ATbar Iraqi Wahabbi Factions affiliated with Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi
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Iraqi Wahabbi Factions affiliated with Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi

20/03/2005 | by Multiple Authors  

By Deanna Linder and Rachael Levy and Yael Shahar

This paper presents an overview of two of the principle Sunni radical groups in Iraq. It is estimated that these groups will continue to oppose reconstruction efforts in the country, particularly following the resounding victory for Shiite and Kurdish parties in the recent elections. Both of these Sunni groups have connections with radical Islamist groups outside of Iraq, such as al-Qaida and its offshoots. In addition, the support given to them by fundamentalist regimes outside of Iraq could give them a reach beyond the local arena.

Ansar Al-Islam

a.k.a. Jund al Islam[1]

History

In August 2001, leaders of different Kurdish Islamic factions met with leaders of Al Qaida to discuss the formulation of an alternate Al-Qaida base in Northern Iraq. The new network, Ansar al-Islam, came about from the merging of several small Islamic movements in Kurdish Iraq.[2] It was formally activated in September 2001 with $300,000 - $600,000 of Al-Qaida seed money, together with donations from Saudi Arabia.[3]

Bases

Ansar al Islam's primary bases are located in the mountains along the Iran-Iraq border. Assessments by the PUK [define] indicated that in 2002, a second group affiliated with Ansar al Islam was formed in Baghdad and controlled from the city of Mosul.[4] The city of Halabja was a base for many of the group's Al-Qaida-affiliated members.[5] Ansar also maintained strongholds in the villages of Kharbani, Zardahal, and Bayyarah. Following significant defeats in battle with the PUK, Ansar subsequently retreated from these areas, eventually settling in the Darka Shikhan area, a remote village on the border between Iraq and Iran.[6] Ansar's shura council most recently operated from the village of Beyara.[7]

Constituency

The members of Ansar al Islam come from many countries and backgrounds. While most are Kurds from northern Iraq and Turkish Kurdistan, some come from as far away as Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Palestine, and Afghanistan. [8] Some thirty Al-Qaida members joined the ranks of Ansar initially, however by the beginning of January 2003, that number had grown to at least 120.[9] More recent numbers have been difficult to obtain in the wake of the group's forced decentralization following the U.S. campaign in northern Iraq. It is believed that many of Ansar's most militant members are Afghan Arabs who crossed into the Northern border through Iran.[10]

On August 5, 2004 two leaders of an Albany Mosque in New York were arrested for the ties to the organization. Yasin Muhiddin Aref, leader of the Masjid As Salam Mosque and Mohammed Musharraf Hussein, the mosque's founder were implicated in the laundering of money gained from the import of Air-to-Surface Missiles.[11]

Key People

The leaders of Ansar al Islam prior to the formation of the organization lived in Afghanistan where they received training and financial support.

* Mullah Krekar (a.k.a. Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad) - Age 48. Krekar is from the Iraqi province of Al Sulaymaniyah.[12] Krekar, a former member of a Kurdish Islamic party, lived in Iran for several years.[13] From Iran, he moved to Norway, where he and his family were granted refugee in 1993 through the United Nations refugee resettlement program. While in Norway he founded and served as an Imam for the Islamic Vision of Norway, a fundamentalist Islamic Mosque.[14]

Krekar has also been called the spiritual leader of the organization.[15] Krekar replaced Abu Abdullah Shafae as leader of the Ansar movement.[16] Jordanian authorities have accused Krekar with drug smuggling.[17]

* Abu Musa'ab Al Zarqawi (a.k.a. Fazel Inzal al Khalayleh) - first rose to notoriety in Ansar al-Islam when he ordered the attacks on PUK leader Barham Salih and the October 2002 murder of Laurence Foley in Amman.
* Abu Wa'il - an al-Qaida operative and former member of Saddam's Intelligence Service.[18] Wa'il is the only Arab among the organization's leadership.[19]
* Abu Abdullah Shafae, (a.k.a. Warya Holery) - an Iraqi Kurd who trained in Afghanistan with al-Qaida for ten years. He lead Ansar until he was replaced by Mullah Krekar. As of Spring 2002, Shafae was the acting Ansar al Islam deputy.[20] When Mullah Krekar was arrested and detained Shafae replaced him as the group leader.[21]
* Abu Abdul Rahman - Reportedly sent to northern Iraq by Bin Laden, Rahman was killed in clashes in October 2001.[22] Rahman was a member of the Consultative Committee of Ansar.[23]
* Abu Abdallah Al-Shami (a.k.a. Nur al Din al Shami). Shami is of Syrian descent and was one of many who fled Afghanistan after the American attack. At one point he was authorized by Osama Bin Laden to receive financial support. For a while, he served as deputy to Abu Musa'ab Al Zarqawi. Shami was killed in an attack on the PUK in late 2002.[24]
* Mullah Mohammad Hasan - a member of Ansar's Shura council.[25]
* Abu Yasir - a high-ranking al-Qaida member who is now part of Ansar Al Islam.[26]
* Abu Muzaham - a high-ranking al-Qaida member who is now part of Ansar Al Islam.[27]
* Najmuddin Faraj Ahmed[28]
* Halfurd - Ansar's liaison chief[29]
* Aiyub Afghani - Chief of Ansar's Media Bureau.[30] Afghani was an explosives expert who fought in Afghanistan. As of early 2003, he was believed to be an instructor at Ansar's training camps and designer of suicide bomber's belts. [31]
* Mullah Namo - a Kurdish leading member of Ansar Al Islam who met with al-Qaida in Afghanistan.[32]
* Omar Barzian - a Kurdish leading member of Ansar Al Islam who met with al-Qaida in Afghanistan.[33]
* Abu Zubair al Shami - an Arab leader, who was dispatched by Osama bin Ladin to Iraq to expand al-Qaida sometime in 2002.[34]
* Mullah Abdullah Khalifani - the deputy commander of the group's military wing. He was killed in late 2002. [35]

Ideology

Ansar al Islam follows a fundamentalist interpretation of Sunni Islam and was heavily influenced by Wahabbi teachings. In regions under its control, the group instituted strict Taliban-like laws.[36]

Organizational Structure

Ansar Al Islam's organizational structure was brought to light in negotiations with the PUK over the exchange of prisoners in April 2002. Ansar was represented at the talks by its media bureau, mediation team, and a consultative committee. The group also included a liaison chief.[37] Ansar's Shura Council is composed of 15 members, some of whom also served as emissaries for al-Qaida.[38] The group maintains training camps which instructs participants on tactics, suicide bombings, infantry weapons, and assassinations. The organization has been known to communicate with al-Qaida via videotapes and the Internet.[39]

Activities

  • September 2001: Ambushed and kills 42 PUK fighters.
  • February 2002: Assassinated Franso Haririr, Christian Kurdish Politician.
  • Spring 2002: Attempted assassination of Barham Salih, PUK leader.
  • June 2002 : Bombed a Kurdish restaurant.
  • July 2002 : Killed 9 PUK fighters and destroys Sufi shrines.
  • October 2002: Murdered U.S. Agency for International Development officer Laurence Foley in Amman, Jordan.
  • December 2002: Attacked PUK, killing 103 fighters and wounding 117.[40]

Support from Saddam's Regime

In the past, Ansar al-Islam was rumored to be controlled by Saddam's intelligence service and al-Qaida.[41] A commander in the PUK alleged that Ansar al Islam had ties to agents of Saddam before the American invasion.[42] The full truth of this is not known, though a member of Saddam's intelligence service, Abu Wail, was active in Ansar.[43] The group is known to have taken full advantage of resources from the former regime. Weapons used by the Iraqi military routinely fell into the hands of Ansar al-Islam, while TNT seized by Kurdish authorities was manufactured by Saddam's military.[44]

Links to Iran

Iran not only turns a blind eye to Ansar al-Islam, but allows the organization to operate along its border. It is alleged that Iran also provides logistical support, allowing the flow of goods and weapons. Ansar vehicles crossing the border from Iran into Iraq are not checked, which would signify some degree of cooperation-if not alliance-with Teheran. Ansar leader Mullah Krekar spent many years in Iran, and it is to Iran that wounded members of Ansar are routinely evacuated. [45]

Capabilities

Manpower

The number of estimated fighters has fluctuated throughout the past three years. After the United States invaded Afghanistan the number of members increased to the hundreds.[46] In January 2003 Ansar was estimated to have some 650 fighters[47]and roughly 2,000 active members.[48]

Weaponry

Ansar is equipped with heavy machine guns, mortars, and anti-aircraft weapons. There has been speculation that the organization maintained chemical weapons facilities in Iraqi Kurdistan, where they purportedly tested cyanide gas and Ricin.[49] The Washington Post reported that in Fall of 2001, the group smuggled VX nerve gas through Turkey. Experiments were conducted with poison and chemical agents, which were tested on animals and humans.[50]

Tactical Capabilities

Ansar Al Islam has shown its military acuity in its campaign against the PUK. One of the group's attacks was planned to coincide with a holiday during which 1,000 PUK fighters were off-base. They attack took place late at night, with the Ansar fighters spending the night in the field, and infiltrating lowlands; proving their abilities to survive in the field.[51]

Jama'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad

a.k.a. Tawhid and Jihad, The Monotheism and Jihad Group, Qa'idat Al-Jihad Fi Bilad Al-Rafidain (The Base of Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers),[52] Unity and Jihad

Jama'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad is a fundamentalist Sunni group led by Abu Musa'ab Al Zarqawi. The group has been linked to both al-Qaida and Ansar al Islam.[53] At the same time, these links are mainly through common ideology and shared members, rather than formal hierarchy of command.

Ideology

Jama'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad justifies its actions by the Wahabbi interpretation of Islamic Law. At the same time, Zarqawi and his associates have "accepted" comments by Muslim religious leaders on the legitimacy of brutal methods, as long as these leaders are speaking out of personal conviction and not as an agent of their rulers' agendas.

The group openly advocates a civil war in Iraq and routinely uses Internet jihad websites and video broadcasts to call for attacks on Shiite Muslims.[54]

Structure

Jama'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad is estimated to have only a few hundred members, belonging to diverse underground cells.[55]

In the Fall of 2004, Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi announced that his group would merge with al-Qaida. A statement published on the internet announced the union of Jama'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad with al-Qaida, spoke of their shared ideology and strategies, and declared loyalty to Bin Laden.[56]

Jama'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad has also merged with the Salafiah al Mujahidiah group of Abu Dajanah al Iraqi.[57]

Activities

The group has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on American troops and Iraqi security personnel. The group was responsible for the bombing of the U.N. headquarters, which killed the U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.[58] It has also claimed the killing of Abd-al-Jabbar Yusuf, the undersecretary of the Interior Ministry;[59] Izzedin Salim, the chairman of the Governing Council of Iraq; the Governor of Mosul; and several members of the interim administration. They have threatened to kill Prime Minister Iyad Allawi as well.[60]

Jama'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad has also claimed responsibility for kidnappings, and beheadings. The group was responsible for the deaths of American engineer Eugene Armstong, Jack Hensly, and British national Kenneth Bigley[61], Nicholas Berg, South Korean Kim Sun-II, Bulgarian Georgi Lazov, and Turkish Murat Yuce.[62] The majority of suicide attacks in Iraq are attributed to this organization.[63] The group has conducted bombings in many locations throughout Iraq including; Mosul, Baqouba, Falujah, Ramadi, Najaf, and Baghdad.[64]

Jordanian officials allege that Zarqawi planned for suicide bombers to detonate two vehicles laden with chemical weapons, with the intention to create a poisonous cloud to kill thousands.[65]

Abu-Mus'ab al Zarqawi

Background

Abu-Hilalah Ahmad Fadil Nazzal al-Khalayilah, known today as Abu-Musa'ab al Zarqawi, has been blamed by coalition forces for many of most serious attacks in Iraq. Although Zarqawi is a true threat, attempts to depict him as the "Osama bin Laden of Iraq" seem inconsistent with his actual capabilities. Nonetheless, Zarqawi and his followers have been able to mobilize and carry out some of the most violent attacks, killing hundreds of Iraqi citizens, foreign workers, and coalition forces.

Abu Mus'ab al Zarqawi grew up in Zarqa, Jordan, a crime-ridden industrial city north of Amman. He did not come from a religious upbringing, and his teenage years were spent drinking and getting tattooed, both taboo in the Islamic religion.[66] However, like many young Arab men, Zarqawi found the call to Jihad irresistible. In the late 1980's, Zarqawi left Jordan for Afghanistan. Despite conflicting views on Zarqawi's involvement in Afghanistan against the Russians, most sources claim that he traveled to Afghanistan for the purpose of jihad, yet arrived too late, as the Russians were retreating.[67] Little is known as to his activities during the three years he spent in Afghanistan.

Zarqawi returned to Zarqa in 1992 and was promptly arrested by Jordanian authorities for possession of weapons and association with the militant Islamic group Bayaat al Imam (Loyalty to the Imam). The trial illustrated Zarqawi's Jihadist Salafist ideology, much different from his outlook before leaving for Afghanistan.[68]

It was in the Swaqa prison, in the outskirts of the Jordanian desert, that Zarqawi began to preach jihadist ideologies. His religious views became increasingly extreme, under the influence of the imams and sheikhs imprisoned with him, and he eventually emerged as the emir (leader) of the Jihadist Salafist trend in the prison. He completed memorizing the entire Koran by heart and built a network of relations both inside and outside the prison.[69]

Fellow inmates stated that around 1998, just as al-Qaida emerged as a serious threat in the wake of the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa, Zarqawi started talking about killing Americans.[70]

In March 1999, Zarqawi was released under an amnesty for political prisoners. In early 2000, he traveled to Peshawar, Pakistan, on the Afghan border. However, with a short time, his Pakistani visa expired and he was declared wanted by Jordanian officials for a foiled terror plot. Zarqawi, according to his brother-in-law, had nowhere else to go, and crossed the border into Afghanistan in June 2000.[71]

The al-Qaida Connection

American intelligence officials claim that Zarqawi opened a weapons camp connected to al-Qaida in late 2000 in western Afghanistan.[72] An Al-Jazeera investigation claims that Zarqawi set up a private camp in Herat, near the Iranian border, where he enjoyed the Taliban's trust and Bin Ladin's support. There, he began to build his new network, benefiting from the years of imprisonment and involvement in Jihad.[73] He spent his time in Afghanistan traveling between Kabul, where his first wife lived, and his camp in Herat, where his second wife lived.

Zarqawi's choice the city of Herat as the location of his training camp was no coincidence. Located near the Iranian border, Herat is also near Iraqi Kurdistan, where Ansar al-Islam sought to institute a Taliban-like Islamic state on a smaller scale. One of Zarqawi's closest colleagues was Ra'id Khuraysat, a leading figure in Ansar al-Islam.[74]

Al-Jazeera documentary on Zarawi contains footage of an unidentified man, who, in reference to a house shown in the background, says "This house that you see behind me was built by the Ansar. Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, representative to Osamah Bin-Ladin, used to live here. He was considered the link between Ansar al-Islam and Arab Afghans. They used to send them to this area. Their camp and training headquarters were here. They had equipment for maintaining and fixing weapons and arms."[75]

However, the depth of Zarqawi's affiliation with al-Qaida is a matter of some speculation. Kurdish intelligence official Dana Ahmad Majid, stated, "I believe that Ansar al-Islam is an inseparable part of Al-Qaida. Before 11 September, Al-Qaida planned to found another base to fall back on after the 11 September operations because they knew very well that they would be attacked in Afghanistan after 11 September and that they would have to turn to other areas. They called a group from the leadership of Ansar al-Islam, who were previously in Afghanistan and studied the issue and chose Biyara [sic] to be their second base should they have to leave Afghanistan."[76]

Yet the statements of Zarqawi's brother in law and close friend, Salih al-Hami, point in a different direction. Al-Hami claimed:[77]

He was greatly influenced by the martyr Shaykh Abdallah Azzam and he used to read a great deal of his writings and listen to him a great deal and he used to also reiterate his sayings on many occasions. He used to insist on the slogans of the old Mujahidin such as Al-Izz Bin-Abd [indistinct word], Abdallah Bin-al-Mubarak and also Shaykh Abdallah Azzam. I think that he follows the same trend until this moment. He used to embrace Salafi thought but he did not belong to a Salafi group. I think that he used to view Osamah Bin-Ladin as a Mujahid and I think that he also used to embrace Shaykh Abdallah Azzam's saying that Osamah Bin-Ladin was the man of the nation. Shaykh Abdallah Azzam used to repeatedly say that Osamah Bin-Ladin was the man of the nation. He used to respect him but according to my inside and definite information, he did not belong to Al-Qaida during that period.

More recent claims made by Zarqawi point to his desire to ally himself with al-Qaida, meaning that this alliance was not already in place. A statement posted on Islamist Web sites on October 17, 2004, addressed Bin Laden as "the sheikh" and said al-Zarqawi's Unification and Jihad movement "badly needed" to join forces with al Qaida. "We will listen to your orders," it said. "If you ask us to join the war, we will do it and we will listen to your instructions. If you stop us from doing something, we will abide by your instructions."[78]

Zarqawi's Presence in Iraq

According to Jordanian court documents, after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Zarqawi left for Iraq via Iran, eventually settling in the corner of northern Iraq controlled by Ansar al-Islam.[79]

The next known sighting of Zarqawi came from Jordanian officials, who claim that they spotted Zarqawi on Sept. 9, 2002, when he illegally entered Jordan from Syria.[80]

A month later, senior American diplomat, Laurence Foley, was murdered outside his home in Amman. Jordanian agents arrested three men involved in the killing who claimed that they had been recruited, armed, and paid by Zarqawi. He was sentenced to death in absentia. Court documents claim that Zarqawi planned and financed the operation during his stay in Iraq.[81]

Another terror attack, this time foiled, was prepared by Zarqawi during his stay in Iraq. Azmi al-Jayyusi, one of the key suspects in a reported plan to blow up the Jordanian Intelligence Department with chemical agents, stated:

In Herat, I began training for Abu-Musa'ab. The training included high-level explosives and poison courses. I then pledged allegiance to Abu-Musa'ab al-Zarqawi and agreed to work for him without any discussion. After the fall of Afghanistan, I met Al-Zarqawi once again in Iraq. With him was Muwaffaq Adwan, a Jordanian national, who I knew in Afghanistan. In Iraq, Abu-Musa'ab told me to go to Jordan along with Muwaffaq Adwan to prepare for a military operation in Jordan. He arranged for smuggling me into Jordan. Upon arrival in Jordan, I met one of the individuals affiliated with Abu-Musa'ab. His name was Haytham Umar Ibrahim, a Syrian national, who had secured safe houses for us.[82]

With the start of the war in Iraq, Zarqawi and the members of Ansar al Islam were driven out of the country by coalition forces. Yet Zarqawi is accused of being responsible for the August 7th 2003 attack, in which a car bomb blew up the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, the first in a deadly wave of bombings using similar methods.[83] In late January 2004, U.S. officials claimed that there was mounting evidence which linked Zarqawi to some of the deadliest attacks in Iraq in 2003, including an attack against Italian forces, the U.N headquarters in Baghdad and the Imam Ali Mosque in Baghdad, which all together led to 162 deaths.[84]

Zarqawi's profile in Iraq has risen over the past year in the wake of a stream of terror attacks-including deadly car bombs, roadside shootings and vicious beheadings-for which Zarqawi's group has claimed responsibility. The result of these activities has made Zarqawi America's number one suspect in Iraq, on whom they have put a 25 million-dollar bounty, equaling that on Osama bin Laden.

Zarqawi Financing

To date, there is minimal concrete evidence of a money trail financing Zarqawi's activities. The most solid evidence came from Jordanian officials, who sentenced a 34-year-old man to six months in prison for collecting funds for Zarqawi to carry out armed insurgency in Iraq. The Jordanian State Security Court (SSC) found that the defendant, Bilal Mansour Hiyari, met Zarqawi in Iraq in 2003 and the two agreed that Hiyari would collect money to fight the US forces there. Court documents stated that Hiyari visited Zarqawi in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003, and was asked by him to return to the Kingdom and collect money for operations in Iraq and Jordan.

Hiyari then returned to Jordan, met one of Zarqawi's aides in Amman and gave him $3,000 to buy a car for Zarqawi in Iraq.[85]

In a more general investigation, a U.S. military intelligence official claimed that around $500 million in unaccounted funds from Saddam Hussein's former regime is being used to finance a growing insurgency in Iraq. The United States believes about half a billion dollars that once belonged to the former Iraqi government, along with funds from individuals and religious groups in Saudi Arabia, is being funneled through Syria and used to fund insurgents.[86]

According to John Abizaid, commander of the US Central Command, Zarqawi's is one of those connected to the former regime:

We have intelligence information that confirms the existence of some relationship between Al-Zarqawi and officials from the former regime, especially officials at the Iraqi intelligence service. We feel worried about the existence of coordination between a terrorist group and elements of the former Iraqi intelligence, for that coordination will help create opportunities for cooperation among the enemies in such a away that can threaten our forces.[87]

Threat Analysis

According to Al Jazeera, Zarqawi's source of power comes from his ability to make effective use of inexpensive means widely available in Iraq, such as car bombs and explosive belts. The report claims that Zarqawi and his organization are not at a high level of organizational ability and scientific achievement.[88] Nevertheless, Zarqawi has the technical capability and ideological following to produce major attacks. Zarqawi is also known for his use of kidnappings, some which have lead to beheadings, to gain political leverage.

Zarqawi's call for an alliance with al-Qaida should be viewed as elevating his organization to a new plane of capability. This alliance could give Jama'at al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad access to the technical, financial, and organizational resources of al-Qaida. When combined with the manpower of the Zarqawi network, this could spell trouble not only for Iraq, but for surrounding countries as well.

Notes

[1] "Iraq: Kurdish Islamist Figure on Mediation Between PUK, Ansar Al Islam." BBC, April 25, 2002.

[2] Toby Sterling, "Iraqi Kurd Militant Held in Dutch Jail, Investigated for Possible Ties to Al Qaida, Saddam." The Associated Press, December 4, 2002.

[3] Jonathan Schanzer, "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al Qaeda Connection." The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, January 17, 2003.

[4] Catherine Taylor, "Taliban-Style Group Grows in Iraq." Christian Science Monitor, March 15, 2002.

[5] Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Great Terror." The New Yorker, March 25, 2002.

[6] "Ansar al Islam Confirms Death of Al Qa'idah Member in Iraqi Kurdistan." BBC, January 7, 2003.

[7] C.J. Chivers, "Threats and Responses: Northern Iraq; Kurds Face a Second Enemy: Islamic Fighters on Iraq Flank." The New York Times, January 13, 2003.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Jonathan Schanzer. Ibid.

[10] "Iraqi Kurdish PUK Official Cited on Link Between Baghdad, Al Qa'idah." BBC, August 23, 2002.

[11] Brit Hume, Honathan Hunt, Amy Kellogg, Jim Angle, Carl Cameron, Brian Wilson, "Political Headlines." Fox News Network, August 5, 2004.

[12] Toby Sterling, "Iraqi Kurd Militant Held in Dutch Jail, Investigated for Possible Ties to Al Qaida, Saddam." The Associated Press, December 4, 2002.

[13] Steve Holland, "Iraq Stays Defiant as Conflict Looms; Baghdad No to Bush Demands." Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), September 15, 2002.

[14] "Leader of Islamic Extremist Group Linked to Al Qaeda Lived in Norway as a Refugee." Associated Press, August 22, 2002.[15] "Attackers Posing as Journalists Fired on Paratroopers Iraq Rebels Down Us Chopper." Financial Times Information, January 3, 2003.

[16] Catherine Taylor. Ibid.

[17] Toby Sterling. Ibid.

[18] Damian Whitworth, "Us Prepares Strikes as Al Qaeda Reappears." The Times, March 18, 2002.

[19] "Iraqi Kurdish PUK Official Cited on Link Between Baghdad, Al Qa'idah." BBC, August 23, 2002.

[20] Catherine Taylor. Ibid.

[21] "Ansar al Islam Confirms Death of Al Qa'idah Member in Iraqi Kurdistan." BBC, January 7, 2003.

[22] Catherine Taylor. Ibid.

[23] "Iraq: Kurdish Islamist Figure on Mediation Between PUK, Ansar Al Islam." BBC, April 25, 2002.

[24] "Ansar al Islam Confirms Death of Al Qa'idah Member in Iraqi Kurdistan." BBC, January 7, 2003.

[25] "Here is the Kurdish Al Qaeda." Financial Times Information, January 7, 2003.

[26] Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Great Terror." The New Yorker, March 25, 2002.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Neal Conan, "Linking Iraq to Terrorism." National Public Radio, February 6, 2003.

[29] "Iraq: Kurdish Islamist Figure on Mediation Between PUK, Ansar Al Islam." BBC, April 25, 2002.

[30] Ibid.

[31] C.J. Chivers, "Threats and Responses: Northern Iraq; Kurds Face a Second Enemy: Islamic Fighters on Iraq Flank." The New York Times, January 13, 2003.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] C.J. Chivers, "Repulsing Attack by Islamic Militants, Iraqi Kurds Tell of Atrocities." The New York Times, December 6, 2002.

[36] Jonathan Schanzer, "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al Qaeda Connection." The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, January 17, 2003.

[37] "Iraq: Kurdish Islamist Figure on Mediation Between PUK, Ansar Al Islam." BBC, April 25, 2002.

[38] C.J. Chivers, "Threats and Responses: Northern Iraq; Kurds Face a Second Enemy: Islamic Fighters on Iraq Flank." The New York Times, January 13, 2003.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Jonathan Schanzer. Ibid.

[41] Jeffrey Goldber. Ibid.

[42] Catherine Taylor. Ibid.

[43] Damian Whitworth, "Us Prepares Strikes as Al Qaeda Reappears." The Times, March 18, 2002.

[44] Jonathan Schanzer.

[45] C.J. Chivers. Ibid.

[46] "Iraqi Kurdish PUK Official Cited on Link Between Baghdad, Al Qa'idah." BBC, August 23, 2002.

[47] Jonathan Schanzer. Ibid.

[48] "Here is the Kurdish Al Qaeda." Financial Times Information, January 7, 2003.

[49] Jonathan Schanzer. Ibid.

[50] Anthony Deutsch, "Dutch Police Arrest Leader of Kurdish Rebel Group With Suspected Links to Al Qaida." Associated Press, September 13, 2002.

[51] C.J. Chivers, "Repulsing Attack by Islamic Militants, Iraqi Kurds Tell of Atrocities." The New York Times, December 6, 2002.

[52] Edith Lederer, "U.N. Seeks Sanctions for Al Zarqawi-Group." Associated Press, October 20, 2004.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Richard Boucher, "Foreign Terrorists Organizations: Designation of Jama'at al - Tawhid wa'al-Jihad and Aliases." U.S. Department of State, October 15, 2004.

[55] "Profile: Tawhid and Jihad Group." BBC News, October 8, 2004.

[56] Edith Lederer, "U.N. Seeks Sanctions for Al Zarqawi-Group." Associated Press, October 20, 2004.

[57] "Profile: Tawhid and Jihad Group." BBC News, October 8, 2004.

[58] Richard Boucher, "Foreign Terrorists Organizations: Designation of Jama'at al - Tawhid wa'al-Jihad and Aliases." U.S. Department of State, October 15, 2004.

[59] "Transcript: Al Zarqawi Claims Responsibility for Attack on Iraqi Interior Ministry Official." yes"> Why-war.com, May 22, 2004. yes"> http://www.why-war.com/news/2004/05/22/alzarqaw.html 

[60] "Profile: Tawhid and Jihad Group." BBC News, October 8, 2004.

[61] Edith Lederer, "U.N. Seeks Sanctions for Al Zarqawi-Group." Associated Press, October 20, 2004.

[62] Richard Boucher, "Foreign Terrorists Organizations: Designation of Jama'at al - Tawhid wa'al-Jihad and Aliases." U.S. Department of State, October 15, 2004.

[63] "Profile: Tawhid and Jihad Group." BBC News, October 8, 2004.

[64] Richard Boucher, "Foreign Terrorists Organizations: Designation of Jama'at al - Tawhid wa'al-Jihad and Aliases." U.S. Department of State, October 15, 2004.

[65] Edith Lederer, "U.N. Seeks Sanctions for Al Zarqawi-Group." Associated Press, October 20, 2004.

[66] Jeffrey Gettleman, "Zarqawi's Journey: From Dropout to Prisoner to an Insurgent Leader in Iraq", The New York Times. 13 July 2004.

[67] Ibid.

[68] "Al-Jezeera TV Investigates Iraqi militant Al Zarqawi's Al Qaidah links" BBC Worldwide Monitering, 2 July 2004.

[69] Ibid.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Jeffrey Gettleman, "Zarqawi: How a mean drunk turned Jihadist" The International Herald Tribune, 14 July 2004.

[72] Ibid.

[73] Al Jazeera.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Al Jazeera.

[78] http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/17/al.zarqawi.statement/index.html 

[79] Jeffrey Gettleman, "Zarqawi's Journey: From Dropout to Prisoner to an Insurgent Leader in Iraq", The New York Times. 13 July 2004.

[80] Ibid.

[81] Ibid.

[82] Al Jazeera.

[83] Jeffrey Gettleman, "Zarqawi's Journey: From Dropout to Prisoner to an Insurgent Leader in Iraq", The New York Times. 13 July 2004.

[84] http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/01/29/sprj.nirq.main/index.html 

[85] Rana Husseini . "Man Jailed for Financing Zarqawi", Jordan Times. 1 November 2004.

[86] http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/22/iraq.main/ 

[87] Al Jazeera.

[88] Ibid.