NEW IRAQI INSURGENT GROUP PUBLISHES FOUNDING STATEMENT
On July 3, jihadi websites posted a statement issued by a new insurgent group in Iraq called the Patriotic National Islamic Front for the Liberation of Iraq. The group, which was allegedly formed in the beginning of July, believes that continuing the Iraqi insurgency “is the way to end the occupation in all its forms and shapes and to eliminate its impact and offshoots.” The organization, however, “is open to the forces and groups that oppose and resist the occupation” and is “committed and determined to establish a national political system in Iraq built on diversity and democracy and free from despotism; a system that guarantees for all Iraqis, regardless of religion, sect or ethnicity, independence of the judicial system, civil, economic, social and cultural rights, in addition to women’s rights and political rights for the Kurdish people and other minority groups, as well as religious freedom.” The group claims that it has established a political office, including a president and a number of vice presidents, in addition to an official media spokesperson. It is not clear if the group has its own insurgent forces, or if it is attempting to be an umbrella organization for various like-minded militant groups that are willing to work as part of a more nationalist agenda.
KUWAITI CLERIC HAMID AL-ALI CONDEMNS MUSHARRAF
Hamid bin Abdallah al-Ali, an influential Salafi cleric in Kuwait who has been designated by the U.S. government as a global terrorism financier and supporter, released a new statement on https://www.muslm.net titled “Pakistan is Red after the Red Mosque.” The statement condemns Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for his decision to use force to end the Red Mosque standoff (Terrorism Monitor, April 26). In the statement, al-Ali claims that “Musharraf has sold himself” to the United States and “has become loyal to them.” The cleric argues that Musharraf has closed his eyes to the following immutable Pakistani realities: jihadi Pashtun tribes control the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan; the Pakistani people do not approve of government interference in the country’s numerous religious schools; the public perceives Musharraf as a puppet of the United States; segments of the Pakistani army sympathize with religious militants; Pakistanis do not approve of Musharraf’s attempt to stifle the “Kashmiri jihad movement to satisfy America”; there is a popular backlash against Musharraf’s dismissal of the country’s chief judge Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry; and Musharraf’s handling of the Red Mosque crisis has “brought the confrontation with the Islamic and jihadi forces in Pakistan into the open, especially since the victims were in the hundreds and the battle was directed against one of God’s houses.” According to al-Ali, Pakistan has now entered the post-Red Mosque phase in which “Musharraf will be the loser.” The statement is important since al-Ali’s words are “critical to the education and doctrine of Salafis” (Terrorism Monitor, April 26).