Friday, July 6, 2007

G.I.’s Forge Sunni Tie in Bid to Squeeze Militants

by Michael R. Gordon from The New York Times

Imposing a severe version of Islamic law, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia installed its own clerics, established an Islamic court and banned the sale of cigarettes, which even this week were nowhere to be found in the humble shops in western Baquba to the consternation of patrolling Iraqi troops ... “They used religion as a ploy to get in and exploit people’s passions,” said one member of the Kit Carson scouts, who gave his name as Haidar. “They were Iraqis and other Arabs from Syria, Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. They started kicking people out of their houses and getting ransom from rich people. They would shoot people in front of their houses to scare the others.”

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