Terrorists Behead Iraqi Soldier in Ramadi

Militants Behead Iraqi Soldier in Rebel Stronghold (Reuters)

Militants loyal to al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi beheaded an Iraqi soldier in a rebel stronghold in broad daylight on Friday and left a note warning other Iraqi troops to quit, witnesses said. They said nine men pulled up in two cars to the center of Ramadi, dragged the soldier out of one of the vehicles and cut off his head as residents looked on. They left the body, dressed in army fatigues, in the street with the severed head placed on the torso. A note was found at the scene purporting to be from Zarqawi’s group, Al Qaeda Organization of Holy War in Iraq, warning Iraqi soldiers, National Guards and police that a similar fate awaited them.

Michael King points to the Kuwait News Agency version of the story:

Witnesses said here Friday that a number of gunmen beheaded a policeman and stuck a note on his corpse describing as traitors those working with or helping the police. About ten gunmen in two cars in the Ramadi area stepped out of their vehicles, attacked a soldier, tied his hands behind his back, and cut his head off before the eyes of shocked onlookers in the street, the witnesses said.

One would think such tactics would create a backlash among the population and undermine the support base of these terrorists. So far, there’s not much evidence of that.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Policing, Terrorism, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    Saddam did this type of thing to Iraqis on a daily basis for 30 years but there wasn’t much of a backlash either. As long as the perception exists that we’re not winning the war against the terrorists, they will sit on the fence.

  2. paladin says:

    January 30 will be the true test if these tactics work or not.

  3. Bithead says:

    I tend to side with Palidin, here.
    The kind of reaction you appear to be wanting here James, would seem to suggest the need for weapons among the law -abiding… weapons which they willingly gave up in the name of domestic peace.

    There’s a lesson in there, somewhere, for the anti-second amendment types.

  4. ken says:

    This is not rocket science folks. We all knew that when Bush invaded Iraq and overthrew its government that civil war would ensue. The two sides fighting now are the US supported puppet government and those from the old Iraq who want their country back and are willing to fight for it. Until a movement develops that is willing to fight for a western style democratic Iraq we have no business supporting anyone there. The current government is currupt and rotton to the core and relies entirely on US military might to stay in office. How legitimate is that?

    Our puppet government is a joke and all of them will either die or end up as refugees (we should limit them to Texas) as soon as we pull our troops out.

  5. Lt Bell says:

    Ken has it right.

    And bit head – Listen I have been there , everyone has a gun,
    and just like right here at home, nothing can save you with the
    “truely Religious” come for you.

    DC LOser- to say that saddam did this evbery day for 30 years is pure BS- support bush all you want but BS is still BS

    to spin the truth is the same as lying

  6. DC Loser says:

    Lt Bell, if you had been reading my postings here you would know that I am not a war supporter, so don’t waste your energy jumping to conclusions. Even if I don’t support the war, I am not a fool to think Saddam was a nice guy. He used fear and intimdation to get to where he was and to stay there. The Iraqi people over that period developed a keen sense of survival – they’re not likely to commit to anything until they know they are on the winning side. Our record with the Shiites in the south after DESERT STORM made sure they won’t commit prematurely again.

  7. LJD says:

    But the Iraqi “freedom fighters” don’t like to kill Iraqis…
    and foreign terrorists aren’t a problem…

    How one can read a story about a Jordanian terrorist killing an Iraqi, and conclude it is civil war? Keep your hands over your eyes, you don’t want to see what’s happening.