NEWS AND ANALYSIS: Who killed Abdul Sattar Abu Risha?

Super-sheikh murdered by tribal rivals?

An expert on Anbar’s tribal politics offers DANGER ROOM a different view. Tribal rivals, he says, are the most likely culprits.

Think in tribal terms. Sheikh Sattar met with the U.S. President. This reinforced the newly-won position of the Albu Risha. A number of competitor tribes could not afford for the Risha to cement and consolidate its power. The new status quo and the increased power of the Risha had to be challenged. The meeting with the President assisted the Risha and its allies in consolidating their newly gained stature. It is a matter of credibility and legitimacy — a very important component of tribal leadership, whether in terms of an individual Sheikh’s position or the tribes overall position within the tribal system, such as the Dulaymi Confederation. Timing is everything. Assassinating Sattar now was necessary or it would be even harder to dislodge the Risha later. [complete article]

Qaeda group claims killing of Iraqi Sunni leader

An Al Qaeda-led group said on Friday it was responsible for the killing of Iraqi tribal leader Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, according to an Internet posting on Friday.

The self-styled Islamic State in Iraq called the killing of Abu Risha a “heroic operation.” Its statement could not be authenticated, but it was posted on a main Islamist Web site. [complete article]

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