Al Qaeda strikes a funeral in Fallujah

Poster shows Sheikh Abu-Risha staring down figures representing Al Qaeda in Ramadi. (Photo by Sam Dagher, CSM). Click to view.

Targets the funeral of a slain member of the Anbar Salvation Council

Al Qaeda’s war against the Sunni alliance of the Anbar Salvation Council continues in the eastern region of Anbar province. Today, an al Qaeda suicide car bomber successfully attacked the funeral procession of a man killed earlier in the day. “That man was identified as Allawi al-Isawi, a businessman who was reportedly involved in a Sunni Arab alliance working against al Qaeda fighters in Fallujah,” Adnkronos reported. Twenty-seven mourners were killed and over 30 wounded, according to the report.

The Anbar Salvation Council has been making inroads in Fallujah and the surrounding regions, and the attack is clearly designed to decapitate the local organization and intimidate the local tribes. Al Qaeda has conducted similar attacks in the past in the Fallujah region, most recently in Amiriya during the funeral of a member of the Anbar Salvation Council. Al Qaeda conducted a large scale assault on the funeral procession which was beaten off by members of the Anbar Salvation Council, who called for support from Iraqi police and Army units. The member of the council was killed in a brutal suicide attack on a mosque in Habbaniyah, where the cleric was preaching against al Qaeda and its perversion of Islam. Suicide chlorine gas attacks have been used at least 10 times against civilian and military targets in Ramadi and the eastern Anbar province region.

Much of Anbar has seen a dramatic decrease in violence and a remarkable turnaround in political progress over the past several months, as the Anbar Salvation Council has been the driving force behind the recruitment of local police and the formation of the Provincial Security Forces – which were formally known as the Emergency Response Units – and are now the government sanctioned provincial police forces. Eight battalions have been formed, with about 750 members per unit. Ramadi, which was once the most violent city in Iraq, has seen attacks reduced to two a day, down from a peak of 50 last year.

The regions north, south and east of Fallujah are the new contested regions in Anbar province, as Ramadi and the regions south and west have seen a dramatic influx of local security forces rejecting the presence of al Qaeda. Amiriya, Ferris, Karma and Zaidon are the new battlegrounds in Anbar province.

The Albu Issa tribe dominates the Amiriya region and portions of Fallujah, and the tribe is split between pro-government elements which largely dominate the urbanized areas and the pro al Qaeda elements which rule in the rural regions. The pro government Albu Issa provide police to patrol in Amiriya, and a large segment of the Fallujah police force is made up of Albu Issa. While it isn’t explicitly stated in the Adnkronos article, Allawi al-Isawi is a member of the Albu Issa tribe, and no doubt was murdered by al Qaeda.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • Tony says:

    Car and truck bombs at funerals. Absolutely and completely depraved and insane conduct, a perfect example of what the overwhelming majority of humanity will forever oppose.
    It may take decades and it could even take centuries for reasons I will not go into here, but we will prevail.
    Of that there can be no doubt.

  • Neo-andertal says:

    An attack such as this on a funeral procession is meant to be a profane insult. Such a course can work if Al Quada has the upper hand and can repeat such insults over and over again at will. It only works if you can break your opponents and display their impotence for all to see. It has the same street creed as dissing someone and beating them into a pulp in front of all of his friends and neighbors. Terrorism is all about submitting and complying with brutal profanity, the more profane the better. It’s hardly pointless brutality, but calculated to ultimately break down an opponent.
    The problem Al Quada has in this instance is that they don’t have the definitive upper hand. The ASC can return blow for blow everything Al Quada can throw at them. It even appears that the ASC is on track to overtake Al Quada in the Fallujah area. Under those circumstances Al Quada’s brutality becomes the primary rallying point for open opposition to them.
    What needs to be remembered is that none of this is possible without a consistent level of protection for the ASC by IA and US forces. The ASC’s advantage is familiarity with the community and area, not superior firepower. The ASC’s activities are only possible if Al Quada cannot concentrate force against them. These local ASC protection units still need a lot of force protection to do their thing.

  • cjr says:

    I wonder if Al Jazzera is going to publish the story: “Al Qaeda conducts mass murders of innocent Sunni Muslims engaging in religous activities”.

  • Richard Romano says:

    Absolutely disgraceful, but not surprising. Can Al Queda stoop any lower? How can anyone possibly construe such acts of barbarism as holy? One would think a funeral is at least one place where people are left alone. Not to Al Queda, who bomb mosques (I wonder why there are no protests when these murderers blow up mosques, and of course, destroy Korans in the process?).
    The Muslim world must rise up — thankfully, there are some Muslims who are rising up in Iraq — they have long since tired of these murderers in their midst.

  • David M says:

    Trackbacked by The Thunder Run – Web Reconnaissance for 05/25/2007
    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.


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