Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Rise

Al Qaeda in Iraq was almost completely dead a couple years ago, after the Sunni Awakening pushed Sunni’s away from the extremist group and toward working with the Iraqi government. But after months of political deadlock, incompetence and corruption, plus the arrests of some Awakening members, Sunni anger has brought AQI is back. The militants have found safe haven in the farming areas south of Baghdad, in the eastern mountains and western desert. Car bombs, which had been on the decline, are exploding more frequently in the capital. AQI controlled big chunks of Baghdad and other cities in 2005 and 2006, and is now nowhere near that strength. But because Sunnis are reluctant to trust their government, and security forces are seldom in their areas, they’re not acting against AQI, even if they’re not joining it. Insurgents have infiltrated the police force in Anbar, clerics there say, and in Diyala, AQI has a strong presence. Eight Awakening members were killed there two weeks ago, and several people have been beheaded.