February 18, 2008

AQI In Final Meltdown

The terrorists of al-Qaeda in Iraq want to leave the country in the same manner they've lived in it. Not only have they killed as many of their perceived enemies and non-combatants possible, now they're executing their allies as well. Coalition officials played a captured videotape of the executions, showing AQI punishing their partners for insufficient loyalty:

Video provided to CNN shows an al Qaeda in Iraq firing squad executing one-time allies -- fellow Sunni extremists -- who were not loyal enough to the terror organization, coalition military analysts said.

In the video provided by coalition military officials, armed men wearing masks are shown standing behind nine kneeling men, all of whom are wearing blindfolds or hoods with their hands presumably tied behind their backs. The video shows the men being executed.

"Al Qaeda in Iraq, which is foreign led and foreign dominated here inside Iraq, is killing off other Sunni groups that are certainly not supportive of the government of Iraq, currently, or of the foreign occupation, but are not sharing the same ideology that al Qaeda in Iraq has," Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said.

The video was recovered late last year during a raid on a compound near Samarra that was being used for killing and torture, a coalition official said.

A number of documents -- some found in the same raid -- bolster the coalition notion that al Qaeda in Iraq is waging a violent campaign against its former allies, intelligence analysts said.

AQI seems to have the same curious impulse to document everything that the Nazis had during their reign of terror. Whenever coalition forces overrun an AQI position, they routinely find videos and handwritten records that document their atrocities. The information usually just reinforces the decision by Iraqis to oppose the jihadists.

In this case, however, the victims were jihadists themselves. They crossed AQI by attempting to make themselves into more moderate jihadists, pledging to avoid civilian deaths and perhaps remaining open to reconciliation with mainstream Sunnis. That was enough to make them suspect in AQI's estimation, and their documentation shows their rejection of their potential allies against the American forces in Iraq, even as late as the end of last year.

AQI appears determined to alienate themselves from any potential allies, even in the dire straits in which they find themselves now. Rather than compromise on moderating their approach, AQI seems determined to kill even Islamist extremists that don't acquiesce to their particular view of jihad. Their nihilism guarantees their eventual extinction in Iraq.


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