From Asia Times, with thanks to EPG:
At least fourteen American troops and several others were killed on Tuesday in an attack on an improvised dining hall of a US military base at Mosul in northern Iraq. An organization called Jaish Ansar al-Sunnah (JAAS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
While JAAS has projected the attack as a suicide bombing, thereby giving the impression that it has been able to penetrate the US military base, local US Army spokesmen have described it as a mortar attack, similar to the mortar attacks on the Green Zone in Baghdad, which one witnesses frequently.
JAAS, which came to notice for the first time in February after a major terrorist strike in the Kurdish areas, has claimed responsibility for many killings of kidnapped hostages, including 12 Nepalis, and a number of daring attacks – not only in and around Mosul, but also in different areas of the Sunni triangle. The incidents outside Mosul show that it has a wide reach in the Sunni-majority areas of Iraq.
It advocates hardline fundamentalism, similar to that of the Afghan Taliban. It describes its objectives as not only the defeat of the US-led occupation troops and the liberation of Iraq from their subjugation, but also the establishment of orthodox Islamic rule in Iraq after its liberation. It says that those Iraqis who had willingly sacrificed their lives in the jihad against the occupiers would have died in vain if a secular government was to be restored in Iraq after the defeat of the occupying forces.
A statement of December 6 attributed to JAAS said:
It is known that jihad in Iraq has become the obligatory required duty of every Muslim after the infidel enemy fell upon the land of Islam. It was the followers of the Prophet’s Sunnah and Jammah, the people of unification and following of ancestors, who raised the blessed banner of jihad and acted in groups, each in their area but spontaneously, receiving the directions and orders for their jihad from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet. They included clerics, sheikhs, and military fighters.
This is in accord with traditional Islamic doctrine on jihad. Jihad in the defense of Muslim lands is fard ayn, that is, obligatory for every Muslim.
Also note that this is probably mistranslated. I haven’t seen the original, but “the people of unification” sounds to me as if it was more likely “the people of Tawhid,” that is, the Islamic doctrine of the absolute unity of God. And I suspect that “the following of ancestors” likely refers to their loyalty to Islamic tradition.
The task is great and the situation is momentous. It concerns the nation’s fate and does not terminate by the end of the occupation. The aim does not end with their defeat, but with the upholding of Allah’s religion and the application of the Sharia of Allah to rule this Islamic land. What is the use of shedding Muslim mujahideens’ blood to throw out the forces of occupation if, after that, the fruits are enjoyed by a secular Iraqi or a puppet agent of the Americans working to fulfill their plans and programs? Then, we return to the control of a puppet government that rules with the laws of infidels in the name of Islam and is, in fact, controlled by the Jews and the Christians.
A faithful does not get bitten twice. Because of this, a group of resistance fighters and knowledgeable people, who have the political and military savvy and who have the record in managing the Islamic struggle against the enemies of Islam, have brought together a number of divided groups and platoons of resistance that operated in the field from the north to the south to make up a huge army that comes under a unified command. A command that will establish a locally devised unimported practical plan based on their knowledge of the battlefield and on the basis of the Sharia in the Koran and the Sunnah. We called it the Ansar al-Sunnah Army. We call on our brethren in faith and jihad to come together under the banner of this army to fulfill the hope of an Islamic nation that honors Islam and Muslims. Allah’s hand is with the group; the devil is in the company of the single. The wolf attacks the straggler sheep.
Its projection of itself as “a group of resistance fighters and knowledgeable people, who have the political and military savvy and who have the record in managing the Islamic struggle against the enemies of Islam”, is significant. This seeks to show that it is a mixed group of local resistance fighters and others who had participated in jihad elsewhere. However, it also projects itself as an indigenous organization carrying out a jihad against the occupation troops on the basis of a “locally devised unimported practical plan”.