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.
Well, when I posted on the Spanish blog this morning about this, there was a comment on the newspaper I linked to that I want to translate here:
Instead of spying on students and union representatives, why the US Intelligence Services do not kill these clerics who are the ones who create terrorism?
1.- who has said that in US the students and union representatives are spied on regularly by US Intelligence Services?
2.- what happens with European and other Western countries’ Intelligence services? Are they blind? Can’t they kill them?
3.- aren’t we saying that the best way to stop terrorism is negotiating with terrorists?
No, the important thing is to blame US and then to accuse CIA of killing innocents…
[Note: I am not saying that every operation the CIA does is marvellous. I am saying that why on earth these parrots don’t blame the rest of the Western countries for the rising of Islamism and specially of these radical clerics].