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U.S. spotlights Al Qaeda in Iraq weakness

The US military released four pages of a 39-page, typewritten Arabic document believed to be from a top Al Qaeda in Iraq leader.

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Of the 39-page, typewritten Arabic report by an Al Qaeda chief, the US military released only four pages Sunday. It's enough, they say, to show that Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is struggling to overcome major setbacks in Anbar Province, the Sunni stronghold where tribesmen rebelled against the organization, says a military spokesman.

Rear Adm. Greg Smith says the document was found among the possessions of Abu Maysara, a former adviser to AQI's presumed leader, Abu Ayub al-Masri, after he was killed by coalition forces in a Nov. 18, 2007, raid on his safe house near Samarra.

"We have lost cities and afterwards villages.... We got away from people and found ourselves in a wasteland desert," read Admiral Smith, quoting from the document.

The release of this and other documents in recent days is part of a stepped-up US military media campaign against AQI to highlight the organization's state of disarray and desperation, says Smith.

It's a battle for hearts and minds against the militants. While AQI has shown diminished capacity in recent months, it has proven it can strike throughout Iraq.

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