Dilemma of Al-Qaeda In Iraq
Tuesday, May 8,2007 00:00
By Mohammed Abou Rumman, Al-Ghad

Although denial of the so called Islamic State of Iraq that the leader of Al-Qaeda Network in Mesopotamia was killed, undermined the already confused Iraqi official reports around his death, but this has clearly shown that there are tough conditions facing the Islamic State of Iraq. This is actually a stage which is more serious than all previous stages, even the stage that followed killing Al Zarqawi which included many question marks about the fate of Al-Qaeda in Iraq .

The question raised by Al-Muhagir death report ( whether it is true or false) isn’t related to his position in the organization or the consequences of his death, because Al-Muhagir didn’t manage to fill the vacuum created by Al-Zarqawi’s death; his position retreated to a secondary position like that of new leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq, like Abou Omar Al Baghdadi and Abdullah Rasheed Al-Baghdadi; this Islamic State of Iraq is practically playing the role of the parent Al-Qaeda and has the same ideological and political platform.

The first indication deduced from killing Al-Muhagir is clearly shown in the consequences of killing him: the aggravating crisis between Al-Qaeda on the one hand and other militant groups and some tribes in Al Anbar on the other hand, moving the confrontation to a serious stage that may reach "crushing bones" and an issue of existence .

The second indication (for  killing Al-Muhagir) evolves around the relation between the parent Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda in Iraqi; choosing Al-Muhagir to replace Al-Zarqawi was an indication that the relation between both of them still continues; Al-Qaeda leaders were seemingly relying on Abd Al-Hadi Al-Iraqi ( one of the most prominent new leaders of the parent Al-Qaeda) whom the US forces detained while heading for Iraq. The death of Al-Muhagir poses a new question over the new successor; will the parent Al-Qaeda insist that he must be non-Iraqi although Al-Qaeda network in Iraq consists nearly purely of Iraqis after the sharp decrease in the rate of Arab volunteers both inside or coming to Iraq, or will the administration of the Iraqi version of Al-Qaeda be fully moved to the local command.

There is a definitely right feeling among leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq that there is a regional well plotted plan to undermine Al-Qaeda and beleaguer it in order to arrange the Sunni society to confront the coming stage which has different possible scenarios and developments.

The most prominent expected developments is the withdrawal of US army from Iraq or a big retreat in its intervention in civil conflict against the militants, making Arab countries neighboring Iraq try, for fear of the Iranian intervention, to fill the vacuum and establish a coalition with the Iraqi Sunni society. It is well known that the relation of these countries (particularly Jordan and Saudi Arabia) with Al-Qaeda is very bad; therefore, these countries will attempt to undermine Al-Qaeda and strengthening other Sunni powers, even if they are Islamic ones provided that they don’t adopt any ideologically hostile attitudes against Arab countries. In this context, we can understand the indications of the emergence of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas of Iraq from the 1920 Revolution Brigades, and also the establishment of Iraq Council of Muslim Ulema in addition to the strong relation between Sunni powers and institution on the one hand and governments of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt on the other hand.

Writings and statements issued by the Islamic state of Iraq and its other affiliated groups clearly reflect recent feelings of serious alert and concern due to the aggravating crisis in their relation with other Sunni militant factions and concerns that rows develop into the stage of a military confrontation.

This very previous reading was picked up by Abu Omar Al Baghdadi (Amir of the so called Islamic State of Iraq) since he confirms that there is a serious plan for isolating his Islamic state (Al-Qaeda) from its grassroots (the Sunni community), and excluding the international jihad movement from the conflict for the sake of more moderate and open national movements.

Al-Baghdadi points out that the new regional preparations to confront Iran ( and the Arab role in it ) requires ending tensions, specially in Sunni areas. What raises eyebrows is that Al-Baghdadi presents this advanced political reading and proves it with a study issued by the US Rand institution!

The Salafist jihad movement’s fears of a possible snowballing of that the conflict between it and other Sunni powers appear clearly in the book "Holly warriors in Iraq and deadly trap" written by Abou Haritha Abed Bin Abdullah Al-Baghdadi (posted on the website of the International Islamic Front last February). In this book, Abou Haritha considers that the serious trap is making " the militants " fight each other, moving the battlefield to among militant groups.

Abou Haritha points out that he will talk impliedly not explicitly (because his message is publicly published on the Internet) and he detailed several methods used by "the enemies" against "the mujahideen" the most prominent of which are: recruiting agents, financial blockade, media blockade, and attempts to cause sedition among the mujahideen through spreading, for example, some rumours and fake news, to woo some groups, and penetrate others, isolating factions and using those affiliated to the Islamic movement to implement plots of the "enemies". Due to these methods, the International Islamic Media Front sent a message addressed " a call to the holy warriors in Iraq: beware of conspiracy", conspiracy means, according to the message," sowing seeds of sedition among the holy warrioros".

All previous messages confirm that Al-Qaeda and its allies fully realize that the coming confrontation will political, not security or military, with the involvement of Arab sides that want to neutralize and exclude Al-Qaeda from preparations of the coming stage; however, Al-Qaeda’s discourse and deeds are contradictory and help in implementing the new project; this is due to the fact that Al-Qaeda can’t change its radical discourse and hardline exercises because they are part of the core of its structure; this was reinforced because the last stage that witnessed a wide expansion and spread of Al-Qaeda made the hardline movement get convinced that it is the strongest and that it can impose its conditions on others, triggering huge confrontations with other groups like Al-Jaish Al-Islami (the Islamic army) and the 1920 Revolution Brigades; Al-Qaeda released later serious mistake which it committed; the Amir of the Islamic State of Iraq tried to backpedal from this policy and adopt the policy of reconciliation with some strong Salafist groups, like the Islamic Army.

Generally speaking and although the Sunni community is still considered the shelter of Al-Qaeda with its spread and military force, regional and objective conditions which strengthened Al-Qaeda in the past, are taking a totally opposite direction; this actually raises questions about the fate of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

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