Thursday, May 8, 2008

Straight from the Horse's Mouth

In case you are still wondering whether or not Al Qaeda in Iraq reports to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, a recently released interview with Ayman al-Zawahiri may be of help. Here is one of the answers he gave about Iraq:

Q: What is your estimation of the current situation in Iraq? What is your position with regards to the jihadist movements in Iraq headed by the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and the Ansar al-Sunnah organization? . . . .

A: First, the situation in Iraq brings news that the victory of Islam and the defeat of the crusaders and those who stand under their banner is near, Allah willing. Second, regarding the distinguished brothers from Ansar al-Sunnah, I have clearly stated my opinion previously. Third, the Islamic State [of Iraq] is a step towards the establishment of the caliphate, and is superior to the other armed jihadi movements. Thus, it is these groups that are obliged to acknowledge [the authority] of the Islamic State and not vice versa. The Amir al-Mumineen Abu Omar al-Baghdadi -- may Allah protect him -- is one of the great leaders of the Muslims and mujahideen during this era, and we ask Allah to grant him and us the strength to stand upright, victory, and success.

I have put part of al-Zawahiri's answer in boldface here for emphasis. Notice that al-Zawahiri is saying that other armed jihadi groups in Iraq must acknowledge the authority of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who heads up the Islamic State, an Al Qaeda front group.

If you believe that Al Qaeda in Iraq, AKA the Islamic State in Iraq, does not report to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, you have got to ask yourself why would al-Zawahiri be insisting that other armed groups in Iraq acknowledge the authority of the ISI? Would he really do that if the ISI didn't report to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda?

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