Authored by leading counter-insurgency analyst Michael Knights, the
report said JRTN, headed by former Saddam aide Izzat Al Douri and
established in December 2006, marked a key element in the revival of the
Sunni insurgency in Iraq. JRTN, designated a terrorist group by the United
States, was said to have recruited both Arabs and Kurds and formed
battalions in the northern provinces of Kirkuk and Mosul with the help of
members of the former Saddam Hussein regime.
"JRTN's mid-level operatives were initially drawn from a select group of
former military and intelligence officers who had attained ranks between
lieutenant colonel and brigadier general under the Baathist regime," the
report said. "JRTN sponsors large numbers of attack cells across northern
and central Iraq to strike specified types of targets, almost always for
payment on delivery of a video proving the attack was undertaken."
JRTN was said to have contracted operations to other Sunni militias,
particularly those that contain former Saddam special operations officers.
The report said those hired to conduct the attacks — including Al Qaida and
Ansar Al Sunna — were often not informed of JRTN sponsorship.
"JRTN appears to employ AQI to undertake deniable attacks on Iraqis,
particularly civilian targets," the report said. "JRTN has also been linked
to AQI car bombings in Ramadi, Kirkuk and Tikrit. Some attacks by AQI have
even been jointly claimed by JRTN."
The report said JRTN has used Sunni Islam as a recruitment tool and
to promote unity among militias. The group, which relies on rocket and
improvised explosive device attacks, often produces videos that cater to
Iraq's Sunni minority and its growing fear of a loss of power.
JRTN, believed funded by powerful tribes, was said to target both the
U.S. military as well as Sunni judges and police officers. The report said
the militia has infiltrated the army, particularly the 12th Division and
"Through sympathizers in the security forces, JRTN is assumed by U.S.
officers to have at least some basic insight into the workings of joint
U.S.-Iraqi operations centers, including unmanned aerial vehicle and signals
intelligence," the report said "Some sources suggest that Arab intelligence
services, notably the Jordanian General Intelligence Department, may be
cultivating long-term ties with JRTN with an eye to countering Iranian
influence in Iraq."