A London Times report details dissent within al Qadea:
July 23, 2007
Al-Qaeda faces rebellion from the ranks
Sickened by the group’s barbarity, Iraqi insurgents are giving information to coalition forces
Deborah Haynes in Doura
Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a person’s face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood. >
The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.
They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace,” said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area.
Even if the war is still winnable in Iraq, it is now being lost at home. Even some Republican senators are calling for troops to be withdrawn.
“Al-Qaeda’s days are numbered and right now he is scrambling,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Michael, who commands a battalion of 700 troops in Doura. A key factor is that local people and members of al-Qaeda itself have become sickened by the violence and are starting to rebel, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael said. “The people have got to deny them sanctuary and that is exactly what is happening.”
Progress with making contacts and gathering actionable information is slow because al-Qaeda has persuasive methods of keeping people quiet. This month it beheaded two men in the street and pinned a note on to their corpses giving warning that anyone who cooperated with US troops would meet the same fate.
Others, however, describe al-Qaeda in Iraq as a sort of franchise, with separate cells around the country that use the brand – made infamous by Osama bin Laden – and cultural ideology but do not work closely with each other or for one overriding leader.
Despite the uncertainties one thing seems guaranteed. A hardcore of people calling themselves al-Qaeda in Iraq remains devoted to the extremist cause and is determined to fight on whatever the cost.
Too bad there’s not more of this going on, but it’s a damned good start. It’s also not something the anti-war, pro-al Qadea crowd likes to hear. There’s serious fissures with the terrorist network, and it needs to be exploited. We’ve been getting assistance from locals for awhile now, but the revelation of an increase in al Qadea informants is a clear indication of a turning tide in the fight for Iraq….and bad news for the Left.