June 12, 2007


AL-QAIDA VERSUS THE ISLAMIC ARMY: Insurgents in Iraq Turn on Each Other: The Sunni insurgency in Iraq is splitting, with loyalists to the old Baathist regime now fighting al-Qaida-backed Islamists. Could it be a turning point in the country's civil war? (Bernhard Zand, 6/12/07, Der Spiegel)

There are two very different opinions about what happened. "One of our men was going around in the city painting over enemy graffiti," is the al-Qaida version of events. "The Islamic Army shot him and that started the battle."

The Islamic Army tells a different story. "We went to the Maluki mosque to take al-Qaida to task," they say. "It is no longer acceptable what these people are doing to our Sunni neighborhoods: They're ghost towns where nobody can live. That's why it came to a fight."

The battle in Amiriyah, currently Baghdad's most dangerous district, lasted two days. Afterwards, the dead littered the streets and even the last inhabitants of the Maluki mosque had fled. No one counted the actual number of casualties, since the Iraqi police, army and US military no longer come to this part of Amiriyah. Here terror, insurgency, murder and violence are left to fester undisturbed.

Still, the carnage in Amiriyah is a cause of hope for some. Until recently, the Iraqi branch of the global terrorist network al-Qaida had good ties to the Islamic Army, a homegrown radical Sunni outfit taking part in the country's insurgency. The two groups used to congratulate each other on their respective Web sites whenever they managed to blow up a US Humvee or a group of Iraqi police recruits.

But that has all changed. Now the two sides are locked in a bitter battle in the cities and villages of Iraq's so-called Sunni Triangle west of Baghdad. Instead of offering mutual congratulations, they use the Internet as a platform to condemn each other over the battle for the Maluki mosque.

Al-Qaida now calls the members of the Islamic Army "dogs," while they in return warn the al-Qaida leadership to prepare for Qiyamah -- the Last Judgment -- and the wrath of Allah.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 12, 2007 11:39 AM

". . .[T]he carnage in Amriyah is a cause of hope for some."

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 12, 2007 2:11 PM

What is the title of the post a reference to?

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 12, 2007 3:27 PM

A prostitute, a nymphomaniac and a Jewish girl pick up three sailors off a nuclear sub on 48 hour leave....

Posted by: oj at June 12, 2007 6:39 PM