Thursday, May 19, 2005

Analyzing Zarqawi Statement:

Killing Muslims OK In the Name of Jihad

"God ordered us to attack the infidels by all means ... even if armed infidels and unintended victims — women and children — are killed together," the speaker said. "The priority is for jihad so anything that slows down jihad should be overcome."

The defense of the deadly attacks could be a recruiting tactic aimed at Sunni Arabs who initially didn't sympathize with the insurgency because of the deaths of innocents.

I think it's pretty obvious why he had to put this statement out. It certainly wasn't for western consumption. This is totally aimed at the ME Muslim population that is becoming slightly weary of the continued body counts that are by far largely made up of Iraqis; Muslims to be exact.

Via Iraqi Bloggers Central:

Since April 1, 2005, the insurgents/terrorists/resistance have killed:

689 Iraqi Civilians

370 Iraqi Military / Police

Number of US forces killed or wounded in Iraq including men from the Matador offensive near the Syrian Border and non-combat related incidents:

April: 58 Killed 306 wounded
May: 35 killed wounded not tallied yet

Thus, 93 US forces to 1059 Iraqi/Muslim civilians. Obviously, Zarqawi is aware that even his base supporters haven't been so vocally supportive lately and, without a doubt, it is very likely that there is dissension within the ranks about such operations.

Pictures like these from Michael Yon along with stories of suicide bombers crashing their cars into "military" targets while 20-40 children are standing around probably don't sit very well with even your tightest Islamist friends who still have, some where in the deepest darkest corners of their hearts, a modicum of compassion, if not actually have children themselves.

Hard to recruit young men who have children to come and blow up someone else's children you would think. Except, as I've pointed out the problem in the Magical Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are the "scholars" and other such alleged Islamic intellegensia:

The speaker claimed that top religious scholars have repeatedly sanctioned homicide bombings.

"Top religious scholars" refers to a number people. One of which is outlined in this Jerusalem Post article from July 2004:

A lengthy audiotape purportedly by the spiritual adviser to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaida-linked group justifies killing Muslims when their presence protects infidels and threatens revenge on Shiite Muslims.

The 74-minute tape, posted Wednesday on an Internet site that often carries statements from Islamic terrorists, identifies the speaker as Sheik Abu Anas al-Shami, spiritual leader for Tawhid and Jihad.[ed...Al Qaida in Iraq] His name often is cited in Islamic forums as a religious authority, but he was not known to have released such audiotapes.

"If infidels take Muslims as protectors and Muslims do not fight them, it is allowed to kill the Muslims," the speaker said, then gave an example.

"If there is an interest in killing a Turk, and if it is necessary - meaning that if targeting the infidels is impossible as long as the Turk exists - then killing the Turk serves an interest to all Muslims and his killing is allowed," he said.
Turks, Jordanians, Egyptians and other Muslims have been abducted, but thus far no Muslims are known to have been decapitated.

Note that last sentence. This was written last July. We know now that Muslim prisoners have been beheaded, particularly if they are Shi'ite or considered "collaborators" with the US forces. "Collaboration" has been as little as being seen waving to the forces or selling them a soda.

Another story from military intelligence, indicates Zarqawi is shifting tactics and probably losing some of his faithful as the strategies seem more and more desperate:

"He (al-Zarqawi) allegedly was not happy with how the insurgency was going, the government was getting stronger and coalition forces not being defeated," the official said. "Some intelligence reports from captives showed that al-Zarqawi directed people to start using more vehicle-borne devices and (to) use them in everyday operations."

This has certainly led to an upswing in violence since mid April when this meeting was alleged to take place:

In response to al-Zarqawi's call, there had been 21 car bombings, mostly suicide attacks, in Baghdad during May, compared with 25 such attacks in all of 2004, the official said. Nearly 130 car bombs have exploded or been defused since late February, he said.

Important to note the hidden sentence there "been defused". A recent statistic indicates that almost half of all of these would be bombs are being identified and removed before they do damage.

And an indication that Zarqawi's own "all volunteer force" may not be so voluntary:

In one of the latest bombings, all that was found of the attacker was his foot taped to the car's accelerator, the official said, indicating he'd been forced to carry out the suicide mission.

Recently read, but could not relocate the link, several young men returning from Syria back to Saudi Arabia because they thought they were going to "fight" US forces, but discovered that they were being asked to immediately become suicide bombers in cars and this did not fit in with their romantacized vision of "jihad".

One item that shouldn't be missed is Zarqawi's continuing rant about the Shia:

A chilling, rambling Internet audiotape purportedly by al-Zarqawi and posted Wednesday denounced Iraq's Shiites as U.S. collaborators and called this country's leaders traitors to Islam.

"What Sunnis have suffered and are still suffering from the Shiites is far worse than what they saw from the Americans," said the speaker purported to be al-Zarqawi.

If you missed it back in February of 2004, Zarqawi, in a letter to bin Laden, talks extensively about the Shia's:

These [have been] a sect of treachery and betrayal throughout history and throughout the ages. It is a creed that aims to combat the Sunnis.

Iraqi government officials continue to point to apparent sectarian violence as being committed by Zarqawi's group and their ilk while the different sects in Iraq continue to blame each other:

Harith al-Dhari, head of Iraq's influential Sunni Muslim Association of Muslim Scholars, blamed the recent killings of Sunni clerics on the Badr Brigades, the militia of Iraq's leading Shiite group, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Brigade general secretary Hadi al-Amri denied the charge and said the Sunni association wanted to "push Iraq into a sectarian conflict."

As is indicated by this report without coming right out and saying it, it is very likely that the violence was started by Zarqawi, that Sunni groups participating with Zarqawi targeted Shia and now the Shia are responding. What you haven't heard in recent months is Al-Sistani, grand ayatollah of the Shia, attempting to diffuse the situation and calling on his followers not to respond.

This is quickly becoming a situation of "tit for tat".

One thing I have found unendingly interesting is that people in the area define themselves by their tribe first, their religion second (a close second) and their nationality (Iraq) third, if at all. If you read the tribal series from Zeyad, you can get the distinct understanding that Iraq as a state has continued to be destroyed and remade/re-united, over and over again through out history because of this very issue.

Rather chilling, but quite remarkable as it shows the actions of the Coalition and Iraqi forces have been having an effect on the "insurgency":

Despite marked increases in car and roadside bombings, the official said other forms of violence have declined in recent months. "They (the insurgents) are trying to get ready to build up again," he warned.

In short, they are having difficulty recruiting people as the war waxes and wanes, with each stronghold they are driven from, they lose some face, they lose operations ability, they lose caches and they lose recruits who don't see car bombing other muslims as honorable nor a worthwhile strategy. The attack at Qaim showed that they are equally unable to mount successful frontal attacks on the Coalition and Iraqi forces.

Zarqawi is constantly calling on God to guide them and give them victory. In his February 2004 letter he states:

As you know, God favored the [Islamic] nation with jihad on His behalf in the land of Mesopotamia.

After Fallujah, Mosul and Qaim, the killing of so many Muslims by this group for little effect and the exhortation for them to become suicide car bombers instead of "knights under the Prophets banner" bravely facing down an enemy tank with an AK-47, some of these would be recruits must be wondering if they are doing the right thing or if Allah is really on Zarqawi's side.

On another note, Iraq now says it is illegal to aid and abet terrorists.

And, Zarqawi issues a death threat to Dr. Rice:

The old hag wants the participation of the Sunni impostors," it said, referring to Rice. "You ought to know that our doctrine is killing you. Our path is fighting you."

Of course, she flew in and flew out of Iraq without the great Zarqawi knowing or being able to do anything about it.

Must be very frustrating to be him about now.

Also read The Radicals Are Desperate from March 2005.

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