Jul 05 2007
Update II: It seems the AP also agrees that the Zawahiri tape reflected the importance of Iraq to al-Qaeda and that things are going poorly for them:
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.
“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.
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.
One influential faction, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, has openly helped U.S. forces in new offensives against al-Qaida in and around Baghdad, and some Sunni tribes have turned against it in western Anbar province.
If al-Qaeda is going to lose in Iraq, it will happen suprisingly quickly because of the fact the Iraqi street has risen up to oppose it. As the wave of muslim rejection continues to spread in Iraq, al-Qaeda will be forced to apply even more strong arm tactics until it all its evil is exposed and the people throw it off once and for all. The same thing happened with the Nazi fascists. Their image as the undefeatable, superior human beings was shattered and all that was left was their evil actions which was as a stain no one wanted to see return. The Islamo Fascists of al-Qaeda could lose just as quickly. Do not underestimate the power of popular rejection and repulsion that happens at the end of large struggles.
Major Update: Zawahiri confirms that Iraq and our efforts in Anbar and Diyala Provinces to rid these areas of al-Qaeda and secure the support of the local people is KEY to the greater war on terror both in the short and in the long term:
He claims Iraqis are increasingly supporting the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, proclaimed in predominantly Sunni areas by an al-Qaeda affiliate.
The success of the Islamic State, he says, is crucial to the revival of a global, pan-Islamic caliphate.
No one needs to have doubts about our present administration twisting intelligence or the poor track record of intelligence in the ME. We can and should recognize the words and concerns of our enemy when he is out trying to shore up support and avoid a stunning loss. He admits the current focus will either boost or cripple al-Qaeda’s plans, and he sees problems already:
Zawahiri underlines the need for unity in Iraq – an implicit acknowledgement that splits have opened up in Sunni ranks.
In this I have no issues in believing in Zawahiri’s concerns. – end update
al-Qaeda’s number 2 leader Zawahiri is out begging (or threatening) the Muslim street to rise up against the US and the West and to stop rising up against al-Qaeda. In a tacit, if vague, admission al-Qaeda’s brutality has turned the tide in Iraq against al-Qaeda Zawahiri pleads for unity – knowing full well what the result will be if things continue on:
Al-Qaida’s deputy chief called on all Muslims to join the holy war against the West.
“May Allah pluck out your eye if you haven’t yet seen that jihad is an individual duty,” the transcript quoted al-Zawahri as saying.
He also encouraged Iraqis and Muslims in general to show greater support to the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida insurgent front in the country, despite detractors saying it lacks “necessary qualifications,” the SITE group quoted al-Zawahri as saying.
Al-Qaida’s deputy leader did not name these detractors, but implicitly acknowledged some problems.
“The first thing which our beloved brothers in Iraq must realize is the critical nature of unity,” al-Zawahri was quoted as saying. He also called on Kurds from northern Iraq to join forces with insurgents.
It was not clear what problems al-Zawahri was alluding to, but a number of major Sunni Arab tribes have turned against the Islamic State in recent months and have cooperated with US forces in the Iraqi provinces of Anbar and Diyala.
It’s not clear? You think al-Qaeda cares about the ‘detractors’ from the West? Gimme a break! The tape reeks fo faux bravado trying to cover up a desperate last ditch call to save al-Qaeda from the anger of the Iraqi Muslim street. But there is no saving al-Qaeda from the justice the muslim street wants from al-Qaeda for all the kiling and torture they committed on Muslims. The wheels are falling off the al-Qaeda operation in Iraq as we round up or kill hundreds or thousands of their best fighters with the help of the local Iraqis. When the Arab Muslim street sits on the sidelines it is one thing. But when they take to the streets to purge them of al-Qaeda it is a whole different story.