Beaumont i Najaf: Jihadister og Saddam-folk samarbeider om å lage kaos

Observers Peter Beaumont er i Najaf og har gått mellom haugene av lemlestede og martrede mennesker. De som sprengte bomben fredag gjorde en svært god jobb. Folk er i sjokk. Som mange sier: Vi vet ikke hvem vi kan stole på lenger.

Alle bedyrer at det må være folk utenfor shia-miljøet som gjorde dette. Beaumont retter søkelyset mot den taktiske alliansen mellom jihadister som strømmer til Irak og Saddam-nettverket. De er i ferd med å organisere seg:

The picture of that network of terrorists and guerrilla fighters, between 5,000 and 7,000 strong, which has been emerging in the past few weeks is of groups that are organising but not yet organised, with local command structures, money, weapons and expertise. Its fighters, by and large, are ex-members of Saddam’s former security forces and Baath Party, bolstered with manpower and expertise by Arab fighters joining the new jihad against America – unlikely bedfellows with the secular Baathist cause.

The network is described in recovered documents and by captured senior Saddam officials who have disclosed that, while Iraq’s dictator had few military plans for opposing the coalition forces, what he left was a time bomb designed to blow up in the coalition’s face.

‘What we are seeing,’ said one security source, ‘is a developing marriage of convenience between the ex-Baathists, who have the money, the contacts and the ground knowledge, and jihadist volunteers who have the specialist skills and are coming to Iraq to fight Americans on Arab soil.

Hellig sak, arabisk jord
‘As regards these people, the US has dangerously underestimated how important Iraq has become to them. They are drawn not only by the fact that US and British troops are in a country with two of the most important Islamic shrines after Mecca, at Karbala and Najaf, but because Iraq represents an ancient and powerful idea of Arab culture and history.’

It is perhaps Wahabi jihadists – a puritanical Islamic group from Saudi Arabia who regard the Shia rituals as idolatrous – that may have helped to carry out Friday’s bombing.

Tåke av grupper
Men er det så enkelt? Luften er tykk av navn på grupper og flagg. Er dette Tordenskjolds soldater, eller er det ulike grupper:

The groups behind those attacks go by a multiplicity of names – and increasingly, it appears, by a multiplicity of agendas that verge on anarchy. There are the Muslim Fighters of the Victorious Sects, the Iraqi Resistance Brigade and the General Command of the Iraqi Armed Resistance and Liberation Forces. There is the Army of Mohammed, Islamic Armed Group of al-Qaeda, Fallujah branch. There are the White Flags and Muslim Youth and Wakefulness and Holy War. All have claimed in audio and video tapes that they have been behind the bloodshed, directed largely at US troops.

Chaos reigns as Saddam’s plan unfolds

Peter Beaumont reports from Najaf on the threat from an increasingly organised network of anti-US forces bent on plunging Iraq into violence and anarchy