US Aligned Iraqi Mafia Budget Starved as AQ Circles

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Before Saddam Hussein was overthrown he was supported by a mafia network in the Sunni Arab heartlands of al Anbar, Diyala, and the like. The US occupation overlooked them in an attitude of debaathification. But when Qutbist insurgents like Al Qaeda and Ansar al Sunnah took over said Sunni Arab regions and administered according to Shariah, these mafia were targeted for their highway banditry, business extortion, smuggling, prostitution, drug dealing, and so forth. They banded together under the name "Sahwa" and with American funds and arms they relegated the Qutbists to the rural parts of Sunni Arab Iraq, shutting down their courts in cities like Ramadi and Fallujah. However, because it has failed to install a DC oriented government in Baghdad, the US has abandoned them in these last few years, telling the Iranian backed Shia regime to pay their wages if they care. Naturally they don't, so AQ and friends having been sliding back in, while the Sahwa dissolve.

Also, AQ in Iraq has become an assassination oriented organization, aside from bombing and shooting attacks on gatherings of non-Sunnis.