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Ansar Al-Islam

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Ansar al-Islam is one of the top five threats to U.S. mission in Iraq. They are a foreign terrorist group which was formed by the merger of Jund Al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam) led by Abu Abdallah Al-Shafi'i and the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan led by Mullah Krekar. The group is primarily Kurdish-Sunni Islamic and is based on a radical interpretation of Islam. The Ansar al-Islam came into existence around September 2001 because the two aforementioned leaders did not agree with an agreement between the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Over time, many members of the Ansar al-Islam have joined another terrorist group by the name of Ansar al-Sunnah (Group of the Followers of faith). Additionally the group is believed to be comprised of individuals that are not of Kurdish or Arab backgrounds.

The groups primarily operated through northern Iraq and in an area between Iraq and Iran in the fortified mountain known as "Little Tora Bora" (after the Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan). In 2002, this terrorist group, Ansar al-Islam - Arabic for 'Supporters of Islam', which was operating out of a camp in Khurmal, was reportedly developing cyanide gas, toxic poisons, and ricin for potential use against Europe and the United States. The Joint Chiefs of Staff presented to the White House, a military operation to destroy the Ansar camp which was supported unanimously. In May of 2007 the group along with several others agreed to a moderate approach by forming the Jihad and Reformation front. Many of the fighters of Ansar al-Islam were veterans of the war against Soviet Union from 1979-1989.


The ideology of the Ansar al-Islam is based upon the group Wahhabi and strict Sharia Law, whereas it is a movement within Islam that's practice is removing impurities from the religion. Wahhabism is a very influential movement which began in Saudi Arabian during the 18th century. The Ansar al-Islam also has a strict interpretation of Sharia law which is simply defined as religious law or God's Law. The ideology of the group mirrored that of the Taliban and subjected many towns under its controls to a Taliban-like rule. Ten days before the September 11 attacks, Ansar al-Islam issued a fatwa, or religious edict, which declared war against the two secular Kurdish parties and welcomed fellow jihadist to join the fight by skillful and tactful adept coercion. This group of terrorist was financially backed by Osama bin Laden and Saudi Arabia. With modest security assistance from Iran, Ansar al-Islam was able to establish a Taliban-style social order within its territory. This restriction included no drinking, smoking, or watching satellite televisions. Women were prohibited from any form of education or employment, and men were required to wear beards and pray five times daily at their village mosque.


The Ansar al-Islam is known for targeting people or groups that are suspected of collaborating with foreign forces. If any of these groups or individuals had ties to western nationals that are mainly allied with the United States of America they were targeted by the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group. The targets have been or are contained in this category and functioning in the following capacities:

1) Government officials

2) Politicians

3) Judges

4) Journalists

5) Humanitarian aid workers

6) Doctors

7) Professors.

Supporting Reports

Other main targets of the Ansar al-Islam are translators that aid in liberating war efforts. Not exempt from attacks from the Ansar al-Islam are those that follow other religions such as Christians. In 2002 a wave of violence erupted:

* Spring 2002, beginning with a politically motivated plot, Ansar al-Islam attempted to murder Barham Salih, a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan leader. During the battle five bodyguards and two attackers were killed in the gunfight. Ansar al-Islam's tactics were always brutal but as their reign of terror grew their battles became bloodier, with their aim at inflicting as much damage as possible.

* June 2002, Ansar al-Islam bombed a restaurant, injuring countless number of people and killing at least one child.

* July 2002, the group killed nine Patriotic Union of Kurdistan fighters. In a move that was definitely reminiscent of the Taliban, the group also destroyed Sufi shrines, whereas Muslims and no-Muslims believe that this religion is outside the sphere of Islam.

* December 2002, Ansar launched a surprise attack after the PUK sent 1,500 soldiers home to celebrate the end of Ramadan. According to Ansar's website, they killed 103 PUK members and wounded 117. They posted gruesome pictures of the group's victims on the Internet.


The Ansar al-Islam like many other terrorist groups used harsh tactics against those they attacked. They used various methods of torture which were very common for Ansar al-Islam. These methods of torture would include amputations, flogging, stoning, severe beating and even beheadings. In the villages that the Ansar al-Islam occupied, they did not permit any singing or playing of music, whether in the homes are playing music in public or private. They banned alcohol, photographs and advertising. Females were treated extremely poorly as they were not allowed to attend school and were barred from employment. As our commercials, magazines and Medias depict women for consumer interest, any merchandise that displayed women in the Ansar al-Islam village were relabeled. Their reign of terror was so severe that they would also force people to leave their villages if they did not practice Islam. Any symbolisms of religions



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