'Terrorist University' in Iraq

  • 10 May 2008

Despite sustained efforts toward putting an end to the instability in Iraq since the US-led invasion of 2003, violence continues to claim the lives of innocent Iraqis coming from all social denominations, besides displacing millions of people from their homes to other regions in search of security.

While Iraqis hope for a reprieve from this miserable situation, a hitherto unknown figure named Abu Omar El-Baghdadi from the group “The Islamic State of Iraq,” has released an audio message on the Internet that announces the country has turned into a “university for terrorists,” which is recruiting militants in a highly advanced manner. In his message, Baghdadi states: “We declare the passing out of the biggest group of Jihadists in the history of Iraq to fight for Allah, and the education is still ongoing,” he added. Baghdadi made this claim while speaking about the supposed production of a missile called “Al-Quds 1.” The speech of Baghdadi, whose group was supposedly formed last week and is led by “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” confirms that extremist groups are bent on jeopardizing the security of the Iraqi people to promote their personal aims, from which the Iraqis will gain nothing.

Obviously, Iraq does not need a “terrorist university.” Instead, it is in dire need of organizations that produce builders not destroyers, and people with an Iraqi identity. It certainly does not want those who regard the country to be a swath of land that enables them to execute their own sinful operations.

The speech of Baghdadi indicates an extremely dangerous development. It reflects the current crisis facing the Iraqi State, and Iraqis must stay united and face the threat with the will to rise above any sub-national loyalty or affiliations.

Baghdadi’s “terrorist university” claims to be attracting teachers and students from not only Iraq but also other countries. The existence of such a “university” underscores the need for concerted effort by all parties of the world who could potentially bear the consequences, in order to nip the colossal danger in the bud and rescue Iraq from this growing menace.