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    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    al Qaeda suicide bombers, counter-productive

    Suicide Bombs Target Salahadin Awakening Leader

    By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

    Yesterday, two suicide truck bombs targeted a leader of the Salahadin Awakening Council. (The Awakening movements that have sprouted up across Iraq during the past year are based on the model that experienced great success in the Anbar province.) The Times of London reports: "Up to 22 people were killed and many more wounded when two suicide truck bombs exploded in a town in northern Iraq today, targeting a police chief and a tribal leader who had joined forces with the US military against al-Qaeda."

    This is in line with al-Qaeda in Iraq's announced campaign of assassinations intended to coincide with Ramadan. As the MEMRI Blog reports, shortly after the assassination of Abdul Sattar al-Rishawi, an extremist web site published a list of names and photos titled "Pictures of the Infidels and Apostates Wanted by the Islamic State of Iraq." The accompanying message praised al-Rishawi's killing, and threatened other tribal leaders who opposed al-Qaeda:

    We killed your leader and sheikh on the first day of Ramadan, as we promised you. You should know that the ISI [Islamic State of Iraq] will prevent most of your [other] leaders from offering up their holiday prayers [on 'Id Al-Fitr at the end of the month of Ramadan]. You will never see 'Id Al-Fitr, because [the jihad fighters] have turned [this] Ramadan into a grave for the apostates. [Al-Rishawi] is the first... dead hypocrite of this month – [the month of] jihad and mujahideen – and will be followed by many others.

    The indispensable Bill Roggio notes that "al Qaeda has conducted several high-profile tribal assassinations" since this announcement -- including killing senior Salahadin Awakening Council member Sheikh Muawiya Jebara as he traveled near the provincial capital of Samarra.

    Yesterday's attack did not succeed in killing its intended target, Salahadin Awakening Council member Thamer Ibrahim Atallah. Local police chief Colonel Saad al-Nifous, another target of the attack, also escaped unharmed. However, both men lost family members in the attack. A senior military intelligence officer tells me in an e-mail that their survival "is really good news," since both men are "key allies in the province."

    This situation bears watching. The reversals that al-Qaeda experienced in Anbar and Diyala show the importance of tribal allies. Al-Qaeda in Iraq apparently hopes to decapitate the movement in Salahadin before it gains too much steam.

    October 10, 2007 06:33 PM Link


    The locals have better intel and sources than USA, al Qaeda will pay dearly for this.
    And it shows the locals how they must deal with AQ.

    Big stradegy error on AQ's part, but they are very scared and concerned about the sucess of the Awakening Councils, Islam will put an end to al qaeda, and AQ cannot survive without local support, ZARQAWI has admitted this in captured letters.


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