AQI or Special Groups?

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ISW Newsletter Oct. 9, 2008


In recent news reports from Iraq, attacks have been quickly credited to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).  However, as a recent ISW Backgrounder points out, quick and potentially inaccurate attribution for these nefarious activities can be counter-productive and dangerous.  Blaming AQI when it is unclear who is actually responsible can provide cover for the dangerous activities of those who are involved.  If attacks are the work of Iranian-backed Special Groups, but are credited instead to AQI, a distraction is created that actually helps the Special Groups continue to carry out their attempt to shape and disrupt Iraqi politics.


To learn more, read the newest Backgrounder by ISW researchers Claire Russo and Marisa Cochrane.


<h6>U.S. Army Capt. Andrew Slack, the commander of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, leads a briefing for coalition and Iraqi forces at Joint Security Station Thawra in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, Iraq, Oct. 2, 2008, before a leaflet campaign. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young, U.S. Air Force/Released).</h6>
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