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Monday, January 7, 2008

McCaffrey: Al Qaida 'overreached' in Iraq with 'alien and harsh practice of Islam'

Retired Army Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey said last week after talking to top U.S. officials that Al Qaida in Iraq has been defeated but is working to regenerate.

The terrorist group was beaten “at a tactical and operational level in Baghdad and Anbar Province and is trying to re-constitute in the north and along the Syrian frontier,” McCaffrey said in an after-action report to officials at West Point, where he is a professor.

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“The Iraqi people have turned on AQI because it overreached trying to impose an alien and harsh practice of Islam inconsistent with the more moderate practices of the Sunni minority,” he stated.

“The foreign jihadist elements in AQI (with their enormous hatred of what they view as the apostate Shia) have alienated the nationalism of the broader Iraqi population. Foreign intervention across the Syrian frontier has dropped substantially.

"Most border-crossers are suicide bombers who are dead within four days while carrying out largely ineffective attacks on the civilian population and the Iraqi Police.”

McCaffrey said senior Al Qaida leaders are “walking dead men” as a result of large amounts of civilian intelligence tips coming directly to US Forces. U.S. and British special operations forces have been “deadly against AQI leadership.”

“Essentially AQI has been driven out of Baghdad and is now trying to reconstitute their capabilities,” he stated.

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