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The Boston Globe

World

Al Qaeda blueprint found in Timbuktu

Leader’s letter outlines strategy for Mali takeover

TIMBUKTU, Mali — In their hurry to flee last month, Al Qaeda fighters left behind a crucial document: Tucked under a pile of papers and trash was a confidential letter, spelling out the terror network’s strategy for conquering northern Mali and reflecting internal discord over how to rule.

The document is an unprecedented window into the terrorist operation, indicating that Al Qaeda predicted the military intervention that would dislodge it in January and recognized its own vulnerability.

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