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Al-Qaeda in Iraq

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Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQ-I), also known as Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia[1], is a violent militant Sunni insurgent[2] group operating in and outside of Iraq[3][4][5], didn't exist until after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion."[6]

"Al-Qaida in Iraq didn't emerge until 2004. While it is inspired by Osama bin Laden's violent ideology, there's no evidence it is under the control of the terrorist leader or his top aides, who are believed to be hiding in tribal regions of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan."[7]

"Analysts and intelligence officials say that al-Qaeda in Iraq is just one of many Sunni and Shiite organizations fighting for power and against the U.S. occupation, and that al-Qaeda in Iraq is smaller than many other insurgent groups. The analysts say that bin Laden's organization provides more inspiration than direction to Sunni fighters in Iraq."[8]

Creating AQI

"With disproportionate resources dedicated to tracking AQI, the search has become a self-reinforcing loop. The Army has a Special Operations task force solely dedicated to tracking al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Defense Intelligence Agency tracks AQI through its Iraq office and its counterterrorism office. The result is more information culled, more PowerPoint slides created, and, ultimately, more attention drawn to AQI, which amplifies its significance...," Andrew Tilghman wrote in the October 2007 edition of The Washington Monthly.[9]

"[T]he bar for labeling an attack the work of al-Qaeda can be very low. The fact that a detainee possesses al-Qaeda pamphlets or a laptop computer with cached jihadist Web sites, for example, is at times enough for analysts to link a detainee to al-Qaeda. 'Sometimes it's as simple as an anonymous tip that al-Qaeda is active in a certain village, so they will go out on an operation and whoever they roll up, we call them al-Qaeda,' says Rossmiller. 'People can get labeled al-Qaeda anywhere along in the chain of events, and it's really hard to unlabel them.' Even when the military backs off explicit statements that AQI is responsible, as with the Tal Afar truck bombings, the perception that an attack is the work of al-Qaeda is rarely corrected," Tilghman wrote.[9]

Leadership

According to the Iraqi government, Al-Qaeda in Iraq is "better organised and has better relations with the core leadership since Abu Ayoub al-Masri[10], an Egyptian, took over from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian killed [in June 2006].[11]

Fictional Islamic State of Iraq?

"The Islamic State of Iraq is an umbrella group of several insurgent groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq. Both have been blamed for some of the deadliest bombings in the country's conflict," the Associated Press reported June 26, 2007.[12]

However, Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner told reporters on July 18, 2007, that the "whole thing was a sham" and "Al-Baghdadi was actually a fictional character dreamed up by al-Qaeda in Iraq to bolster its local credibility because the group is largely run by non-Iraqis. The voice heard in the recordings belonged to an Iraqi actor," Thomas Frank wrote in USA TODAY.[13]

The 'Los Angeles Times[14] "talks to some Iraqi politicians who said the revelations were nonsense," Daniel Politi wrote in Slate[15] The New York Times[16] "points out that although there were always suspicions that Baghdadi may not have been real, it goes to show how the intelligence on insurgent groups in Iraq is, simply, not very good. And there's also the chance that al-Mashadani[17] is just covering for someone else. Some speculate the message was meant to convince Iraqis that if they listen to al-Qaida in Iraq, they are actually taking orders from foreigners."

Other names

"Al-Qaida Group of Jihad in Iraq; Al-Qaida Group of Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; Al-Qaida in Mesopotamia; Al-Qaida in the Land of the Two Rivers; Al-Qaida of Jihad in Iraq; Al-Qaida of Jihad Organization in the Land of The Two Rivers; Al-Qaida of the Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; Al-Tawhid; Jam'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad; Tanzeem Qaidat al Jihad/Bilad al Raafidaini; Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn; The Monotheism and Jihad Group; The Organization Base of Jihad/Country of the Two Rivers; The Organization Base of Jihad/Mesopotamia; The Organization of al-Jihad's Base in Iraq; The Organization of al-Jihad's Base in the Land of the Two Rivers; The Organization of al-Jihad's Base of Operations in Iraq; The Organization of al-Jihad's Base of Operations in the Land of the Two Rivers; The Organization of Jihad's Base in the Country of the Two Rivers.[18]

See also

References

  1. Mesopotamia in the Wikipedia.
  2. insurgency in the Wikipedia.
  3. Richard Norton-Taylor and Ian Cobain, "Bombs plot investigators look at role of al-Qaida cells in Iraq," The Guardian (U.K.), July 6, 2007.
  4. Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) from Country Reports on Terrorism, 2006, U.S. Department of State, April 2007.
  5. "Report: 3,000 Al Qaida in Iraq from Egypt, Saudia Arabia," World Tribune, May 11, 2007.
  6. Jonathan S. Landay, "Bush again links al-Qaida in Iraq, 9/11," McClatchy Washington Bureau (Sacremento Bee), July 11, 2007.
  7. Jonathan S. Landay, "Bush again links al-Qaida in Iraq, 9/11," McClatchy Washington Bureau (Sacremento Bee), July 11, 2007.
  8. Sudarsan Raghavan, "U.S. Military Calls Al-Qaeda in Iraq 'Principal Threat'," Washington Post, July 12, 2007.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Andrew Tilghman, "The Myth of AQI. Fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq is the last big argument for keeping U.S. troops in the country. But the military's estimation of the threat is alarmingly wrong," The Washington Monthly, October 2007.
  10. "Report: Al Qaeda in Iraq Chief Killed," Fox News, May 1, 2007.
  11. "Al-Qaida in Iraq Leader Wounded, Aide Killed in Clash, Government Says," Associated Press (ABC News), February 15, 2007.
  12. "Al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq claims Baghdad hotel bombing," Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), June 26, 2007.
  13. Thomas Frank, "Terrorist leader exposed as a sham. Al-Qaeda in Iraq used actor to 'market itself'," USA TODAY, July 19, 2007.
  14. Tina Susman, "U.S. says Iraqi militant nonexistent. The man known as Abu Omar Baghdadi is an actor and the group a front for Al Qaeda in Iraq, the military says," Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2007.
  15. Daniel Politi, "Waiting for September," Slate, July 19, 2007.
  16. Michael R. Gordon, "U.S. Says Insurgent Leader It Couldn’t Find Never Was," New York Times, July 19, 2007.
  17. Daniel Politi, "Waiting for September," Slate, July 19, 2007. Khalid al-Mashadani is an "insurgent leader who was supposedly responsible for passing on messages between Osama Bin Laden and Iraqi militants."
  18. Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) from Country Reports on Terrorism, 2006, U.S. Department of State, April 2007.

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