CBSN

Al Qaeda in Iraq's Leader Calls for a Month-Long Offensive Against U.S. Army

The leader of al Qaeda Organization in Iraq, Abu Hamza al Muhajir, who is also the "war minister" of the Islamic State of Iraq, released an hour-long audiotape on Saturday. He ended the statement by urging his followers to celebrate the death of 4000th US soldier in Iraq through a month-long campaign that he named "The Raid of Uprightness." He also called on each squad to present U.S. President George Bush, which he called a "deceiver," with a head of an American.

However, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir dedicated the bulk of his message to reminding his operatives that their war with the "infidels" was purely doctrinal. He also talked at length about the calamities caused by division, lack of discipline and disloyalty, corroborating each point with jurisprudential arguments. He also reminded his followers of the dire consequences of disobeying their leader, urging everyone to remain in their position. This seems to confirm recent media reports that al Qaeda was in retreat in Iraq.

Al Qaeda in Iraq was established in late 2004, when Abu Mus'ab al Zarqawi, then the leader of al Tawheed and Jihad group merged with al Qaeda. The group then formed the Mujahideen Shurah Council which brought under its wing several smaller Sunni insurgent groups. The Mujahideen Shurah Council continued to expand despite the death of Abu Mus'ab al Zarqawi in June 2006. Abu Hamza al Muhajir took over from al Zarqawi with the blessing of Osama Bin Laden and went on to become the "War Minister" of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which was established in October 2006 and which al Qaeda in Iraq is now part of.