politics, history and the war on terror
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Salvation’s Army 

A new militia appears to have been created in Iraq, but this is one Iraqis and Americans should be happy to see. Much like the Thulfiqar Army, which began to kill members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia during the Phantom Shiite Rebellion, the Salvation Movement is after al Qaeda’s Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Tawhid terror group.
In a videotape sent to the al-Arabiya television station, a group calling itself the "Salvation Movement," questioned how al-Zarqawi could use Islam to justify the killing of innocent civilians, the targeting of government officials and the kidnapping and beheading of foreigners. “He must leave Iraq immediately, he and his followers and everyone who gives shelter to him and his criminal actions," said a man on the video….."We swear to Allah that we have started preparing ... to capture him and his allies or kill them and present them as gift to our people." the man said. "This is the last warning. If you don't stop, we will do to you what the coalition forces have failed to do."
Note that the Salvation Movement openly questions Zarqawi’s use of Islam in the commission of terror. Meanwhile, Iraqi interim Prime Minister Allawi reaffirms his government’s desire to defeat terrorist in Iraq.
Allawi appealed to all Iraqis to report the activities of insurgents. "The sovereign Iraqi people and our international partners are adamant that we will put an end to terrorism and chase those corrupt terrorists and will uproot them one by one," he said in the statement.
The pieces of the puzzle to defeat Zarqawi are now in place. The Iraqi government is building its security and intelligence apparatus to deal with the terrorism threat, and the intelligence used to conduct the latest strike on a Zarqawi safe house in Fallujah was provide by Iraqi intelligence services. The Iraqi people are forming local vigilante groups, such as the Thulfiqar Army and the Salvation Movement, to clandestinely kill terrorists and insurgents that are making their lives miserable and mutating Islam for their horrific purposes. This same tactic, well documented by Mark Bowden in Killing Pablo, was used by the Columbians; the creation of the secretive Los Pepes group was instrumental in tracking and killing Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Los Pepes cut Pablo’s support system from underneath him, killing friends, family, foot soldiers and middle managers in Pablo’s drug cartel until there was no one left to help him, and he was finally killed by Columbian police. And it is suspected similar tactics were used to capture Saddam Hussein. This is part of the ugly side of counter insurgencies, but the tactic is quite effective. And finally, the full weight of the United States military remains in Iraq, with its superior special operations forces, air support and intelligence capabilities as well as economic assistance. America can leverage these assets to assist the Iraqi government as well as the shadow groups to achieve the goals of rooting out terrorists and stabilizing Iraq as it transitions to democracy. The noose around Zarqawi’s neck may be tightening, and the Salvation Movement may be providing an extra tug.

Posted by bill roggio @ 10:25 AM