10 years ago
Even after the appointment of al Masri to head of al Qaeda in Iraq, fractures were obvious. In demonstrations by the insurgents after the announcement of the Islamic state of Iraq, the Sunni fighters (probably Baathists and Saddam Fedayeen), chanted slogans that underscored the fractures: “We are from Mujahidin Shura Council and our amir is Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. God willing we will set the law of Sharia here and we will fight the Americans.”
Al Masri apparently had no more capital with the residents of Sunni areas than did Zarqawi, and the population is slowly turning on al Qaeda. In a move analogous to modern Western corporate reorganizations, if the organization is not performing up to standards, after some period of punishment of the workers, the next move is to sack the management.
Sheikh Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi is believed to be Abdullah Rashid Al-Baghdadi, leader of Shura Al-Mujahideen in Iraq. He now acts as the Emir of the Islamic State in Iraq proclaimed on 15/10/06. This State includes the Sunni areas of Baghdad and the provinces of Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Salahuddeen, Nineveh and parts of Babel and Waset.
Iraqi Salafi sources agree that Al-Qaeda leader number 2 Ayman Al-Zahawiri chaired a meeting in Pakistan two weeks ago to discuss the Al-Qaeda leadership issue in Iraq. The delegates who represented Bin Laden at the meeting insisted that an Iraqi Emir takes over the leadership in Iraq to avoid more cracks in Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
Note that two days before proclaiming the Islamic State in Iraq, an Al-Qaeda figure named Abu Osama Al-Iraqi called Bin Laden to disown Al-Masri and delegate an Iraqi to lead Al-Qaeda in Iraq as he delegated an Afghani to lead Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the media affairs representatives for the “Islamic State of Iraq” released its first video of a raid of a police station in al-Muqdadiyah. It is of course questionable whether there are really 12,000 troops at the al Qaeda’s disposal (more particularly, subservient to al Masri), given that there are fractures in the group.
The flurry of activity might be similar to a wounded animal fighting for its life. However, wounded animals are dangerous.