Awakening threat to al Qaeda in Iraq

Bill Roggio:

The formation of the Awakening movements - the Sunni tribes and former insurgents opposed al Qaeda's Talibanization of Iraq's communities - poses a great threat to al Qaeda in Iraq. The prototype Awakening movement, which was formed in Anbar province in the fall of 2006 by Sheikh Sattar al-Rishawi in the Ramadi region, has led to the wide scale rejection of al Qaeda and a dramatic reduction in violence in most of Anbar province. The Awakening has now spread to Diyala, Salahadin and Niwena provinces, with the help of Sheikh Sattar. Al Qaeda has responded violently to the formation of the Awakening movements in the provinces, and, like in Anbar and Diyala, is targeting the leadership and their families in the province of Salahadin.


Al Qaeda's campaign to break the newly formed Diyala and Salahadin Salvation Councils will likely only intensify over the next several months. As the Baghdad Security Plan progresses, operations will ramp up in the belts in the regions of southern Salahadin, Diyala, eastern Anbar and northern Babil. Awakening movements have formed in three of the four regions.

Al Qaeda will attempt to destroy these movements as they stands as political and ideological opposition, as well as provide manpower and intelligence capacity to fight al Qaeda's networks....
Iraq has noticed who the threat is to their aggression in Iraq and is bent on a murderous response which will only anger the tribes more and push them into a stronger rejection of the al Qaeda ideology and way of war. The more al Qaeda kills tribal leaders the more the tribes will resist and attack al Qaeda and join with those who will help them. This has been one reason why the organization has grown so rapidly.

One of the least reported consequences of the change in Anbar is al Qaeda's loss of its rat lines from Syria. Syria is now diverting the jihadi flow to Lebanon and Jordon. This is leading to a shortage of "martyrdom" ops used for human bomb attacks in Iraq. Right now al Qaeda in Iraq is having to sustain itself internally while it is also having its forces attrited.


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