The West’s relationship with Islam has been historically, a continuous whack-a-mole project.
Al Qaeda in Iraq mounts comeback
Claims a string of fatal bombings
Qaeda in Iraq, the Osama bin Laden-inspired terrorist group that sank the country into sectarian violence five years ago, is trying to make a comeback in post-U.S.-occupiedIraq, analysts and intelligence officials say.
Washington is closely watching whether AQI, as it is called, in the next year can reassemble networks smashed by the U.S. counterterrorism campaign. American commandos and intelligence officers killedAQI leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in 2006 and then scores of other chieftains until, by 2011, the group was decimated.
But right after the last U.S. troops left Iraq in mid-December, the Sunni Muslim AQI claimed responsibility for a string of deadly attacks, primarily against Shiites, whose sect dominates Iraq’s government. Last week, an AQI spokesman claimed that it had carried out multiple bombings that killed 55.
A U.S. official told The Washington Times that AQI is carrying out more attacks this year than it did in the second half of 2011, when the U.S. military was pulling out. But the increased violence does not mean AQI is back to its old strength, the official said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, provided AQI and the minority Sunnis a recruiting mantra when he ordered the arrest of the country’s highest-ranking Sunni leader the day after U.S. troops exited.