Mapping Militant Organizations
|Formed||July 1, 2001|
|Disbanded||September 1, 2001|
|Updated||March 15, 2012|
On July 1, 2001, Tawheed and Iraqi Hamas (not to be confused with the unrelated Palestinian Hamas), two violent splinter groups of the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan (IMK), merged to form al-Tawhid Islamic Front (TIF). The two former groups were known for their brutal methods of suppression that targeted non-Muslims and foreigners. Many Tawheed members were said to have been veterans of the Afghan Jihad and maintained contact with Osama bin Laden. Some allegedly returned to Afghanistan to ask for financial assistance. The relationship between Tawheed and Hamas developed due to their mutual dislike of the Mullah Abdul Aziz Islamic Unity Movement, one of the splinter groups of the IMK in Kurdistan. While there is information about Hamas and Tawheed, the two constituent parts of TIF, there is little available information about TIF itself. After three months of independent existence TIF merged with the Second Soran Unit, also a splinter group of the IMK, to form Jund al-Islam.
TIF subscribed to a strict literalist interpretation of Quranic verses. They looked to impose strict readings of sharia law on the population of northern Iraq. TIF"s component groups were known to throw acid on unveiled women and attack bookstores and beauty salons, all considered to be forbidden under TIF"s literalist version of Islamic ideology.
Due to its brief lifespan, TIF was never placed on a designated list.
Its resources are currently unknown. While TIF members did have contact with Osama bin Laden, it is unlikely that they received any funding or arms from his group.
Many member of TIF had ties with Osama bin Laden"s group in Afghanistan. While it is unclear currently if they received any funding it is known that TIF leadership traveled to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. Furthermore, TIF fighters traveled to Afghanistan to train in al-Qaeda camps.
While not much is written about the tactics of TIF specifically, there is documentation of targets and tactics of the component parts of TIF, Hamas and Tawhid. Both groups were considered to be extremist factions of the IMIK before splitting off. Both groups target civilian populations, carrying out attacks on ideological targets such as liquor stores and beauty salons.
TIF did not take part in Kurdish politics. The groups that came to form TIF broke off from the IMK in part because they felt that taking part in Kurdish politics was fruitless.
While no solid evidence has been found for major relationships with other groups, TIF merged with the Second Soran Unit to form Jund al-Islam in September 2001. Thus one could infer that there was a close relationship with the Second Soran Unit group given that TIF was an independent group for only three months. Ideological and methodological similarities between TIF and the Second Soran Unit, particularly their violent Jihadi outlook, serve to bolster this claim.
TIF had a tenuous relationship with the community it controlled. TIF attempted to institute their strict interpretation of Islamic law, many times turning to violence in order to scare the community into submission.