Baghdadi's Recording Claims Successes, New Missiles
The organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq has apparently issued a recorded statement from its alleged leader, known as Abu ‘Umar al-Baghdadi, on the occasion of the four-year mark since the US invasion.
In the statement, the so-called emir of the al-Qa'ida linked group, seems to respond to divisions reportedly emerging in the ranks of armed Sunni groups, calling for the “mujahidin” to preserve their unity. He also mocks US forces' performance on the battlefield, and argues that the Iraq war has not turned out the way its planners had intended.
Baghdadi called for the “mujahidin of Iraq” (referring to the various armed Sunni groups) to avoid falling into the plans that aim to divide them. In reference to these plans, Baghdadi singled out the Islamic Party of Iraq for condemnation, saying that the divisions that had arisen between the Islamic State of Iraq and the 1920 Revolution Brigades were the result of the positions of the Islamic Party of Iraq.
“The Devil has come between us and you, the devil of the Islamic Party of Iraq and its ilk,” Baghdadi said.
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi leads the Islamic Party of Iraq. Al-Hashemi earlier indicated that he was in negotiations with armed Sunni groups.
Baghdadi also called for other armed groups to preserve their unity, saying, “My sons in the Mujahadin Army, and the Islamic Army, you will only hear goodwill from us, and the friendship between us is deep, and what is between us is stronger than what some of them think.”
In the call for unity, the statement reminds the “mujahidin” that: “It was not us, O servants of God, who violated your mothers, and sisters and daughters in Abu Ghraib, and put it out on the television screens, to humiliate you,” adding “It was not us who raped Sabrin in plain daylight,” referring to the Sunni woman who claimed she had been raped by Iraqi Interior Ministry forces.
Highlighting the alliance between the Iraqi government and the American forces, Baghdadi says, “Those who did these things agree on the preservation of the system of the occupation.”
“On the contrary, days after these things, we arrested more than 39 apostates from them and killed them to avenge your dignity and your honor,” Baghdadi says, referring to such acts as the abduction and killing of Iraqi interior ministry employees following the affair of the rape allegations.
As the IHT has earlier reported, using a translation prepared by the SITE Institute, Baghdadi also says, "We swear to you we don't shed the protected blood of Muslims intentionally. If I hear otherwise, I will set up a council of judges . . . so even the weakest person in Iraq could take his rights, even if from my blood," he said.
Here Baghdadi appears to be responding to earlier charges made public by the Islamic Army of Iraq that the al-Qa'ida affiliated Islamic State of Iraq kills Iraqi Sunni Muslims. The Islamic Army called upon Usama bin Laden to personally intervene to rein in the “Islamic State.”
The cafeteria of the Iraqi Parliament after a bomb attack Thursday which killed an MP. The Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsiblity for the attack.
“University for Terrorism”
On one point, Baghdadi expresses agreement with US officials, saying that he concurs with those who say that Iraq has become a “university for terrorism,” saying “As for the military aspect, believe one of their demons who said, if Afghanistan is a school for terrorism, then Iraq is the university for terrorism.”
Building on the theme, Baghdadi announced the graduation of the largest batch in Iraqi history of “officers of jihad for God’s behalf, to the highest global degree. Indeed, the studies are continuous, summer and winter, day and night,” he said.
He added that the fear of the US Marines had faded in the hearts of the “mujahidin,” saying that the fighters had become thousands, after having been very few in number at the fall of the previous Iraqi regime.
Elsewhere, he says, “It was not Bush’s assumption, nor the assumption of those who planed his futile war that the people of Iraq would start to compete, not to offer flowers and obedience . . . hundreds ask for death that they may live with God,” referring to suicide operations including suicide bombings, in a clear counterpoint to the US and Iraqi claims that many of the suicide bombers that have struck in Iraq are foreigners.
“As for the women of Iraq, who have shed tears asking martyrdom operations, we forbid them from implementing the objectives that men can implement, excepting in special circumstances that make it difficult for men,” Baghdadi continues.
The war, he states, has emptied the American budget at the expense of social security, health, and education spending, saying that those responsible, naming Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, and John Bolton, will sit in the “defendant’s bench.”
On the military front, Baghdadi announces for the first time that the Islamic State of Iraq has gained the capabilities to produce its own missiles, saying “And in the area of arms and equipment: We inform the mujahidin in general in all the areas of the earth, and the people of the jihad in Iraq specifically, that the Quds I missile has entered production, and is of high specifications in length, weight, and striking accuracy, to compete with what other countries of the world have realized with the same military goals.”
Longest Baghdadi Recording Yet
As earlier announced by the SITE institute, the recording is Baghdadi’s longest recording yet, at nearly 42 minutes. The recording was released by the al-Furqan Foundation for Media Production, the official distributor and producer of multimedia for the Islamic State. SITE translates the title of the statement as, “Years of Achievements in the Country of the Unifiers.” A better translation for “unifiers” (muwahhid) would be “monotheists,” i.e. those who practice tawhid or the profession that God is one. The word that SITE glosses as “country” (dawla) would be better translated as “state.”
In other words, the statement presents to the achievements of the Islamic State of Iraq, referring to itself as dawlat al-muwahhidin, the state of those who profess the oneness of God.
The statement was released to mark four years since the US invasion of Iraq, according to its text.
Regarding a separate Internet posting, AP reports that al-Baghdadi's group posted a Web statement Tuesday saying its religious court had condemned 20 kidnapped Iraqi soldiers to death. On Saturday, the group claimed to have captured the troops to avenge the alleged rape of a woman by Iraqi police, and demanded the government hand over the rapists within 48 hours.
However, there were no reports of any Iraqi officers missing, and an Interior Ministry official said Tuesday that all troops were accounted for.