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Terrorism In Iraq

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Terrorism in Iraq is a very broad subject to cover, as there are many different groups active in violent terrorist acts, all fighting for one cause or another. In total, there are well over 20 different major groups working out of the country. The majority of these are insurgent groups; people who, after Saddam’s regime fell, were left with out jobs and want the return of a strong Sunni led government. They promote their ideas through these acts of terrorism on the large stage that is Iraq, one being televised daily. Some argue that we’re not fighting “terrorists” in Iraq, but “nationalists”. The problem with that theory is that these insurgents, the ones born in country, they’re using the foreign forces coming into Iraq to fight for them with suicide bombings, car bombings, and even the gun fights in the streets that occur daily. However, this is not to say that Iraqis are not responsible for any of the attacks. Major General Charles H. Swannack Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, said that “…most of the attacks on our forces are by former regime loyalists and other Iraqis, not foreign forces.”, this relates back to the theory that the insurgents are mainly comprised of former members of Saddam’s party who are now jobless. According to Tom Regan of the Christian Science Monitor, “the vast majority of these non Iraqi Arabs killed in Iraq have never taken part in any terrorist activity prior to their arrival in Iraq.” In a way, it’s the war that’s radicalizing them, not prior terrorist group affiliation. The Iraqi nationalists are breeding these foreign extremists into terrorists to aid them in the war.

The following are some of the major terrorist groups active in Iraq, their leaders, and they’re goals:

Mehdi Army Militia: led by Muqtada al-Sadr. the son of a well respected Shia cleric killed by the Baathist regime.

Shia Extremists led by this Shiite Cleric, the extremists are very violent and now targeting anyone cooperating with the new government and the Coalition. Their methods for propaganda are almost suspiciously similar to Hamas and Hezzbollah in Israel, putting pressure on the citizens with bombings, shootings and guerilla attacks that disrupt work. They kill innocents directly or when retaliation from the government creates collateral damage. The power base of the group is in Najaf. However the group has some followers in al-Sadr City section of Baghdad.

Tawhad and Khalid bin Al Walid Brigade: led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Changed name to Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, or QBJR (a.k.a. al-Zarqawi Network)

Anti-Shia extremists led by a Palestinian-Jordanian petty criminal by the name of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who has risen to power baseed upon his intense hatred and execution of Shia Muslims. Zarqawi is linked to al-Qaeda and several major bombings and assassinations in Iraq. Like al-Sadr followers, this group has also taken and beheaded hostages when their demands weren’t met.

Headed by Jordanian Abu al-Zarqawi and linked to al-Qaeda, they’ve claimed several bombings in Iraq and on July 18, 2004, offered the equivalent of a $280,000 reward for killing Prime Minister Alwai, the leader of the Interim Iraqi Government.

Ansar al-Islam: The leader of this group is currently unknown

Ansar al-Islam is a radical Islamist group of Iraqi Kurds and Arabs who have vowed to establish an independent Islamic state in Iraq. It was formed in December 2001 and is closely related with al-Qaeda. Some of the members have trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, and the group once provided safe haven to al-Qaeda fighters before Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Since OIF, it’s been one of the leading groups involved in anti-american attacks. A group has emerged attempting to combine all the Iraqi insurgents, called Ansar al -Sinnah. It is not clear whether this is just an expansion of Ansar al- Islam or a whole other group in itself.

Al-Queda: Led by Osama Bin Laden

Abu-Muhammad Ablay, a member of the organization took credit for a car bombing against Italian units in al-Nasiriyah, Iraq on November 12th, 2003. The attack killed 19 Italians and 13 Iraqis. 80 others were wounded. Al-Zarqawi’s QJBR boasts about links and support from Al-Qaeda as well. Bin Laden has taken credit for most major terrorist attacks claiming allegiance to most of the Sunni oriented organizations in the world.

Badr Brigade: Led by Ayotollah al-Sistani

Linked to and well funded by Iran, the Badr Brigade is thought to be the “wet wing” of the enormous group Shiite SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) and led by Ayotollah al-Sistani. They are believed to have up to 10,000 members, 100s actively violent.

Mujahedin-e-Khalq: The leader of this group is currently unknown

Formed in the 1960s, the organization was expelled from Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and its primary support, up until its fall, came from the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. Its history is studded with anti-Western attacks as well as terrorist attacks on the interests of the clerical regime in Iran. The MEK now advocates a secular Iranian regime, it’s philosophy mixes Marxism and Islam. Most of the fighters are organized in the MEK’s National Liberation Army (NLA).

Kurdish Worker’s Party: The leader of this group is currently unknown

The Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) was founded in 1974 as a Marxist-Leninist insurgent group primarily composed of Turkish Kurds. Their goal



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