The New Jihad in Iraq

The new jihad in Iraq is a terrifying beast.

TIME has published a story on the new jihad that the resistance in Iraq is morphing into.
You’ll notice that Sheik Mehdi Ahmed al-Sumaidai, of the Ibn Taymiya Mosque is mentioned as auditioning for the Mullah Omar role in Iraq. Also, here’s a good reason for being on lockdown:

Insurgents also say al-Zarqawi may have intended last week’s onslaught to be even more catastrophic. As militants attacked in cities like Fallujah and Baqubah, a cell of an Iraqi resistance group working with al-Zarqawi roamed Baghdad, insurgent sources told Time. Working in small teams in separate cars, the insurgents cased targets and waited for their commanders, including al-Zarqawi himself, to issue strike orders. When the cell didn’t receive the call, it withdrew and waited for another opportunity to attack.

So before anyone thinks TIME was keeping us under wraps because the CPA was trying to get us off the handover story, it’s because TIME didn’t want us dead. Cut the magazine some slack, OK?

Handover has occurred

The handover has occurred.

BAGHDAD — Surprise! The Iraqi handover of sovereignty has occurred two days early at approximately 10:30 a.m. today because of security concerns. Iraq is sovereign again, more or less.
The news is just now filtering out on the various media here in Iraq, so there isn’t much reaction from the street. Many people don’t know it has happened. The ceremony was secret because of fears that militants would try to attack or otherwise disrupt the process. But now, Paul Bremer is leaving Iraq later today and Allawi is the prime minister. By all accounts, it was his Allawi’s idea to move the handover up.
A formal ceremony led by Allawi is expected later today to swear in the Iraqi ministers, and there likely will be quite a bit of activity tonight from the militants and celebratory Iraqis.
More on this later. I’m going out to get some reaction.