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Islamic Movement of Kurdistan

Established in the mid-1980s and led by Mullah Ali Abd al-Aziz Halabji. Set up a governing body in the Halabjah region of northern Iraq in 1998, but reportedly does not impose strict Islamic law. Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Rahim, a member of the group's consultative council, told London-based "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" in an interview published on 5 August 2003 that the movement's leader was unjustly arrested by U.S. forces in Halabjah. He claimed that Mullah Ali Abd al-Aziz is a member of the former Iraqi opposition who has since called for "means other than weapons" to further the movement's agenda. Asked about reported links by the movement to Ansar Al-Islam group, Abd al-Rahim said, "The Ansar Al-Islam group members were not happy with our new [nonviolent] policy. They are vehemently opposed to the stand of [Abd al-Aziz] on cooperation with the provincial [Kurdistan] government and the movement's participation in municipal elections." Asked whether the movement will disarm its fighters, he said, "Every party in the world should reconsider its stands and policies every now and then, and this applies to us.... We believe that our priorities at this current stage are limited to preaching and guidance. And I assure you that we have no training or other camps. All our activities are now confined to party organizational affairs." It has received aid from Iran, the United States (after 1998), and possibly Saudi Arabia.

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