RealNews

Al Qaeda Threat Mounts After 'Calling Card' Attack In Baghdad

The spectre of terror loomed larger in Iraq Thursday following a spate of deadly attacks in and around the chaotic capital Baghdad, fuelling concerns the Al Qaeda network has infiltrated the war-torn nation. Senior US officials, both in the military and the civilian coalition struggling to rebuild Iraq, have warned that the extremist foot soldiers and financiers of Osama Ben Laden are gravitating here. Paul Bremer, the US civilian administrator in Iraq, has said there is “clear evidence of an Al Qaeda related terrorist group, the Ansar Al Islam, reconstituting its capabilities inside of Iraq since the war.” Five months since a devastating US special forces operation shattered Ansar’s home base in Iraqi Kurdistan, Ansar fighters are believed to have slipped back inside Iraq from Iran, across the mountainous border. A fugitive Jordanian national, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, believed to be at the centre of pre war US efforts to establish a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, has emerged as a key suspect in the Aug. 7 bombing of Jordan’s Baghdad embassy that killed at least 14 people. And while a previously unknown group claiming to be a branch of the terror network said it conducted a July 13 attack on US troops in the flashpoint Iraqi town of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, Al Qaeda had yet to claim attacks in the capital. Full Story

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