RealNews

Ansar al Islam Seen as Key Threat in Iraq

The extremist group is the main ‘terrorist adversary’ for U.S. forces, a general says. An Al Qaeda-linked militant group that was chased from its main base in northern Iraq in the first weeks of the Iraq war has emerged as the key organized terrorist threat to U.S. forces in Iraq, a senior U.S. general said Thursday. Air Force Lt. Gen. Norton Schwartz, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that Ansar al Islam, an Islamic extremist organization that U.S. officials have said for weeks is regrouping, is “our principal organized terrorist adversary in Iraq right now.” Despite the potential danger Ansar represents, it remains unclear whether the group has the sophistication, tactics and manpower to orchestrate a countrywide terrorist campaign. Its northern bases were overrun by U.S. and Kurdish forces in the war. And Schwartz emphasized that there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that the group was involved in any of the recent attacks on U.S. forces and officials working with them in Iraq. Full Story

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