I'm traveling (...currently in Syria), so there will be less activity on this site. If I find or hear something incredibly interesting, then I'll blog about it.
Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.
I'm traveling (...currently in Syria), so there will be less activity on this site. If I find or hear something incredibly interesting, then I'll blog about it.
Well, we sort of know that he is referred to as 'Abu Osama'; we got this from a poem penned by a poet affiliated with Al-Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq (...its Poet Laureate, if you will) who called upon the Emir of the Islamic Army of Iraq, 'Abu Osama', to pledge allegiance to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi in the wake of the latter's conciliatory yet subtly belittling message.
The Associated Press put out a big story today on the inter-jihadist fighting.
The clashes have erupted over the last two to three months, pitting al-Qaida in Iraq against the nationalist 1920 Revolution Brigades in Diyala and Salahuddin provinces north of Baghdad as well as Anbar to the west, U.S. officers said. In Diyala, another hard-line militant Sunni group, the Ansar al-Sunna Army, is also fighting al-Qaida, they said.
"It's happening daily," Lt. Col. Keith Gogas said Thursday in an interview at an Army base in Muqdadiyah, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad...
American commanders cite al-Qaida's severe brand of Islam, which is so extreme that in Baqouba, al-Qaida has warned street vendors not to place tomatoes beside cucumbers because the vegetables are different genders, Col. David Sutherland said.
The “Official Spokesman” for the Islamic State of Iraq released the names of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi’s cabinet today in a 5 minute video message sent out through the Al-Furqan Institute for Media Productions.
The people of Iraq are today one of the greatest nations on the face of the earth in maintaining monotheism, for there is no polytheistic Sufism being propagated, or shrines being visited, or innovated festivals being celebrated, or candles being lit or a pilgrimage being made to a pagan totem, for the people of Iraq have destroyed these shrines with their own hands so that Allah will be worshiped alone…Al-Qaeda has destroyed both Shi’a and Sunni shrines; the Sunnis of Iraq have a very rich Sufi tradition (Islamic mysticism) which is anathema to Al-Qaeda’s Wahhabi and Salafist doctrines.
Go and delve into the country, so that you will see that [there are no longer] places that encourage sordidness or corruption, and no [unveiled women] present to infatuate the young, and to tempt the old, or to be devoured by wolves…Search and you will not find a dance party that angers Allah in His heavens…Al-Baghdadi sees that an affinity to Islam has spread among the youth because of jihad:
Yesterday our mosques would lament the dearth of worshippers, and they would be aged men, but today, [the mosques] are frequented by the youth, the hope of the future…And that the zakat, the Muslim tax, is being collected from everyone, including the herdsmen of the desert who willingly give what is owed to the mujaheddin.
Draining the American budget to the detriment of Social Security and health and education, and even the monies of the collaborative governments of the [Persian] Gulf have failed to cover the American deficits…Al-Baghdadi figures that the “total collapse of the American military institution” is at hand because the morale of the American forces has crumbled and that “it is expected that American strategy would change from volunteer service into the draft to cover the unbalance in fatalities.”
The fall of the pillars of Bush’s government who have ended up in the trash heap of History, to be tormented by the curses of God and the questioning of misled nations, and we may see them in the near future in the dock being tried for their crimes such as Rumsfeld and George Tenet and John Bolton and Richard Perle…
To our brothers in army of the Ansar al-Sunnah and the Army of the Mujaheddin: the affection between us and our bonds of ideology and fondness are larger and stronger and firmer than anything that could harm them. And to my sons in the Islamic Army: you should know that [I would sacrifice] my blood before yours, and my honor before yours, and by Allah you will only hear kind [words] and see kind [deeds] from us; so soothe yourselves for what is between us is stronger than what some people think, may Allah forgive them. And to the soldiers of the 1920 Revolt [Brigades]: yes, the devil has interfered between us and you—the devil of the [Iraqi] Islamic Party and its henchmen—but the wise men of your brigades have addressed this problem and sat down with their brothers in the State of Islam to stamp out the fire of sedition, and to plant the seed of affection…For by Allah, your blood and the blood of every Muslim is sanctified for us unless he perpetrated an unbelieving act or spilt forbidden blood.These niceties didn't do much good for Muhammad al-Azzawi, one of the leaders of Hamas-Iraq (an offshoot of the 1920 Revolt Brigades), who was killed by "the hand of treachery" according to the group's press release two days ago; this is likely a reference to Al-Qaeda.
On March 12, I wrote that:
There is no greater joy for someone who cares about Iraq than to watch Al Qaeda and these other jihadist groups go at each other with the bloodthirsty abandon and frenzy that only crazed zealots can muster. The bloodletting has gone far beyond the point of any possible reconciliation, for Al Qaeda must destroy all the others in order to survive, and ditto for the others as they face down Al Qaeda. It has turned into an all-or-nothing fight among the most dangerous insurgents, and it is heartening to see them engaged and distracted in destroying each other.
Now if only the American press would report on this jihadist meltdown so that policymakers in Washington can rally the martial spirit to bring this battle to a crushing end for the enemy.
"We do not want to kill the Sunni people nor displace the innocent Shia, and what the al-Qaeda organization is doing is contradictory to Islam," said Abu Marwan, a religious leader of the Mujaheddin Army in Baqubah, northeast of Baghdad. "We will strike whoever violates the boundaries of God, whether al-Qaeda or the Americans."
The Islamic State of Iraq, a Sunni umbrella organization said to have been created by the group al-Qaeda in Iraq, has said it would kill any Sunni suspected of being an agent of the United States or the Iraqi government, according to Islamic State spokesman Abu Hasnah al-Dulaimi.
"Those armed groups have no choice," Dulaimi said in a telephone interview from Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi. "They have to either join us in forming the Islamic State project in the Sunni areas or hand over their weapons to us before we are forced to act against them forcefully. It will not save them that they have fought the Americans and resisted them in the last few years."
About three months ago, al-Qaeda fighters began targeting insurgent leaders. Gunfights have taken place in Baghdad neighborhoods such as Abu Ghraib and northern cities such as Taji. In Diyala province, al-Qaeda killed or kidnapped several Sunni insurgent leaders and religious and academic figures, dumping at least one of the bodies into a river in recent weeks, police officials said.
Now, local insurgent groups have united to fight them, erecting checkpoints and patrolling Baqubah and nearby towns, said Abu Jasim, a leader of the Mujaheddin Army. More than 100 al-Qaeda fighters were captured in the towns of Buhriz and Tahrir, the core areas controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq in Diyala, he said.
"Frankly speaking, we don't want an inner Sunni-Sunni fight, and we do not want to have a military collision with al-Qaeda, like what the tribes did, although we have all the right to do so," said Salmani, the Islamic Army commander, referring to the decision of tribal leaders in Anbar to side with the Americans.
But the pressure from al-Qaeda fighters is growing. They have posted statements in mosques and on the Web warning that they will target any Sunni group that defies them. On March 27, they allegedly killed the nephew of Harith al-Dari, the most prominent Sunni cleric in Iraq. The nephew was a senior leader in the 1920 Revolution Brigades, police officials said.
On Monday, gunmen killed an Islamic Army leader south of Samarra, said Capt. Zuhair al-Badri in Samarra. The previous night, two other fighters were killed. Islamic Army leaders immediately blamed al-Qaeda, saying the attack was in retaliation for the letter to bin Laden.
At least one other insurgent group, the Islamic Army of Iraq, said on Al Jazeera television this week that it was fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq because it had killed members of the Islamic Army, The Associated Press reported.
This is what the Washington Post has on its front-page today: “Al-Qaeda Branch Claims Algeria Blasts”.
The blunt truth of this new phase in the fight for Iraq is that the Sunnis have lost the battle for Baghdad. The great flight from Baghdad to Jordan, to Syria, to other Arab destinations, has been the flight of Baghdad's Sunni middle-class. It is they who had the means of escape, and the savings.
Whole mixed districts in the city--Rasafa, Karkh--have been emptied of their Sunni populations. Even the old Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiyyah is embattled and besieged. What remains for the Sunnis are the western outskirts. This was the tragic logic of the campaign of terror waged by the Baathists and the jihadists against the Shia; this was what played out in the terrible year that followed the attack on the Askariya shrine of Samarra in February 2006. Possessed of an old notion of their own dominion, and of Shia passivity and quiescence, the Sunni Arabs waged a war they were destined to lose.
No one knows with any precision the sectarian composition of today's Baghdad, but there are estimates that the Sunnis may now account for 15% of the city's population. Behind closed doors, Sunni leaders speak of the great calamity that befell their community. They admit to a great disappointment in the Arab states that fed the flames but could never alter the contest on the ground in Iraq. No Arab cavalry had ridden, or was ever going to ride, to the rescue of the Sunnis of Iraq.
A cultured member of the (Sunni) Association of Muslim Scholars in Baghdad, a younger man of deep moderation, likened the dilemma of his community to that of the Palestinian Arabs since 1948. "They waited for deliverance that never came," he said. "Like them, we placed our hopes in Arab leaders who have their own concerns. We fell for those Arab satellite channels, we believed that Arab brigades would turn up in Anbar and Baghdad. We made room for al Qaeda only to have them turn on us in Anbar." There had once been a Sunni maxim in Iraq, "for us ruling and power, for you self-flagellation," that branded the Shia as a people of sorrow and quietism. Now the ground has shifted, and among the Sunnis there is a widespread sentiment of disinheritance and loss.
The Mahdi Army, more precisely the underclass of Sadr City, had won the fight for Baghdad. This Shia underclass had been hurled into the city from its ancestral lands in the Marshes and the Middle Euphrates. In a cruel twist of irony, Baathist terror had driven these people into the slums of Baghdad. The Baathist tyranny had cut down the palm trees in the south, burned the reed beds of the Marshes. Then the campaign of terror that Sunni society sheltered and abetted in the aftermath of the despot's fall gave the Mahdi Army its cause and its power.
"The Mahdi Army protected us and our lands, our homes, and our honor," said a tribal Shia notable in a meeting in Baghdad, acknowledging that it was perhaps time for the boys of Moqtada al-Sadr to step aside in favor of the government forces. He laid bare, as he spoke, the terrible complications of this country; six of his sisters, he said, were married to Sunnis, countless nephews of his were Sunni. Violence had hacked away at this pluralism; no one could be certain when, and if, the place could mend.
Talisman Gate’s Counterinsurgency Recommendations: Al-Hayat reports today that Iraqi officials are planning to wall-in certain Baghdad neighborhoods within concrete barriers as part of the new security plan. An unidentified source at the Ministry of Interior told Al-Hayat that the neighborhoods that are to be walled-in are four predominately Sunni ones (Dora, ‘Amiriya, Al-‘Adel, and ‘Adhamiya), another predominately Shi’a one (Sadr City) and one mixed (Hai al-‘Amil).
The ‘Fallouja Model’ and the ‘Kadhimiya Canton’: After the November 2004 offensive to take-back Fallouja from the insurgents, the U.S. military embarked on a drastically new experiment of controlling the turbulent town of 200,000 souls: fence the population in. Instead of bringing back old Ba’athists like the failed ‘Fallouja Brigade’ experiment of April 2004 to police the town, which only ended-up emboldening the insurgents, the Americans opted to turn Fallouja into a vast interment camp. But for a few incidents here and there, the plan worked very well.
All residents of Fallouja were issued special localized IDs, and unknown vehicles were barred from entering the town. The US forces set-up a perimeter around the dense urban center. However, this chokehold did not completely surround Fallouja’s ‘rural suburbs’ on the western back of the Euphrates River—hence, there is room for improvement on this particular model.
A ‘closed canton’ model was voluntarily imposed on the Kadhimiya suburb in northern Baghdad. This Shi'a center with a population of 500,000 is now virtually closed off: entry points have been bottle-necked to a handful, and no unfamiliar cars are allowed to pass through. The levels of violence in Kadhimiya have been drastically reduced over the past year since this model was put in place. In lieu of car bombs and suicide bombers, the insurgents now resort to lobbing mortar attacks to get the residents of Kadhimiya. But there is a feeling among the resident that their town is safe—a spectacular feat considering that it borders some major hotbeds of insurgent activity.
At least 90 percent of attacks on U.S. troops over the last year were conducted by Sunni insurgents, so isolating them and their operative bases should be the starting point in rolling back the insurgency.
I propose a ‘closed canton’ method for Baghdad’s Sunni-heavy suburbs of Hai al-Jami’a, ‘Amiriya, Jihad, Ghazaliya, Yarmouk, Dora, Khadra’ and ‘Adhamiya, closing each off unto itself. A similar fix should be extended to the rural Sunni satellite towns (the housing clusters) to the north, west and south of Baghdad: Mushahdeh, Khan Dhari, Mahmoudiya, Yusufiya, and ‘Arab Jbour.
This should be done using the Israeli method: fence them with concrete and technology. The Israelis have been building a separating wall between them and the Palestinians over the past two years. It is an expensive solution but not exceedingly prohibitive. According to Iraqi pricing, a 4 meter high and 1.5 concrete wide ‘T-wall’ barrier costs about 1,200 USD. That evens out to 1 million dollars per kilometer of concrete. Motion sensors, night-vision cameras, sniper observation towers and barbed wire would probably cost an additional 250,000 USD per Km. It is doable.
This would take 6-8 months to complete, and should be dismantled in two years time.
The benefits are the following: keeping the insurgents in, and the death squads out. The US military can pledge that all police patrols or raids in these enclosed areas would be accompanied by American overseers and advisors. The municipal councils should be encouraged to form sub-contracting firms from within their neighborhoods to undertake high-visibility development projects such as putting-in spanking new water mains and fiberglass optic cables (the ‘Sadr City model’). Instead of low-output neighborhood generators, the Iraqi government should bring in larger temporary electrical generators (…there are some that are worth 1 million USD a piece) to provide 24 hrs of electricity to these cantons.
Close it off, throw money at it and gather information. Such measures restricting maneuverability would render these Sunni enclaves useless for insurgents, driving them to find other locales.
A state-of-the-art biometric ID card system that incorporates DNA data as well as genealogical tables (…I’ll discuss this at length later) should be beta-tested on the residents of these cantons.
Furthermore, a systematic effort to match the Saddam regime’s personnel archives to the current residences of these ex-officers from the military and intelligence services should be undertaken. Most of these officers were given state-sponsored housing in the above mentioned neighborhoods during the Saddam era. The former regime kept meticulous files on all its officers and their extended families—these need to be updated and the officers placed under closer supervision for either recruiting or counterinsurgency purposes. We should match skills, such as sniper expertise, to sophisticated insurgent tactics. It holds to reason that if an ex-army sniper lives in a certain sector and there is sniper activity there, then that this person would be a good starting point for an investigation: he may be doing it himself or training others.
Moreover, the current rule that allows every Iraqi family to hold an unregistered Kalashnikov rifle for protection inside its home should be suspended in these cantons. Since these areas are closed off in the first place, they should have less to fear from death squads or criminal gangs. No weapons outside of state control would be registered; finding such a weapon (and ammunition) during a routine search should result in a fine and some prison time (two months).
Today, Al-Hayat printed the full text of a Lebanese governmental report on an Al-Qaeda cell that was arrested early last year. This report, apparently released yesterday, reinforced and corroborated a tantalizing yet still tentative assertion that placed Zarqawi’s Al-Qaeda behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri over two years ago.
b) Ahmad Abu Adass
41. In this reporting period, the investigation has developed its understanding of how Ahmad Abu Adass was identified and chosen to be the person to make the video claim of responsibility, who involved him in this activity and where and when this occurred. A working hypothesis is that he was identified because of his personality and other specific characteristics. It is possible that his association and relationship with one or more individuals whom he met at his place of worship led him to depart his home on 16 January 2005, for reasons that are currently unknown.
42. The Commission is aware that Ahmad Abu Adass was acquainted with individuals associated with extremist groups, at least because they attended the same place of worship which he frequented regularly, and where he occasionally conducted prayers. The Commission has also conducted extensive analysis of communications traffic records associated with Ahmad Abu Adass, including analysis of the telephone communication at his home and place of work and on lines belonging to his alleged associates.
43. A working hypothesis is that Ahmad Abu Adass was either coerced or duped into making the video-taped claim of responsibility. The claim he read out on tape was made on behalf of a group, and Ahmad Abu Adass himself did not state he would be the one who would carry out the attack. In relation to the tape’s production, it is of note that relatives and persons who knew him before his disappearance have stated that his appearance on the video tape was physically different from that before 16 January 2005. To some, he appeared even thinner than previously; his beard had markedly grown, indicating that he may have made the tape towards the end of the approximately four week period between his disappearance and 14 February 2005. His clothing was also different from his usual style in that he had headwear and clothing that his close friends and family had not seen him wearing before."
44. It is of interest to the investigation that a note was included with the video on 14 February 2005 which stated that the bomber was indeed Ahmad Abu Adass. From its forensic findings, the Commission believes this to be highly unlikely. One working hypothesis is that the video and the accompanying note could have been designed to deceive. Another working hypothesis is that while an extremist group may have been involved in part in committing the crime as outlined in the tape and note, this group was actually manipulated by others for another objective not related to its own organizational aspirations.
I don't know for certain if the Addiyar story or what was relayed by my source is accurate in full, but it seems that the notion that Al-Qaeda (Zarqawi branch? Ansar Al-Sunna branch?) was somehow involved in the Hariri assassination has picked up a momentum of its own, and the members of the Lebanese political elite that are privy to this information are themselves preparing pre-emptive talking points for release upon public disclosure. The anti-Syrian camp is saying that the Asad regime is manipulating Al-Qaeda's activities in Lebanon, just as they supposedly do in Iraq, thus acting as enablers of jihadist terrorism. The pro-Syrian establishment is preparing for a big push to release the four imprisoned generals who stand accused of killing Hariri according the Mehlis report, and to divert some of Brammertz’s attention into an inquiry as to who ‘coached’ the three ‘false witnesses’: Zuheir Siddiq, Hosam Hosam and Ibrahim Jarjoureh.
My own hypothesis is that this group was just one of four involved in pulling off the Hariri assassination, and their prime task was in picking and handling the suicide bomber, Abu Ades, and preparing the media package of him taking credit for the crime, thus I’d refer to them as the “Spotters and Handlers”. The other groups would have been respectively responsible for information gathering (general data about the Hariri convoy, his security detail, his usual routes…etc), ‘close’ surveillance (these would be the guys with the 6 cell phones tracking Hariri on the day of the assassination), and logistics (these provide safe houses, access to explosives, the stolen vehicle, rigging the car bomb, as well as covering tracks). Given the usual messiness that accompanies such big operations, it is possible that at some points there was overlap between the various groups, such as some of the “Spotters and Handlers” getting a peak at how the car bomb was prepared and where it was stored.
Why would Al Qaeda be interested in a place like Lebanon, full of quarrelsome non-Muslim or heterodox minorities and a penchant for loose values? The Lebanese civil war was sparked as the Palestinians sought a margin of chaos from which to operate against Israel. They were a catalyst in an already unstable situation. Zarqawi is interested in Lebanon as a staging ground to bring down the Syrian regime and install a militant Islamic sultanate in its stead that would fight Israel and lay the groundwork for a full-fledged caliphate. He also sees the Sunni birthrate as a recruiting pool for future generations of jihadists with an axe to grind against hated next-door neighbors such as Shias and Christians.
Of particular use is the piece of real-estate known as the Western Beka'a, a hilly landscape seasonally inhabited by wealthy expatriate Sunnis who have the funds and temperament to be good patrons of Al Qaeda's goals. This is an island of Sunnis surrounded on all sides by hostile sects, apparently engendering a deep sense of embattled orthodoxy. One of its more famous sons was Ziad Jarrah, one of the principal September 11 terrorists. From here Al Qaeda would be in striking range of Israeli settlements, and thus would enjoy periodic "good press" among Muslim masses whenever their shocking tactics had gone too far. And through the valleys to the east, they can access the environs of Damascus lying only a short distance away.
Another interesting sight is the abject poverty in the Sunni towns to the north of Lebanon that are bursting with children and teenagers. Over there, fundamentalism is apparent in the dress code and the numerous Islamic charities that provide services such as schools and clinics. Although the rhetoric of disenfranchisement and poverty was traditionally the realm of Shia politics, a whole swath of Lebanon dominated by Sunnis languishes in a state far worse than the Shia "ghetto" of south Beirut or the Shia towns in the south or east of the country. It is those Sunnis who are showing up as fighters in Iraq, or who are now coming under increasing suspicion as the perpetrators of Hariri's murder.
Sheikh Ghazi al-Hanesh (Arab Sunni), 66, paramount sheikh of the Ta’i tribal confederacy, was assassinated by unknown assailants in Mosul today as he was leaving Friday prayers at a mosque in the Wihdeh neighborhood near his home.
And since many people hold the mujaheddin generally, and the Islamic Army specifically, liable for remaining silent over what is being done by some brothers in the Al-Qaeda organization by way of judicial excesses, we justify [our silence] by [saying]:
1-We were busy fighting Allah’s enemies; the Americans, the Safavids and those who aid them.
2-To preserve the brotherhood of Islam and faith among all the mujaheddin.
3-To preserve the jihadist project which belongs to the entire ummah [fellowship of Muslims].
4-To be wary of being used by the enemies of Islam and the Muslims.
5-To give ample opportunity for reform and returning to what is just.
Thus we resolved to treat them with wisdom and pleasant patience…
But it was to no avail, for their chief concern became to harm [our] blessed organization…using whatever means and methods such as:
-Libeling [our] group with arbitrary false and abusive accusations [such as] attributing us to the Ba’ath [Party], and they know and everyone knows that there isn’t a single Ba’athist in [our] group and there is no link whatsoever between us and the Ba’athists, neither ideologically nor organizationally or operationally, and at other times they attribute [our] group to other Islamist platforms and movements and that is patently false, and [at other times] they attach [us] to intelligence organizations, and at every turn Allah shows that which is just, and the falsehood of these accusations is made clear, and the numbers of the mujaheddin and [their] operations increase, and blessings fall upon this group and it becomes more acceptable to the people and spreads [among them]…and they should have been happy for us and to wish us well as we do towards them…
-And as such, they have threatened some members of [our] group with murder if they don’t pledge allegiance to Al-Qaeda or its other names, and we would [turn a blind eye] so that the fight would be limited to the enemies…
-And then those people went further and they unjustly killed some brothers [from our group]…the numbers [of those killed] have [climbed] to over thirty until now, and they weren’t satisfied with just that for they showed hostility towards other jihadist groups, and this hostility turned into confrontations with some groups such as the 1920 Revolt Brigades and until this hour there are recurrent confrontations between the two in Abu Ghraib, and the most recent was the murder of one of their field commanders and he is [our] brother Harith Dhahir al-Dhari, may Allah receive him, and they killed some members of the Army of the Mujaheddin and then some members of the Ansar al-Sunnah, and they threatened the Islamic Front, and all these group bore the burden of preserving the jihadist venture so that it would not veer off course.
-But this pleasant patience only made them more daring, and they made allowable the murder of a number of Muslims and especially the easy targets such as the sheikhs and [the criers for prayers] at the mosques, and unarmed Sunnis, some of them were members in the Muslim Clerics Association…Even lay Sunnis became legitimate targets for them and especially those who are wealthy, for they either pay what is wanted of them or are killed, and whoever criticizes them or disagrees with them and shows them their faults in such actions, then they seek to kill him for this is easy of them, and justifying it is even easier.
-Attacking peoples’ homes and taking their money is commonplace.
-Labeling people as infidels and apostates is a usual matter now.
-And then they slandered [us] in the media, as was clear in the two speeches of Abu Hamza and the speeches of Abu Omar, which were full of accusations…
And we didn’t hurry in responding to what we were accused of, for we awaited the pious clerics to advise [Al-Qaeda] and to show them the mistakes and [their] judicial transgressions especially the ones in the last speech [by al-Baghdadi], so that we deflect this opportunity from being used by our enemies the Americans and the Safavids and those who are with them, and so that the advice would be like a healing tonic for all, but our imams did not speak out so it became necessary to address some points so that no one would think they were valid:
-There was a challenge to all the mujaheddin outside of Al-Qaeda to showcase one operation against an American base…The number of raids conducted by the Islamic Army against bases and barracks number in the tens, and [the IAI] seized major bases too by Allah’s reward, including the ‘Golden Base’ in Jurf al-Sakhr that was [annihilated] in 2003 even before Al-Qaeda was established in Iraq, and the ‘Eagle Base’ that was wiped out in 2006, and the bases of the Ukrainians who fled back defeated to their country, and many other operations that have recently topped a thousand operations per month…
-And the other groups conduct blessed and innumerable operations for all to see…So how can they all be cancelled [by al-Baghdadi]!!!
-There is also the accusation that [our] group conspired with the journalist Yusri Fodah and the Mossad…And it just so happens that the same journalist had met with the leaders of the Al-Qaeda organization, and produced programs and films for them, and went to their places and headquarters, so does that mean that all those leaders were conspirators aiding the Mossad? Such as Khalid Sheikh and Ramzi bin al-Shibh, may Allah release them, or does the Mossad link apply only to he who meets with the Islamic Army?
And we deal with every journalist individually or as a means that serves the causes of our ummah and especially the cause of jihad in Iraq irrespective of judging them, what is important is that we don’t have a harmful security lapse…
As regarding the dearth of men and exposing the route, everyone knows that is false for the crossing route of the mujaheddin is not hidden from anyone, and as such what would one say about the reports and films produced under Al-Qaeda’s supervision and the speeches of its leaders that did not leave a detail unstated, for we were not the ones who revealed the details of 911 and we were not the ones who uncovered the whereabouts of Al-Qaeda’s individuals in Arab and non-Arab countries, and all these things were mentioned in their speeches? So is this [also] cooperation with the Mossad?
-And as for [Al-Baghdadi’s] mention of the mujaheddin as ‘Saudi Hezbollah’ then we are thankful to Allah that we never followed any government or party or front whether internal or external, and we suffered a lot as did our Salafist brothers in Iraq and especially in the last decade of the last century, from accusations of links with the Wahhabis and the Saudis as they call them, and oddly they add the Mossad to them too!!!!!
And after the occupation, the labels increased to become ‘Terrorist Wahhabi’…etc, and then our brothers come to accuse their brothers who are with them in the same trench against the enemies with the same accusations hurled against us by the enemies of Islam…
Thanks be to Allah we have not received, to this hour, any aid from any government, neither from the Arab governments nor from Iran, and we have not sought to receive support for the jihad from any Arab country unless it was general support for the Muslims in Iraq, and even so all the governments advance one step forward then go back a thousand steps awaiting a clear American permit to aid the Sunnis of Iraq.
As regards to the oil money, well nothing has reached the mujaheddin neither from Iraq’s oil or the oil of any other country, neither directly or indirectly.
Then who are those ‘clerics of the tyrant’ and the ‘merchants of religion’? Why all these talismans?
And what has been put in reserve for future speeches that are set aside for the [Badr Forces] and the [Mahdi Army] and Chalabi and Allawi and the others?
And if matters had been left at this then they wouldn’t have needed a response [from us] to clarify them since they are clear…But brother Abu Omar transgressed against the whole ummah and against the platform of the ummah’s predecessors and its clerics by bringing forth weird laws and issues:
-Such as considering all the lands of Islam as lands of the infidels. If so, what is the verdict on his state which is under the rule of the Crusaders and their aides?
-His saying that fighting the armies of the Arab governments is more pressing than fighting the Crusader occupier?!
-To say that jihad is mandatory—with such comprehensiveness—since the fall of Andalusia; this is not backed-up.
-His judgment that the People of the Book in our land are people of war who have no protections; who of the learned men says so with such comprehensiveness?
-And he judged all the sons of the jihadist groups as seditionists…adding that they call upon their tribes and members to rest and be lethargic!!! Is there any rest and lethargy in Iraq? And he called the pledge of allegiance to him the ‘duty of the age’ and this is [indeed] very dangerous for those who understood him!!
-He accused the [other] groups of seeking accords with the Americans, while not distinguishing between negotiations that are properly based on Shariah and the treaties of surrender being called for by the [defeatists], and he stipulated the permission of his state, but who acknowledges his state [in the first place] for him to permit [anything]?
-And even though we in the Islamic Army accept the legality of negotiations with the enemies, but we have not negotiated with any enemy until this hour whether they were Americans or Safavids or others, and it is unnecessary to go through the conditions for negotiations since they have been stated often, and we also do not know of any major jihadist group that had negotiated with the Americans…except for some hangers-on to the jihad who have been exposed.
On this occasion, we direct the following pressing calls:
First: to the learned men of the ummah, for them to take on their religious duty to save the jihadist project in Iraq and to stop the flow of Muslim blood by issuing fatwas in the important matters after determining the reality on the ground, and not to be silent…
Second: to the leaders of the Al-Qaeda organization, headed by the mujahid Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, may Allah preserve him, and who is famous for being very careful where Muslim blood and honor are concerned, and who is famous for his piety and fear of the Day of Judgment, to defend his religion and honor by taking upon himself judicial and organizational responsibility for the Al-Qaeda organization, and to clarify facts so that he can be assured, for he and his brothers in the leadership of Al-Qaeda are responsible for what is being done by their followers, and it is not enough to distance yourselves from such acts but you must correct the course…
Third: to all the members of Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, to look inside [yourselves] and to fear Allah for what you have perpetrated and those who have been sinful should seek redemption in Allah…
Fourth: to all jihadist groups and factions, they should advise their brothers in the Al-Qaeda organization since it is required to fix the matter of the jihad.
A couple of weeks ago, members of the Deputy Prime Minister's security detail tried to blow up the man they were tasked to protect; at least two of Salam al-Zoba'i's bodyguards turned out to be Al-Qaeda infiltrators.