RealNews

Anti-U.S. Kurdish Militants Rebounding, Officials Say

Ali Hamaamin said he had been whipped with electrical cords, hung by his arms and kicked in the face. Because he was accused of not being religious, he was repeatedly tortured by men from the militant Islamic group Ansar al-Islam. “They used to come to me at night, wearing masks, and do the most horrible things,” said Mr. Hamaamin, who lives in Beyara, a village near the Iranian border. His ordeal ended with the United States-led invasion of Iraq last year, when American Special Forces and Kurdish militias routed Ansar al-Islam, which once tried to set up a Taliban-like state in the jagged mountains along the border with Iran. But Ansar is making a resurgence, Kurdish and American officials say. According to interviews with captured Ansar members, the group is branching out from its former mountain strongholds to cities across Iraq. Its mission, too, has expanded, they say, from terrorizing local villagers to planning suicide bombings against the American-led occupation. Full Story

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