November 12, 2004

Army of Ansar al-Sunnah & Islamic Army in Iraq Confirm Working with Zarqawi

UPDATE: This is an archive page. For the latest information on terrorist communiques and videos, please go to the MAIN PAGE here.

UPDATE 5/10: Army of Ansar al-Sunna website releases images of Japanese hostage Akihiko Saito. Images, story, and link to website.

UPDATE 4/22/05: Islamic Army in Iraq shoots down civilian helicopter, murders survivor. Story, images, and video here.

Buried in this story is the news that the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah, the Army of Islam in Iraq (Islamic Army in Iraq), and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq (formerly Tawhid and Jihad) now confirm working with one another in anti-Coalition terrorist activities. I have reported several times in the past that various terrorist organizations have been cooperating in Iraq, but until today there was no official confirmation from the groups themselves. Also, no mainstream publication seemed to have picked up on the odd cooperation that was happening between these formerly unrelated groups with different political visions of a future Islamist state.

Zarqawi's terrorist group (formerly known as Tawhid and Jihad) is a Sunni organization operating in the former Ba'athist strongholds of the Sunni triangle. The Army of Ansar-al Sunnah operates in areas in and around the Kurdish areas in Northern Iraq, although it's operatives are probably Sunni Arabs. The Army of Islam in Iraq operates in Southern Iraq and is a Shia organization modeled after Hamas and Hizballah--with possible links to the Iranian government.

During two of the Army of al-Sunnah's videotaped beheading murders at least one person present identified themselves as a member of Zarqawi's group (Oct. 15th and Oct. 11th). Earlier today, I also noted that one of the hostages freed in the Fallujah assault was a Syrian man "taken by the Islamic Army in Iraq, a Shia terrorist organization which operates in the south of Iraq....More evidence that terrorists are willing to set aside sectarian differences for the sake of a common goal." I guess my hunch was confirmed.


Also Friday, another well-known Iraqi militant group, Ansar al-Sunnah Army, claimed in a statement on its Web site to have joined forces with al-Zarqawi's group and the Islamic Army in Iraq, which claimed responsibility for kidnapping two French journalists who remain missing.

Ansar al-Sunnah Army claimed to have carried out a "joint operation" with the two groups in Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad. There was no way to confirm the veracity of the statement.

All three groups have claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks, kidnappings and beheadings of foreigners and Iraqis.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:47 PM | Comments |