Definitions

Interior Ministry of Iraq

Islamic State of Iraq

The Islamic State of Iraq or Dawlat al-'Iraq al-Islamiyya (Arabic دولة العراق الإسلامية), is an umbrella organization of a number of Iraqi insurgent groups established on October 15, 2006 "to protect the Iraqi people from US attacks and defend Islam, by the Khalf al-Mutayibeen". It appears that Khalf al-Mutayibeen refers to the alliance of insurgent groups, and Dawlat al-'Iraq al-Islamiyya to the state it claims to govern.

The group is composed of and supported by a variety of insurgency groups, including its predecessor, the Mujahideen Shura Council, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Jeish al-Fatiheen, Jund al-Sahaba, Katbiyan Ansar Al-Tawhid wal Sunnah, Jeish al-Taiifa al-Mansoura, etc, and some Sunni clans. It aims to establish a caliphate in the Sunni Arab dominated regions of Iraq.

It claims a presence in the governorates of Baghdad, Al Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Salah ad Din, Ninawa, and parts of Babil and Wasit, etc. It initially claimed Baqubah as its capital.

2007 events

Between late 2006 and May 2007, the ISI brought the Dora neighborhood of southern Baghdad under its control. Numerous Christian families left, unwilling to pay the Jizya tax. US efforts to drive out the ISI presence stalled in late June, 2007, despite the walling-off of streets and the use of biometric identification technology. By November 2007 the ISI had been removed from Dora, and Assyrian churches could be re-opened.

March

The Interior Ministry of Iraq said that Al-Baghdadi was captured in Baghdad on March 9, 2007, but it was later said that the person in question was not Al-Baghdadi.

April

On April 19, 2007, the organization announced that it had set up a provisional government termed "the first Islamic administration" of post-invasion Iraq. The "emirate" was stated to be headed by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and his cabinet of 10 ministers:
Name (English transliteration) and notable pseudonyms Name (Arabic) Post Notes
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi
أبو عمر البغدادي Emir
Abu Abdul Rahman al-Falahi ابو عبد الرحمن الفلاحي "First Minister" (Prime Minister)
Abu Hamza al-Muhajir
AKA Abu Ayyub al-Masri?
ابو حمزة المهاجر War Identity of al-Muhajir with al-Masri suspected. ISI has apparently only used former name.
Abu Uthman al-Tamimi ابو عثمان التميمي Sharia affairs
Abu Bakr al-Jabouri
AKA Muharib Abdul-Latif al-Jabouri

(Deceased May 1/2, 2007)
ابو بكر الجبوري Public Relations Common spelling variants: al-Jubouri, al-Jiburi.
Abu Abdul Jabar al-Janabi ابو عبد الجبار الجنابي Security
Abu Muhammad al-Mashadani ابو محمد المشهداني Information
Abu Abdul Qadr al-Eissawi ابو عبد القادر العيساوي Martyrs and Prisoners Affairs
Abu Ahmed al-Janabi ابو احمد الجنابي Oil
Mustafa al-A'araji مصطفى الاعرجي Agriculture and Fisheries
Abu Abdullah al-Zabadi ابو عبد الله الزيدي Health
Mohammed Khalil al-Badria Education Announced on September 3, 2007

These are apparently all noms de guerre.

May

On May 3, Iraqi sources claimed that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi had been killed a short time earlier; no evidence was provided to support his death, and US sources remained skeptical. The Islamic State of Iraq released a statement later that day that denied his death. The death of Abu Ayyub al-Masri was also claimed, apparently in error too (see that article for details).

In what was apparently the same incident, "Minister of Public Relations" Abu Bakr al-Jabouri was announced to have been killed on May 1/2, 2007 near Taji. The exact circumstances of the incident are unknown. The initial version of the events at Taji, as given by the Iraqi Interior Ministry, was a shootout between rival Sunni militias. Coalition and Iraqi government operations were apparently conducted in the same area about the same time, and later sources implied they were directly involved, with al-Jabouri being killed "resisting arrest". See Abu Omar al-Baghdadi for details and sources. The successor of al-Jabour (if any) is presently unknown.

In an ISI press release, responsibility was claimed for an ambush at Al Taqa (Babil) on May 12, at which one Iraqi soldier and 4 US 10th Mountain Division soldiers were killed; 3 soldiers of the US unit were captured. One was found dead in the Euphrates 11 days later. The other two were claimed to have been executed and buried in an ISI video release, after a 4,000-man manhunt by US and allied forces ended without success. No direct proof was given.

June

On June 18, the US launched Operation Arrowhead Ripper, as "a large-scale effort to eliminate al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorists operating in Baquba and its surrounding areas. See also Diyala province campaign.

The June 25 suicide bombing of a meeting of Al Anbar tribal leaders and officials at Mansour Hotel, Baghdad, which killed 13, including 6 Sunni sheikhs and some other prominent figures, was proclaimed by the ISI to have been in retaliation for the rape of a Sunni woman by Iraqi police. Security at the hotel, which is some 100 meters outside the Green Zone, was provided by a British contractor that apparently hired guerilla fighters to provide physical security; the veracity and implications of allegated claims of responsibility of an Egyptian Islamist group and possible on-scene assistance for the suicide bomber are undetermined.

July

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi released an audio tape that issued an ultimatum to Iran. He said: "We are giving the Persians, and especially the rulers of Iran, a two-month period to end all kinds of support for the Iraqi Shia government and to stop direct and indirect intervention ... otherwise a severe war is waiting for you." He further warned Arab states from doing business with Iran.

Iran supports the Iraqi government which many see as anti-Sunni. Furthermore, Iran is believed to support Shi'ite militias, such as that of Muqtada al-Sadr, which have attacked Sunni groups and populations.

Resistance to Coalition operations in Baqubah turned out to be less than anticipated. In early July, US Army sources suggested that the ISI leadership as was in the area had largely relocated elsewhere in early June, 2007, before start of Operation Arrowhead Ripper.

References

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