14 October 2006

Iraq: Terrorist Organizations (Islamic Army in Iraq)

Here is a description of the Islamic Army in Iraq terrorist group from the official website of the Multi-National Force - Iraq:

The Islamic Army in Iraq, IAI, conducts a brutally violent campaign against foreigners within Iraq, specifically anyone believed to be cooperating with the U.S.-led coalition. IAI has been implicated in several gruesome beheading deaths. The terrorist group aims to drive all U.S. and related Coalition forces, both military and civilian, from Iraq. But IAI does not limit its attacks to just these groups; it has also murdered French journalists, Pakistani contractors, an Italian journalist, and Macedonian citizens working for a U.S. company.

In the past, IAI has kidnapped individuals or group of people and then made demands impossible to meet. Frequently, these demands are indirectly related to the kidnapping victims. For example, IAI captured Enzo Baldoni, an Italian journalist who also volunteered for the Red Cross in Iraq. IAI demanded that Italy withdraw all troops from Iraq or Enzo Baldoni, both an independent journalist and humanitarian volunteer, would be killed. Italy did not recall its troops and Baldoni was murdered. This is a common tactic of IAI. The Islamic Army in Iraq has also attacked French civilians in retaliation for France’s law regarding headscarves in schools. IAI does not limit its terrorist attacks to non-Iraqis; the group has also executed Iraqi people who join Iraq’s police and military services.

According to old statements by the leader of the Islamic Army in Iraq, the group has thousands of terrorists in its ranks. The group’s leader also claims that the group is predominantly Iraqi, not foreign-born. Statements released in November 2004 announced that the Islamic Army in Iraq has collaborated with Ansar al-Sunnah and AQI.

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