Letters From a Young Martyr


By the late 1990s suicide operations had become a core element of al-Qaeda's strategy. Not long after 9/11 a functionary in al-Qaeda's Kabul office named Azmiray al-Maarek was chosen for a suicide operation. He drafted several farewell letters, including one to bin Laden and one to his own wife. He also composed a series of poems for bin Laden. His fate is unknown.

To: Osama bin Laden
From: Azmiray al-Maarek
Folder: Deleted File (Recovered)
Date: November 4, 2001
Sheikh Osama,

God protect you, and grant you highest rewards for me and for the Islamic nation. I would have liked to pray in Jerusalem but I may precede you in going where the permanent heaven is. Please be pious and firm. Here is a group of my poems. I wrote the poem "Going to God" after you gave me the good news [about being selected for a suicide operation]. Please read all these poems, particularly the last one, in public. I hope you will fulfill this wish after I die in the battle against the enemies of religion. Be hopeful. This religion will certainly be victorious. You are one of the symbols through the hands of whom God will grant us victory. You are the guardian of the Muslim nation. Nobody in our time has cared more about it. I have left my will with the brothers in Kandahar. My numbers are in the will, so please give my mother the good news. Please ask all the brothers to forgive me after my death.

God reward you for me. If I am a martyr I will ask God's forgiveness for you. I hope for God's mercy. An hour of patience is the key to heaven.I hope that God joins us in heaven.

Your son,
Azmiray al-Maarek

"Going to God"
I am going to God, mother
I am going to live in His mercy
My feet will lead (guide) me
God willing, to His orders and right path.
Don't be sad, sing and ululate.
God has chosen me
As a man, for I have lived every day
As a man that bought his religion and sold his whims.
Mother of my son, be hopeful and patient.
We will meet in heaven.
I will die for my nation to live.
I will be alive in heaven.
Just one push on the trigger and I'm over,
Thus disfiguring the face of the enemies.
May the faces of those who don't fear God be disfigured,
The faces of those who don't defend Him.
May the cowards never sleep.
It is shameful what is happening in Jerusalem.
Get up, coward, as a man,
And perform glorious acts. Don't fear.
Father, forgive my sins,
And feel proud of the son you'll meet in heaven.
For the principle we lived forI will die so that you may live by it, father.

To: His wife [unnamed]
From: Azmiray al-Maarek
Folder: Deleted File (Recovered)
Date: November 6, 2001
Mother of Ibrahim,

By the time you receive this will, I will be in the craws of birds, God willing, after having performed a martyrdom operation against the country of infidelity. This operation, God willing, will turn the tide for Islam and Muslims. My darling, and mother of my son, be pious and patient. I have preceded you to a place the inhabitants of which don't suffer. Follow me there through obedience to God … Know that my death is martyrdom, my imprisonment hermitage, my exile tourism in God's land. I would like to meet you in heaven, so please help me by waking up at night to pray, fasting during the day, and staying away from temptation. God is my witness that I am satisfied with you. Any woman who dies after having obtained her husband's satisfaction is worthy of heaven. I ask God to grant you heaven. God is my witness that all your deeds were good. You were the best wife, friend, and companion. God bless you. Prayers be upon the Prophet Muhammad, all his family, and his companions.
Your husband,

Father of Ibrahim,
Azmiray al-Maarek
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