Posted by Curt on 3 April, 2006 at 6:24 pm. Be the first to comment!

Not sure what to make of this:

CAIRO, Egypt – Terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has sharply lowered his profile in recent months, halting his group’s Internet claims as the number of big suicide bombings in Iraq ? his infamous signature form of attack ? has fallen.

Now, a man with close ties to Iraqi insurgent groups claims al-Zarqawi was shunted aside as political leader of a recently formed coalition of militants because they were angry at his propaganda efforts and embarrassed by his group’s deadly attack on hotels in Jordan.

Interesting news but not sure if it really means anything. As the report notes, there are more then one faction of terrorists in Iraq:

Iraq’s insurgency has always been made up of several disparate groups, and some of them, including Ansar al-Sunnah Army and the Islamic Army of Iraq, have been nearly as violent as al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaida in Iraq.

The Jordanian-born militant, however, seized most of the attention because of his relentless Internet propaganda efforts, the brutality of his attacks ? including hostage beheading videos put on the Web ? and a series of suicide car bombings that targeted mostly Shiites.

Then came a November triple suicide bombing against hotels in Jordan that killed 63 people, mostly Arab Muslims. That sparked a backlash against al-Zarqawi in Jordan, where there had been some sympathy for the insurgency. Even some fellow militants called for halting attacks on civilians.

In January, al-Zarqawi’s group said in a Web statement that it had joined five other Iraqi insurgent groups to form the Mujahedeen Shura Council, or Consultative Council of Holy Warriors. Since then, al-Zarqawi’s group has stopped issuing its own statements, a sharp contrast to its previous frequent postings, and al-Zarqawi has not issued a Web audiotape since January.

Instead, the Shura Council has put out daily statements listing its “operations” ? including bombings of U.S. Humvees and trucks, shootings of Iraqi Shiite security forces and assassinations of Sunni Arabs cooperating with the government.

On Sunday, Huthayafa Azzam, believed to have close ties to Iraqi militants, told The Associated Press that al-Zarqawi had been confined to a military role within the coalition, specifically barred from making public statements and from any political or propaganda role.

This may be just an attempt by the terrorists to show the Iraqi’s that they are legitimate “freedom fighters”….most know it’s baloney but the way these dumbasses think I wouldn’t put it past them. More evidence in this from the BBC:

Jordanian al-Qaeda militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been forced to step down as leader of a coalition of Iraqi militants, a leading Islamist claims.

Huthaifa Azzam, whose father was a mentor of Osama Bin Laden, said Zarqawi was replaced by an Iraqi two weeks ago.

Mr Azzam claimed some were unhappy about Zarqawi’s tactics and tendency to speak for the insurgency as a whole.

However, experts say choosing an Iraqi as political leader is a tactic aimed at giving the insurgency an Iraqi face.

Also, the MSM may be hyping this story as a way to explain the lower death toll to our troops. To the press they cannot believe it has anything to do with us actually winning in Iraq, it just HAS to be another reason. The terrorists are fighting amongst themselves, yeah, thats the ticket.

But…it does appear that Sadr is getting ready to fight it out now: (via Iraq The Model)

On the other hand it seems that the radical elements have made up their mind to enter yet another confrontation, after putting redlines on some blocs and rejecting any discussion concerning replacing Jafari, today according to al-Arabiya TV, the Sadrists have issued a warning saying they will withdraw from the political process if Jafari is replaced by another candidate.

By doing this, they are even opposing the majority opinion of the UIA as it’s been made public that major powers inside the bloc gave Jafari a 3-day deadline as a last chance for him to try to convince the other blocs with his program and win their acceptance, otherwise he must step down.

Of course this doesn’t mean the Sadrists will withdraw to sit at home and watch others form a government but it means they will fight those who oppose their vision.

In fact lately I’ve been hearing some Sdar followers say they predict a large-scale offensive to target Sadr city and the Mehdi Army soon and that the ranks of the Mehdi Army are kept at full alert to respond to any such offensive.

The situation at this point can be summed by the following:

There is a majority of politicians from various trends who want to avoid a confrontation and willing to reach a deal to form a government; those are not working hard enough though.

On the other side there are militias supported by some parties within their corresponding blocs who think they can enter an armed conflict against the rest and come out victorious.

Politicians recognize the great price that everyone will have to pay if such a terrible possibility becomes reality, there will be no winners in this conflict and every involved party will have to shoulder a share of the losses, the shares may vary though.

It appears we now have no other choice. Sadr must be taken out. If this happens Big Lizards has some thoughts on what happens next:

Once an Iraq unity government is established with a more patriotic and moderate prime minister — one not beholden to Sadr, as Jaafari is — Sadr might see the writing on the wall (a very appropriate metaphor, since ancient Babylon was where Iraq is now) and flee to his patron, Iran.

If Sadr splits, I am convinced his Mahdi Militia will disband. Some of the members will surely follow Sadr into exile; others will slide seamlessly into other militias (such as the Badr Brigade, now called the Badr Organization), so they can continue fighting against the Sunni terrorists led by the Jordanian Musab Zarqawi. The rest will probably just fade into the background and try to pretend they were never there.

But that constitutes the best-case scenario, which means the odds are against it: it’s the Middle East, after all. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that at the very least, Jaafari is forced out as prime minister, and someone else takes over who can actually rally all the democratic factions behind him.

Other’s Blogging:

Also, the MSM may be hyping this story as a way to explain the lower death toll to our troops. To the press they cannot believe it has anything to do with us actually winning in Iraq, it just HAS to be another reason. The terrorists are fighting amongst themselves, yeah, thats the ticket.

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