Al-Qaeda on Baghdad: It's a quagmire. The Counterterrorism Blog reports:
The latest internal al-Qaeda in Iraq document, which was captured in conjunction with the video outtakes from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's latest tape, highlights the state of affairs of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The document is titled "A glance at the reality of Baghdad in light of the latest events." It provides a blunt assessment of al-Qaeda's strategy and tactics in the battle for Baghdad. Combine this document with the "Al Qa'ida in Iraq Situation Report" released in April, which discussed the state of affairs in Anbar province, and it becomes clear al-Qaeda in Iraq is very concerned about their strategic situation and the desertion of influential Sunni tribes and political groups. Some highlights from the document:
-The state of affairs in Baghdad and Anbar are far worse than they were years ago as the Coalition and Iraqi government have absorbed the terror blows. In the unnamed commander's words: "every year is worse than the previous year as far as the Mujahidin’s control and influence over Baghdad." The increased participation of Iraqis in security forces and political process is exactly what Zarqawi feared when he wrote his letter to Osama bin Laden in 2004 outlining the strategy to incite a Sunni-Shiite civil war.
- al-Qaeda in Iraq fears the influence of Iraqi Islamic Party, the Islamic Scholars Committee, the Sunni tribes, and their cooperation with the government, as they possess a media wing and have dominance at the mosques: "The role that the Islamic party and the Islamic Scholars Committee play in numbing the Sunni people through the media is a dangerous role. It has been proven from the course of the events that the American investment in the Party and the Committee were not in vain. In spite of the gravity of the events, they were able to calm down the Sunni people, justify the enemy deeds, and give the enemy the opportunity to do more work without any recourse and supervision."
- AQIZ is mired in a tactical game of car and suicide bombings to influence the American media, however the campaign has so far failed to destroy the will of the Iraqi government and Coalition. The foreign media is only group influenced by the bombings -" the significance of the strategy of their work is to show in the media that the American and the government do not control the situation and there is resistance against them... What is fixed in the minds of the Shiite and Sunni population is that the Shiites are stronger in Baghdad and closer to controlling it while the mujahidin (who represent the backbone of the Sunni people) are not considered more than a daily annoyance to the Shiite government."
- There is a lack of a cohesive strategy to control territory in Baghdad. ...
Full report at the link. (CTB)
Debka: From Iran to Israel, via Sudan. Debka reports: 'DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources reveal that two Iranian Revolutionary Guards companies were dropped at Khartoum’s military airfield May 2 by a C-130 transport and driven to a secret military installation on the outskirts of the Sudanese capital. Their arrival signals the onset of an Iranian military airlift to Sudan of a fully equipped RG brigade with armor, a major escalation of the clandestine Iranian threat to Egypt and Israel alike. DEBKAfile’s security sources report the ongoing routine of illicit Sudanese infiltrations into the southern Israeli Negev, shepherded by any of three local smuggling rings: the Palestinian gang headed by Jamal Samhadan, the Hamas government’s new appointee as commander of its security forces, Sudanese-Egyptian crime organizations and al Qaeda’s Sinai network. All three are readily available to operate under the orders of the Iranian RG intelligence officers posted in Sudan. The scale of the Negev traffic is such that hardly a day goes by without Sudanese infiltrators being caught attempting to steal across the Egyptian border into southern Israel. Many are job-seekers; a few, mules for gunrunners or spies collecting data on army installations in the desert region; some were caught recently near the town of Mitzpeh Ramon. They are led to their destinations by Egyptian intelligence agents familiar with the territory, Palestinian terrorists from Gaza or a sprinkling of Israeli Arabs. An Israeli security source told DEBKAfile that the current Egyptian-Israeli-Gazan border situation offers Iranian agents and terrorists mixed in among the Sudanese infiltrators an easy route into southern Israel. The RG agents are Arabic speakers, having acquired the language from their stint as military instructors with the Lebanese Hizballah.' (Debka)