Al-Qaida leader in Iraq urges Sunni fighters who joined US to come back

April 15, 2008 11:46

The purported leader of al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq is calling on Sunni fighters who switched sides and joined the American push to pacify Sunni areas of the country to return to the insurgency. In a new Internet audiotape, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who heads the Islamic State of Iraq, tells Sunnis in the Iraqi army, police and the so-called "Awakening Councils" to abandon fighting the mujahideen, and instead turn their guns toward the "Crusader" enemy - shorthand for US troops in Iraq. The authenticity of Tuesday's 30-minute audiotape, posted on Islamic Web sites known as clearing houses for militant messaging, could not be independently confirmed.

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