The Sunni Tribes Respond to Osama Bin Laden

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 8 months ago

When the pivotal awakening figure Abdul Sattar Abu Risha was assassinated by a roadside bomb, the response from the Anbaris was swift and stern.  “All the tribes agreed to fight al Qaeda until the last child in Anbar,” his brother, Ahmed Abu Risha.”

This loss of the heart of the population has harmed the effort by al Qaeda, most particularly in Anbar, but extending into Baghdad and North to the Diyala province as well.  With their rooms of horror in Anbar and torture complexes in Diyala, Bin Laden had to come up with something for the Sunnis in Iraq, and in his latest audio he apologized for a few mistakes here and there, but reminded the Sunnis that everyone is human and humans make mistakes.  He then goes on to warn the tribes against siding with the U.S.

“I advise those who follow the path of temptation should wash out this disgrace by repentance,” he said in the 56-minute recording posted on the internet on Saturday.

“This participation [in the Awakening Councils] is a great apostasy and sedition that will lead them to Hell.”

His verbal abuse of the Sunnis – as if they cannot understand their own religion – betrays the fundamental duplicity in his argument.  Earlier in his speech he rebuked those who feel that al Qaeda threatens or harms the innocent, yet then goes on to define the innocent as those not guilty of siding with the U.S., a set of criteria perfect for al Qaeda to argue that they should continue with their torture of the Sunnis in Iraq who do not side with al Qaeda.

Tautology that it is, the Sunnis of Iraq were neither intimidated nor impressed with his logic.

The Al-Anbar district commander said that Al-Qaeda had no influence in his province and that his forces would continue to hunt down the organization until the last of its men was eliminated.

A forces commander in the Salah Al-Din district, in northern Baghdad, called Al-Qaeda “gangs and highwaymen who harm the honor of the women of the Iraqis and shed [Iraqis’ blood,” and added that the deeds of bin Laden’s men were counter to Islamic principles and to morality.

A member of the Awakening forces in the Diyala district accused Al-Qaeda of spreading corruption in Iraq and of attempting to occupy Iraq in the guise of serving the religion and Islam, and promised to eliminate Al-Qaeda members.

Al Qaeda is seventy five percent diminished in Iraq, and fifty one al Qaeda in Iraq leaders were killed or captured in the month of December, 2007.  While much of this success is due to kinetic operations by U.S. troops, there was certainly much participation by “concerned citizens” and other tribal protectors.  When a people promise to eradicate you by fighting to their last child, you must know that your future is bleak.

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This article is filed under the category(s) al Qaeda,Iraq,Tribes and was published January 3rd, 2008 by Herschel Smith.

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