Sunday, April 15, 2007

Insurgent groups splitting from Qaeda

"An Iraqi militant group has highlighted the split in the ranks of the Iraqi insurgency by having its spokesman give a television interview in which he accuses al-Qaida and its umbrella organization of killing its members and pursuing the wrong policies.
"The gap has widened and the injustices committed by some brothers in al-Qaida have increased," Ibrahim al-Shimmari told Al-Jazeera television in an interview broadcast Wednesday and repeated Thursday.
. . . Al-Shimmari is the spokesman for the Islamic Army in Iraq, a Sunni militant group that first aired its grievances against al-Qaida and umbrella Islamic State of Iraq on its Web site last week.
. . . He accused al-Qaida of killing 30 members of the Islamic Army, and said the Islamic State of Iraq's claim to constitute a state was both inaccurate and incorrect policy.
. . . He was more critical of Iranian influence in Iraq than American, apparently out of opposition to the growing power of Iraq's Shiite majority, a trend that Shiite-dominant Iran supports." [1]

"Key Sunni militant groups are severing their association with al-Qaeda in Iraq.
. . . The Sunni insurgency in Iraq has long been fractious, in part because secular nationalists [and others] . . . have rejected al-Qaeda's tactics, particularly beheadings.
'They have realized that those people are not working for Iraq's interests,' said Alaa Makki, a Sunni member of parliament with close ties to the insurgents.
. . . Insurgent leaders . . . offered different explanations for their split. Many said their link to the al-Qaeda groups was tainting their image as a nationalist resistance force. Others said they no longer wanted to be tools of the foreign fighters who lead al-Qaeda. Their war, they insist, is against only the U.S. forces, to pressure them to depart Iraq.
. . . About three months ago, al-Qaeda fighters began targeting insurgent leaders.
. . . The Sunni groups are also divided over entering the political process, said Makki.
. . . 'If they maintain their independence from each other and each one has its different strategy, there will be chaos on the ground and chaos at the [negotiating] table,' said Tariq al-Hashimi, the Sunni vice president and leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party." [2]

[1] Keath, Lee. (The Associated Press). Group Notes Split Among Iraq Insurgents. April 12, 2007.
[2] Raghavan, Sudarsan. (The Washington Post). Sunni Factions Split With Al-Qaeda Group. April 14, 2007.

posted: sunday, april 15, 2007, 3:28 PM ET


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