Iraq Insurgents Make It Clear Beheadings Will Continue
The first send-’em-a-message action by iraq insurgents/terrorists in the wake of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s death has been transmitted…and received on the Internet:
Insurgents signaled the fight is still on after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s death, posting an Internet video Saturday showing the beheading of three alleged Shiite death squad members in revenge for killing Sunnis.
The video â€” as grisly as any the al-Qaida in
Iraq leader issued â€” was clearly designed to quash hopes that the Sunni-dominated insurgency might change tactics by ending attacks on Shiite civilians and institutions, especially the police.
Fellow Sunni insurgent groups sent condolences for al-Zarqawi in Internet messages Saturday and warned Sunnis not to cooperate with the Iraqi government, an apparent call for unity three days after U.S. forces killed the terror leader in a targeted airstrike.
The condolence statements came from the al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Sunnah â€” the group that posted the beheading video on a militant Web site â€” and the head of the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of five insurgent groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq, that al-Zarqawi helped found last year.
“Iraq is the front defense line for Islam and Muslims, so don’t fail to follow the path of the mujahedeen (holy warriors), the caravan of martyrs and the faithful,” said Abdullah bin Rashid al-Baghdadi, the Shura Council’s head.
He vowed: “As for you the slaves of the cross (coalition forces), the grandsons of Ibn al-Alqami (Shiites), and every infidel of the Sunnis, we can’t wait to sever your necks with our swords.”
This is not unexpected, for several reasons. (1)It stands to reason that Zarqawi’s allies will want to make it clear that the battle he waged and the way he waged it will go on. (2)History shows that, yes, sometimes the death of a single person changes the course of history but quite often forces at work are bigger than a single personality and that force continues.
So if it continues does this mean Zarqawi’s death didn’t count much? It’s highly likely the case can be effectively made no matter what happens that it’s that way at all. The reason is his death is likely to have an impact on intelligence — not just intelligence gathered in the wake of his death, but perhaps some intelligence sources that might be more prone to cooperate after seeing the way he was taken out.
But the various warning statements from the Bush administration on Zarqawi’s death are valid ones: tough days lie ahead. Perhaps even tough immediate days, as Zarqawi’s friends and associates try to send the world a bloody message.