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Friday, June 16, 2006

‘Al Qaeda sought war between US, Iran’

  • Iraq seizes documents giving key information about Al Qaeda network and its leaders
  • Baghdad sees ‘beginning of end of Al Qaeda’

BAGHDAD (Daily Times): Terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi planned to try and destroy the relationship between the United States and its Shia allies in Iraq and help start a war between America and Iran, according to what appeared to be a summary of an Al Qaeda in Iraq document released by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Thursday.

Iraqi security forces have seized Al Qaeda in Iraq documents giving key information about the militant group’s network and the whereabouts of its leaders, the country’s national security adviser said.

“We believe this is the beginning of the end of Al Qaeda in Iraq,” Mowaffaq al-Rubaie told a televised news conference.

“We believe Al Qaeda in Iraq was taken by surprise ... the government is on the attack now ... to destroy Al Qaeda and to finish this terrorist organisation in Iraq,” Rubaie said.

He said on Thursday that some documents were found in an Al Qaeda hideout where Zarqawi had been, but did not make clear whether this was the place where the Jordanian militant was killed last week.

Holding what he said was one of them in his hand, he added:

“I present to you a document that was found in one of Zarqawi’s computers that reveals many dangerous things and gives details on strategy and plans of the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation in Iraq.”

One said the US military’s programme to train Iraqi security forces to replace American troops was working, according to the announcement.

“Generally speaking and despite the gloomy present situation, we find that the best solution in order to get out of this crisis is to involve the US forces in waging a war against another country or any hostile groups,” the document said, as quoted by al-Maliki’s office.

There was no way to confirm the authenticity of the information attributed to Al Qaeda in the announcement, which said Iraqi forces that took part in the killing of al-Zarqawi found “a number of documents” that provide “the broad guidelines of the programme of the Saddamists and the takfiris inside al-Zarqawi’s group.”

According to the document, insurgents were being weakened by operations against them and by their failure to attract recruits. To give new impetus to the insurgency, they would have to change tactics, it added.

“We mean specifically attempting to escalate the tension between America and Iran, and American and the Shia in Iraq,” it said, especially among moderate followers of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

“Creating disputes between America and them could hinder the US cooperation with them, and subsequently weaken this kind of alliance between Shias and the Americans,” it said, adding that “the best solution is to get America involved in a war against another country and this would bring benefits.”

They included “opening a new front” for the US military and releasing some of the “pressure exerted on the resistance.”

It pointed to clashes in 2004 between US forces and followers of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army militia as evidence of the benefits of such a strategy. Al-Sadr and his growing followers are among the fiercest advocates of a US withdrawal from Iraq.

It said the “results obtained during the struggle between US army and al-Mahdi army is an example of the benefits to be gained by such struggle”. Agencies
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