Mohammad's Army


Mohammad's Army

Mohammad's Army (Jaish-e-Mohammad) is a guerrilla organization. It had been operating in Iraq against the multinational occupying forces since at least mid 2003. It is not to be confused with the Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammed group.

The group is also believed to have had close links with the Baath Party of Iraq, and is reportedy composed of security and intelligence personnel who had served in the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Originally, its stated goals included the removal of the Governing Council. Later, it was reported that the group wanted the removal of the interim government of Iyad Allawi and the election of a representative government for Iraq without United States interference.

Iraqi intelligence in July of 2001 was assessing the organization Mohammad's Army. The IIS stated that the group is under the wings of Bin Laden. They received their directions from Yemen. The objectives are the same as Bin Laden. [http://a.abcnews.com/images/pdf/Pentagon_Report_V1.pdf]

Composition

The organization appears to be a loose network based around former Ba'ath Party members. United States government sources say reports indicate that former members of Saddam Hussein's security forces form the organization's leadership, although it appears to operate under the guise of an Islamist organization. Contrary to United States government reports, in an interview with IWPR the group stated that the number foreign fighters among its ranks were few, and were residing in Iraq prior to the Multinational forces' invasion. It further stated that most members were Iraqi farmers.

Distribution

One report states that the group is most active between Baghdad and Ramadi.

Modus Operandi

The group is believed to specialise in attacks on low-flying aircraft and helicopters using shoulder-fired missiles. In an interview with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, the group opposed attacks on police as a violation of Islam because Muslims should not kill other Muslims. The group stated that it receives "financial and moral" support from Iraqis, and does not receive financial assistance from abroad.

Activities

Members of Mohammad's Army and a possibly related organization, the Armed Vanguards of Mohammad's Second Army, have taken responsibility for several attacks in videotapes aired on Arabic television networks. These include the bombing of the U.N. headquarters on August 19, 2003, the assassination of Governing Council member Aquila al-Hashimi, and the shooting down of a Chinook helicopter on November 2, 2003 that killed 15 U.S. soldiers. The men on the videotape taking responsibility for the Chinook downing appear masked and provide a statement studded with frequent Koranic references and spoken in a North African dialect. This suggests foreign fighters may form part of Mohammad's Army's membership.

U.S. commanders, however, believe that Mohammad's Army is an umbrella group for a network of Ba'ath loyalists, with foreign fighters or Iraqis with other persuasions playing little role. The capture of Saddam Hussein on December 13, 2003 was reported to have helped expose some of the network, especially in Baghdad. However, the group quickly regenerated and continues to play a major role in the Sunni insurgencyFact|date=February 2007.

History

The leader of the group, Moayed Ahmed Yasseen (also known as Abu Ahmed) was reported captured on November 14, 2004. Reports seem to indicate that this occurred during the Second Battle of Fallujah. The group appears to have been little heard of since the capture, as Ba'athists overall were eclipsed in the Sunni insurgency.

ources

*Kais al-Rubai, Ali. [http://www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/irq/irq_63_1_eng.txt Islamists Pledge Continued War on Coalition] . IWPR, Baaqouba, 2004-05-14.


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