RealNews

Islamist leader denies proof of Kurdish group's al-Qaeda links

A leading Kurdish Islamist said on Sunday that “young people” in Ansar al Islam, a Kurdish group linked by the US to al-Qaeda, were “living in an imaginary world” and had “learned to act like Osama bin Laden from the internet and television”. Sheikh Sadiq Abdul Aziz, deputy leader of the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan (IMK), said in an interview in the Kurdish-held town of Halabja that he hoped Ansar al Islam would “stop attacking” members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the mainstream Kurdish party that controls half of northern Iraq. But he said there was no concrete proof of links between Ansar and al-Qaeda. On Saturday Jalal Talabani, the PUK leader, called Ansar al Islam “terrorists under the control of people from Osama bin Laden and the Baghdad regime”, and said that the PUK had reached “an agreement with America to annihilate this group”. The timing of the operation, he said, remained a “military secret”. The PUK holds Ansar responsible for the murder near Halabja earlier this month of eight PUK members. Full Story

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