Al-Qaida is making a comeback in Iraq and is suspected to be involved in various terrorist activities in the last 10 weeks, officials say. Most of the terrorists are believed to be prisoners who have either escaped from Iraqi jails or have been released by the authorities due to lack of evidence.
The leading terrorist group, al-Qaida, which was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, has been regaining grounds in Iraq since the withdrawal of American forces from the country. Many are thought to be either Saudi or belonging to the Sunni-dominated Gulf States. While the U.S. troops joined by counterterrorism forces of Iraq were able to beat down Al-Qaida, the group has almost doubled in strength in the last one year and has been involved in 140 attacks on average per week, Pentagon said.
Al-Qaida’s return to Iraq was something that was predicted a long time back, so it does not come as a surprise. Last November, before the American troops left Iraq, Army General Lloyd Austin foresaw “turbulence” in Iraq; nonetheless, he doubted that a civil war between Shiite militants and Sunni insurgents would start all over again.
The government, once again, appears to be failing in its efforts to curb the violence, fueling extreme sentiments from the public. "Nobody here believes the government's claims that al-Qaida is weak and living its last days in Iraq," said Fuad Ali, 41, a Shiite who works for the government.
"Al-Qaida is much stronger than what the Iraqi officials are imagining," Ali said. "The terrorist group is able to launch big attacks and free its members from Iraqi prisons, and this indicates that al-Qaida is stronger than our security forces. The government has failed to stop the increasing number of victims who were killed since the start of this year."
Recently, Iraq’s army has discovered several places in the country with thousands of bullet shell casings indicating that the area had been used as a shooting range to train the terrorists, Lt. General Ali Ghaidan told Associated Press.
Also, during the raid, Iraqi officials also found two DVDs that show mounted anti-aircraft machine guns with about forty armed men shouting “God is great.” The officials believe that the DVDs were filmed during the first three months of this year. According to the Iraqi intelligence forces, as many as 2500 al-Qaida fighters are now currently involved in the recent terrorist activities in Iraq.