Sad news as the world learns that Anbar Awakening leader Sheikh Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha has been killed in a car bombing. Undoubtedly his high-profile stance against al-Qaeda has made him a high-priority target.
Sheikh Abu Risha was one of the first to break with al-Qaeda in al-Anbar Province, part of a group of Sunni tribesmen who had become sick and tired of the constant violence leveled against Iraqi Sunnis by the terrorist group. He and other tribal leaders decided that it was time for Iraq’s Sunni to be free of the foreign-led invaders, and they came to form a group called the Anbar Awakening, an alliance of tribes dedicated to working with the US and Iraqi forces in defeating al-Qaeda.
The progress that Sheikh Abu Risha has begun will not stop with his death. Al-Qaeda thought that they could bully Iraq’s Sunnis into accepting their radical Islamist rule. They were wrong then, and they are still wrong. The avalanche has already begun — Iraqi Sunnis have seen what al-Qaeda has wrought and they know that the only path to freedom, peace and security is to see al-Qaeda gone from Iraq. The death of one man will not stop the Awakening, and inshallah Iraq’s Sunnis will rid their lands of the foreign-led invasion and be able to forge a better future in which they need not fear al-Qaeda, Shi’a, or anyone else.