Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What is al-Baghdadi up to these days?

It’s finally time for Talisman Gate to catch-up with what Abu Omar al-Baghdadi has been saying lately, since no one else seems to be taking him seriously.

The U.S. military has said that they have a confession from at least one ‘Islamic State of Iraq’ figure—identified as a senior leader in the ISI’s hierarchy—alleging that al-Baghdadi is a fictitious character invented by Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia to lend more of an indigenous Iraqi ‘identity’ to its leadership.

Although I’d agree that non-Iraqi Arabs are better represented in the ISI’s leadership than in its ranks, I tend to disagree with the assertion that al-Baghdadi doesn’t exist.

In the last two month period, Al-Baghdad has put out two new speeches: his fifth speech (43 minutes long) was entitled ‘Should you desist then that is better for you’ and was released on July 9, and his sixth speech was posted to jihadist website on September 15 under the title ‘They plot, but Allah also plots’ and lasts for 27 minutes. I am unaware of any other speeches during this time period.

A little over two months ago, al-Baghdadi threatened war against Iran, and last week he declared war on Sweden. But what’s interesting about his latest speech is that there was no mention of his prior threat against Iran: he had given the Iranians a two month grace period to pull their support for Iraq’s Shiites or else he would go after them and after Shiite business interests across the Middle East. But even though the two months were up, and Iran obviously had not cleared out of Iraq, al-Baghdadi doesn’t bring up his previous tirade. In this context, threatening a new war against Sweden and its own business interests (including Ikea!) seems oddly forgetful of his earlier warning to the Iranians.

Not only that but al-Baghdadi doesn’t even address the American accusation that he’s a fictitious character, which was made on July 18, nine days after he released his fifth speech. So it would stand to reason that al-Baghdadi would address this issue, even if in passing, in his next speech, right? But he doesn’t, and all that we have on the record is a single sentence from the ISI—part of a longer, unrelated statement released on July 23—denouncing the U.S. military’s “lies."

We can tell that al-Baghdadi recorded his sixth speech after August 22 since he references President George Bush’s appearance at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention on that date.

What’s also interesting is that the end part of his sixth speech—at least in the recording that I downloaded from alhesbah.org—is cut right after he says “your brother” and right before the point where he usually ends with “Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.” Maybe he had begun to record under his real name and thus it had to be excised in the final edit, or maybe it was just a technical glitch.

So what if there was an intermediary speech in between speeches 5 and 6 that was never released, and in which he had revealed his real identity or at least addressed the accusations made against him, and where he would have followed-up on his threat to Iran? Had such a speech existed, it would be interesting to find out why the ISI never put it out: did they have second thoughts about revealing al-Baghdadi’s true identity? Or maybe it went missing somewhere along the production and distribution process; for example, a courier may have met an unfortunate accident somewhere along the route. This is all speculative, but I can’t think of another reason why these two issues—the Iran threat and the fictitious identity allegation—were not brought up by al-Baghdadi in his last speech.

(Note: Here’s a link to al-Baghdadi’s fourth speech on Talisman Gate, and in it you’ll find links to his other speeches.)

A quick comparison between the two speeches

Irrespective of my missing ‘mystery speech’ theory, al-Baghdadi’s latest was one long lament at how low the jihadist insurgency had fallen.

Previously, his fifth speech on July 9 signaled the ISI’s intention to move some of its operations from the Arab Sunni provinces into Kurdish and Turkmen areas, and included an attempt to sow dissent between Arab Shiites and the “Persianized” Shiite political parties beholden to Iran. But the bulk of that speech was geared towards attacking and threatening Iran, and casting a wider net for Shiite targets, including Shiite merchants in the Persian Gulf. There was a small mention of the war against the militants in Lebanon’s Nahr al-Bared too. The portion of the speech castigating the Sunnis who had thrown in their lot with the central government and the Americans was short in length, and mild in its tone, as if it didn’t really matter all that much to the overall conditions of the jihad in Iraq.

Whereas last week al-Baghdadi was far gloomier about the prospects of jihad, which according to him “is undergoing a fierce attack and a cruel war by the hands of treachery and betrayal.” The entire speech, except for the part where he lashes out against the Swedes and the Yezidis, is focused on the Iraqi Sunnis who are “betraying” the mujaheddin.

Here are some translated excerpts from the two speeches, with some commentary and summaries in between:

Fifth Speech: ‘Should you desist then that is better for you’ (July 9, 2007)

Jihadist banner announcing al-Baghdadi's Fifth Speech

This speech starts off with these questions: “What have the Kurds harvested over the last four years? And what have the Shiites harvested?” before moving on to “What is our position regarding Iran?”

Al-Baghdadi’s thoughts on the Kurds
…It was an unjust person who said that “The Kurds are a nation without a history of their own,” for if we turn over the pages of history we would find that [the Kurdish nation] have had honorable stances and glorious heroes and many luminaries in the sciences and [other fields], for they were laurel wreaths upon the head of Islamic civilization…

Saladin, the conqueror of Jerusalem and the destroyer of the [Crusaders] and the remover of the fundamentalist rafidhi [Ed.: rafidhi and rafidha are derogatory terms meaning Shiites, but in this case, the context is the Fatimid Empire] ‘Ubeidi state, is still spoken of and loved together with his family the Ayyubids; after Damascus had fallen under the Fatimids who imposed the rites of the rafidha, and Egypt had remained a rafidhi state for more than two hundred years, all this was not overturned until [the advent] of the state of Nureddin [Zenki] and Saladin the Ayyubid…

…But today, the politicians [of the Kurds] are ones who are fortifying the rule of the rafidha in [Iraq]! It is a mutually beneficial friendship, for the deep hatred of the rafidha against Saladin…is known and their hostility to the Kurds is very old, springing from sayings, falsely attributed to Ja’afar al-Sadik [Ed: the sixth Imam of the Shiites], alleging that the Kurds are descended from genies! And that it is unlawful to marry them or to eat the food [they prepare]!

…The heads of the infidels, Talabani and Barzani…have institutionalized heretical communism and its bitter [fruit] secularism, until it became accepted behavior not to pray…

…The two parties [Ed: Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party] spread corruption and sleaziness; it became normal for women to dress up and emerge in public without headdresses, together the spread of brothels and liquor shops, and Jewish enclaves within Kurdish cities…

…Poverty and inflation are on the rise, as well as unemployment, while the wealth of the two parties increases…
Al-Baghdadi frowns upon Kurdish nationalism, which he decries in the same breath as Arab or Turkish or Persian nationalism, but laments how the Kurds have been dismembered as a nation by “phony borders” in order to punish “the sons of Saladin, the destroyer of the Crusaders and the majusi [Ed.: Persian pagans] rafidhis in Egypt and the Levant,” and the best way to unite them would be under the banner of Islam and within the Islamic state.

...I call upon all the areas of Kurdistan to enter into the lands of the State of Islam in Mesopotamia, especially since the Kurdistan Brigades have returned to the mountains…And our operations in Arbil and Makhmur, as well as our blessed operations in Suleimaniya and its mountains show a big and dramatic turning point, for the lions of the mountains have returned to tear at the insides of the secular parties that—at the [instruction of the] American—have set out to rabidly attack Islam and its people…

…I also take this opportunity to salute the Sunni Turkmens of Iraq, the heroes of Islam, and we tell them Allah bless you, for you have reminded us of your ancestors who defeated the [Byzantines]…
Al-Baghdadi addresses Iraq’s Arab Shiites

…Our stance in your regard is well known, and today we address you out of pity hoping that you would repent and wake up from your deep hibernation…

…By standing with the infidel occupiers, the Arab sons of true Arabian tribes have become a tool in the hands of the Persians and their followers…and this will remain a stain on your forehead for history to witness, and this is your nature as attested by the history books: to support the enemies of Allah against the Sunnis
Al-Baghdadi claims that the lot of the Shiites has not improved over the last four years, and that instead of progress the cities of the south have become infested with AIDS, drug use and organized crime. Anarchy is the rule as the Shiite parties fight among themselves, and all the benefits are going to the ‘Persians’, who are engineering demographic changes in the areas where Persians are displacing Shiite Arabs.

…The plague has surfaced in some southern cities as a return of the [poor] water treatment systems that flood your cities…And a report has been published saying that hashish is being planted instead of rice in Diwaniya…

…The huge increase in wealth of the Ayatollahs of Najaf and Karbala and the ruling members of the Badr Corps and the Da’awa Party, who until recently did not have enough to eat, in conjunction with the intentional weakening of the Arab tribes to the point of humiliation, is all part of a known Persian plot…

...The door of clemency is still open to you, and don’t think that we will annihilate you completely when we rule over you, for random killing without legal precepts is contrary to the religion of Allah, and we will deal with you according to the shari’ah [Ed.: Islamic law]…

Al-Baghdadi threatens war against Iran

…Don’t presume, oh grandsons of Ibn al-‘Alqemi the traitor, that we have forgotten your historical crimes in many fields, and we know that the first seed of the rafidha was planted by the Jewish hand of Ibn Saba’ the Jew…
Al-Baghdadi states that Iran was a majority Sunni country, but when “Shah Ismail the Safavid came to power in 907 AH he forced the Sunnis to become Shiites under pain of death.” The Iranians have also destroyed Sunni mosques and there isn’t a single mosque for Sunnis in Tehran even though there are plenty of synagogues and churches, according to al-Baghdadi. He accuses the regime in Iran of denying college placements to Sunni students, and assassinating Sunni leaders, professionals and clergymen, as well as burying nuclear waste in Sunni areas.

…Your rafidhi allies in Bamyan [the Hazara Shiites of Afghanistan] and in the north did not fire a single bullet against the Russian occupiers or the communist regime, but rather they would impose tariffs on the convoys of the mujaheddin and kill those they are able kill from them, then the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guard participated in the ugly massacres perpetrated against Sunnis in Kabul after the fall of the communists, where they would cut off the breasts of Sunni women, and would ask a Sunni how old he is and then beat nails into his body equivalent to his age with the last nail going into his head, and then burn his body, and this is exactly when those who use drills [Ed: the Mahdi Army] do to the Sunnis in Iraq…

…And your crimes in [Iraq] are long and related and go back to the time of that hateful Safavid [Shah Ismail] and span the years to the time of Nejad [Ed. Ahmadinejad], the puppet of the devils of Qum, for it wasn’t enough, oh majus of this era, to directly participate in the occupation of Iraq, as you have stated on more than one occasion, but you directed your hateful dogs towards [Iraq] and waded into our blood and danced upon our bodies, and not even a suckling baby was spared, or an old man, or an honorable woman, until Allah enabled the men of the State of Islam to avenge your malice, and to do that doubly…And let it be known that the only form of politics we know are the politics of jihad and warfare, and we like nothing more than to behead the infidels and drink [their] blood, and we know nothing of mercy but to purify the land of polytheism…

…Therefore, we give the Persians in general, and the rulers of Iran in particular, two months to withdraw all forms of aid to the rafidhis of Iraq, and to cease all direct and indirect meddling in the affairs of the State of Islam, or you shall witness a cruel war that will wipe you out, one that we have prepared for over the last four years, and it only awaits our orders for it to be launched. And by Allah, we will not exempt any spot on earth that harbors majusi Persians, whether in Iran or anywhere else in the region, and we advise and warn every Sunni merchant in Iran or the Arab countries and especially the Gulf countries not to enter into any new partnerships with any rafidhi merchants, and to withdraw from any older partnerships within the span of these two months. We are giving an opportunity for any country that has majusi rafidhis in it to issue a statement decrying the crimes of the Safavid rafidhi government, and to distance themselves from it, and thus they will be safe from our upcoming attacks after the two month period is done…

…We declare the cessation of all mercantile dealings between [Iraq] and the majus of Iran, including banking arrangements…After which, all such business dealings will be subject to the attacks of the mujaheddin, and with all their strength. We call upon Sunnis and the youth of the jihadist Salafist movement everywhere to prepare for this war…And I call upon the Sunnis of Iran in particular to prepare for this war…

Al-Baghdadi then discusses the fitna or conspiracy to set jihadist group and some tribes against the ISI, but essentially stresses that this can be contained.

Al-Baghdadi’s comment on Lebanon

…Bush, you rabidly and hastily ventured in your war against Islam and Muslims everywhere, and your last feverish attempt was to fuel the Crusader war in Lebanon against our people in the persecuted Palestinian refugee camps, consequently the skies were filled with planes carrying supplies and ammunition and missiles and dumb bombs and cluster bombs, and the Christian Lebanese Minister of Defense launched a horrible war and with the backing of [his] sect, and we all heard what Gemayel said, and he burnt mosques and destroyed homes and insulted the ummah of Islam in its entirety…
Al-Baghdadi concludes by saluting, at length, all the various areas of Iraq where the mujaheddin operate.

Sixth Speech: ‘They Plot, but Allah Also Plots’ (September 15, 2007)

Jihadist banner on occasion of the "Raid of the Martyr of the ummah Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi" that was declared by al-Baghdadi in his Sixth Speech to coincide with beginning of Ramadhan

Al-Baghdadi on the current state of the insurgency
…The project of jihad in [Iraq] is undergoing a fierce attack and a cruel war by the hands of treachery and betrayal, these hands that all throughout their history have acquiesced to the culture of defeat and servitude, for whenever the ummah [community of Muslims] is about to be revived from its tumble somewhere, they are quick to stop it…

…The Muslim Brotherhood in [Iraq], and at their head the Islamic Party, are today perpetrating the worse campaign to undermine the tenets of [our] religion in Iraq, and especially its [highest calling] that is jihad, while we find the Kurds striving to build their country, while the hateful rafidhis are fortifying their control across the country—especially in the areas of the south and the center—the Muslim Brotherhood, through their leadership of the Consensus bloc, are working very hard for the benefit of the [American] occupation, disregarding all the blood that has been spilt, all the honor that has been desecrated, and all the money that has been spent, desperately beseeching the occupiers to stay while the pillars of the rafidhi state in Iraq are strengthened and its security and military institutions are built-up…

…They went even further in their disregard of the sacrifices of the honorable Sunnis, for they lifted the flag of war against the jihad and the mujaheddin, after receiving promises from the deceitful occupiers that matters will be handed over to them after the defeat of the mujaheddin who they call terrorists, so they were delighted and they welcomed the creation of the Anbar Rebels Council and they supported it with all their strength, even that college professor and the old man of the Consensus front, the Dulaimi [Ed. Adnan Dulaimi], went and attended a meeting of those traitors, whose head was a man famous for every vice and sin, I mean that criminal Rishawi, and not only that, but [Dulaimi] praised him and praised his project, while Dulaimi has never praised a single suicide bomber who blew himself up at an American base or gave up his life to avenge the religion of Allah and the ruptured dignities in the prisons of the tyrants, foremost among them the prison of Abu Ghraib…

…The [Muslim Brotherhood] established the Diyala Support Council, and they were proud of that, to strike at the mujaheddin and expose them wherever they may be, and the brigades that follow the Muslim Brotherhood participated in this war, at their helm Hamas-Iraq and JAME [Ed.: Islamic Front of Iraqi Resistance-Salahaldin Al-Ayoubi Brigades], they exposed all the secrets of the mujaheddin and the locations of their weapons caches, and in the end they stood side by side with the occupiers in fighting us, while wearing civilian dress, but the occupier gave them an arm band to distinguish them from the mujaheddin

Zigham [Ed. Salam Zigham al-Zoba’i, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister] recruited a large number of the 1920 Revolt Brigades in the area of Abu Ghraib and Zoba’ to fight the various strands of the mujaheddin alongside the American and the rafidhi pagan [National] Guard, raping the honor [of women] and stealing money…

…And one more than one occasion, the leaders of the Muslim Scholars Association warned about this crime, and the deceit of the Americans, and asked the traitors to return to the ranks of the resistance, but to no avail…

Al-Baghdadi sounds conciliatory towards the MSA here; he's absolving them of what those “renegades” are doing. However, The Islamic State of Iraq issued a statement yesterday under the title “The Truth about the 1920 Revolt Brigades” that elaborated Al-Baghdadi’s points and identified the head of Hamas-Iraq as Muhammad Ayyash al-Kubeisi. Furthermore, the statement was more pointed in its criticism of the Muslim Scholars Association and implied that even the splinter wing of the 1920 Revolt Brigades that answers to “one of the personalities” in the MSA had also secretly cooperated with the Americans in Abu Ghraib, Ridhwaniya and southern Baghdad.

Al-Baghdadi continues by asserting that the Muslim Brotherhood did the same thing in Afghanistan; going so far to call the destruction of the “idols” [Ed.: the Buddha statues of Bamyan] a crime.

…And here they are trying again, this time in the home of the caliphate, in Baghdad, to play the same game and in the same way, dreaming of the moment when the mujaheddin are set upon by the [American] occupier and [America’s] agents, hoping that the devil would bring about the downfall of the State of Islam

Al-Baghdadi lists ten accusations against the “renegades” including spreading false lies about the mujaheddin, participating in the Iraqi political process, cajoling Arab governments—like that of Saudi Arabia—to re-open diplomatic representations in Iraq, and recruiting Sunnis into the ranks of the Iraqi Army and police. Al-Baghdadi cites the example of the “perverted” police chief of Fallouja, who he alleges is one of the leaders of the 1920 Revolt Brigades, and accuses him of using all sorts of torture methods against the Salafists he arrests.

Al-Baghdadi advances the notion that these “renegade” Sunnis have rationalized their alliance with the Americans as a necessary measure to combat the menace of the Shiite Mahdi Army.

Al-Baghdadi then takes credit for all the attacks on Iraq’s Yezidi religious minority, branding them “devil-worshippers” guilty of preventing their own from converting to Islam, and promises more attacks on them.

Al-Baghdadi declares war on Sweden

Al-Baghdadi is really miffed about a Swedish cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog.

…Every sniveling scoundrel is daring to insult us, from the worshippers of the cross [Christians] to the worshippers of the devil [Yezidis], even the worshippers of the cow [Hindus], and our honor and our blood have become the cheapest thing in this world, and when we strive to arise from our slumber to retrieve our glory and the dignity of our ancestors, these [renegades] stabs us in the back…

…No, oh worshippers of money, no oh worshippers of the cross, we are a nation that Allah [had chosen] to glorify with Islam, and you will know oh worshippers of the cross how it will feel to kneel down in humiliation, and officially apologize for your crime against our Prophet…And we know how we can force you to retract and apologize, for if you don’t then await the attacks on the economies of your giant corporations such as Ericsson, Scania, Volvo, Ikea and Electrolux
Al-Baghdadi announces a $100,000 bounty for whoever kills Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist, and $50,000 extra if Vilks’ neck is slit like a lamb’s. Al-Baghdadi sets aside another $50,000 for the head of the editor of Nerikes Allehanda, the paper that ran the cartoon.

Al-Baghdadi Offers Amnesty

Al-Baghdadi addresses those who have been “led astray” by the “renegades” and tells them that they can redeem themselves by coming back to the ranks of the mujaheddin. He says:

…Don’t sell your afterlife for a bunch of coins that will be of no use should you fall into the hands of the mujaheddin before you declare repentance, by Allah your fortifications and your armored vehicles will not protect you, neither will your numbers or the reputation of your tribes, because Allah is making us victorious over you, and you will know that this is so for certain when we cut off your head and extinguish your memory…

Al-Baghdadi foresees the end of the West’s decadent civilization
…Today, we are embarking on a new era, and a point of transformation for the region and the entire world, we are witnessing the end of that lie called Western civilization, and the rise of the Islamic giant, and this is exactly what Bush warned of in his latest speech in front of the veterans [Ed.: August 22, 2007] saying: “the region is developing in a way that threatens the downfall of civilization” and by that he means the civilization of unbelief, the civilization of usury and prostitution, the civilization of oppression and humiliation. And he had this to say about the soldiers of the Islamic State of [Iraq]: “they seek to restore the caliphate from Spain to Indonesia” after [the Americans] made clear that [the soldiers of the Islamic State] are only Sunni danger threatening America and its civilization, and this is the truth as testified to by the enemies, doesn’t this conflict with what the “renegades” have branded us?
In conclusion, al-Baghdadi declared a new offensive within the larger Dignity Plan that is still in effect. He called the offensive “The Raid of the Martyr of the ummah, Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi” and specified that it should span the month of Ramadhan and the 'Eid holiday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muslims Against Sharia praise the courage of Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Thorbjorn Larsson and the staff of Nerikes Allehanda and Dagens Nyheter and condemn threats issued by Abu Omar Al Baghdadi and the Islamic State of Iraq. Muslims Against Sharia will provide a payment of 100,000kr (about $15,000) for the information leading to capture or neutralization of Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

Muslimer mot Sharia berömmer Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Torbjörn Larsson och övriga anställda på Nerikes Allehanda och Dagens Nyheter för deras tapperhet och fördömer hotet från Abu Omar Al Baghdadi och Islamistiska Iraq. Muslimer mot Sharia betalar 100 000 SEK (ca 15 000$) för information som leder till gripande eller oskadligörande av Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

Muslims Against Sharia

Defend Freedom of Speech - Support Sweden!

9:50 AM, September 24, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"‘They Plot, but Allah Also Plots’"

Has this Allah character been indicted under RICO already?

5:36 PM, September 24, 2007

Blogger bg said...



The Anatomy of a Betrayal


[Lt. Col. Jubeir Rashid said Friday that Abu Risha's security chief, Capt. Karim al-Barghothi, confessed al-Qaida in Iraq had offered him $1.5 million for the slaying but that he was arrested before he could collect the money. Two other bodyguards as well as some of Abu Risha's neighbors were also detained, Iraqi police said. The arrests took place two days after the bombing. Al-Qaida front group the Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for the assassination. Abu Risha, who organized 25 Sunni Arab clans into an alliance against al-Qaida, died along with two bodyguards and a driver when a bomb exploded near his walled compound just west of Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad.]



6:34 PM, September 27, 2007

Blogger Jaguar b. p. said...

Rishawi should know something about betrayal.

1:25 AM, September 29, 2007


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