Trends in Terrorist Activity and Dynamics in Diyala province, Iraq, during the Iraqi Governmental Transition, 2004-2006

Trends in Terrorist Activity and Dynamics in Diyala province, Iraq, during the Iraqi Governmental Transition, 2004-2006

by Aaron L. Greenwald


This descriptive study explores the evolution of the Iraqi insurgency in the dynamic strategic environment between 2004 and 2006. In these three years, insurgents in Iraq sought to exploit terrorism as a tactic to induce fear and advance their regional and political agenda in the volatile Iraqi province of Diyala. Their geopolitical agenda was primarily aimed towards derailing the interim political process and reconciliation efforts throughout Iraq. This article draws its analytical conclusions from quantitative data of terroristic incidents, focusing on insurgents' tactics, targeting of victims, and areas of activity. It examines trends of insurgent activity between 2004 and 2006 as well as the evolution of their strategy against the Iraqi Government and its people.


A fierce insurgency existed in Iraq between 2004 and 2006. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, once cited conditions in Iraq to be "much worse than a civil war."[1]. The central pillar of this research rests on the notion that the Iraqi insurgency was adaptive and highly evolutional in the dynamic strategic environment between 2004 and 2006. Shifting dynamics inside the insurgency successfully degraded the institutions of Iraqi governance, and widened the rift among Sunnis and Shiites to the point where a civil war erupted. As this was occurring, the insurgency itself fractured and serious problems emerged regarding its legitimacy, contributing to its eventual breakdown. This central thesis is supported by five key findings:

Minority Sunnis rejected the legitimacy of the Iraqi political institution and formed a resilient insurgency – fused with terrorist organizations – in an attempt to degrade the Iraqi government, expel American forces, and install a Sunni government. As the Iraqi political institution strengthened, insurgents shifted their dynamics and began employing terrorism as a tactic by attacking civilians in order to achieve their objectives.

Insurgents employing terrorism as a tactic, while initially fixated on suicide bombing campaigns, became less concerned with advancing religious extremism through martyrdom and more interested in pursuing their own political and regional agendas. Terrorists who once targeted political and religious figures shifted their dynamics and became more determined to target civilians with opposing political views, religious views, or both. The link between military intervention and spatial displacement in urban hot spots was evident in that intense military operations drew the enemy out of terrorist strongholds and combatants dispersed into outlying cities throughout Diyala province. As insurgents relocated, the Iraqi government strengthened, which forced the insurgents to shift their strategy in order to create the perception that the new Iraqi government was incapable of protecting its populace.

In early 2006, Sunni insurgents – in an attempt to inflame tensions and rekindle the civil war – attacked the al-Askari "Golden Dome" Mosque. This incident proved that the insurgency was suffering from its shift in dynamics and desperately sought to renew infighting throughout Iraq.

The implications of this study indicate that the Iraqi insurgency was mainly composed of insurgents who utilized terror to achieve their political objectives. As the insurgency weakened, they sought new ways to revitalize their movement by introducing campaigns of terror throughout Iraq. This is important to understand and has future implications for other security situations throughout the region.

In the following sections, I will detail the study's research methodology, identify how coalition-insurgent engagements were directly correlated to population shifts and spatial displacement in Diyala province, Iraq, and describe the security situation in Diyala with special attention paid to national and regional demographics. I will also define and describe trends in tactics, victimizations, and localized violence, and delineate the importance of Iraq's key political developments between 2004 and 2006 as they related to the insurgency over this time. Additionally, I will highlight the tactical inspiration that those key political events posed for the insurgency.


U.S. Military Joint Doctrine defines an insurgency as "an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict."[2] General David Patraeus, former Commanding General of Multi-National Forces – Iraq, has explained an insurgency to be "…an organized, protracted politico-military struggle designed to weaken the control and legitimacy of an established government, occupying power, or other political authority while increasing insurgent control."[3]

There are many definitions of terrorism. An Academic Consensus Definition from 1988 defines terrorism as:

…an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individuals, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperiled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought.[4]

Both insurgents and terrorists exist in Iraq but their motivation to commit violent acts against the Iraqi population differs with respect to their prescribed agenda. Often, insurgents and terrorists exist as two distinct bodies; however, insurgents in Iraq employed terrorism as a tactic in the dynamic strategic environment to induce fear among the population in order to advance their regional and political agenda. Because of the importance associated with this dynamic, the aim of this research was to study the evolution of insurgents in the volatile Diyala province who were focused on derailing the political process and reconciliation efforts throughout Iraq.

The study analyzed quantitative data on terrorist activity in Diyala province, Iraq between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2006. The data recorded 82 total incidents in 2004, 303 total incidents in 2005, and 1,216 total incidents in 2006. The absolute total number of incidents was recorded at 1,601. The quantitative data excluded all incidents that involved direct attacks against coalition forces. Moreover, the data itself did not necessarily distinguish between incidents perpetrated by Sunni insurgents, Shiite militias, Ba'athists, Islamists, or any other types of extremists. This was a significant obstruction in the data reporting that the study recognized and sought to overcome through qualitative analysis.

The empirical claims contained in this study were limited to those incidents involving solely the population of Iraq. Because of this, the study's principal objective was to analyze the activity and dynamics of those who were focused on derailing the political process and reconciliation efforts throughout Diyala province. The intent of the study was not to assess insurgent-coalition engagements, but rather analyze the motivation and evolution of insurgents employing terrorism as a tool directed against the Iraqi governmental institution and the Iraqi people. Because insurgents employed terrorism as a tactic, this particular research sought to assess Sunni insurgents' interaction with Sunni terrorist organizations like al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

Spatial displacement is defined as the forced change in position and movement of an individual or individuals in reference to a previous position as the product of local or regional violence. In Diyala province, Iraq, spatial displacement and enemy migration patterns were linked with individual insurgent behavior. Between 2004 and 2006, the U.S. military presence in high-violence cities like Baghdad resulted in spatial displacement and enemy migrations into Ba'qubah, the capital of Diyala province. "Diyala, with its volatile mix of Sunni and Shiite Arabs and ethnic Kurds, has long been a hotbed of violence. U.S. officers say Al Qaeda-linked militants have streamed into the province in recent months, displaced by the troop buildup in Baghdad and mounting pressure in al Anbar province in the west, where Sunni tribesmen have allied with U.S. and government forces."[5]

Similarly, a U.S. military presence in Ba'qubah has resulted in enemy migrations toward Al Miqdadiyah and other previously unsecured cities nearby. Between 2004 and 2006, there was a direct correlation between military intervention and spatial displacement in urban hot spots throughout Diyala province. Large-scale military operations contributed to a reduction in violent terrorist activity within each city, mainly because insurgents, as well as significant numbers of non-combatants who were internally displaced,[6] abandoned their positions and dispersed into outlying towns and villages to regroup. According to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, "The governorate witnessed many conflicts between armed people, Iraqi forces and multi-national forces, which had escalated the displacement problem inside and outside the governorate."[7] Displaced insurgents exploited population shifts and relocation patterns to reshape their tactical strategy. By early 2006, insurgents reshaped their strategy and sought to draw legitimacy away from the newly established Iraqi government by targeting civilians in large numbers. This created the perception that the Iraqi governmental institution was unable to protect its populace.

The intervention discussed here, relates to U.S. military enforcement operations in high-violence Iraqi cities such as Ba'qubah, Al Miqdadiyah, and Balad Ruz. These enforcement operations secured each city and shifted violent terrorist activity to other regions. Consistent with early criminological research [8] on crime hot spots and spatial displacement, direct intervention efforts impacted violent terrorist activity and triggered enemy migrations out of cities and into outlying areas. Concentrations in enemy activity were inversely related to military intervention, where the intent was aimed at clearing and holding cities occupied by insurgent- and terrorist-related threats. Simply put, as U.S. military enforcement operations increased in high-violence Iraqi cities, enemy activity decreased, but only because those responsible for conducting attacks simply picked up and moved to an area where there was less military activity.

Diyala province, Iraq

Between 2004 and 2006 Diyala province in Iraq experienced high-intensity violence, regional destabilization, and the vulnerability for future terrorist activity. Despite this, provinces throughout Iraq provided different advantages. Although Baghdad province provides important outlooks on political and government stability, Al Anbar province, which includes Fallujah and Ramadi, has been cited as one of the deadliest regions [9] [10] in the country between 2004 and 2006. Almost all deaths in Al Anbar, however, resulted not from terrorist activity per se, but from insurgent-coalition engagements in and around Fallujah and Ramadi, and were therefore not included in this assessment.

The Republic of Iraq has traditionally been comprised of Arabs and Kurds with an overwhelming majority of devout Muslims. In 2005, the total population of Iraq was approximately 26,074,906.[11] There were two dominant ethnic groups in Iraq: Arabs (75% to 80%) and Kurds (15% to 20%). The remaining 5% was split between Turkmen, Assyrians, or other ethnicities. The majority of the population was Muslim (97%) with an uneven divide among Shi'a and Sunni at 60% to 65% and 32% to 37%, respectively. The remaining 3% was comprised of Christians or other religions. In 2006, the total population in Diyala province was 1,418,455.[12] According to the United Nations, the main ethnic groups in Diyala province are Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. Similarly, the major religious groups are Muslims (Sunni and Shiite), Christians, Yezidis and Ahl Al-Haqq ('People of Truth').[13] As indicated by the United Nations, "The situation in the Governorate in terms of its population is considered highly complex and sensitive…The Governorate has a history of ethnic mixing but also has seen periods of tension between various sectarian groups."[14] Although Diyala province is highly diverse, the Governorate is mainly dominated by Sunni Arabs. David Bellavia, author of "Diyala Surge," noted that the province was approximately 85%[15] Sunni. Despite these figures, the insurgency remained highly diverse between 2004 and 2006, as indicated by inconsistent threat levels throughout the province. According to the United Nations:

The security situation in the Governorate varied between different districts, with some districts specifically targeted by insurgents, and others remaining relatively calm. This is thought to be linked to the influence of different religious and ethnic groups in different areas of Diyala. Ba'aqubah, Al-Miqdadiyah and Imam Weiss, and to a lesser degree Khan Bani Sa'ad and Al-Khalis, were regarded as highly tense areas. Balad Ruz and Khanaqin have also seen major terrorist attacks, while Madeli, Jalaqlah, Kifri, Kan'an, Al-Wajihiya and Wali Abbas experience less insurgent activity.[16]

Diyala was attractive to insurgents because the region was mainly populated with predisposed, motivated Sunni Arabs in a quest to transform their Shiite-led Government into one of Sunni majority. In addition, early spatial displacement patterns indicated that there was a large Sunni insurgent spillover from neighboring provinces like Baghdad into Diyala. Between 2004 and 2006, the migration of Sunni insurgents into the predominately Sunni province provided a true force multiplier for the insurgency. As such, Diyala province served as fertile ground for insurgent activity because of its suitability for training and recruitment.

If Diyala were to have remained unsecured, it is likely that al Qaeda would have exploited the province's geographical proximity to Baghdad in order to plan and coordinate attacks aimed at disrupting the government. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that AQI moved its base of operations from Baghdad province to Diyala province in 2006. According to The Iraq Report,[17] defeating al Qaeda in Diyala was especially important because the province had political as well as military significance for al Qaeda. In addition to the presence of al Qaeda in Diyala, well-coordinated U.S. military operations aimed at securing the Iraqi capital forced a significant portion of the insurgency into the city of Ba'qubah. Likewise, since the insurgency was also largely Sunni, it seemed inevitable that both factions would eventually merge into a larger network attempting to expel American influence and install a Sunni leader in the predominately Shiite nation-state. These two groups were initially allied together through a mutual objective to expel American influence in the region; however, the insurgency began opposing al Qaeda's brutality and began fighting against the terrorist group when the two groups' regional and political agendas began to splinter.

Tactical Trends

Between 2004 and 2006, the most prevalent tactics as utilized by insurgents were small arms fire attacks, bombings, and suicide bombings. In 2004, there were equally proportionate incidents involving small arms fire and bombings at 41.38%, while suicide bombings were recorded at 6.90% of the total incidents. Other tactics included assassinations, kidnapping, and theft. In 2005, small arms fire increased from 41.38% to 52.81%, while bombings decreased from 41.38% to 30.03%. Suicide bombings increased from 6.90% to 10.89%, and remained the third most likely tactic. In 2006, small arms fire increased from 52.81% to 64.02% of the total incidents, while bombings slightly increased from 30.03% to 30.38%. In 2006, suicide bombings significantly diminished by approximately 92.4%, but continued to remain a small threat. While suicide bombings increased from 2004 to 2005, they became almost non-existent by 2006. Insurgents exploiting terrorism as a tactic were initially fixated on suicide bombing campaigns, but became less concerned with religious extremism through martyrdom and more interested in advancing their own geopolitical agendas by conducting armed attacks and traditional bombing campaigns. This is an important point, because it illustrates that serious problems emerged, which likely resulted in the observed rupturing of the foundation underlying the religious extremist movement against the Iraqi population.

Armed attacks and bombings were equal threats in 2004. However, armed attacks dramatically increased in 2005 and again in 2006, while bombings remained at the same level of intensity throughout 2006. It would appear that the increase in sectarian violence was a direct result of conflicts arising from opposing groups whose mission was to advance their own regional agendas. This sectarian violence throughout the region inhibited the reconstruction process as opposing religious and ethnic bodies fought for control over the political institution.


Victimization Trends

In 2004 civilians were the most targeted victims; they formed 56.60% of the total targets, followed by the police at 22.64%, and then other government affiliated individuals at 11.32%. Other victims included politically affiliated individuals, student victims (2004), business victims, and religiously affiliated individuals (2005, 2006). In 2005, civilian targets decreased from 56.6% to 47.78%, but still remained the most victimized target. Police targets slightly increased from 22.64% to 24.44%, while other government affiliated individuals increased from 11.32% to 18.15%.

Beginning in July 2005, insurgent groups began to attack civilians in increasing numbers. In 2006, civilian targets dramatically increased from 47.78% to 64.87%. Police targets decreased from 24.44% to 20.22% and government affiliated targets decreased from 18.15% to 6.13%. It also is important to note that politically and religiously affiliated targets both decreased between 2005 and 2006, and remained at 0.91% and 1.01%, respectively. Terrorists who once targeted political and religious figures shifted their dynamics and became more determined towards targeting civilians with opposing political views, religious views, or both. While business targets increased throughout the entire period, attacks on political leaders and religious clergy declined. Between 2004 and 2006, the number of civilian attacks increased overall, while police and government affiliated targets both decreased.

The targeting of police and governmental figures decreased because of three reasons:

Police and governmental figures decreased as targets because the insurgents identified better means to achieve their political goals; this included eliminating civilians who represented opposition to the advancement of the insurgents' political objectives.

Since the reconstruction, there has been a significant effort to increase proficiency among the Iraqi police force. While initially vulnerable to attack, the aggressive steps made by the Multi-National Forces hardened these targets and may have also contributed to a decrease in attacks against them.

In 2006, insurgents downgraded efforts to target police and governmental figures and shifted their dynamics, as evidenced by the targeting of opposing religious clergy and political groups and their supporters.[18][19] Insurgents employed terrorism as a tool to induce fear and intimidate the population so that they would be able to coerce the constituents of opposing political groups and garner support for their goals in the new democratic Iraq.


Localized Violence Trends

Terrorist dispersion patterns directed from high intensity coalition-terrorist fighting in hot spots throughout Diyala province severely impacted the cities of Ba'qubah, Al Muqdadiyah, and Balad Ruz. Other cities affected by the violence in Diyala included Al Ghalibiyah, Mandali, Al Khalis, and Khanaqin. These high-danger cities served as fertile ground for terrorist activity in Diyala, and formed the Diyala "Triangle of Terror."[20]


In 2004, the city of Ba'qubah constituted a significant threat in Diyala province, accounting for 89.00% of the total level of violence. Al Muqdadiyah contained 0.83% of the total violence, while 0.50% of the total incidents in 2004 occurred in Balad Ruz. In 2005, violence in Ba'qubah decreased from 89.00% to 68.25%. Violent terrorist acts in Balad Ruz increased from 0.50% to 7.20% and violence in Al Muqdadiyah increased from 0.83% to 2.45%. In 2006, violence in Ba'qubah decreased from 68.25% to 62.24%. Violence slightly decreased from 7.20% to 5.29% in Balad Ruz, but significantly increased in Al Muqdadiyah from 2.45% to 20.06%.

Evidence suggests a causal relationship between military intervention and spatial displacement. Clearly, a U.S. military presence in Baghdad set off widespread population shifts into Diayala province. Insurgents fused into the general population and concealed their movement into Diyala province. The overall population displacement resulted in a displacement of violence, due to the relocation of insurgents.

Beginning in 2004, the U.S. military presence in Baghdad resulted in enemy migrations towards Ba'qubah. "U.S. officers say Al Qaeda-linked militants have streamed into the province in recent months, displaced by the troop buildup in Baghdad and mounting pressure in al Anbar province in the west…"[21] Sources indicate that Ba'qubah is also home to many loyalists of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.[22] There is also evidence showing that military and intelligence officers who served in his Government have aligned themselves with insurgent groups in the region.[23] In addition, Sunni insurgents have used Ba'qubah to establish a base of operations from which to launch attacks. Following 2004 enemy migrations into Ba'qubah, military operations drew insurgents out of Ba'qubah and into surrounding cities such as Khanaqin and Balad Ruz.

The enemy that fled Ba'qubah in June dispersed into traditional safe havens outside the provincial capital. By June 26, Colonel Townsend had intelligence reports identifying al Qaeda's concentration points as Samarra, Khalis, and Khan Bani Sa'ad, reflecting recent activity in these areas.[24]

During 2006, more coordinated and intense operations further drew the enemy out of Ba'qubah, a former terrorist stronghold, and the enemy dispersed into outlying cities including Al Khalis and Al Muqdadiyah. "Those that we didn't kill or capture [headed] further north, into the Muqdadiyah area; and we began conducting operations inside Muqdadiyah."[25] Throughout 2006, insurgent activity remained concentrated in highly populated areas like Ba'qubah and Al Muqdadiyah. During this time, Ba'qubah suffered the most terrorist-related violence in Diyala province, followed by Al Muqdadiyah. "Muqdadiyah is significant because it controls movement from Ba'qubah to the Iranian border; Sunni insurgents present might have been attempting to prevent the facilitation of weapons from Iran to Ba'qubah."[26]


Timeline of Events

During the dramatic and crucial time period between 2004 and 2006, at least one significant governmental transition event occurred each year that acted as a catalyst for terrorist activity and violence. On June 28, 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty of Iraq to the Interim Iraqi Government. Between October 15, 2005 and December 15, 2005, the Iraq Constitution was ratified and a general election was held to elect a permanent national assembly. On May 20, 2006, the permanent Iraqi government assumed power following the December 2005 elections. Despite accompanying high levels of violence, these important benchmarks were instrumental in moving Iraq towards democracy.




Terrorist attacks increased during religious and political events, such as Ramadan and the December 2005 elections.[27] Similarly, retaliatory efforts between opposing groups were common when sporadic, high-profile attacks like political assassinations or religious attacks took place. On February 22, 2006, the al-Askari "Golden Mosque" in Samarra, Iraq, was attacked. During this time, unknown perpetrators, most likely a Sunni sub-terrorist group like Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)[28] acting under the auspices of a larger terrorist network focused on creating widespread violence and panic, bombed the holy Shiite mosque in Samarra.[29] This attack sparked a significant resurgence in violence and caused Shiites to respond with massive retaliatory efforts that destroyed Sunni mosques and targeted members of opposing religious parties. "Sectarian violence spiraled in early 2006 following the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, one of the holiest Shiite shrines."[30] The incident at Samarra proved that waves of violence are common following a high-profile attack on high-value targets. The attacks on places of worship… regardless of whether they are Shiite, Sunni or Christian is done to inflame sectarian division and start a civil war.[31] These attacks typically dismantle the reconciliation process and shatter unity.



Between 2004 and 2006, the Sunni-led insurgency consisted of an assortment of diverse fighters, previously bound together to drive out coalition forces and eliminate U.S. authority in Iraq. More recently, the insurgency has been focused on eliminating opposing religious and ethnic groups who support the Shiite-controlled Iraqi Government. This opposition movement led to an all-out civil war between opposing religious factions. Sunni terrorist networks in Iraq, like AQI, formerly consisted of regional elements with similar political and religious ideologies that paralleled the insurgency. Similar to the insurgency, these terrorist networks were actively engaged in operations that aimed to dismantle and disrupt the Iraqi democratic governmental transition process between 2004 and 2006. This effort linked Sunni insurgents with Sunni terrorist groups until more recent years, when the insurgent-terrorist divide became more pronounced amidst growing rivalries. While overall attacks began to decline, levels of violence throughout the region remained high well into 2007.

Continued security efforts in the region and large-scale military operations focusing on clearing and holding Iraqi cities are likely to drive out major insurgent groups in the end. However, elements of terrorist cells and insurgents might remain localized in small villages. In addition, terrorist groups focused on derailing the political process will most likely establish planning bases in outlying countries that provide a safe-haven for terrorists, such as Syria or Iran. Nevertheless, working with Diyala tribal leaders to promote peace and form alliances may facilitate political reconciliation and further reduce violence in Diyala.

The period of the Iraqi governmental transition between 2004 and 2006 was a momentous time not just for Iraq but for the Middle East and beyond. The once-oppressive state – ruled under a brutal dictator – was transformed into a democratically elected nation with a permanent national assembly, a legal constitution, and the people's entitlement to liberty and freedom. Despite the eager critics, Iraq's new freedom of government was a true milestone in the region. Nevertheless, the period in Iraqi history between 2004 and 2006 remains traumatic. This was a period when armed militias aligned with various terrorist networks or insurgent groups and killed innocent civilians for cooperating with the new government. This was a period when violence spiked during the holy month of Ramadan and resulted in thousands of senseless deaths. This period of transition was a time when Iraqis turned on each other in frantic despair, bombed holy mosques and markets, and carried out horrendous kidnappings and beheadings to intimidate the opposition members within the population and to break the will of the people in the opposite camp. The armed groups in Iraq want to inflame sectarian divisions because they provide the best environment for the resurgence and survival of the terrorist and the armed groups. With the objective of preventing diplomacy in Iraq, the armed groups have been targeting all those working and cooperating with [the] new Iraqi government.[32]

Between 2004 and 2006, many of the insurgents viewed the Iraqi governmental institution as illegitimate and an instrument of the West. As such, they continued their attempts to break the will of the people, subvert the elected Iraqi government, and insert their political ideal. Religious extremists also conducted attacks during Ramadan. Violence consistently spiked during the holy month of Ramadan, indicating that religious motivation remained a key driving force factor in the insurgency between 2004 and 2006. Yet the enormous and overwhelming spike during the 2005 elections indicates that the enemy at that time was more politically motivated than religiously inspired.[33] In 2004, a religiously motivated insurgent targeted opposing religious bodies, while in 2006, that same insurgent evolved to victimize opposing ethnic bodies and citizens whose political views were not in line with those of religious leaders. Moreover, several key political developments strengthened the Iraqi governmental institution between 2004 and 2006 and forced the insurgency to adopt a new tactical strategy aimed at delegitimizing the government. This strategy included the targeting of civilians and other soft targets to make it appear as if the newly established government was incapable of protecting its own people. This can be seen as proof that the insurgents' ideology suffered serious setbacks and weaknesses between 2004 and 2006. The insurgency, while clearly adaptive and highly evolutional, suffered significant blows that reduced its legitimacy among key sectors of the Iraqi people. In the end, this inhibited the insurgency to garner support for its subversive tactics and undermined its overall foundation. The downfall of the insurgency within Iraq in turn increased the legitimacy of the government, which to many was the only guarantee for a safe and free Iraq.

About the Author: Aaron Greenwald is a national security consultant with CENTRA Technology, Inc. Mr. Greenwald holds a bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland and is currently attending Johns Hopkins University to earn a master's degree in global security and strategic studies.


[1] "UN Chief Tells of Iraq War Sorrow," BBC News, December 4, 2006. Website:

[2] US Department of Defense, Joint Publication 1-02 Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, JP 1-02,

[3] Nagl, John A.; Petraeus, David H.; Amos, James F.; Sewall, Sarah, Field Manual 3-24 Counterinsurgency, US Department of the Army, December 2006.

[4] Cit. A. P.Schmid et al. Political terrorism: a new guide to actors, authors, concepts, data bases, theories, and literature. Amsterdam, North Holland: Transaction Books, 1988, p. 28..

[5] Zavis, Alexandria. "Iraqi city empties as U.S. forces comb area." Los Angeles Times Website:

[6] As of October 2007, 10,362 non-combatants throughout Diyala province, Iraq have been internally displaced (Iraqi Red Crescent Organization 2007).

[7] Iraqi Red Crescent Organization. Internal Displacement

[8] Reppetto, Thomas A 1976, "Crime Prevention and the Displacement Phenomenon", Crime and Delinquency, vol. 22, April, pp. 166-177.

[9] "President Pledges to Hold Iraqi Government Accountable For Progress toward Peace and Security," George W. Bush, January 10, 2007.

[10] The Christian Science Monitor. "U.S. hands over Anbar, Iraq's once-deadliest region."

[11] Central Intelligence Agency. (2005). The World Factbook: Iraq. Washington, DC: CIA.

[12] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Diyala Governorate Assessment Report." Pg 6.

[13] Ibid.

[14] UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Diyala Governorate Assessment Report, November 2006, available at:

[15] Bellavia, David. "Diyala Surge."

[16] UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 2006.

[17] Kagan, K.. "The Battle for Diyala." The Iraq Report, 4 (2007): 1–18.

[18] Cordesman, Anthony H. Key excerpts from "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq, November 2006," Report to Congress In accordance with the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2007, (Section 9010, Public Law 109-289), November 30, 2006, p. 20-21.

[19] Walker, David M. "Stabilizing Iraq An Assessment of the Security Situation," GAO Report to Congress, September 11, 2006, p. 15-16

[20] The "Triangle of Terror" is an area in Diyala province that has been identified as a perpetual high-intensity violence zone. It has served as fertile ground for terrorist training and recruitment, and includes five major cities, including Ba'qubah, which is a former terrorist stronghold. See the associated figure for satellite imagery of the "Triangle of Terror."

[21] Zavis, 2007.

[22] Partlow, Joshua. "Troops in Diyala Face a Skilled, Flexible Foe."

[23] Ibid.

[24] Kagan, K.. "The Battle for Diyala." The Iraq Report, 4 (2007): p. 9.

[25] Ibid., p. 19.

[26] Ibid., p. 7.

[27] Ibid., p. 17.

[28] Katzman, Kenneth. Congressional Research Service. "Al Qaeda in Iraq: Assessment and Outside Links." Federation of American Scientists' Website:

[29] Ibid.

[30] Reuters AlertNet. "Iraq in Turmoil." Retrieved January 14, 2009 from Reuters AlertNet Website:

[31] Karam, J. N., and Zuhur, S. "Post-Transition Violence in Iraq (2004-2005): The Military Perspective of an Insider." USAWC Strategy Research Project (2006): p. 15.

[32] Ibid., p. 14.

[33] See the associated figure for a diagram of how the enemy was more politically motivated than religiously inspired.


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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

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