Al-Qaeda Sinks Roots in Mosul

It is difficult to say whether the organization's campaign against minorities is being received positively by most Sunnis in the Mosul area, despite the organization marketing it as revenge against the mistreatment of Sunnis by the Shiite government. It is obvious, however, that a general state of terror has taken hold in the province, leading the majority to prefer to remain in the background, in silence.

This applies equally to Ninevah government officials. The media platforms of Gov. Atheel al-Nujaifi lack any statements condemning the acts targeting Mosul's minorities. Some of those with whom Al-Monitor spoke attributed this absence to a fear of clashing with al-Qaeda. Others asserted that the local administration has a relationship with the militants, and that some important local figures must pay taxes to al-Qaeda.

In the absence of a solution to the dispute over powers and the mutual lack of trust between the federal and provincial governments, any effort to confront al-Qaeda’s increasing influence in Mosul will find success elusive.

Harith Hasan is an Iraqi scholar and writer. He has a PhD in political science, and his main research interests are state–society relations and identity politics in Iraq and the Arab Mashriq. On Twitter: @harith_hasan

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