Divide and conquer: Al Qaeda's latest tactic in Iraq?
A letter branded as a “blueprint” for civil war in Iraq is being rejected by Sunnis and Shiites here who insist that the two communities will never take up arms against each other. Although there have been flare-ups between the majority Shiites and the traditionally dominant Sunnis – and a broader conflict is often the source of speculation – Iraqis stress that relations between the two communities remain strong and dismiss notions of a civil war. “There are no problems between the Sunnis and the Shiites,” says Bassam Abdullah, a barber in the Shiite-dominated of Sadr City. “The media play up the splits between us. My neighbor is a Sunni and we are friends.” The US military on Wednesday released a letter which it says is a plea to Al-Qaeda for assistance in launching attacks against Shiites to foment a civil war with the Sunni community. The letter was allegedly written by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who is said to be a chemical and biological weapons expert for Al-Qaeda and who stands accused of planning some of the devastating suicide bombings that have plagued Iraq in recent months. Full Story