Al Qaeda strategist orders kidnapping of foreigners

     Veteran al-Qaeda adviser Mustafa Hamid alias Abu Walid al-Masri, who was married to Australian Rabiah Hutchinson in Afghanistan in 2001, has issued a directive to kidnap foreign civilians, including Australians in Afghanistan, in retaliation for the capture, detention and torture of al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners by the US and its allies. Hamid has been detained in Iran since 2003, but remains an influential figure in the militant movement and has maintained contact with his followers through jihadist websites, despite his imprisonment. In an edict titled "The US Soldier in Afghanistan - the first step for the release of all prisoners of the war on terror", Hamid argues that the capture of an American soldier by Taliban forces earlier this year should be used as a precedent in a campaign of abducting Western civilians to use as bargaining chips to negotiate the release detainees. In the document uncovered by former Australian Federal Police senior counter-terrorism intelligence analyst Leah Farrall, Hamid argues that the US has "changed the rules of the game" on the treatment of prisoners of war by its detention and torture of inmates at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, The Australian reports. He says it is now time for the Afghan mujahideen to change the rules and accept the principle approved and implemented by the enemy - the abduction of civilians who have nothing to do with the battle. Hamid writes that soldiers from foreign countries such as Australia are fair targets. Farrall, formerly a senior counter-terrorism intelligence analyst with the AFP, who is currently completing a PhD on al-Qaeda at Monash University and specialises in unearthing al-Qaeda documents, discovered the document. "This is one of the most important things I've seen for a very long time. I have not (previously) seen any senior militant figure sanction a targeted campaign in direct response to American detainee policies and I find this extremely concerning," she said. Hamid advocates that mass abductions should be carried out under the direction of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in areas of Afghanistan that his troops control.

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