A Brief History of the Islamic State of Iraq
The USG Open Source Center translates a history of the Islamic State of Iraq posted to a jihadi internet site.
|‘ Forum Participant Posts Analysis, History, Objectives of Islamic State of Iraq|
Jihadist Websites — OSC Summary
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Terrorism: Forum Participant Posts Analysis, History, Objectives of Islamic State of Iraq On 14 May, a forum participant posted to a jihadist website a statement titled “Examining the Components of the Islamic State of Iraq, its Future and Repercussions in the Region,” which reviews the stages of Al-Qa’ida’s transformation from “revolution to state.”
The statement cites President Bush in his press conference, October 2006, as saying that “America’s presence in Iraq is precisely to thwart the establishment of “a strong Islamic state, caliphate,” which will “endanger Western interests and threaten America at home.” The author also says that 70 percent of the Sunni tribes support the Islamic State of Iraq.
A summary of the statement follows:
The first stage of the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) began a day after the 15 December 2005 formation of the “Mujahidin Shura Council,” which aimed at uniting all the mujahidin’s efforts and to direct those against the American occupation and its allies, so as to become the “nucleus” of the Islamic state. Besides the Al-Qa’ida Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers, the Shura Council at the time included such groups as The Victorious Sect, Ahl al-Sunna wa-al-Jama’ah, Ansar al-Tawhid Brigades, Al-Jihad al-Islami and Al-Murabitun Brigades, and others. The council was headed by Shaykh Abdallah Bin Rashid al-Baghdadi. The Shura Council took charge of the military operations, and coordinated between the other Iraqi resistance groups, Islamists, and nationalists. The second stage started on 12 October 2006 with a pact between the Shura Council and Al-Fatihin Army, Jund al-Sahabah, and Ansar al-Tawhid Brigades, together with many of the tribes’ shaykhs.
The last stage was the video announcement of the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq on 13 October 2006, and the appointment of Al-Shaykh Abu-Umar al-Baghdadi al-Hashimi Al-Hasani as the amir of the state. Al-Baghdadi, then, established a Shura Council composed of three individuals from each group, regardless of the number of fighters in the group or the number of their operations. The council was also joined by a representative from each of the big tribes or families in addition to experts and specialized persons. A separate five-member council was established “to discuss and decide important issues when needed and when time demands it.” The American occupation of Iraq created a “new geo-political reality” based on sectarianism, partition as represented by the Kurdish state in the north, and Shite state in the center and south, which left the Sunnis in an “unenviable situation,” and thus no role to play in the Iraqi political equation.
The Islamic State of Iraq comprises most of the Sunni areas, such as a large section of Baghdad, Al-Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninawa, Salah-al-Din, parts of the Provinces of Babil and Wasit, and more than 70 percent of the Sunni tribal shaykhs, who pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq. Furthermore, the Islamic State issued a call to former high-ranking Iraqi officers to draw them into its ranks and benefit from their knowledge and expertise. Such officers have to meet two conditions: “Study three parts of the noble Koran; and pass a test in shari’a thought to verify the officer’s renunciation of Ba’th ideology.”& nbsp; In return, the Islamic State guarantees everyone that passes those conditions a “proper salary that promises him a decent livelihood, housing, and a car,” just like all the other mujahidin. Each province of the state has an amir, a religious court, a few offices to raise funds, and a military commission that represents the fighters and the military leaders, who are chosen according to their qualifications.
The most important tasks and duties of the Islamic State of Iraq according to Uthman Abd al-Rahman, the official in charge of the Shari’a Commission, the statement reads, is to “spread monotheism on earth, to cleanse it of polytheism, to govern according to the law of God, to repulse the aggressors, to provide for the martyrs and prisoners families and for those who are in need, and to support the fighters” among other duties. In the area of media and information, the ISI considers the Al-Furqan Establishment for Media Production and Al-Fajr Media as the “only two such parties” authorized to release any and all ISI media, audio, video communications or otherwise. Also, the most important reasons for the establishment of ISI, the statement says, is to “fill the political vacuum” created by the apparent political, military and security failure of the US and its Iraqi allies, and to “preempt” other opportunistic organizations from reaping the fruits of the mujahidin’s military successes. ISI takes into account three groups in Iraq and deals with them accordingly: the apostates, the misguided, and the resistance. The first two are to be fought against, and the third, it supports and guides and seeks to have them “join” the state.
The statement quotes President Bush in his press conference on 11 October 2006 as calling on the American people to support him in Iraq to prevent the creation in Iraq of an Islamic state. The objectives of ISI, the statement says, are to “protect our people and honor,” fight and defeat the apostates, “kill the wounded giant Crusader,” unite the mujahidin and strengthen the ISI. The author closes by suggesting that the resistance shift from revolution to state may still face serious “risks” and may even fail as it did in Chechnya and Afghanistan; if it were to happen, however, it will not “necessarily mean a defeat” of the jihadi ideology. On the contrary, it may call for a “return to the revolutionary stage, and the adoption of fiercer strategy to defeat the occupation and its ally government.” ‘