Det er, mærkeligt nok, gået forbi min opmærksomhed, at den irakiske gren af Al-Qaeda (på engelsk Al-Qaeda in Iraq, AQI) ifølge USA har krydset grænsen og nu opererer i nabolandet Syrien og deltager i kampen mod Bashar al-Assads styre.

Jeg opdagede det, da jeg sad og læste en glimrende baggrundsartikel om AQI, skrevet af den amerikanske tænketank Council on Foreign Relations. Hvis du ikke kender nok til Irak-grenen af Al-Qaeda (og gerne vil vide mere), så er den artikel et must-read.

Fra artiklen bliver der linket til en PBS-artikel med overskriften 'What Is Al Qaeda Doing in Syria?' (et interview med antiterror-eksperten Brian Fishman), der linker til Christian Science Monitor-artiklen 'Top US official: Al Qaeda in Iraq joining fight against Syria's Assad', der ligner en kopi af denne McClatchy-artikel: 'Top U.S. intelligence officials confirm al Qaida role in Syria' (16. februar 2012):

"We believe that al Qaida in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria," Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

It was the first time that a top U.S. official publicly confirmed the involvement of al Qaida in Iraq, or AQI, in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad, which began nearly a year ago as peaceful protests for an end to his family's four-decade-long rule.

AQI står angiveligt bag selvmordsangreb i Damaskus og Aleppo.

Berlingske har bragt historien 'USA: Al-Qaeda har infilteret oprørerne i Syrien', hvis du foretrækker at læse det på dansk og ikke behøver at gå i dybden med emnet.

I interviewet med Brian Fishman besvarer han spørgsmålet hvorfor opererer Al-Qaedas irakiske gren i Syrien?:

The biggest thing to think about any Al Qaeda franchise is that they are opportunistic. Al Qaeda has the ability to serve as a leech, to step into these conflicts in order to advance their own agenda, which is creating what they would call Islamic states in the Middle East that are run according to their understanding of Sharia. They want to use their participation in these violent rebellions to develop propaganda, to demonstrate their strength elsewhere and to create these power vacuums that they can fill later on.

That’s what I think Al Qaeda and AQI want to do in Syria. There is a political contest that has turned violent, and AQI wants to demonstrate that Al Qaeda is part of a resistance movement and a legitimate player in the overthrow of a regime that is rightly understood as tyrannical.

Læs hele svaret (og mere om AQI) i PBS-artiklen.

 

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