Iraq Qaeda video shows police officers “repent”: Web

DUBAI – An al Qaeda-linked group in Iraq issued an Internet video on Sunday showing what it said were two police officers repenting their past actions and handing over their weapons to insurgents.

The video and a statement that said the men were “returning to Islam’s ranks” appeared to signal a change of propaganda tactics by the Islamic State in Iraq. The group’s earlier videos often showed captured government officers and soldiers being shot dead after voicing regret over their activities.

The video showed the two men smiling and no armed militants were seen nearby as in earlier videos. The group did not say how the men had defected or been captured, or what their fate was.

“I reject the Iraqi police, which is a tool in the hands of … crusaders and infidels,” said a man wearing a traditional Arab robe who identified himself on the video as Colonel Ayad Ismail Muhaymid, and said he had been a deputy police director in Diyala province.

“The actions to which our bothers and sisters are subjected in Interior Ministry prisons are unacceptable to God and humanity,” said a man identified as Major Hameed Hadi Hameed.

The video, which showed what appeared to be police identity cards of the men, could not be authenticated. It was posted on a main Web site often used by al Qaeda and other insurgent groups.

While the Iraq wing of al Qaeda remains at the forefront of groups fighting U.S. forces and the Shi’ite-led government, its fighters have faced growing opposition in the Sunni areas of Iraq where they operate.

An increase in U.S. troops, more efficient Iraqi security forces and Sunni neighborhood patrols have been credited for a decline in violence and a fall in civilian and U.S. military casualties in the past few months.

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