi's isolation.... Anyway, I'm just going to keep treating this as an authentic text, since it supports my arguments.
UPDATE 3: No, not really.