Sunni Jihadism Update

SUNNI JIHADISM UPDATE….Hey, remember what a great victory it was when we killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iaq? Turns out Zarqawi was the best thing we had going for us:

Little more than a year ago, AQI’s back was against the wall, its efforts to recruit Iraqi Sunni nationalist and secular groups undermined by its violent tactics against civilians and the fundamentalist doctrine of its founder, Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi….”When Zarqawi was killed in June,” a senior intelligence official said, “a lot of us thought that was going to be a real milestone in our progress against the group.”

Instead, he said, “al-Masri has succeeded in establishing his own leadership, keeping the operational tempo up and propelling sectarian violence to higher levels.”….”In a year, AQI went from being a major insurgent group, but one of several, to basically being the dominant force in the Sunni insurgency,” said terrorism consultant Evan F. Kohlmann.

Oh, and that business about how “If we fail there, the enemy will follow us here”? Not really:

Asked by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) whether “al-Qaeda-type elements” would follow U.S. forces as they withdraw from Iraq into Kuwait, [Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell] answered with one word: “Unlikely.”

This story was co-written by Walter Pincus, so it’s buried on page A20. But check it out anyway.