al-Zawraa vs al Qaeda

Mishan al-Jabouri goes on al-Zawraa and attacks al Qaeda

Mishan al-Jabouri attacks al Qaeda on al-Zawraa. Click image to view.

While the Sunni insurgency is often seen as a united block, the reality is that under the surface, there are great tensions and disagreements between the ‘domestic’ insurgents and the ‘foreigners.’ Nibras Kazimi has reported that Mishan al-Jabouri, the owner of al-Zawraa, or Muj TV, has issued a scathing statement against al Qaeda in Iraq, and its political front, the Islamic State of Iraq, which is run by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. The attack on al Qaeda in Iraq was given by al-Jabouri himself and broadcast on al-Zawraa after several days of publishing items critical of al Qaeda in its scroll. Al-Jabouri is aligned with the Islamic Army in Iraq, a Islamist insurgent group with close ties to al Qaeda. Mr. Kazimi provides a translation of al-Jabouri’s statement. Al-Jabouri provides a laundry list of complaints against al Qaeda and its Islamic State, which I have summarized as follows:

• al Qaeda in Iraq has divided the Iraqi people, failed to protect the Sunnis and brought the Shia death squads down on the Sunnis by inciting sectarian violence through mass suicide attacks. al Qaeda has “broken the back of national unity in Iraq and they resulted in bringing great suffering upon Iraqis” by targeting Shia and giving the Shia “the excuse for it to retaliate and go to the Sunni neighborhoods to kill 4 or 5 or 10 times the number that was killed of the Shi’as.”

Al-Zawraa logo. Click image to view.

• The Islamic State of Iraq in Iraq wants the Sunni groups to “pledge allegiance” to leaders, ministers and emirs whose identities are unknown, including Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

• Islamic State of Iraq has continued to conduct an extensive campaign of assassination against rival sheikhs, emirs and insurgent group leaders, and in many cases added insult to injury by failing to give the bodies back to theh families. One of al-Jabouri’s own messengers was executed.

• The Islamic State of Iraq has no system of law or justice. “Is this the State you want to establish? To kill people without an accusation, or investigation, without a judge or nothing.”

• Weapons and ammunition are being confiscated from insurgent groups that do not support the Islamic State.

• al Qaeda in Iraq is intentionally targeting members of the Iraqi Army and police forces, who al-Jabouri and other insurgents believe are acting in the best interest of Iraqis.

• The goal of the Islamic State of Iraq is to serve as a stepping stone to attack other nations, which endangers the Iraqi people. “We will not allow Iraq to turn into a dangerous place that threatens the countries of the region under any pretext, these Arabs that you have about you, let then go and fight in their own countries and not among us…”

• Because of al Qaeda’s actions the Sunni insurgents not aligned with the Islamic State are preparing to battle with al Qaeda outside of Ramadi. “I warn you that in areas apart from Ramadi the situation is changing whereby all will cooperate to confront you.”

al-Zawraa: Muj in an Iraqi city. Click image to view.

Al-Jabouri’s turnaround is stunning, since just last December he was broadcasting al Qaeda propaganda videos on al-Zawraa. In a response to my article al-Zawraa: Muj TV, al-Jabouri openly admitted to having contacts with the terrorist group to receive their propaganda. Several U.S. military and intelligence officials believe al-Jabouri himself is as close to al Qaeda as it gets (an accusation al-Jabouri denies). He and his network are based out of Syria, the hub of the Islamist jihadis.

Al-Jabouri’s turn against al Qaeda highlights the war-within-the-war in the Iraqi Sunni community. al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents have repeatedly battled in Anbar province and elsewhere. The infighting has led to the formation of the Anbar Salvation Council, led by Shiekh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha. Sattar, who fought alongside al Qaeda in the past before his tribe and members of his own family were targeted, is now cooperating with the government and forming 8 battalions of tribal fighters called Emergency Response Units. The U.S. now estimated 12 of the 21 tribes in Ramadi actively support the government, 6 are neutral and three have sided with al Qaeda.

al Qaeda has fired back with a vicious campaign of suicide attacks, murders and kidnappings of tribal leaders in an attempt to intimidate the Anbar tribes. Last year, a captured document showed al Qaeda’s ‘hit list’ of Sunni politicians, tribal leaders, clerics and Baathists in Anbar.

Just yesterday, 11 members of a pro government tribe, including women and children, were executed on a highway outside Fallujah. In Ramadi, two suicide bombers attacked the home of Sattar, killing 11 and wounding 4. Like the attack in Tarmiyahyesterday, two suicide vehicles were employed: one the breach the outside wall, another to strike at the compound inside. Sattar was not injured in the attack.

Click to view video of Mishan al-Jabouri on al-Zawraa.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • C-Low says:

    Does this mean we finanlly pulled the Sunni Nationalist to our side? Many had predicted such would happen after Saddam was executed. If the Nationalist/Bathist did finally wake up and smell the Jihad this is beyond huge news, that would not be a turning point but a freekin death nell for AQ Radicals.
    We never really had beef with the Bathist just Saddamites. It would make sense the Bathist/Nationalist would have to realize both that
    a) Iraq was not going back to a Sunni Dictatorship the Shia/Kurds had been let out of the bag so to say. And it would be a hell of alot better to use their education/expeirence to acheive high rank in the Iraqi Democratic government rather than be slaughter and driven out of Iraq by a Shia/Kurd gov that is getting to the needed education/expeirence level needed closer and closer everyday.
    b) If the US wins US go home and economic trade and alliance/aid pushes Iraq’s economy to new heights, prosperity nearly garanteed for a educated/expeirenced people like the Sunni. If AQ radicals win US forced to leave either Shia/Kurd alliance slaughters the Sunni or AQ radicals even win that war too say and they after just turn on the westernized style nationalist/Bathist and then the surrounding Sunni apostate governments, Death, Slaughter, Horror for generatia to come.
    This is just major news MAJOR if it pans out. I guess we finally went to the Sunnis and in no uncertian terms told em it was time to choose or we would choose a side and the consequences would be fast and horrific.
    Sad part is if this turns out to be True I got $20 that says the so called “mainstream media” don’t report, understand, or even recognize this for what it is.

  • RTLM says:

    All the more reason to get the Iraq Army units trained up and keep the terrorist vs. terrorist fighting contained. I think that’s what we might be aiming for.

  • Dave says:

    Bill, do you have any comments on the British pullout news?

  • seruriermarshal says:

    Coalition fighting terrorists in Buhriz , any more news about that ?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Review last summer’s press.
    This is a six-month delay of UK force reduction from what was planned last summer.
    They were to be at 4000-4500 by July by the old plan. Now they will not reach that until end-2007 by the new plan.
    Covering for IA elements that deployed to Baghdad until their replacements can be trained up…

  • Bill, yikes, glad Sattar survived.
    FYI, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division transfered authority for Ramadi on Sunday to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
    Sattar was at the transfer ceremony. Covered on “Geraldo At Large” on Sunday night on Fox.
    Photo of Sattar with Gen. Odierno here.

  • cjr says:

    I think what we are witnessing in Ramdi is basically the US executing a correct and therefore successful counterinsurgency strategy and Al Qaeda executing an incorrect and therefore failing insugrency strategy.
    In a few years, I predict that Ramadi along with Tel Afar, will become the textbook examples, taught in military acadamies, on how to run a successful counterinsurgency (and how not to run an insurgency). As much as Mao wrote the book on insurgency, the US Army and Marines is now (re)writing the book on counterinsurgency.
    What we are seeing at al-Zawraa is a symptom of the failing insugency. As the insurgency fails, unity starts falling apart as different factions look for scapegoats.

  • mark says:

    Wow, great news indeed.
    It will be interesting to see if al Qaeda responds to this.

  • David M says:

    Trackbacked by The Thunder Run – Web Reconnaissance for 02/21/2007
    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

  • cjr at 4:05 AM, actually if you look again at the doctrine, the US has been running an insurgency against the extremely repressive counterinsurgency of al-Qaeda and the Baathists. In any case, Ramadi is a successful example of the tactic.

  • Rob says:

    This is impressive. It is the ground game. When it starts to work, other things start to work. Look at the pressure Al Qaeda, Iran, and Sader are under. It is tremendous and in some places they are starting to crack.
    That does not mean they are still not dangerous. These double suicide bombings are going to be tough to deal with. But notice they are often targeting civilians. The American military may be too hard a target.
    Sometime the Sunnis in Iraq have to decide where their future really lies.
    Sometime the Democrat Congress has to decide how much they want us to lose. And if the voters are really that suicidal.

  • Michael says:

    Think I lost a comment. The tide is turning all over the place. Here is a good story from MNF-I:
    Jumaylah citizens deny insurgents.

    “Local citizens and Iraqi Police denied an al Qaeda in Iraq convoy entry into Jumaylah, 60 km west of Baghdad, early Feb. 20, firing on the convoy and detonating a suicide truck bomb that injured one Iraqi Police officer, one civilian and the bomber.”
    “At about 4 a.m., an Iraqi Policemen attempted to stop the seven-vehicle convoy from entering the town. When the convoy continued, local civilians manning the checkpoint opened fire and one vehicle equipped as a car bomb exploded.”
    “The driver of the vehicle used as a car bomb survived the incident and was transported by Coalition Forces to the Joint Coordination Center in Fallujah for questioning where he was later identified as a Syrian national.”

    This last line, “Syrian national” captured is so important to intel going back to Syria and the names and structure we can pull together.
    Iraqis are pulling together…, as a result, the tide is turning and we get better intel against Syria and Iran.


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