Amerikansk etterretning frykter at Al Qaida vil kunne danne en enklave i sunni-triangelet i Irak. Det vil i så fall være deres første brohode i Midtøsten og en trussel mot Jordan og Saudi-Arabia.

A RADICAL plan by Al-Qaeda to take over the Sunni heartland of Iraq and turn it into a militant Islamic state once American troops have withdrawn is causing alarm among US intelligence officials.

A power struggle has emerged between the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, an organisation with ambitions to become a state which has been set up by Al-Qaeda, and more moderate Sunni groups. They are battling for the long-term control of central and western areas which they believe could break away from Kurdish and Shi’ite-dominated provinces once the coalition forces depart.

According to an analysis compiled by US intelligence agencies, the Islamic State has ambitions to create a terrorist enclave in the Iraqi provinces of Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Salah al-Din, Nineveh and parts of Babil.

«Al-Qaeda are on the way to establish their first stronghold in the Middle East,» warned an American official. «If they succeed, it will be a catastrophe and an imminent danger to Saudi Arabia and Jordan.»

The US conviction that the Islamic State could seize power is based on its use of classic Al-Qaeda tactics and its adoption last October of a draft constitution. This was entitled Notifying Mankind of the Birth of the Islamic State and was posted on a website based in Britain. The group named 10 ministers under its emir, Abu Amer Al-Baghdadi. They included a war minister, Abu Hamza Al-Muhajer who is also known as Abu Ayub al-Masri and is Al-Qaeda’s commander in Iraq.

Last week the Islamic State released a video that showed the execution of five Iraqi army soldiers and four police officers.

Al-Qaeda planning militant Islamic state within Iraq