November 24, 2004

Zarqawi on the run, castigates Muslims for abandoning support

An image from yesterday's post showed one of Zarqawi's safe-houses filled with computers that had been abandoned by him after the assault on Fallujah. With Fallujah no longer a safe-haven for terrorists, Zarqawi has attempted to move his base of operation to Mosul although some accounts say he is moving to Baquba. Terrorists need some amount of local support if they wish to successfully operate for the long run. Unfortunately for Zarqawi, it looks like the environment he is operating in is becoming more hostile. Thanks to James for sending me this news from Bloomberg:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda- linked terrorist responsible for attacks across Iraq, accused the country's Muslim theologians of abandoning the jihad, or holy war, indicating his group may be feeling under threat.

``You have betrayed us in the darkest circumstances,'' said a statement posted on the Internet. ``You have left the mujahadeen alone to confront the biggest enemy.''...

``We detected six or eight weeks ago that tribal leaders were starting to organize their militias against Zarqawi,'' Sole said. Iraq's Ulema, the Islamic scholars, would be ``expected to follow the tribal leaders, not Zarqawi,'' he said.

Iraq's religious leaders may now become targets of Zarqawi's group, known as al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Jordanian has mainly organized attacks on Iraqi security forces, U.S. troops and anyone working with them.

``Zarqawi is trying to raise the stakes and force the Sunni clerics to increase their animosity toward the U.S.-led occupation,'' said Gohel....

The alleged Zarqawi message ``may be the first ray of sunshine we have had out of Iraq,'' said Michael Cox, a terrorism expert at London's School of Economics and associate research fellow at the London-based Chatham House. ``It won't solve Iraq's long-term problems but it may indicate that the offensive on Fallujah had some kind of impact,'' Cox said....

Two Sunni clerics have been assassinated in northern Iraq in the past 48 hours, the Associated Press reported. Sheikh Ghalib Ali al-Zuhairi was attacked yesterday by unidentified gunmen in Muqdadiyah, 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Baghdad, AP said.

Al-Zuhairi was a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni group that has spoken out against kidnappings, beheadings, the U.S.-led assault on Fallujah and national elections set for Jan. 30.

Sheikh Faidh Mohammed Amin al-Faidhi, a cleric from the Council of Muslim Scholars, was shot Nov. 22 as he left a place of worship in Mosul, north of Baghdad, AP said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:34 AM | Comments |