Detailing the defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq (updated)
Al Qaeda appears to be crumbling in Iraq, a spectacular victory in the War on Terror. A senior leader has bared his soul to Amit R. Paley of the Washington Post, painting a vivid picture of what the surge has done to al Qaeda in Iraq. Here are some notable points from Paley's excellent article.
- In 2007 alone, over 2,400 AQI members killed, almost 9,000 captured.
- Post Reporter meets with AQ in Iraq a senior leader, or emir, Riyadh al-Ogaidi, who used to travel with 20 bodyguards. Now he goes alone to remain anonymous.
- Ogaidi also said AQI membership plummeted from about 12,000 in June 2007 to about 3,500 today.
- Foreign fighter infiltration greatly reduced. Riyadh al-Ogaidi, a senior leader, or emir, of al-Qaeda in Iraq, said the total number of foreign fighters in Iraq is "in the tens -- not more than 200." US military agrees with the drastic reduction claim.
- They are begging tribal leaders to allow them back in, promising to be good this time.
- He tips that AQI is fractured, saying of the AQI top dog ,"He is mild-mannered and weak".
- He said of the Anbar awakening ""This also created panic, fear and the unwillingness to fight. The morale of the fighters went down."
- He said because of the surge and Anbar Awakening, "We found ourselves in a circle not being able to move, organize or conduct our operations,"
- Quote from AQI leader Abu Hamza al-Muhajer. "The Americans have not defeated us, but the turnaround of the Sunnis against us had made us lose a lot and suffer very painfully."
"Al-Qaeda is almost done and finished. It no longer scares anyone," he said. "It is like an old man on the verge of his grave."Update -- John B. Dwyer writes:The Amit Paley Washington Post article excerpted has the phrase "softer approach" in its sub-head. As explained in the article, this means that only AQ-approved Sunnis will not be killed. However, Shiites, American/coalition forces and pro-coalition Sunnis will continue to be killed, maimed & wounded.Gotta love those discriminating murderers.Meantime, as Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, Rear Adm. Smith noted in his 6 Feb. briefing, Al Qaeda's latest operational initiative involves recruiting, training & using kids aged 8-14 for terror attacks.