'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, February 08, 2004

From the Oh-Hell-We-Just-Chalked-It-Up-To-Al-Qaida-It's-Simpler-That-Way File

An extremist group called "Jaish Ansar al-Sunna", which means army of the protectors of the Sunna, has claimed responsibility for the recent Irbil bombings, but the claim has not been independently confirmed: (from "Insurgent Group Claims Iraq Bombings", AP, 2/4/04)

An Iraqi insurgent group claimed responsibility Wednesday for twin suicide attacks on the offices of two Kurdish political parties, saying they were targeted because of the Kurds' ties to the United States.

"Two of our martyrdom-seeking brothers...broke into two dens of the devils in the city of Irbil in the north of Iraq," said the statement by "Jaish Ansar al-Sunna", or "Army of the Protectors of the Sunna."

Sunna refers to the collective teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

The statement was posted in Arabic on a Web site that frequently carries statements by Islamic militants. It said the Sunday attacks were launched because the two Kurdish parties "paved the way for the American crusader army."

The claim could not be independently confirmed. The name of the organization was included among a dozen insurgent groups that issued a joint statement this week in Ramadi and Fallujah warning Iraqis against cooperating with the U.S.-led occupation.

Kurdish and U.S. officials suspect the attacks may have been carried out by Ansar al-Islam, an extremist group with alleged ties to al-Qaida. The attacks killed many officials of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

In the statement, the Army of the Protectors of the Sunna condemned the PUK for the crackdown on Ansar al-Islam. It said PUK leader Jalal Talabani "was coordinating with the crusaders (Americans) to attack our mujahedeen brothers from Ansar al-Islam group and their women and children."

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