Mohammad's Army

From Academic Kids

Mohammad's Army (Jaish-e-Mohammad) is a guerilla organization that has been operating in Iraq against U.S.-led occupying forces since at least mid 2003.


Stated Goals

Originally removal of the US-appointed Governing Council, and later the interim government of Iyad Allawi, and the election of a representative government for Iraq without U.S interference.


Sunnis form an important part of the organisation. US government sources say reports indicate that former members of Saddam Hussein's security forces form the organization's leadership, although it appears to operate under the guise of an Islamist organization. Contrary to US government reports, in an interview with IWPR the group stated that the number foreign fighters among its ranks were few, and were reisiding in Iraq prior to the US-led invasion. It further stated that most members were Iraqi farmers.


One report states that the group is most active between Baghdad and Ramadi.

Modus Operandi

The group is believed to specialise in attacks on low-flying aircraft and helicopters using shoulder-fired missiles. In an interview with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, the group opposed attacks on police as a violation of Islam because Muslims should not kill other Muslims. The group stated that it receives "financial and moral" support from Iraqis, and does not receive financial assistance from abroad.


Members of Mohammad's Army and a possibly related organization, the Armed Vanguards of Mohammad's Second Army, have taken responsibility for several attacks in videotapes aired on Arabic television networks. These include the bombing of the U.N. headquarters on August 19, 2003, the assassination of Governing Council member Aquila al-Hashimi, and the shooting down of a Chinook helicopter on November 2, 2003 that killed 15 U.S. soldiers. The men on the videotape taking responsibility for the Chinook downing appear masked and provide a statement studded with frequent Koranic references and spoken in a North African dialect. This suggests foreign fighters may form part of Mohammad's Army's membership.

U.S. commanders, however, believe that Mohammad's Army is an umbrella group for a network of Ba'ath loyalists, with foreign fighters or Iraqis with other persuasions playing little role. The capture of Saddam Hussein on December 13, 2003 was reported to have helped expose some of the network, especially in Baghdad. However, the group quickly regenerated and continues to play a major role in the Sunni insurgency.



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