AI was established in the Iraqi Kurdistan region in December 2001 after a merger between two Kurdish terrorist groups that had broken from the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan, Jund al-Islam, led by Abu Abdallah al-Shafii, and an Islamic movement group led by Mullah Krekar. Both men are believed to have fought against the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. Many of AI’s original members were veterans of that war. Krekar became the new group’s leader. Following the 2001 U.S. invasion of...
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