In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
In an interview with The Media Line, The Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI), a prominent Sunni insurgency group, revealed its motivations, ideology and aims regarding the war in Iraq.
Among the main issues brought up during the interview with IAI spokesman ‘Ali A-Na’imi, were the following:
- Democracy is an illusion and is impossible to implement under occupation.
- The IAI is open to dialogue only if the U.S. will announce a timetable for its withdrawal from Iraq and recognize the “resistance” as Iraq’s sole legitimate representative.
- The U.S. army will soon be stunned by the movement’s new advanced weapons.
- Iran is weak and will not be able to enter Iraq after the U.S.’s withdrawal.
- The IAI will not operate outside Iraq.
Established after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the IAI is comprised of ex-Iraqi military officers, all – or most – of whom are adherents of the Sunni creed. These officers recruit young Sunnis to the organization and train them in a combination of military discipline and guerilla warfare.
The movement takes the media war seriously and uses the Internet to promulgate its ideology. It produces a monthly magazine and airs a daily updated website. Each month the organization publishes what it calls the “harvest” of its operations. During last month, the IAI managed, according to its website, to kill at least 28 American soldiers, using guns and bombs.
Following are excerpts from the interview:
TML: Most parties in Iraq are backed by a military arm. In an ideal democracy, do you believe parties should have a military arm?
IAI: Democracy is a great illusion used by the U.S. to deceive the peoples of the world in order to justify its criminal deeds.It is an impossible concept in light of an occupation, which employs a divide-and-rule policy.
TML: In the past, the IAI said it considered conducting negotiations with the American army. What is your stand regarding negotiations today?
IAI: Our door is open to negotiations with others, for it is an important principle in war according to Islam. The religion of Islam permitted this principle in order to save lives and turn to war only as a last resort. Islam is a religion of peace and the Muslim only fights if he has to, as is our situation in Iraq. The Islamic Army’s official spokesman has announced our readiness for negotiations with preconditions. These include an announcement by the U.S. Congress regarding a timetable for the American forces’ withdrawal from Iraq, and its recognition in the resistance as the Iraqi people’s legitimate representative. However, until now we have not seen any serious steps from the Americans toward negotiations.
TML: Your activities involve much killing. How does this affect your warriors from a psychological point of view? Do they ever seek any psychological or other kinds of aid?
IAI: We are an ideological army and we believe in the hereafter. Fighting in the name of Allah is a divine honor and grace our warriors not only contend for but also take pleasure in. Therefore, they suffer no psychological effects or any such problem, contrary to the occupation soldiers’ pangs of conscience and fears of death and disability, which they suffer for the sake of satisfying U.S. President George W. Bush’s vanities. We will continue to draw confidence from our souls, from the rights we are willing to die for and from heaven, which was prepared for the God-fearing.
TML: You recently said that during the past two years the IAI had committed over 14,000 attacks. How do you finance your activities?
IAI: When IAI’s leader was asked this question two years ago by the London-based daily Al-Hayat, this was his answer: “In Iraq there are Jihad and wealth. We are a generous nation, which sacrifices its people’s lives, let alone their wealth.”
TML: What kinds of weapons do you use?
IAI: The experts and engineers in the military development unit are working day and night and they always have something new with which they surprise the enemies. God willing, soon you will hear news about advanced weapons, which will stun the occupation army and will gain a victory for Allah’s sake.
TML: In April 2005 the IAI announced the formation of the Al-Aqsa Support Division. This division was meant to support Palestinians in their armed struggle against Israel, according to your announcement. What have you done so far to support the Palestinian struggle? Have you sent experts to the Palestinian territories? Have you trained Palestinians in Iraq?
IAI: The aim behind these brigades was to support the Palestinians in their struggle against the Zionist entity and all who support it. We have our own policy regarding this issue. Everything that is done for the sake of the resistance in Iraq is also done for the sake of the Palestinian cause, because the two are part of the same problem and cannot be divided. The Zionist evil, as everyone knows, draws its might from the unlimited American support it receives. The Palestinian operatives undergo a high level of training, and it shows. It is our policy to benefit from past and present Islamic experiences to complement our activity in Iraq.
TML: In a recent article you published in your website, you said Iran aimed to control Iraq and strip its Sunni population of any political influence. You also said Iran, after the American withdrawal, would aim to turn southern Iraq into a completely Shi’ite region, by way of arresting and transferring its Sunni population. You are fighting the American forces in Iraq. If they leave, what will prevent Iran from executing its plans?
IAI: Iran would not dare take one step toward or inside Iraq without receiving the green light from the United States. If that is not so, then where was Iran before the American occupation? Also, the U.S. entered Iraq with Iranian support, which cannot be hidden. The Iraqi street in the south, especially the Arab tribes, is tired of the Iranian influence. We say: He who succeeded in defeating America, can also respond to the Iranian aggressions, especially after the harsh experience Iran went through with the Iraqi warriors.
TML: Do you plan to expand your activities and commit attacks outside Iraq?
IAI: We have said time and again that the movement is defined by its name – the Islamic Army in Iraq. Iraq is the arena where the struggle takes place, and it would be illogical to leave it to the occupier in search of another arena.
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