Talabani’s Mosul HQ Attacked; Al-Qaeda Connection
Gunmen sprayed machine gun fire at the party offices in Mosul of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by Jalal Talabani at 9 pm Thursday night Iraqi time, according to Al-Sharq al-Awsat. No one was wounded in the attack. Party officials blamed the attack on Ansar al-Islam, a small radical Sunni Kurdish faction that appears to have shadowy links to al-Qaeda. They said that Mosul is hospitable to such radical Sunni movements because it has an old Islamist tradition, going back decades to the beginnings of the Muslim Brotherhood there. (The flaw in this argument is that those traditions are among Arabs, whereas Ansar al-Islam, a much more recent phenomenon, is Kurdish). The fair number of violent incidents in Mosul gives the lie to the notion that only the Sunni Arab triangle in Iraq is a security problem. On Wednesday assailants had tossed a grenade into a movie theater.