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Iraqi Insurgents Quarrel Over Recognizing International Law

June 4, 2008

The NEFA Foundation has obtained and translated two new statements from an emerging Sunni insurgent faction calling itself “the Iraqi Martyrs Brigades.” In its initial statement of purpose, the IMB indicated that its fighters were being guided both by Muslim Shariah law and “contemporary laws… Our clerics have previously agreed that fighting the enemies who are attacking Muslim countries—by any means necessary—is a duty in and of itself. International contemporary laws maintain the same view as well. Defending yourself against an oppressor is merely common sense for the popular masses.”

The IMB also acknowledged that its formation had largely come about because “some of the [jihad] factions deviated from our general guiding principles.”

This prompted a flood of users on the extremist Al-Hesbah Internet discussion forum to dismiss the IMB as merely a generic “resistance” organization with no interest in “raising the banner of monotheism and the righteous path—may Allah correct their path.” Other users simply referred to the IMB’s citation of “contemporary laws” as “inappropriate.” In response, the IMB issued a second communiqué addressed “to the beloved brothers who have posted messages on the Al-Hesbah Internet forum” in order to “clarify matters which you are ignorant of regarding the IMB.”

The group insisted, “regarding the issue of contemporary laws… it is obvious that we are all part of a shared human civilization which has many universal values. So, we have cited these laws in order to cater to various levels of understand and intelligence present among various different people… These same principles championed by [the West] also are opposed to the concept of occupation.” The IMB also repeated its earlier warning that the Iraqi jihad has “lost its true essence." (See Complete Document on NEFA's website)
he NEFA Foundation is a non-profit organization created after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Foundation strives to help prevent future tragedies in the U.S. and abroad by exposing those responsible for planning, funding, and executing terrorist activities, with a particular emphasis on Islamic militant organizations.
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