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Suspicions Rising on the Links of Al Qaeda to Bombing Attacks

Suspicions Rising on the Links of Al Qaeda to Bombing Attacks

Posted August. 31, 2003 23:22,   


Suspicion is rising on the links of the international terrorist group Al Qaeda to the bombing attacks in Najaf which killed 125 lives (according to U.S. forces), including top Shiite leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim.

Friday’s bombing heralds strategic changes of jihad (holy war) among Muslim terrorist groups against the United States. For instance, Al Queda which had much difference in their position, is reportedly has joined hands with remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Najaf`s mayor, Haidar Mahdi Mattar, said 19 suspects of Friday’s bombing have been arrested, including 2 Iraqis and others from Saudi, Kuwait, and Palestine. He also said they are believed to be all followers of Wahhabism, the fundamentalist branch of Islam, and linked to Al Qaeda.

The suspects have entered Iraq after the Iraq War through Kuwait, Syria and Jordan and some have confessed their involvement in the bombing, the major added. The ingredients of the bomb used in Friday’s bombing are reportedly the same to those of the bomb used in August 19’s bombing at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

Hamed al-Bayati, London representative of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) which Hakim had chaired, asserted that there was a collaboration between al-Qaeda and remnants of Saddam in the Friday’s bombing attacks, as well as, in the blasts at the Jordan embassy (in Baghdad).

Al Qaeda, which followed the fundamental Muslim had difference in their position with the Hussein’s regime, which was rooted in the mundane Muslim, but they now strategically collaborate in the name of jihad to drive out the U.S. forces.

The Late Hakim, on the other hand, had maintained a propitiatory stance on the U.S. led Iraqi interim government council.

Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, appointed his aide Shaif al-Adel as the chief operative commander of Iraqi missions at his Afghanistan hideout in April, vice-foreign minister of former Taleban regime was quoted as saying in The News Week, an U.S. weekly magazine on current affairs and news.

According to the magazine, Bin Laden called in 3 top leadership of Taleban, several senior Al Qaeda members and radical Muslim leaders of Chechen and Uzbekistan to his hideout in April. It was a meeting of the highest-level that Al Qaeda rallied for the time since the September 11.

A few weeks after the meeting, Adel had successfully infiltrated into Iraq and reportedly has organized terrorist groups in Iran, officials of Taleban said. On this, George W. Bush pointed out early August that Al Qaeda like combatants are arriving in Iraq one after another.

If the recent terrorist attacks are found out to be carried out by remnant of Saddam`s regime, a civil war may break out between Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims, said Kenneth Pollack, a researcher of the Brookings Institution.

Meanwhile, thousands of Shiite residents demonstrated Friday and Saturday in the Imam Ali shrine in Najif where the terror occurred, pledging to revenge for Hakim. The funeral of Hakim was conducted yesterday in Kardamiya and his coffin will arrive Shiites` holy land Karbala Monday and then be buried Tuesday in Najaf.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com