This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. After all, there is no reliable way to distinguish between Muslims who abhor al-Qaeda and its jihad, and those who support it — and in any case, political correctness prevents U.S. forces from making even any rudimentary and flawed attempt to do this.
“Al-Qaeda Infiltrating Pro-U.S. Militias in Iraq, Sources Say,” by Rania Abouzeid in Time, March 31 (thanks to Maxwell):
Sheik Hamid al-Hayess is not optimistic. A burly man with a thick black mustache and closely knitted brows, he is one of the founding members of the Anbar Awakening. The grouping of Sunni tribal sheiks in the once al-Qaeda–infested western province turned against the insurgents and sided with the U.S. military, providing the model for what became a nationwide campaign known as the Sahwa. But that model is in trouble. “The Sahwa has been infiltrated by al-Qaeda,” he says somberly. “A civil war is coming.”
If it happens, this time the lines in the sand will more likely be between Sunnis. Iraq’s minority Sunnis have become increasingly split between those like Sheik Hamid, who are now allied with the Shi’ite-led government, and Sunnis who are against it. Some co-religionists remain so antigovernment that they either have returned to the insurgency or sympathize with those who have….
In recent months, al-Qaeda in Iraq and its affiliates have been regrouping, recalibrating their targets and tactics; they have recruited disenfranchised members of the U.S.-allied Sahwa movement, planting them as sleeper agents among the mainly Sunni neighborhood patrolmen, who number about 94,000 nationwide, according to a highly placed source close to the insurgency. “Many of the Sahwa have returned after seeking forgiveness, but they are still Sahwa,” the source tells TIME. “They wear the government’s uniform, but they plant explosives and sticky bombs. The Sahwa is the biggest recruiting pool for al-Qaeda.” …