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Inside Iraq
Al-Qaeda in Iraq
US soldiers are searching for three comrades thought to have been taken by al-Qaeda.
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2007 10:29 GMT

Rohan Gunaratna, the head of the International
Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism
Thousands of US soldiers are now involved in a massive manhunt in Iraq for three of their comrades believed to have been captured by al-Qaeda.
 
The three American soldiers were captured last Saturday by a group calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of militants led by al-Qaeda.
 
Ironically, despite US accusations of weapons of mass destruction and al-Qaeda links with Saddam, there was no evidence of any al-Qaeda presence in Iraq before the American invasion.
 
Today, al-Qaeda has become a destabilising force in Iraq and threatens to escalate the sectarian war between Sunnis and Shia. 
 
Abdel Barri Atwan
How will the presence of al-Qaeda impact on the increasingly volatile security and political situation in Iraq? 

Will the presence of Al-Qaeda now lend credence to America's self-declared 'War on Terror'?
 
Inside Iraq explores these issues with three guests. They are Dr Rohan Gunaratna, the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism based in Singapore, Abdel Barri Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Alquds Al-Arabi in London, and Captain Frank Pascual, the spokesman for US Central Command.

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