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al-Qaeda Webzine Launched . . Ad Rates Yet to Be Posted
By Ghaida Ghantous in Dubai
March 04, 2005
THE Iraq wing of al-Qaeda has launched an online publication to rally Muslims to wage holy war against "infidel crusaders" in Iraq and other Islamic countries.
The first edition of the magazine of the al-Qaeda Organisation of Holy War in Iraq, posted on Islamist websites, also called on Iraqi security forces, who have borne the brunt of militant attacks, to "repent" and stop serving the "cross".
"Followers of Sunni Islam, rise up with your brothers the mujahideen (holy fighters) to conquer Iraq and after that other Muslim countries occupied by infidels," said an introductory statement signed by group leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
"Ignoring jihad (holy war) is one of the great sins."
al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has declared Zarqawi his deputy in Iraq and the Jordanian militant is Washington's top enemy in the country.
His group has claimed most of the bloodiest attacks in the Sunni-led insurgency against US-led forces and the Iraqi government. It usually issues internet statements claiming attacks or denouncing the occupation and Iraqi government.
The publication outlined the Sunni Muslim group's aims, saying they sought to revive monotheism, wage war to regain land from "infidels and apostates" and implement Islamic law in Iraq.
"We will kill those weak enough to ally themselves with the infidels in their war against Muslims in Iraq, including the police and army and agents," it said.
"The infidels' war against Muslims is a religious war whose first aim is to eradicate Islam and Muslims ... it is an age-old battle between followers of God and followers of the devil."
It also stressed its opposition to elections in Iraq as a violation of Islam, saying democracy was an "infidel" practice because it allowed the rule of man instead of that of God.
Other militant groups have issued web magazines to win new recruits. The al-Qaeda wing in Saudi Arabia, birthplace of bin Laden, had published two widely distributed magazines regularly up until late last year.
"They (Zarqawi's group) are conducting a media campaign which includes incitement and finding a channel to put forward their views," said London-based Islamist activist Yasser al-Sirri, whose own website monitors other Islamic sites.