Al-Qaeda in Iraq vows to “destroy the American empire”

Expounding its ideology in a lengthy manifesto, the group “al Qaeda in Iraq” says the insurgency is stronger than the US admits and vows to “destroy the American empire.” The group says in an e-book which surfaced on the Internet last week: “Every now and then, the schoolboys of the Pentagon and the adolescents of the Black House [sic] keep blasting our ears with talks of pure arrogance and conviction saying, ‘We will not leave Iraq until we accomplish our mission.’ This desperate catchphrase that they keep repeating is used to make the public believe that the mujahedeens are in bad shape, as if they are begging the Americans, saying, ‘Please Americans, leave Iraq.'”

“We vow by the name of God that we are determined to destroy the American empire,” it says.

The e-book totals dozens of pages, covering such topics as how the Koran justifies beheadings and why democracy is wrong. The document does not list an author, refering to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the third person, possibly indicating he did not write it.

“The basics of our faith revolve around not harming true Muslims and not shedding one single drop of Muslim blood because one drop of true Muslim blood shed amounts to the demise of this whole world. So why do we carry out operations in Iraq against the Americans and their aides in the [Iraqi] army and police? First, to please God, who orders us to carry on this jihad and to force the occupiers to pull out of the land,” it says, vowing to “spread the light of justice and glory all over the world.”

It cites “the glory that shines from our brothers, local and foreign fighters who left their countries, spouses and children and are sacrificing their blood for you to protect you and protect your families and honor, your women and children, forcing the occupiers to pull out of your country.”

The document calls on Iraqi troops and police to turn their backs on the new elected government.

“You who betrayed Muslims and in humiliation became one of many collaborators, a servant under the command of the cross, we ask you to return to your Islamic instinct or cutting your neck will be your only punishment for your treason against your religion and your people.”

It adds this warning: “Repent or else.”

The group says its “doctrine and mission are clear and they can be summarized as our agreement to believe in and fight for the religion of God. We believe that those who follow these beliefs and the provisions of faith are true Muslims and anyone who denounces any of these beliefs and conditions is an infidel even if he still claims to be a Muslim.”

It calls the Shiite faith “a confession of polytheism and rejectionism.”

The document warns there will be no end to the insurgency. “The call for jihad goes on until doomsday, whether there is an imam calling for it or not.”

While part of the document seems to have been written relatively recently, another part refers to to the government of Ayad Allawi, who had been interim leader in Iraq. No date was given for the document.

The central image of the e-book is the group’s logo—a globe with an open book, presumably the Koran. Coming out of the center of the book are a spear, a Kalashnikov rifle, a hand with the pointer finger sticking up—a symbol of unity— and a banner reading, “There is no God but God; Mohammed is the messenger of God.”

The US and the Iraqi government call the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi the most wanted terrorist in the country. The US has posted a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture. (CNN, Aug. 26)

See our last post on Iraq.