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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Monday, February 27, 2006


Baghdad, 27 Feb. (AKI) - The organisation of al-Qaeda in Iraq, led by Jordanian miltiant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has adopted a new command structure, according to Salafite sources quoted by the Arabic news portal Wifaq. The new line-up is said to include a sort of shadow government at the head of the organisation mandated to direct all the activities of the group. Al-Zarqawi has been flanked by six 'ministers' and by a chief of staff who will coordinate all the operational brigades, the sources said.

In a document entitled "The strategy of al-Qaeda in Iraq", the group outlines a new decentralised and flexible organisational structure.

In the new hierarchy al-Zarqawi's number two would be Abu Abdel Rahman al-Iraqi who also has the role of 'interior minister' and oversees the internal affairs of the organisation. He has also been tasked with overseeing the direct links between al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Iraqi and other Arab volunteers who enrol in al-Qaeda.

The 'minister of defence' is Abu Asir, whose role is to infiltrate militants into the Iraqi security forces and army, as well as direct the suicide bomber brigade which al-Zarqawi considers central.

A 'religious affairs' post has been given to Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Baghdadi, who issues fatwas and other religious edicts as well as overseeing the spiritual life of the group.

The crucial role of 'information minister', overseeing Internet statements and working to attract recuits via the Internet, has been given to Abu Maysira al-Iraqi.
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