How an ex-Sunni Insurgent Became a US Ally
He [Abul Abed] hailed the car carrying the feared leader of Al Qaeda in the neighborhood, a man known as the White Lion, on one of Amariyah's main streets. "We want you to stop destroying our neighborhood," he told the man.
"Do you know who you are talking to?" said the White Lion, getting out of his car. "I am Al Qaeda. I will destroy even your own houses!"
He pulled out his pistol and shot at Abul Abed. The gun jammed. He reloaded and fired again. Again, the gun jammed.
By this time, Abul Abed said, he had pulled his own gun. He fired once, killing the White Lion. ...
The next day, a firefight erupted. Al Qaeda fighters closed in on Abul Abed. Most of the 150 men who had joined him fled. Holed up in a mosque with fewer than a dozen supporters, Abul Abed thought the end was near. "The blue carpet was soaked red with blood," he recalled. Then the imam of the mosque called in American help.
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