Al-Anbar Sheik Offers to Help Fight Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan
When Sheik Ahmad’s brother, Sheik Sattar, met with Mr. Bush in Anbar last fall, he told the president that he dedicated his victory over Al Qaeda to the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Author Eli Lake on the Anbar Awakening Leaders
The New York Sun
June 9, 2008
An Iraqi Sunni leader says he would have no problem sending advisors to Afghanistan to battle Osama Bin Laden’s organization.
The Sunni leader of the Al-Anbar Awakening Councils, Sheik Ahmed Fateh Khan al-Rishawi, says that he would send advisors to Afghanistan to help fight Al-Qaeda if asked.
The New York Sun and ROP reported:
The leader of the tribal confederation that has fought to expel Al Qaeda from most of Iraq’s Anbar province is offering his men to help gin up a rebellion against Osama bin Laden’s organization along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
In an interview, Sheik Ahmad al-Rishawi told The New York Sun that in April he prepared a 47-page study on Afghanistan and its tribes for the deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in Kabul, Christopher Dell. When asked if he would send military advisers to Afghanistan to assist American troops fighting there, he said: “I have no problem with this; if they ask me, I will do it.”
The success of the Anbari tribal rebellion known as the awakening spurred Multinational Forces Iraq to try to emulate the model throughout Iraq, including with the predominately Shiite tribes in the south of the country. Today, the tribe-based militias formed to protect Anbaris from Al Qaeda are forming a political alliance poised to unseat the confessional Sunni parties currently in parliament in the provincial elections scheduled for the fall and the federal ones scheduled for 2009.
During his nomination hearing for taking over the regional military post known as Central Command, General David Petraeus said one of the first things he would do would be to travel to Pakistan to discuss the current strategy of the government in dealing with Al Qaeda’s safe haven in the Pashtun border provinces. A possible strategy for defeating Al Qaeda would be an effort there along the lines of the Anbar awakening to win over the tribes that offer Osama bin Laden’s group protection and safe haven.
Of his meeting with Mr. Bush, Sheik Ahmad said he was impressed. “He is a brave man. He is also a wise man. He is taking care of the country’s future, the United States’ future. He is also taking care of the Iraqi people, the ordinary people in Iraq. He wants to accomplish success in Iraq.”
When Sheik Ahmad’s brother, Sheik Sattar, met with Mr. Bush in Anbar last fall, he told the president that he dedicated his victory over Al Qaeda to the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. On September 13, 2007, Sheik Sattar was assassinated by an improvised explosive device. Since then, his brother Sheik Ahmad has led the awakening movement.
Sheik Ahmad al-Rishawi’s brother was the heroic founder of the Anbar Sunni Awakening Council. He was murdered by Al-Qaeda. A Shiite community later named a school in his honor.
Sunni tribal leader Abdul Sattar Abu Risha shakes hands with President Bush during a meeting in Anbar province, Iraq, in this September 3, 2007 file photo. Abu Risha, who was instrumental in driving al Qaeda out of Iraq’s Anbar province, was killed by a bomb attack on September 13, 2007, less than two weeks after he met Bush. Abu Risha was killed near his home in Ramadi, capital of Anbar. He was the most influential leader of an alliance of Sunni Arab tribes that joined forces with U.S. troops to push al Qaeda from much of the western region. (Jason Reed/Reuters)
-Notice who is in the background.
Thanks BG for the tip!