• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

What Does al-Qaeda in Iraq Look Like After al-Masri and al-Baghdadi’s Deaths?

Still lethal, if today’s coordinated bombings in Baghdad are any indication. But in the wake of last week’s surprise killings of AQI leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, I asked Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza, spokesman for the U.S. military command in Iraq, for a sense of what the extremist network in Iraq looks like after losing its leadership for the first time since 2006.

In the face of pressure from Iraqi and U.S. forces, AQI has “fractured,” Lanza said, into three component groups: opportunists looking for cash in the absence of better choices; nationalists who want to drive the U.S. out and overthrow the Iraqi government; and ideologues like the leadership who buy into al-Qaeda’s larger conspiratorial worldview. It’s now almost entirely an Iraqi phenomenon, as opposed to the pre-surge AQI that was augmented by foreign fighters traveling to Iraq to attack U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians and receiving cash from al-Qaeda’s leadership in the Pakistani tribal areas. “We see not as many, and very few, foreign fighters compared to what we have seen a few years ago,” Lanza said on a blogger conference call. By contrast, in 2008, an aide to Gen. David Petraeus, then the commander in Iraq, described the typical adherent, or “Mr. AQI,” as a foreign fighter who came to Iraq after being radicalized through images of U.S. forces torturing detainees at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay.

The Iraqis that do join AQI rely on extortion to finance their attacks. “It’s through extortion, it’s through kidnapping, it’s through extortion of oil at the Baiji Oil Refinery and other facilities to get their money,” Lanza said. That’s a far cry from the days when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi wrote to Ayman al-Zawahiri for cash. It appears, Lanza said, that al-Qaeda Senior Leadership is moving resources to other franchises. (As we’ve seen with the rise of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.) That trend may accelerate now that al-Masri is dead. “They’re still looking for a way to expand they’re network, but he was their link outside of Iraq,” Lanza said.

AQI is still a capable force and has had recent high-profile successes in pulling off suicide car bombs in crowded areas. But its strategic objectives — plunging the country back into sectarian war — aren’t being achieved, and Iraq is down to levels of civilian violence comparable to January 2004. When I asked how many Iraqis support AQI, both as active fighters and as people who passively tolerate the extremists’ presence, Lanza said he couldn’t disaggregate that figure, but a rough estimate was between 1,500 and 2,000 Iraqis total. And that’s not so different from what the State Department’s intelligence branch pegged it at in 2007.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.