New Videos from Al-Qaeda in Iraq
Zarqawi’s outfit, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, released three new videos of its exploits yesterday. The first video (approx. 5 min) shows a confrontation between jihadists and an Iraqi National Guard unit in the vicinity of Al-Adheim. It is dated Saturday, December 3, 2005. Al-Adheim is the area north east of Baghdad along a now-dry river bed of the same name. The Adheim River been diverted into a canal during Saddam’s era, and used to transverse the provinces of Kirkuk and Diyala. The demographics of that area reflect the confluence of three major Sunni tribes, the Ubeid, the ‘Azza and the Bayat—the latter two of dubious Arab origin and probably originate from Arabized Turkuman clans.
The action starts with the camera showing a heavy machine gun—mounted on a pick-up truck—firing into the horizon. Then we see about seven or eight jihadists casually walking, yes, walking and firing at several burning vehicles. The accompanying textual commentary, issued by Zarqawi’s publicist Abu Maysara Al-‘Iraqi, claims that Al-Qaeda had ambushed two vehicles in the beginning, and then destroyed another eight vehicles, mostly Russian-made jeeps and Toyota pick-up trucks from the looks of it, that had arrived as back-up to the besieged Guardsmen. Four soldiers are taken prisoner, as a voice off camera hurls abuse at them for fighting on behalf of the Americans. The prisoners seem to have run out of ammo. The voice is trying to speak in an Iraqi accent (using the Iraqi word for idiot, qashmer) yet it doesn’t sound right, but it could just be a local accent that I’m unaccustomed to. It is also claimed that 30-40 Guardsmen had been killed, and that some officers were among those captured.
Shouldn’t Predator spy planes be on the look-out for training-suit clad terrorists zipping around a flat and barren countryside that is a hot-bed of the insurgency? Wouldn’t heavy machine guns jutting out of pick-up trucks be a dead giveaway?
Here are some stills from the video:
The second video (7 minutes) features a ‘behind-the-scenes’ interview with an unmasked Saudi jihadist going by the nom de guerre Abu ‘Ubada. He is a young man, and in response to a question of “what can you tell the young Muslims of the world?” answers, “For how long will we be enslaved by our enemies?”
The setting is tranquil, under a tree canopy and by a running stream. The camera then zooms into the distance to reveal a busy highway, not more than 100 hundreds meters away, glimpsed through tall reeds.
Abu ‘Ubada, sporting a digital watch and a Kalashnikov, then breaks out into a song, and renders three ballads on Fallouja, the jihad and the awaited gardens of paradise. It is unclear whether the words—poignant and ornate—are his own. With some training, his melodic voice would hit those higher notes. But that probably is not going to happen, since he intends to die soon. This video seems to be a response to recently publicized “confessions” of young Saudis who had returned from Iraq that were carried in the Saudi media. Those other Saudis lamented the hard conditions of the jihad, and claimed to be disillusioned by what’s going on. But not Abu ‘Ubada, who in his quiet repose in the Iraqi countryside, seems to be having a swell time.
The third much shorter video is about a Bradley tank that had been disabled by an IED in Tel ‘Afar. The date is only given as ‘Wednesday.’
All three videos end with the mild admonition, “Remember us in your truest prayers,” which is another way of saying, “Young man, stop downloading the jihad and come out here and fight alongside us.”
As most of America’s commentators hyperventilate over pro-American stories being placed in the Iraqi media by the Lincoln Group and the such, it would be useful to remember that Al-Qaeda is putting out increasingly sophisticated propaganda aimed at the young Arab demographic. Al-Qaeda doesn’t seem to have any qualms about bending facts in order to recruit more youngsters to kill Americans in Iraq, but that doesn’t concern the same people in the west who constantly fret about mounting casualties, and would rather rake the Pentagon over the coals for paying for some good press.
The bad guys are playing dirty, and this is no time for sissies. Just remember that those four Iraqi National Guardsmen probably had their throats gruesomely slit shortly after the tape stopped rolling.