Thursday, December 12, 2013

Al Qaeda tightens grip on western Iraq in bid for Islamic state


Not to worry. The Vast Majority of Peaceful Muslims is going to rise up, cast al-Qaeda from power, and explain to its leaders how they're misunderstanding Islam -- should be happening any minute now...
"Al Qaeda tightens grip on western Iraq in bid for Islamic state," by Suadad al-Salhy forReuters, December 11:
(Reuters) - In Iraq's western desert near the Syrian border, in a landscape of sand and rock, a signpost announces that you are entering al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
A short video of the sign was broadcast on jihadi websites last month and reflects a long-held goal of al Qaeda fighters to establish an Islamic emirate.

ISIL insurgents have increased attacks on strategic targets in parts of western Iraq in the past three months in a bid to make their putative state a reality, security officials and analysts say.
"Al Qaeda believes these areas do not have strong security and social ties to the central government so it would be easy to separate them from Iraq," independent analyst Hashim al-Habobi said. "This is the goal of all these attacks."
Al Qaeda fighters seized control of most of Iraq's Sunni Muslim areas after the 2003 U.S. invasion. American troops and local allies finally beat them back in heavy fighting during the "surge" of 2006-07, but today the fighters once again aim to control towns and cities and realize their dream of a state ruled according to strict medieval Sunni Islamic practice.
After years of plotting underground and on the Internet, they have joined forces with powerful groups fighting in neighboring Syria against President Bashar al-Assad, and aim to establish a Caliphate that would transcend modern state borders....

Posted by Robert Spencer 

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