In a statement on July 26, Saad said Al Qaida urgently needed money for
the families of those killed in operations. He said Al Qaida was trying to
support thousands of widows and orphans of casualties.
"We need this to feed widows and orphans," Saad, who represented the Al
Qaida-aligned Islamic State of Iraq, said in a statement on an Al Qaida
On July 26, an Al Qaida fighter and his two children were killed when a
car bomb exploded prematurely near Kirkuk. Earlier, officials reported the
dismantling of an Al Qaida cell that killed more than 100 people in Baghdad.
The appeal came in wake of U.S. intelligence assessments that Al Qaida
in Iraq was encountering increasing financial difficulties. The assessment
said Al Qaida has sought to raise money through criminal activities,
including bank robberies.
This marked the third Al Qaida appeal in less than a year. In 2010, Al
Qaida also appealed for money for operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Al Qaida has urged its fighters to help raise their own funds for
operations. In his statement, Saad proposed that operatives use their
weapons to extort Iraqi and foreign companies as well as news agencies and
wealthy families. The protection money, he said, should amount to two
percent of assets.
Not everybody agreed with Saad. Another Al Qaida website administrator,
who gave his name as Mohammed Abdul Hadi, said extortion should be used only
against Iraqi Shi'ites.
"All the Shi'ites, including merchants or government officials, are
infidels and confiscating their money is part of jihad," Abdul Hadi wrote in
the Al Qaida forum.