Mujahideen Shura Council (Iraq)

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Mujahideen Shura Council
Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen fi al-Iraq
Participant in the Iraq War
Mujahideen Shura Council Iraq logo.jpg
An alleged logo of the Mujahideen Shura Council, consisting of three hands holding aloft the black flag of jihad.
Active January 2006 – October 2006
Ideology Wahhabism
Salafist Jihadism
Groups
Leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri
Headquarters Anbar province
Area of operations Iraq
Became Islamic State of Iraq
Opponents Multi-National Force – Iraq
Republic of Iraq

The Mujahideen Shura Council, (Arabic: مجلس شورى المجاهدين في العراق‎), was an umbrella organization of at least six groups taking part in the Iraqi insurgency against U.S. and coalition and Iraqi forces: Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, Jeish al-Taiifa al-Mansoura, Katbiyan Ansar Al-Tawhid wal Sunnah, Saray al-Jihad Group, al-Ghuraba Brigades, and al-Ahwal Brigades.

The Mujahideen Shura Council was believed by the United States Marine Corps to be the primary political force in the Al Anbar province.[1] [2]

In mid-October 2006, a statement was released, stating that the Mujahideen Shura Council had been disbanded, and was replaced by the Islamic State of Iraq.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

In January 2006, ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’ (AQI, Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn) announced the formation of the “Mujahideen Consultative Council”, uniting AQI with five other insurgent groups that is: opposed to U.S. and coalition and Iraqi forces. The groups were:

Its leadership was given to an Iraqi. Since then, AQI claimed responsibility for attacks through that new council.[3] Another source apparently called the new council "Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen fi al-Iraq" (Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq or Mujaheddin Consultative Council) [4]

The formation of the group was first announced on January 15, 2006, in a statement posted to the jihadist website Hanin Net. The statement was signed by the spokesman for Tenzheem Qa'adah al-Jihad, Abu Maysarah al-Iraqi. It was formed to resist efforts by the American and Iraqi authorities to win over Sunni supporters of the insurgency. The stated purpose of the council was "Managing the struggle in the battle of confrontation to ward off the invading kafir (infidels) and their apostate stooges...Uniting the word of the mujahideen and closing their ranks...[and] determining a clear position toward developments and incidents so that people can see things clearly and the truth will not be confused with falsehood."[citation needed]

On or before April 25, 2006, a videotape of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was released bearing the organization's logo.[citation needed]

Structure[edit]

Little is known about the organizational structure of the Council, in large part due to the shadowy nature of the organization itself. al Qaeda in Iraq was the most powerful and visible group.[citation needed] Because of the multiple leaders the Shura Council had, there seems to have been no disruption in the Shura Council’s ability to carry out attacks: more than 1600 Iraqi civilians died in the month right after Zarqawi's death, the largest number killed in a month to that date.[5] Elements of the Shura Council's organization from the top to the bottom remain fluid due both to the nature of its aims and methods as well as its loose confederation. It was speculated that the group was dominated by al Qaeda in Iraq and that Zarqawi's death dealt a severe blow to the unity of the Council.[6] Aside from the murky workings of the Shura Council's leadership it is known that the Council has rather smooth operations when it comes to propaganda, the Council's propaganda czar, Murasel, regularly posted updates, criticisms, and praises for the Council's own acts of violence on a semi-daily basis at blogspot.com.

Capturing and killing Americans Tucker and Menchaca[edit]

On June 20, 2006, the council claimed to have "slaughtered" the two U.S. soldiers Private first class Kristian Menchaca and Private first class Thomas Lowell Tucker who had been abducted in an attack, 16 June, on a U.S. checkpoint, and had been found dead on 19 June. The council underlined their claim on 10 July 2006 by issuing a video on Internet in which the mutilated corpses of Menchaca and Tucker were shown and prodded.

Proclaiming 'Islamic State of Iraq'[edit]

On October 15, 2006, the Council released a video declaring an Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), made up of six provinces including Baghdad. The Iraqi government discounted this, noting none of the provinces mentioned were in insurgent control.[7][8] On the same day, the Ba'ath Socialist Party, released a statement which warned against 'backing any divisive plan under the pretext to protect whatever community...', a direct reference to the attempted establishment of a separate Sunni Arab state.[citation needed] On October 18, 2006, according to Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf of the Interior Ministry, about 60 al-Qaida militants arrived in Ramadi, 70 miles (110 km) west of Baghdad, in 17 vehicles and remained there for 15 minutes before being forced to flee, suffering unspecified losses in clashes with security and "tribal forces". Witnesses said that dozens of masked militants dressed in white marched through the streets of the city, the capital of western Anbar province, carrying banners exhorting people to support the Islamic State of Iraq. "We are from Mujahideen Shura Council and our Amir (Prince) is Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. God willing we will set the law of Sharia here and we will fight the Americans," said a man who identified himself as Abu Harith. "We have announced the Islamic state. Ramadi is part of it. Our state will comprise all the Sunni provinces of Iraq".[citation needed][9][10]

Renaming MSC as 'Islamic State of Iraq'[edit]

In November, a statement was issued by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir announcing the disbanding of the Mujahideen Shura Council, in favor of the ISI. The reason given for this shift was that a new phase of jihad was beginning, in which they would attempt to reestablish the Islamic caliphate. After this statement, there were a few more claims of responsibility issued under the name of the Mujahideen Shura Council, but these eventually ceased and were totally replaced by claims from the Islamic State of Iraq.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Washington Post article". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Free Market News article[dead link]
  3. ^ ABC News (30 January 2006). "Pressure Grows on al Qaeda in Iraq". ABC News. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "(unknown)". [dead link]
  5. ^ "MSNBC article". msnbc.com. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Jamestown.org article". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Herald article". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  8. ^ siteinstitute.org
  9. ^ Reuters article[dead link]
  10. ^ Forbes article[dead link]