A year before he was caught on an intercept discussing the terror plot that prompted this week's sweeping closure of United States embassies abroad, al Qaeda's top operative in Yemen laid out his blueprint for how to wage jihad in letters sent to a fellow terrorist.
In what reads like a lesson plan, Nasser al-Wahishi provides a step-by-step assessment of what worked and what didn't in Yemen. But in the rare correspondence discovered by the Associated Press, the man at the center of the latest terror threat barely mentions the extremist methods that transformed his organization into al Qaeda's most dangerous branch.
Instead, he urges his fellow jihadist to provide food, clean water and electricity to people living in the areas they control. He even offers tips for more efficient garbage collection.