Recently I asked Medya to give me some facts about the presence of Ansar Islam in Eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan. Medya lives in Mariwan, a town near the political border of Iraq and Iran.
A Kurdish newspaper, Hawlati claimed that Ansar Islam are now regrouping in Iran. In its current issue, Hawlati is giving more evidence on Ansar Islam re-grouping, and it also reports some attacks against Kurdish police and some US bases in Kurdistan, which the international media didn't take care much notice of.
Medya has emailed me this : ( the italic lines are my comments)
About Mariwan , no no they (the people) aren't religious at at all . I have many relatives there, for example last time we went on "13 badar " (an old Iranian eve) to there and my aunt made Wine for us ! to drink ! so if they were so religious they wouldn't make wine to celebrate "13 be dar" ! Of course they belive in God and count themselves as Muslims, but not religious . I know Dezle ( A village Hawlati claims that Ansar Islam operates there) , and I know some of dad's relatives are there. I should say something to you , that is abnormal , in Iran , there are Afghans that come from Afghanistan to work in Iran , but they are in Eastern Iran. and you usually can't see Afghans inKurdistan (Iranian Kurdistan) . But recently I saw 2 Afghan in Kurdistan ! with a lot of beard and Afghan clothes . ( Ansar Al-Islam has
many Arab-Afghan members and Afghans are getting captured by Kurdish and
American forces on the border, but you have to differentiate between the
Afghans, and it is very hard, as some of them are coming for pilgrim in Najaf,
and some are coming to join Ansar Al-Islam). And another thing , there are
some Iraqis behind our house that live in Iran ! They have been here for years.
I think they are Ansar al Islam ! and Iran gives free house to them to live in . (According to Hawlati, Iran does support the Ansar Islam fighters
financially, but we can't come to a conclusion that every Arab Iraqi living in
Iran is a member of Ansar Al-Islam).
I guess the Americans are also realising the Ansar Al-Islam danger in Kurdistan. Recently, I saw some American Marines on TV with a couple of computers in Halabja, (Halabja was a hot spot for Islamic extremists in the 1990s after the chemical attack) , and they have also promised to develop the areas around Halabja and Hawraman (Hawraman is an area with Hawrami Kurds, they speak a different dialect of Kurdish and plus speak official Kurdish, mountains are everywhere, Ansar Al-Islam was here in 2001) I guess they have learnt
that poverty attracts terrorism !
Al-Jazeera is closed down finally ! I hoped for this a while ago. And my wish came true ! Al-Jazeera has to learn the
differences between free press and threatening press !