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Why I Joined the Insurgency in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Ahmad al-Shayi, Saddam al-Saqabi, and Saleh al-Quayri are young Saudi men, the youngest of whom is still under the age of twenty.

These young men were duped into Jihad in Iraq after taking to heart a number of unsanctioned fatwas calling for there active participation.

They had a common goal of supporting the Iraqi cause, but differed in the methods. One of those young men traveled to Iraq and was used by Al-Qaeda there to carry out a suicide operation from which he survived by God’s will only. The other two participated in media-related propaganda activities that encouraged joining the insurgency in Iraq, while one of them was haunted by the romanticized idea of the alleged Jihad.

The sources of the fatwas on which they based their missions varied. Most of them relied on fatwas posted on the internet by unknown people such as Abu-Busayr al-Najdi, while some visual and audio footage contributed in attracting some of them to the misled thinking.

Salih al-Quayri — who served his sentence for distributing documentaries encouraging Jihad in Iraq — was not concerned about the Iraqi case. However, his admiration of the voice and words of an Islamic Jihadi singer and his call to participate in the insurgency pushed him to do what he did.

Al-Quayri told Asharq al-Awsat that he distributed documentaries about Jihad in Iraq after finding inspiration in the words of the unknown Islamic singer who Al-Quayri now feels deceived him by saying that Jihad is the least he could do for Muslims in such a chaotic country.

Saleh said that he distributed over 15 different CD titles, out of his car near his residence in Hail.

He spoke about the contents of these documentaries that included footages of armed confrontations between Al-Qaeda and the US Army in Iraq. He said that distributing these documentaries was aimed at inciting the Saudi young men to travel to Iraq and join the fighters there.

Though he did that, Al-Quayri felt that what he did was wrong and that he has never liked the idea of Jihad in Iraq. Before the Saudi security authorities arrested him, Al-Quayri felt that what he did was wrong, and the Advice Committee conclude that he was one of those who had been misled.

Al-Quayri is now convinced of the necessity to refer to the firmly-grounded Ulema before heading down a road that may lead to bad consequences. This was the outcome of the discussions and intellectual courses that were carried out by the Shariaa, psychological, and social team in the Advice Committees.

As for Saddam al-Saqabi, the idea was slightly more profound, given that he intended to go to Iraq to fight amongst the insurgents there, but was arrested before doing so.

Al-Saqabi told Asharq Al-Awsat that his intention to go to Iraq was based on the Fatwa he came across on the internet by a man who called himself Abu-Basir al-Najdi who was one of the main callers for Jihad in Iraq.

In addition to his intention to go to Iraq, Al-Saqabi was accused of being a contributor to undesirable internet websites.

Some of the famous sites that Saddam contributed are forums called Al-Masadah, Al-Faruq and Al-Safinah, where he used to upload Jihad exhorting media content on the internet.

Al-Saqabi and others were misled by the idea that there is banner of Jihad in Iraq. He was convinced by the Advice Committee of his false belief. He is now convinced that it is necessary to ask for fatwa from experienced Ulema and to stay away from any fatwas from unknown sources.

However Ahmad al-Shayi was not as lucky. Al-Shayi was misled into driving a butane-gas delivery truck which was detonated by remote control in the neighborhood of Al-Mansur in Baghdad.

Al-Shayi told Asharq Al-Awsat: “At the beginning, I was not convinced of going there, but someone insisted that I should do so. I was shown misleading information, which in many ways was like a visa that facilitated my travel to Iraq.”

Al-Shayi mentioned that the information he was shown strengthened his desire to go there after he was given a number of videos and compact discs, especially those that told the biographical stories of Jihadist preachers.

In addition to all the elements that reinforced Al-Shayi’s decision to go to Iraq, there was the fatwa he heard from his colleague that states that Jihad is the duty of every Muslim to liberate all the lands that the Islamic conquests had reached.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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