Osama bin Ladens oppfordring til gruppene i Irak om å samarbeide er et tegn på at Al Qaida sliter med oppslutningen, mener sikkerhetseksperten Anthony Cordesman.
«My mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, you are a people worthy of praise and flattery. You’ve done well to carry out a glorious duty by fighting the enemy. But some of you have lagged behind in carrying out another glorious duty, which is to unite as one — as God wants,» bin Laden said.
He warned followers «against hypocritical enemies who are infiltrating your ranks to create sedition among mujahedeen groups.»
Anthony Cordesman, a terror analyst for the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said bin Laden’s underlying message appeared to be aimed at al-Qaida in Iraq — «that al-Qaida needs to be less arrogant and moderate its conduct.»
Cordesman pointed to al-Qaida in Iraq’s attempts to impose Taliban-like Islamic laws in some areas it controlled as well as its killings of rival tribal figures, actions that alienated some Sunni Arabs and led them to join a movement opposing al-Qaida.
To showcase the success of that tribal alliance, the U.S. military planned what it called a «unification parade» in Ramadi, the Anbar provincial capital, on Tuesday.
Maj. Lee Peters, a military spokesman for the area, said security would be increased to protect the celebration. It was to include at least 200 Sunni sheiks and hundreds of other dignitaries to commemorate Sheik Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the founder of the anti-al-Qaida group who was assassinated by a bomb Sept. 13.
Abdul-Sattar’s brother, who has taken over the movement, said it was important to maintain pressure on insurgents, recalling that about 50 al-Qaida militants marched through downtown Ramadi a year ago in a show of force.
«The people felt weak and afraid because of al-Qaida. Now there is a feeling of strength,» Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha told The Associated Press at his heavily guarded compound as a band practiced for the parade in the backyard. «This year I want to have a good parade to show that we support the law.»