Monday, September 03, 2007
The Difference Between Al Qaeda in Iraq and Islamic State of Iraq [W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
From an e-mail:
What is the difference between Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq?
First of all, we need to understand that there are multiple, related Jihadist terror groups in Iraq. And there are many sub-groups and cells under those groups. According to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit's intelligence officer, Maj. Bart Nagle, who I had the pleasure of lunching with on more than one occasion (and once interviewing) while in Al Taqaddum:
We have Al Qaeda in Iraq [or AQI, which is the largest, best-known group]. We also have Jayesh Mujahideen, Jamat Tawhid al Jihad, Ansar al Sunna, and others.
Now, sometimes these groups are billed as being separate entities. Sometimes they are said to be closely connected. And, according to Nagle:
The names are often interchangeable [for the one group like AQI], and they do so to throw us off as much as anything else.
Now, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) — the former Mujahideen Shura Council — is sort of an umbrella group over the above-mentioned groups, or of the one-or-two groups using multiple names.
Confused? No problem. Most people are, and that's deliberate on the part of the Jihadists.
Just think of ISI as sort of the parent company of AQI, and AQI as being the largest and most dominant of the subsidiaries in Iraq. Or you might think of ISI as being Al Qaeda's attempt to establish a "caliphate" in Iraq, with AQI being ISI's "military" or "warfighting" arm.
Hope this helps.
Editor’s note: Please see this note.
09/03 01:30 PMShare