Local Security: A Grassroots Effort
What began in Anbar as a local movement of tribes is developing into a national phenomenon. In Baqouba, the erstwhile capital of al Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq, between 40 and 60 al Qaeda operatives sought on August 15 to attack the southern Buhriz neighborhood of that city. As the first wave of attackers entered they were met with withering fire from a group of concerned citizens, calling themselves the ‘Baqouba Guardians.’ These volunteer fighters killed seven in that first clash, including two suicide bombers interdicted before they could reach their intended targets. A call for Coalition gunship support broke up the next attack even as it prepared for action. At the end of the fight some 21 al Qaeda terrorists were dead.