Saturday, June 10, 2006

Death Could Shake Al-Qaeda In Iraq and Around the World

Death Could Shake Al-Qaeda In Iraq and Around the World: "It is unclear which of 39-year-old Zarqawi's lieutenants, or deputy emirs, will attempt to fill his role. But whoever succeeds him will be hard-pressed to achieve the same level of notoriety or to unite the foreign fighters in Iraq under a single command, analysts said.

Some European and Arab intelligence officials said they had seen signs before Zarqawi's death that the number of foreign fighters going to Iraq was already waning. For recruitment efforts, the importance of Zarqawi's death 'cannot be overestimated,' Germany's foreign intelligence chief, Ernst Uhrlau, told the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel.

Guido Steinberg, an expert on Islamic radicalism at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, said other groups of foreign fighters that kept a loose alliance with Zarqawi, such as Ansar al-Sunna, might turn away from al-Qaeda in Iraq now that he is gone.

'It's a great loss for the these jihadi networks,' said Steinberg, who served as a counterterrorism adviser to Gerhard Schroeder when he was chancellor of Germany. 'I don't think there is any person in Iraq able to control this network the way Zarqawi did. It's very decentralized. He was the only person in Iraq who could provide the glue.

'By losing Zarqawi, they run the danger of losing Iraq as a battlefield to the nationalist insurgents and others who aren't interested in bin Laden or the global jihad.'"

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