Ansar al-Islam


Ansar al-Islam
   Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam) was originally created in 2001 out of several smaller Kurdish Islamic extremist groups in northern Iraq. Its membership included Kurds, Arabs, and Afghans. At first, it called itself Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam) but changed its name in 2002. Many initially believed that Ansar al-Islam had connections to al-Qaida, but this apparently was not true. However, some of Ansar's members may have received training at al-Qaida's bases in Afghanistan. In the run-up to its war against Iraq in 2003, the United States claimed that Ansar had received financial support from al-Qaida and experimented with the deadly chemical agent ricin.
   The group established itself in the mountains near Halabja next to the border with Iran. It modeled itself after the Taliban in Afghanistan, ruled with a deeply conservative religious bent, and sponsored terror and war against the secular Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Savage fighting occurred between the two in the fall of 2001 and again in the fall of 2002. Ansar mutilated the bodies of some of its victims and even came close to assassinating Barham Salih, the prime minister of the PUK administration in Sulaymaniya in April 2002. In February 2003, Ansar treacherously assassinated another PUK official, Shawkat Haji Mushir, as he was attempting to negotiate with it.
   Ansar al-Islam prohibited electronic devices such as television and radio, mandated beards for men, and required women to wear full-length gowns that covered their faces. Mulla Fatih Kraker, its founder and first leader, was arrested in the Netherlands in September 2002. Mulla Mohammad Hasan reputedly became the new leader. The group also had a 15-member shura, or leadership council, which operated from the village of Beyara. Early in 2003, Ansar was thought to have approximately 600 fighters. Others, however, believed the total was larger. The group ran training camps with lessons on infantry weapons, tactics, suicide bombing, and assassination. In addition, it videotaped combat operations and announced its battlefield accomplishments on a website at www.ansarislam.com.
   In February 2003, Colin Powell, the U.S. secretary of state, declared in a speech to the UN Security Council that Ansar al-Islam was also testing chemical weapons and had connections with Saddam Hussein. Although these claims now seem exaggerated, it was clear that Ansar al-Islam was a serious threat to the PUK and any possible attack by the United States against Iraq that was directed near Ansar's stronghold in northern Iraq. Therefore, during the early stages of the U.S. attack against Iraq in March 2003, U.S. and Kurdish troops routed Ansar. However, some of its elements escaped to Iran and elsewhere to fight again another day, eventually merging into Ansar al-Sunna later in 2003.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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  • Ansar al Islam — (arabisch ‏أنصار الإسلام‎, DMG Anṣār al Islām, „Helfer des Islam“) ist eine kurdisch islamistische Gruppierung aus dem Nordirak, die eine radikale Deutung des Islams vertritt und bis zur US Invasion 2003 Dutzende Dörfer in einem Gebiet vom… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Ansar-ul-Islam — (Arabic: انصارالاسلام ) ( Partisans of Islam ) may refer to several disparate groups:* Ansar al Islam: a Kurdish Sunni Muslim group in Northern Iraq * Ansar ul Islam: a Barelvi Sunni Muslim group in the Khyber Agency, Federally Administered… …   Wikipedia

  • Ansar al Islam — noun a radical Islamic group of terrorists in the Iraqi part of Kurdistan who oppose an independent secular nation as advocated by the United States; some members fought with the Taliban and al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan; said to receive… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ansar al-Islam — noun a radical Islamic group of terrorists in the Iraqi part of Kurdistan who oppose an independent secular nation as advocated by the United States; some members fought with the Taliban and al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan; said to receive… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ansar al Islam — Organización terrorista islámica, cuyo nombre significa Seguidores del Islam, y cuyo objetivo es crear un Estado islámico en el Kurdistán. Vinculada a Al Qaeda …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ansar al-Sunna —    Ansar al Sunna, or the Supporters of the Sunna (faith), is a militant salafi successor group to Ansar al Islam. Into 2010, it has been fighting against the United States led occupation of Iraq and its current government. Based in northern and… …   Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

  • Islam —    Islam (submission to God) is the most recently established of the three main monotheistic religions in the world. The Prophet Muhammad (570 632), an Arab, began having visions when he was approximately 40 years old. The first pillar, or duty,… …   Historical Dictionary of the Kurds


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