An interview with an Iraqi insurgent

The night before Jill Carroll was released, Abu Nour, her chief captor who claims to be a leader of the Sunni insurgency, ordered her to do one final interview. He'd done about a dozen previous interviews, covering similar topics, but had later destroyed those notes. What follows are excerpts from his last interview, in broken English, with Ms. Carroll.

The importance of Fallujah

Fallujah 1 [the first battle for Fallujah in April 2004] was a point of change in the war between America and mujahideen [holy warriors].... All Muslims in the world ... asked themselves, 'How [did] they win a war against the American army? It was impossible.... [Afterward] Muslim babies [were] named Fallujah.

Why [did] we lose Fallujah 2 [the second battle for the city in November 2004]?

[Too many bad Muslims joined the insurgency.] If you have a few mujahideen [who are] good [Muslims, it] is better than [to] have a lot of the bad kind [of Muslims]. A good mujahid enters the war [expecting that] if he dies, he goes to heaven.... Muhammad told us that heaven is not all the same place. It is divided into many places. The martyrs take the top [spot] in heaven.

The help of Allah

Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, is a very important leader in war. To make his soldier enter the war he tells him about martyrdom – he will go directly to heaven. A martyr takes 72 women ... different from the women on Earth. The women on Earth are not perfect.... The Prophet said if the sun were to shine on the [women of heaven, they would be] more beautiful than the sun.

A good Muslim prays five times a day, he reads the Koran, he is good in dealing with his wife, with his mother and father.... He doesn't lie, and he makes his work in a good way.... This is a good kind of mujahid.

We think this is a very important point to win a war. If we lose the help of Allah we cannot [achieve] anything [against] American soldiers, because this is a very strong army.

We can continue for 10 years

The American soldier comes from America. He left his country, his family, his children, his wife. He cannot see them, maybe six months or more. This is very big problem because they are men.... The mujahideen, [we] can [leave] our homes for 20 minutes, hit the American soldier, and come back home. So we [have fought] continuously now three years, and we can continue 10 years or more. But Americans cannot continue one year. It is impossible.

Scale of the insurgency

I have maybe 2,000 mujahideen in all Iraq, in all towns.... If I divide this into groups of 20, I have 100 groups. So this means I have 100 operations in a week. So in a month I have 400 operations. So if in every operation I kill only 2 soldiers, I kill 800 soldiers in a month. So [President] Bush is very tired because of this number of operations ... so we are sure that the American army cannot continue in Iraq.

US soldiers' treatment of Iraqis

When the American army took me they hit me. They hit me all over my body. They took my money.... The problem is how the American soldiers are dealing with the people.

Why call us terrorists?

Why [does the] American government say the mujahideen are terrorists? Sometimes when we try to hit the American soldier, or Iraqi soldier, sometimes we kill women and children in this operation. We don't want to kill the women or children, but this is war....

Allah judges people, asking you, 'How did you deal with the people, the wife, and with Jill Carroll?'

Sunnis vs. Shiites

In jihad, we don't want to kill women and children or old men, sick men. Why [do] we kill the Shia [Muslims]? Because they help the American army.... We don't want to make a complex [meaning coalition] government from Sunni and Shia. We want to make a government with Sunni only, because we know that the Shia don't like Sunni and Sunni don't like Shia. This is a fact. This is a very important historical fact.

So if we want to make a successful government, we must make this government Sunni only. And if the Shia want to make a government in the south, [that's] no problem for the mujahideen. We accept federalism. America wanted federalism in Iraq, no problem....

Oil for America, US cars for Iraq

I want to send a message to the American people. The mujahideen in Iraq, we have no problem with American people. Our problem is with Bush and his government.... [It's] no problem for Iraq, for the mujahideen government in the future, to send the oil to America and America to send to [the] Iraqi people the money or the cars or the computers or anything because the technology in America is very good.

We maybe go to America in the future to visit America. Maybe send our sons as students in American universities. We want to build our country. We don't want the war with any country. We want to build our country like the UAE [United Arab Emirates] because we know our country is very rich. We have a lot of oil, and two rivers. So we can build our country in a short time.

A message for US parents

So we ask all the fathers and mothers in America, 'You don't want your sons killed in Iraq?' We don't want your sons killed in Iraq. We don't want our sons killed, also. So we ask all fathers and mothers in America, 'Why [do] your sons kill our sons?'

A Muslim-Christian government?

Americans say the mujahideen don't know [what] we [will] do after the occupation. We know exactly what we will make: a government from the mujahideen and others. The government will be technocrats. For example, in the Ministry of Health, we can not put a farmer. We must put a doctor.

If we found [a] technocrat [who is a] mujahideen, we [would] put him [in charge]. If we don't find him in [among the] mujahideen, maybe we [will] take [someone] from outside [the] mujahideen. If we found a person [who] is not Muslim, maybe a Christian, and he is a good person from a good family – [it's] no problem for [the] mujahideen to put him in [charge of] a ministry. Islam and the Koran don't prevent [us from] putting this person in a ministry. But the president of Iraq must be Sunni. The Koran [requires] the president of a Muslim country [to be] a Muslim.

Postwar US-Iraq relations

Iraq is very tired [after the] war in Iran and after that war in Kuwait and the war now. We want to build the country very good and give every person a big house and a top car and make [it possible for] him to travel to the US and Europe and live like the other people in the world – like [the United Arab] Emirates people or Qatar people.

[The] American government or [President] Bush says we are terrorists in Iraq. If we finish this war, [he says] we [will] go to America to make problems in America. This is not true. We want to build our country.

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