Sunday, July 08, 2007

Al-Qaida Video Reflects Group's Troubles

This important dispatch from Iraq (AP) was printed deep in my local newspaper. How many of you saw it? Good news from Iraq is buried by the mainstream press. They are only interested in publishing and publicizing reports of American casualties and anything that might make President Bush look bad.

Al-Qaida Video Reflects Group's Troubles

Jul 5, 2007 (Excerpt)

BAGHDAD (AP) - A new video by al-Qaida's deputy leader Thursday left no doubt about what the terror network claims is at stake in Iraq—describing it as a centerpiece of its anti-American fight and insisting the Iraqi insurgency is under its direct leadership.

But the proclamations by Ayman al-Zawahri carried another unintended message: reflecting the current troubles confronting the Sunni extremists in Iraq, experts said.

The Islamic State of Iraq, the insurgent umbrella group that is claimed by al-Qaida, has faced ideological criticism from some militants, and rival armed groups have even joined U.S. battles against it. A U.S.-led offensive northwest of Baghdad—in one of the Islamic State's strongholds—may have temporarily disrupted and scattered insurgent forces.

"Some of the developments suggest that it (the Islamic State) is more fragile than it was before," said Bruce Hoffman, a Washington-based terrorism expert at the Rand Corp. think tank.

Al-Zawahri "is trying to replenish the Islamic State brand," he said. "It's time to reassert its viability, but how connected to reality that is, is another issue."

In the unusually long video—at just over an hour and a half—al- Zawahri depicted the Islamic State of Iraq as a vanguard for fighting off the U.S. military and eventually establishing a "caliphate" of Islamic rule across the region.

"The Islamic State of Iraq is set up in Iraq, the mujahedeen (holy warriors) celebrate it in the streets of Iraq, the people demonstrate in support of it," al-Zawahri said, "pledges of allegiance to it are declared in the mosques of Baghdad."

He called on Muslims around the world to "support this blessed fledgling mujahid garrison state with funds, manpower, opinion, information and expertise."

But al-Qaida in Iraq—the group that claims allegiance to Osama bin Laden's goals—has been put on the defensive. Some Sunni insurgent groups have publicly split with it, distancing themselves from its bomb attacks on Iraqi civilians and accusing al-Qaida of trying to strong-arm their members into joining.

One influential faction, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, has openly helped U.S. forces in new offensives against al-Qaida in and around Baghdad, and some Sunni tribes have turned against it in western Anbar province.

U.S. forces have focused on al-Qaida-linked fighters in their security clampdowns in Baghdad and so-called "belts" around the city in recent weeks. That has brought an increase in American casualties, but insurgent and militia attacks appear to have fallen.”

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At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the tribute clips on the blog say, Remember who did this", we must remember that.

It is better that we fight them over there rather than on our streets.

I heard a Boston Radio talk show recently that said that the world and US may someday give more credit to President Bush for his actions later than current. They pointed to Abraham Lincoln who became much more famous after the Civil War then during the war.


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