Yes, I too thought they had already started it. Also, apparently they haven’t heard the common American Muslim refrain (based on a hadith that radical theorists such as Hassan Al-Banna and Abdullah Azzam reject as inauthentic) that the greater jihad is a spiritual struggle, not armed warfare. From Itar-Tass:
DUBAI, October 4 (Itar-Tass) – The Islamic Theologians League of Iraq has threatened to declare “great jihad” in response to massive killings “perpetrated by the occupation troops in the cities of Falluja and Samarra.” Muhammad Bashar al-Faydi, official representative of the League, said so at a press conference in Baghdad, the mass media reported on Monday.
He described as massacre the combat operations, staged by the U.S. Air Force in those cities. He cited examples of unprovoked murder of children and old people. “Our impression today is that our creed and the very existence of the Iraqi nation are in jeopardy. The only thing left to us is to declare ‘great jihad’,” al-Faydi said.
The Islamic Theologians League of Iraq believes that severe repressions against the Iraqi population are aimed at “pacifying” the people during preparations for the elections, which are scheduled for early 2005. “Iraqis will not accept the results of the elections, the road to which is paved with sculls and flooded with blood,” said Muhammad al-Faydi.