What Is al Quada Trying To Achieve In Iraq?

The latest in a long series of car bomb attacks in Iraq blamed on al Quada have left me with a burning question: What is al Quada trying to achieve? I thought long and hard about this and found it impossible to come to any definite conclusion. The only people who seem to be a target nowadays are the Iraqi people themselves, and apart from instilling continual fear in the population, I cannot see any major gains for the terrorist group.

A Double Car Bomb Explodes

That the bombings carry the hallmark of al Quada is clear, for it has been their method for years to set off one bomb, and wait until rescuers, ambulances, police and the general public gather at the scene before setting off the second device, thereby creating havoc with the maximum casualties.

If they were still attacking Coalition Forces I could understand it, but they gave that up a long time ago. This is probably due to the swift response of armed forces against them, and for sure the American’s and British have taken a heavy toll of their fighters after such an attack. Naturally, they can expect no reprisal actions from the civilian population who have no choice but to suffer, and then pick up the pieces after a bombing.

Immediate Aftermath

Maybe al Quada has decided that civilians are a ‘soft’ target and therefore the easiest, but what is their aim? In any normal society, a group that carries out random bombings on its own citizens would be hated and despised in short order, but that doesn’t seem to be happening in Iraq. Maybe the people are too afraid to turn against the militants for fear of reprisals, its all rather vague.

There is little doubt that al Quada has a political agenda, which could be to eventually acquire control over the country. I think it fair to assume they have sympathisers in positions of power in some countries, and Pakistan comes immediately to mind. The group has been active in many countries, the latest of which is Syria. The entire ‘Arab Spring’ event has given them an unrivelled opportunity to disrupt governments across the whole of the Middle East by inciting unrest, and they would not do this without some gain for themselves. Whichever way it goes, it seems the insurgents have changed tactics from their indiscriminate bombing of western targets, and are aiming for the easier option of control over many arab countries.

One of Today’s Car Bombs

It is claimed that today’s coordinated bomb attacks were aimed at derailing the Arab Summit to be held in Baghdad next week, but if that is the case, why not wait until next week when the delegates are present, and thus have more impact? To me it doesn’t add up, for this is just random mass murder of their own people, the only possible gain for which would be the moving of the Summit to some other country. To that any intelligent person would  have to say; so what? If the the summit was moved, what gain would there be for a terrorist group, other than perhaps to demonstrate their ‘power’. The final act of which would be that it makes not a jot of difference, for it would take place anyway.

The only clear fact that comes to light in this whole series of episodes is that the Iraq based al Quada are Sunni Muslims living in a Shia dominated country, and the conclusion drawn from this can only be that the aim of these people is to overcome this Shia domination. Iraq is not the only country to suffer unrest between these two religious groups in the Arab world. This on-off war between the two religions, festering for hundreds of years, goes alternately through periods  of peace and war. Ever since the Iraq war we have been in the latter. In countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and currently Syria, war has broken out in the form we see now i.e. terrorist groups bent on destruction of the other side. In other nations, like Bahrain, there has been major unrest in the streets.


It seems strange that the al Quada group seem to have shifted their action emphasis to the Arab inter-religious conflict and away from the West, and the conclusion from this could be that they are looking for a safe base of operations much the same as the Taliban had in Afghanistan. The Taliban were lucky in being able to take over a whole country, if only for a short while before the invasion by Coalition Forces. On the other hand, al Quada have little chance of becoming the dominant force in Iraq, but they have many other trouble spots in the Arab world to choose from.

Personally, I would like to ask directly of the al Quada leadership what it is they hope to achieve by causing so much suffering among their own people! I couldn’t even begin to guess what the answer would be! Can you?


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