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December 2001: Ansar Al-Islam Militant Group Formed

The militant group Ansar al-Islam is formed in Iraq. It is created from a merger of two Kurdish rebel groups and it is led by Mullah Krekar, who spends most of his time living in exile in Norway. Ansar al-Islam preaches a radical interpretation of Islam. It controls a small area of only about a dozen villages in a mountainous region right next to Iraq’s border with Iran. (BBC 3/22/2003) The US will later accuse the group of hosting militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and many al-Qaeda operatives.


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