ANSAR AL-ISLAM: Saddam's al-Qaeda Connection?


Until Sept. 11, 2001, the radical Islamic group Ansar al-Islam was considered a local problem. Based in the Kurdish controlled areas of northern Iraq, with a membership of militant fundamentalists determined to impose Islamic rule, the group raised its profile three years ago by blowing up beauty parlors and sloshing acid in the faces of unveiled Kurdish women. Ansar, like Saddam Hussein, is arrayed against the separatist Kurds of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdestan Democratic Party (KDP), whose ragtag forces lie between it and Baghdad. Ansar hates all infidels, but mainly the ones in its neighborhood. "If...

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