A new book published by Al Qaeda shows that the terrorist group is under intense pressure and in "deathly fear" of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Pakistan, terror experts say.
The 150-page book, titled "Guide to the Laws Regarding Muslim Spies," was recently posted on jihadist Web sites. It was written by a senior Al Qaeda commander, Abu Yahya Al-Libi, and features an introduction by Ayman Al-Zawahri, the No. 2 man in Al Qaeda.
The book accuses some in Al Qaeda's ranks of being spies who provide intelligence, including information about Al Qaeda camps and safehouses, to U.S. forces. According to the book, these "Muslim spies" have allowed the U.S. to use its Predator drone campaign to paralyze Al Qaeda leadership.
"It would be no exaggeration to say that the first line in the raging Crusader campaign waged by America and its allies against the Muslims and their lands is the network of spies, of various and sundry sorts and kinds," says the book, translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI
"Their effects are seen: carnage, destruction, arrest, and pursuit, but they themselves remain unseen, just like Satan and his ilk who see us while remaining unseen."
Terror experts have called the book unique in its weak and worried tone.
"I haven't ever seen this kind of language from senior Al Qaeda commanders before," said Daniel Lev, who works for MEMRI. "In general, Al Qaeda speaks in a very triumphant tone," but in the new book Al-Libi speaks of the group's dire straits and serious problems, Lev added.
"Such an admission of distress on the part of a senior Al Qaeda commander makes this a very unique book in terms of the author."
FOX News military analyst Tom McInerny said the book is a "gold mine" that attests to the success of the Predator strikes that are decimating Al Qaeda's ranks in Pakistan.
"They are in deathly fear of airpower," said McInerny, a retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Air Force. "Whether it's unmanned drones or whether it's fighters or bombers using precision weapons, they are deathly afraid."
The books also displays a deep-seated paranoia of hidden enemies, according to MEMRI. It claims that anyone — from the old and infirm to the imam of a mosque — could be a U.S. spy.
"The danger of these spies lies not only in the ability of these hidden 'brigades' to infiltrate and reach to the depths," the book says.
"They include the decrepit, hunchbacked old man who can hardly walk two steps; the strong young man who can cover the length and breadth of the land; the infirm woman sitting in the depths of her house; the young woman whose veins still flow with youth; and even perhaps the prepubescent adolescent who has not reached the age of legal maturity [in Islam]."
Lev, of MEMRI, said that the group's suspicions could be used as an excuse to conduct a purge, which could further harm the Al Qaeda's stature in Pakistan.
"In the situation that they're in, they're entirely dependent on the natives, on the Pakistanis and the Afghans, and they definitely do not want to be facing a situation like Al Qaeda in Iraq, where you have the tribes turning on you," he told FOX News.
"That can be the beginning of the end."
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.