June 18, 2006

ATTAC Report This Week

Phantom Behind Iraqi Terrorism

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Terror leader Al-Zarqawi is dead in Iraq, taken out by an American air strike. Today, we take a closer look at the forces behind Zarqawi— and what they’re planning next.

Hello. I’m your host, Boruch Ellison, and this is “ATTAC Report This Week” for June 18th, 2006.

Over the last three years, Abu Musab Zarqawi became a household name worldwide for his Iraqi organization’s gruesome murders. In 2004, he and his followers beheaded American hostages Nicholas Berg and Eugene Armstrong, then publicized the bloody execution videos on the Internet. They also kidnapped civilians from Great Britain, Turkey, and South Korea, similarly executing them. And they detonated large bombs that killed hundreds of civilians in Iraq and Jordan.

When F-16 fighter jets dropped a pair of bombs on a Zarqawi hideout over a week ago, ending the terrorist leader’s life, many observers breathed a sigh of relief. But at the same time, it’s evident that Zarqawi couldn’t have acted alone. Someone else was supplying the guns, the ammunition, the bombs, and the training.

Zarqawi himself has remained a mystery, a bundle of contradictions, throughout his career. By reputation, he believed and practiced the religion of Islam, yet his group constantly violated even the most basic Muslim principles. Some intelligence reports connected Zarqawi to Usama bin Laden, while others found no evidence of ties between the two. And while claiming to act independently, Zarqawi received ongoing assistance from governments he denounced. Even his name was false.

What agenda drove Zarqawi’s terror campaign? Born Ahmed Khalayleh in Jordan, he became known as a fighting, hard-drinking, tattooed gang leader, from which he was recruited into a so-called “Muslim” revolutionary network — even while he remained non-religious. Later, the re-named Zarqawi likewise drew his recruits from drug-using, non-religious young men to whom Islam meant nothing. His training camps in Iraq spent no time in religious teaching, devoted instead to paramilitary training only.

While claiming to fight for Islam, Zarqawi broke one of its cardinal rules by unapologetically murdering Muslims, even civilians. In fact, he boasted of specifically targeting Iraqi Muslims because of their religion — a policy that drew condemnation in all Muslim circles.

Although the Bush Administration and the news media constantly referred to Zarqawi as a top leader of “Al Qaeda,” that connection turns out to be as unreal as the rumors of his Islamic beliefs. Aside from the question of whether “Al Qaeda” actually exists, most intelligence data shows that Zarqawi did not actually work with Usama bin Laden. Even U.S. officials admitted they had no real basis for believing a link existed. When Zarqawi later did proclaim a new allegiance to “Al Qaeda” on the Internet, it had the appearance of being a publicity stunt to divert attention from the Communist underground in Iraq.

So who was behind Zarqawi? His support came not from religious Muslims, but from the Communist Bloc and its satellites. He received support from the Soviet-controlled Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and from Soviet-backed local Communists in Afghanistan; his headquarters were based in Soviet-controlled Iran; and much of his operation was supervised from Communist Syria. In Iraq, his sponsoring organization was Ansar al-Islam, a terrorist group run by Soviet Russia through Iran which received its weapons from Soviet Russia and Red China. Some of Zarqawi’s own men relocated directly to Soviet Russia.

As part of the network controlled by the Soviets through Iranian intelligence, Zarqawi maintained ties with PLO-connected terrorist groups, including Hamas, which is funded by the PLO, as well as Hezbollah, which was founded by agents of the PLO, several Communist Parties, and the Soviet Russian secret police, or KGB.

Zarqawi and his organization have functioned more as a logistical support network through which the Communist Bloc sends aid to terrorists throughout the Middle East, including the Communist revolution in Iraq. His network survives under Soviet control, and thus his death will not interrupt the supply line to the Iraqi underground.

Only by going after Soviet Russia directly, rather than middlemen like Zarqawi, can we stop the Iraqi terrorists.

Thank you for listening. From all of us at ATTAC Report, good-bye.

(“ATTAC Report This Week” is available at www.ATTACReport.com.)