By Waheed Ghanim.
As levels of violence rise in Iraq again and the conflict takes on a sectarian appearance, locals are saying that extremist group, Al Qaeda, are taking a new – and successful - tack.
Some in Iraq say the crisis that the country is currently facing: rising levels of violence, more deaths and extremist bombs and killings as well as increased sectarian tension – can be attributed to two things. Firstly, the fact that the state security forces are still using the same methods they have always used. That is, they’re not adapting to new methods used by extremists.
And secondly, that the extremists are using new methods. Recent announcements by the Iraqi government about the discovery of a terrorist cell producing chemical weapon and a statement from extremists about an alleged new partnership with tribal authorities are indications of this.
Recently Iraq’s Ministry of Defence reported that it had arrested a cell of the mostly Sunni Muslim extremist group, Al Qaeda, which was in the process of producing chemical weapons, in the form of poison gas that the cell planned to use inside and outside of Iraq. The announcement was made on June 1.
“After three weeks of surveillance, a military force was able to uncover two clinics producing sarin and mustard gases,” the Ministry of Defence stated. “The first clinic was in Baghdad and the other two were in one of the provinces.”
The statement issued by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence came about a week after another extremists group, the Naqshbandi group, published pictures on their own website of masked men preparing chemicals. These pictures were widely circulated by bloggers on social networking sites and many believe the arrests and the pictures are linked.