“There has been increasing friction between Al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab insurgent groups, particularly over Al Qaeda’s indiscriminate killing of civilians in Iraq.” The problem here is that those civilians are Muslim. Jihadists have often made the case that non-Muslim civilians, particularly in Israel but elsewhere also, are not actually civilians at all, and can lawfully be killed. It is harder (but not impossible — the late Zarqawi wrote a long piece about this a few years back, which in itself was one indication that Al-Qaeda was even then getting heat from other Muslims for its tactics) to make this case about fellow Muslims.
“Al Qaeda leader in Iraq ‘killed by insurgents,'” from Reuters, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
An Interior Ministry spokesman says the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, has been killed in an internal fight between insurgents north of Baghdad.
Brigadier General Abdul Kareem Khalaf says, “we have definite intelligence reports that al Masri was killed today.”
Another source in the ministry also says Masri has been killed. Brig Gen Khalaf says the battle happened near a bridge in the small town of al-Nibayi, north of Baghdad.
Both Brig Gen Khalaf and the other source in the ministry say the authorities do not have Masri’s body.
The US military says it cannot confirm the reports.
“I hope that it is true, but we want to be very careful to make sure,” Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver, a spokesman for the US military in Iraq, said.
There has been increasing friction between Al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab insurgent groups, particularly over Al Qaeda’s indiscriminate killing of civilians in Iraq.
Masri, who is also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, assumed the leadership of Al Qaeda in Iraq after Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a US air strike in June 2006.