Al-Qaeda in Iraq Returns with a Vengeance

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Unfortunately, that defeat did not completely destroy the ISI, as the Islamist terror group began a long slow road back to terror relevance, a road pockmarked with sporadic but deadly terrorist attacks.

Those al-Qaeda attacks included two truck bombings in August 2009 in Baghdad that killed at least 100 dead and more than 500 wounded; two car bombings in October 2009 outside Baghdad’s Justice Ministry that killed 160 and at least 540 wounded; and a series of suicide car bombings in December 2009 that killed 127.

By the beginning of 2012, however, ISI’s terrorist actions were being matched by its expanding terrorist ambitions, aspirations aided in large part by the withdrawal of the last American troops from Iraq; a weak Iraqi central government; and a raging civil war in neighboring Syria.

Specifically, in addition to upending the Iraqi government, the ISI has been equally committed to overturning the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a commitment evidenced by al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters streaming into Syria and hitching up with other al-Qaeda-linked groups.

The ISI incursion into Syria has raised fears that the al-Qaeda groups are attempting to carve out a separate Sharia-run homeland in the Sunni-dominated region which spans the border between Syria and western Iraq, something the ISI attempted to do when it once controlled Iraq’s largest province, al-Anbar, and declared it to be an Islamic caliphate.

Yet, while the ISI manages to wage a two-front jihadist war, thoughts of expanding that front to the United States is very much on the minds of the al-Qaeda killers.

Those thoughts were expressed by ISI leader Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi in his message announcing the groups’ new strategic plan, in which he warned, “You (America) will soon witness how attacks will resound in the heart of your land, because our war with you has now started.”

Unfortunately, that ship may have already sailed, given that US intelligence officials recently told a House Committee that the Islamic State of Iraq has already been trying to establish a terrorist network in the United States and Canada.

To prove that point, they cited the January 2011 arrest of Faruq Isa, a Canadian man charged with attempting to recruit fighters to launch attacks against US forces in Iraq; and the May 2011 arrest in Kentucky of Iraqi refugees Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, both charged with attempting to send sniper rifles, Stinger missiles and money to the ISI.

Still, despite it all, there are still those who remain confident that the threat posed by al-Qaeda in Iraq is limited, arguing that despite its recent attacks, the terror group commands no territory and has little popular Sunni support.

One such person is State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland who recently said that while the al-Qaeda campaign of terror was “cowardly and reprehensible” nonetheless, it was “going to fail.”

Yet, while there is no doubt that the Islamic State of Iraq’s actions have been cowardly and reprehensible, it’s still very unclear, given recent events, if the Islamist terror group will ultimately fail in its jihadist quest.

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  • Chezwick

    Sorry folks, but I'm glad we're the hell out of Iraq. This is the one and only thing that Obama has done right in his three and a half years in power.

    If we had fought to prop up a secular regime in Iraq that reflected our values (my initial rational for supporting the invasion), that would have been quite different, but to have our best and brightest go over there and get killed and maimed so that Iraq could institute a Sharia regime aligned with Iran, well, this was a rank obscenity, a tragedy on so many levels. We're better off out.

    The confessional hatreds of Shia and Sunni run a lot deeper in the Muslim collective psyche than any short-term influence America could ever exert. Let them dissipate their energies slaughtering each other instead of us.

    • aleric_kong

      There was a rational way to withdrawal, like providing advisers, logistics, training and air power to continue the gains we made.

      Then there was the Obama way, which consists of turning over the Middle East to the al-Qaeda backed Moslem brotherhood and abandoning everyone we told to rise up for basic human rights, like the women in today's Moslem world, only so Obama can win votes.

      Casualties were low before Obama's irrational withdrawal. al-Qaeda's new resurgence contradicts the leftist argument that terrorists only exist because of US involvement.

      • Chezwick

        The Iraqi government demanded the lifting of immunity for US servicemen serving in Iraq as a condition for a continuation of the American presence. No President in his right mind would have accepted such a condition. And the idea that all would have turned out well in Iraq had we just maintained a presence there is as fallacious as the belief that our continued presence in Afghanistan will somehow bring peace and stability to that tortured country.

  • ★FALCON★

    Thank Goodness Obama ended the war in Iraq responsibly or we could have had 10 years of blood and treasure circle the drain. Whew.

    I know where to find thirty thousand drones that could be used to wipe out any remnants of al-Qaida.

  • SAM000

    How naive and simplistic are USA intelligence;
    the last days violence in several points of Baghdad was done with the QODS forces and collaboration of the Iraqi security forces under direct command of Al-Maliki the Iraqi PM.

    Iraqi Parliament is planning to impeach the PM for the crimes and corruption and the result will be the destitution of the current Government who is the proxy of the Islamic Regime of Teheran.

    Al-Maliki says that his destitution will cause the VIOLENCE, AL-Maliki uses this tactic from 2005 to stay on power, the principal reason of AL-MALIKI's impeachment is his implication of these ethnic violence from 2005.
    Al-Maliki the Iraqi PM is the Commander of Security Forces, ARMY, POLICE, Special FORCES, and the target of all these bombings and assassinations are the high ranked officials who are not with Al-Maliki.

    Al-Qaeda is another name of Iranian QODS FORCES in IRAQ,

    Iran's Mullahs are fooling you the Americans, You have Gained the war of IRAQ, you offered IRAQ in a gold plate to the Iranian Mullahs and now you are playing the Mullah's game in the MIDDLE EAST.

    At this level of understanding, you the Americans, you are your lethal enemies, you yourself.
    The Mullahs play, and you are dancing with their RHYTHM.

  • melvin polatnick

    Revenge seeking Sunni tribesmen will soon be searching basements for hiding Christians. The massacre cannot be prevented unless the hunted are quickly transported to the Vatican. The Pope himself must come to Syria to supervise the evacuation.

  • amused

    Hey Chezwick again in rarity , I find myself in agreement. If Alqueda wants to light up the Iraqis , LET THE IRAQIS take care of it . Unlike these chicken-hawk armchair Generals who criticize our complete withdrawal from that place .The US gave them their chance at Liberty , if they want their necks under the heel ofSharia-Al Queda , that's there problem .

    As for you SAM000 , it was the CIA's faulty intelligence that got us in Iraq . Afghanistan next ASAP .Any thing they start in those two countries , we can finish from the air .

    • SAM000

      amused, intelligence, CIA, army, air strike and all kind of tools are only the tools, how to use them and why and for what purpose is the QUESTION.

      the first QUESTION IS;
      WHAT KIND OF human sense overturns a DICTATORSHIP for a middle aged ISLAMIC REGIME?
      or, WHY USA freed Iraq from SADDAM military regime and offered it to the enemy of humanity who is the ISLAMIC REGIME OF IRAN?!

      Second Question, which is inside the first question but concerns OBAMA's Middle eastern policy;
      WITHDRAWAL from IRAQ for the benefits of whom?
      For the benefits of democracy or the enemy of democracy?

      First action of attacking IRAQ was an historic and strategic and GEOPOLITICAL MISTAKE.

      Withdrawal of IRAQ is an STAMP of the SUPERPOWER DEATH.

      OBAMA has offered a white stamped paper to all the enemies.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I heard some sound advice years ago, 'Never kill a man committing suicide.' seems to fit in Iraq. Evil
    hangs over the Middle East unyieldingly and will only disappear when the sky there is over
    1,000,000 times brighter than the Sun. Americans sacrificed and did their best with boots on
    the ground, the lack of change goes to the inner character of the people we try to help and
    their mellenial hatreds, fallen state and refusal of mercy and grace………………..William

    • SAM000

      You said, "the lack of change goes to the inner character of the people"

      Which kind of help?
      What help?
      Installing and supporting the proxy of the Mullahs of Iran on power in IRAQ is help?
      You have removed Saddam, BUT you have installed a regime which is 1000 times worst than Saddam, the current regime has killed more than 1 millions of Iraqians.

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