Bombings Bear Signs of al-Qaida in Iraq, General Says

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2011 — Bomb explo­sions that have killed at least 58 Iraqis today appear to be the work of al-Qai­da in Iraq, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Iraq said here today.

The explo­sions, sim­i­lar to an attack launched in August last year, struck cities from Tikrit to Bagh­dad to Bas­ra, with the largest loss of life in Kut. 

The attacks are proof that Iraq remains a dan­ger­ous place, Army Maj. Gen. Jef­frey Buchanan said. 

“We haven’t seen claims for these attacks, but giv­en the tar­gets, the meth­ods, it very much looks like al-Qaida’s work,” Buchanan said in an inter­view with the Pen­ta­gon Chan­nel and Amer­i­can Forces Press Service. 

But though al-Qai­da in Iraq still can launch spec­tac­u­lar attacks, the gen­er­al said, the organization’s mem­ber­ship, fund­ing and free­dom of move­ment have con­tin­ued to decline. 

At one time, he said, al-Qai­da in Iraq was able to launch these attacks almost dai­ly and posed an exis­ten­tial threat to the Iraqi gov­ern­ment. Today, al-Qai­da is a shad­ow or its for­mer self, and even hor­ren­dous attacks like today’s do not rep­re­sent a threat to the gov­ern­ment, Buchanan said. “[Al-Qai­da in Iraq] is between 800 to 1,000 mem­bers of all stripes, from financiers to smug­glers to media peo­ple to fight­ers,” he added. 

The ter­ror­ists remain dan­ger­ous, Buchanan said, but they have been under attack by U.S. and Iraqi forces, and have lost any sup­port they had from the Iraqi peo­ple by their cal­lous bomb­ing cam­paign that kills fel­low Muslims. 

Al-Qai­da in Iraq has nev­er changed its ide­ol­o­gy, the gen­er­al not­ed, and Iraqis know this. “They will do any­thing they can and mur­der any­one to try to over­throw the gov­ern­ment,” he said, “but they have very lit­tle support.” 

The ter­ror orga­ni­za­tion has lost its free­dom of move­ment in the coun­try, Buchanan said. At one time, he added, the ter­ror­ists were able to move from Mosul and Tikrit to through­out Anbar province, and in and around the sub­urbs of Bagh­dad. They had a net­work of sup­port­ers that gave them that mobility. 

The group also has lost much of the fund­ing stream it count­ed on in the past, Buchanan said, and report­ed­ly has been rob­bing banks and gold stores to mount its operations. 

Final­ly, he said, the stream of for­eign fight­ers flow­ing in to Iraq over the Syr­i­an bor­der has almost dried up. 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →