In a letter, dated December 3, 2010, seized from Osama Bin Laden, at his hideout, in Pakistan makes it crystal clear that from a military standpoint, at least, al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan are united as one.
The letter addressed to the Taliban in Pakistan by recognized leaders of al-Qaeda actually defines the terrorist organization as “Islamic jihadist organization” and explicitly states this fact:
“We want to make it clear to you that we, the al-Qa’ida is an Islamist Jihadist organization that is not restricted to a country or race, and that we in Afghanistan swore allegiance to the Emir Mullah Muhammad ((‘Umar)) who allowed us to carry Jihad.”
The letter is also interesting from a counterterrorism perspective because it deals with such issues as kidnapping, extortion, ransom and killing of innocent Muslims (at Mosques).
The full letter, reproduced here, for the first time, in context so as there can be no doubt about the al-Qaeda –Taliban connection:
"To the good brother Hakimullah ((Mahsud)), the Emir of Tahrik-e Taliban in Pakistan (TN: TTP - Taliban Movement in Pakistan)
There are certain important issues that we like to bring to your attention:
1: We have several important comments that cover the concept, approach, and behavior of the TTP in Pakistan, which we believe are passive behavior and clear legal and religious mistakes which might result in a negative deviation from the set path of the Jihadists Movement in Pakistan, which also are contrary to the objectives of Jihad and to the efforts exerted by us. Here are some facts to consider:
2: Considering Hakimullah as the sole Emir for everyone to swear allegiance to, whoever oppose him and isn’t a member of the movement is an adulterer, the none differentiation between the Jihad Emirate and the Great Imam post, and neglecting the daily conditions of the Muslims; all of which according to the Shari’a (Muslim laws) are a misconception of the real situation, and may cause an inter-Mujahidin fighting.
3: (Of the passive behavior is) killing more people, taking them as shields without basing their action on the Shari’a, killing the normal Muslims as a result of martyrdom operations that takes place in the marketplaces, mosques, roads, assembly places, and calling the Muslims apostates.
4: The draft that was written by Hakimullah Mahsud is unacceptable and we don’t approve it because it contains political and Shari’a mistakes. We already sent our comments on this draft.
5: We are sending the attached short list on what is acceptable and unacceptable on the subject of kidnapping and receiving money, and we hope that you and the Mujahidin in Pakistan will approve it.
6: We want to make it clear to you that we, the al-Qa’ida is an Islamist Jihadist organization that is not restricted to a country or race, and that we in Afghanistan swore allegiance to the Emir Mullah Muhammad ((‘Umar)) who allowed us to carry Jihad. Those that call us as guests do that for political reasons and don’t base this attribute on the Shari’a, and we ask you and all the Mujahidin not to use this attribute.
7: We make it clear to you that the brother Badr ((Mansur)) is one of the soldiers of the Qa’idat al-Jihad Organization who swore allegiance to Shaykh Usamah ((Bin Laden)), is with us, under our command, the Emir of a of a company of ours. Badr Mansur and other members of our group are not to be approached to join another organization or to deploy to other locations.
Good manners and group work mandate that such a request be presented to his Tanzim (TN: al-Qa’ida) Emir and superiors.
8: We stress on the fact that real reform is the duty of all, and to succeed we should look for and correct our mistakes and take the advice of others.
We hope that you will take the necessary action to correct your actions and avoid these grave mistakes; otherwise we have to take decisive actions from our end.
We pray to God to grant us success,
Mahmud al-Hasan ((‘Atiyatullah)) and ((Abu Yahya)) al-Libi
27 Dhu al-Hijjah 1431 (3 December 2010)