Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Sunday, August 14, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Al Qaida-tied Iraqi militia exploiting Sunni fears

WASHINGTON — A Sunni militia has increased violence in much of Iraq, a report said.


A U.S. Army center has asserted that the Jaysh Rijal Al Tariq Al Naqshabandi (JRTN), regarded as a partner of Al Qaida, was responsible for much of the violence in Baghdad and Sunni provinces. The Counter-Terrorism Center at West Point said in a report that JRTN, believed to have up to 5,000 members, has exploited Sunni fears of the dominant Shi'ite community and a Kurdish secession.

"Alongside AQI, JRTN is the other main insurgent movement cited as a threat by U.S. officials, many of whom identify JRTN as the greater threat," the report, titled "The JRTN Movement and Iraq's Next Insurgency," said.

Also In This Edition

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 police.

"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."

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.