Former Al-Qaeda leader reveals Zarqawi planned for independent Sunni province

News article, posted 07.06.2011, from Baghdad, Iraq, in:
Zarqawi planned for independent Sunni province, former Al-Qaeda leader reveals

A former senior member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq stated that planning had begun for an independent Iraqi Sunni province in 2007 by the group’ leader at the time, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Mullah Nazim al-Juburi, who left Al-Qaeda in 2006 to head an Awakening Council in the Salahuddin province, said that Zarqawi called for the establishment of a separate Sunni province that was to include Baghdad, Mosul, and the Anbar province. 

Al-Juburi’s statement followed a controversial comment by Iraq’s parliament speaker Osama al-Najafi in which he supposedly called for the creation of such an autonomous Sunni region in Iraq.  “The Sunni secession plan is not new” al-Juburi said, alluding to the considerable controversy caused by al-Najafi’s supposed comments.

Al-Najafi later said that his statement, which caused outrage amongst Iraq’s Shia politicians, had been taken out of context, and that he had merely been referring to the frustration currently felt by Sunnis in Iraq.

Al-Juburi said that an alliance had been formed for such a purpose more than five years ago by prominent Sunnis, influential Iraqi financiers, and Al-Qaeda. “Secret preparations have been made for it since 2007,” he added.