Now, wait a minute. Didn't Barack Obama say that al-Qaeda was on the ropes? In any case, this is yet another indication of the impossibility of distinguishing jihad terrorists from peaceful Muslims -- an impossibility that is regularly killing our troops in Afghanistan. "15 Iraqi Officials Quit in Protest Over Qaeda Threat," by Rod Nordland for the New York Times, July 27 (thanks to Bill):
CAIRO — Fifteen neighborhood officials in the Iraqi city of Baquba have resigned to protest what they say is the government’s inability to protect them from Qaeda infiltrators, Iraqi officials said Friday.
The development was yet another indication in the past week of efforts by Al Qaeda to stage a resurgence in Iraq.
The resignations of the officials, known as mukhtars, was confirmed on Friday by Abdullah al-Hiali, the head of the City Council in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province. He said the officials resigned “to save their family members’ lives because of living under threats from Al Qaeda and militants.”
Mukhtars are representatives elected in each neighborhood in Iraqi communities, and they act as liaisons between residents and the government. There are about 100 of them in Baquba, a city north of Baghdad with a population of about half a million. A total of 50 have resigned since January, Mr. Hiali said.
He said that eight mukhtars had been assassinated in Baquba this year in Al Qaeda’s effort to gain control of neighborhoods, particularly in the west of the city. In addition, seven family members were killed in those attacks, Mr. Hiali said. Most were carried out by so-called “sticky bombs,” explosives attached to the underside of victims’ cars, he added.
Baquba was a Qaeda stronghold during the Iraq war, and the former Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed just outside the city in an American airstrike in 2006....