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Mulla Omar aide escapes Multan raid
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Germany Arrests Suspected al-Qaida Link
German authorities have arrested a Palestinian believed linked to two al-Qaida suspects who are accused of plotting a suicide attack in Iraq, prosecutors said Sunday. The 28-year-old man identified only as Ismail Abu S. was arrested Saturday at his home in the western town of Marburg. His brother, identified as Yasser Abu S., was arrested in January along with an Iraqi. Prosecutors have said Yasser Abu S. apparently planned to fake his death in a car accident and later carry out a suicide attack in Iraq. Most of the insurance payoff from the fake accident — worth about $1.17 million — was to be used to fund unspecified al-Qaida activities, they say.

Prosecutors said it was unclear whether Ismail Abu S. knew the money was intended for al-Qaida. The Iraqi arrested in January, identified as Mohamed K., allegedly trained at Osama bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan and fought American forces there. He is accused of recruiting suicide attackers in Germany and providing logistical help to al-Qaida.
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

Fifth Column
Pennsylvania Man Confused, Thought He Was In Middle East
HOUSTON - A 68-year-old Pennsylvania man was arrested on charges he tried to build a bomb and sell it to an agent he thought was a member of Al-Qaida, officials said Monday. Ronald Allen Grecula of Bangor, Pa., was arrested Friday in Houston during a meeting with undercover FBI agents, U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby said. During that meeting, Grecula indicated willingness to build and sell an explosive device that was to be used against Americans, officials alleged in court documents.

Grecula was set to make his initial court appearance Monday afternoon. He has been charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, specifically al-Qaida, a news release from Shelby's office said. If convicted, he could receive a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

He dealt with an undercover officer who he thought was a member of al-Qaida, the release said. A confidential source had introduced the agent to Grecula, it said. Grecula negotiated with the source and later with undercover officers between April and last Friday to build and sell a bomb to terrorist groups targeting the United States, according to court documents.

The FBI recorded conversations with Grecula, in which he talked about technical knowledge about building an explosive device, his willingness to put on a demonstration, and the need for all involved to "be careful" as they planned the venture, Shelby said.
Posted by: Hupoling Slearong7265 || 05/23/2005 15:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hint: middle name is "Allen"
Posted by: Frank G || 05/23/2005 19:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Grecula rhymes with Dracula... He was in it for blood?
Posted by: BigEd || 05/23/2005 19:12 Comments || Top||

#3  I love people with unusual names.


Hit 1: Abducted children want to go back home. Summary: Ronald Allen Grecula of (unspecified), Pennsylvania abducted his two kids after Thanksgiving and took them to live in Malta. Second links says one of those damned "Have you seen me?" cards led to their recovery.

Hit 2: Google cache only, bottom item:

On July 24 [2000, I think], Ronald Allen Grecula, Saylorsburg, had assembled a cassette tape recorder to record the telephone conversations of Monique Brecula and Manuel Mireles, Bushkill, without the consent or knowledge of victims. Charges to be filed at District Justice Jolana Krawitz's office include: interception, disclosure or use of wire, electronic or oral communications, (Felony 3); possession, sale, distribution, manufacture or advertisement of electronic, mechanical or other devices, (Felony 3); possession of instruments of a crime, (misdemeanor 1), according to PSP Lehighton.

Monique's the ex.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 05/23/2005 19:38 Comments || Top||

#4  sounds like the morals and ethics of a true Lion Of The Desert™
Posted by: Frank G || 05/23/2005 19:44 Comments || Top||

#5  good work, Angie
Posted by: Frank G || 05/23/2005 19:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Thanks for the info, Angie.

I'd be interested in knowing how he got the kids out of the country. It was my understanding that a parent had to have written permission from the other parent to fly alone with minor kids (due to many parental kidnappings). Maybe I was wrong.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/23/2005 20:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Barbara, as long as the permission letter looks real -- and we discovered the hard way that it has to be notarized, too, but in the end no flights were missed -- the documenent isn't likely to be questioned. But I imagine R.A.G. is on a watch list, now.
Posted by: trailing wife || 05/23/2005 21:29 Comments || Top||

One killed by Lebanese army fire in faction clashes
[BANG!] "Stop or we'll shoot!"
One civilian was killed east of Beirut when the Lebanense army fired warning shots during clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian parties, a military statement said Monday. "An army unit, called to separate members of rival parties who were fighting, fired warning shots which wounded Soleiman Rai, who subsequently died in hospital," it said. Witnesses said that the clashes Sunday in the town of Dhour Choueir pitted members of the Christian Phalangist party loyal to former president Amin Gemayel against the Syrian National Social Party (SNSP), which promotes the idea of a greater Syria. The death came less than a week before Lebanon's multi-stage legislative elections get underway, the first since the murder of anti-Syrian former prime minister Rafiq Hariri in February.

The fight took place Sunday evening when the Phalangists were coming back from an electoral meeting that took place in their stronghold of Bikfaya and were crossing Dhour Choueir in coaches. Bikfaya and Dhour Choueir are situated 25 and 30 kilometres (15 and 18 miles) east of Beirut respectively, in the Christian-dominated constituency of Metn. Tens of thousands of Phalangists had celebrated Sunday the restoration of a statue of its founder Pierre Gemayel, which was dynamited and subsqequently taken down when Syrian troops entered Metn in 1990 and SNSP supporters deployed in force in Bikfaya. Following the withdrawal of Syrian troops on April 26, supporters of Gemayel returned in force to his native village. SNSP supporters are still present in Dhour Choeir, on the way between Beirut and the eastern Bekaa valley. A traditional enmity that dates back some 70 years opposes the Phalangists to the SNSP. Pitched battles took place during Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war between the two parties' militias.
Posted by: Steve || 05/23/2005 12:02:15 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They had their chance to rise to the occasion in 1982. And didn't. When their leader was blown up, they collapses. Perhaps the Maronites have learned? Don't bet the house on it...
Posted by: borgboy || 05/23/2005 13:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Dear Steve, first of all, describing Rafiq Hariri as an "anti-syrian" is much exagerated. As long as business was runing smoothly, he was ready to make sweet deals (and he has done a lot of them). Second, this story shows again that lebanes army is still good at killing Lebanese. When it comes to do something against the Israeli and/or the Syrian occupation ... nobody's here. Third, death can happend in strange ways. Especially when you belong to a fasict group in a feodalistic neigborhood. Peace out.
Posted by: Alexandre Medawar || 05/23/2005 14:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Jeez. Phalangists and National Socialists. Are the either of the party names misleading, or is this just fascist-on-Nazi violence?
Posted by: Mitch H. || 05/23/2005 15:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Mitch:
Dunno about the Phalange, but the SNSP is pretty much like the German NS. The former correct name for the Baath parties (Syria and Iraq) is something like National Social Arab Renewal Party. They date from the 30s and were ideologically aligned with the NSDAP. The SNSP is a break-off of the Baathists (or the Baathists are the break-off...). But, essentially, they are all fascists.
Posted by: Jackal || 05/23/2005 16:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Alex, Steve didn't write the article, check the link on the title.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/23/2005 16:11 Comments || Top||

#6  IIUC the Syrian Social National Party (thats what Pipes calls them) was founded by a Greek Orthodox guy in Lebanon. While the Baath was, at least in theory, arab nationalist, the SSNP was specifically devoted to the idea of Greater Syria, including Syria/Lebanon/Jordan and Israel?Palestine. And NOT including the rest of the Great Arab Race. Instead the SSNP looked back to a Syrian national/racial identity that predated the Arab conquest (which youd expect from Christians - but unlike the Maronites, the Greek Orthodox were weak in Lebanon proper, and so looked to a larger state) Baath style Arab nationalism was more mainstream in the region, and the SSNP was always seen as somewhat goofy. Of course under Daddy Assad Syria pretty much abandoned real Arab nationalism, and instead pursued Greater Syria, so SSNP was tolerated, and even used as a tool.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/23/2005 17:24 Comments || Top||

Syria Arrest Head of Human Rights Group
Syrian security forces raided local offices of an Arab human rights group early Sunday and arrested its leader, according to a statement by the group. The Arab Organization for Human Rights said security forces broke into Mohammad Raadoun's office in Latakia and took him by force to one of the government's security agencies. In an e-mail sent to foreign news agencies, the organization appealed to "all honorable people to join us in our campaign to obtain the immediate release of Raadoun." There was not immediate comment from Syrian authorities.
"Beat it."
Since taking office in 2000, Syrian President Bashar Assad has released hundreds of political detainees. But he has also clamped down on pro-democracy activists, showing that he had limited tolerance for dissent. In March, Raadoun, a lawyer, was prevented from traveling to Egypt to attend a forum on Arab political reforms. The ban was connected to a sit-in the organization had planned a week earlier in downtown Damascus to protest an emergency law that has been in force since 1963. The organization, one of three human rights groups in Syria, monitors human rights violations in Syria and reports on cases of arrests and torture against activists and political prisoners. On Saturday, the group accused authorities of detaining six people on charges of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement, and torturing one of them.
Does anyone here know anyting about the Arab Organization for Human Rights?
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [246 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does anyone here know anything about the Arab Organization for Human Rights?

Um, it fits on the head of a pin and has room left for the dancing angels?
Posted by: Raj || 05/23/2005 0:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Does anyone here know anyting about the Arab Organization for Human Rights?

Yeah, Emily, it's an oxymoron. No, seriously, here's a link to an AOHR page I 'Googled' up.
Posted by: GK || 05/23/2005 3:03 Comments || Top||

#3  too little info to know if theyre Genooine "Moderate Muslims. TM"
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/23/2005 9:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Thanks, all.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2005 11:28 Comments || Top||

#5  There may be some thought that terrorists have infiltrated human rights organizations or have set up there own front human rights organizations.

This is probably not the case in Syria. In syria the terrorists have had, for many years, their own networks for funding, communications, etc. So, the odds are that the members of these human rights groups are at least moderate, maybe even progressive.
Posted by: mhw || 05/23/2005 11:48 Comments || Top||

#6  mhw -

I met a "progressive" muslim once. He said "honor killings" should be enacted only when the women are more than 18 years of age.
Posted by: Mark Z. || 05/23/2005 11:56 Comments || Top||

#7  Looks like business is good at "Bashar Assad's Cool Shades Store"...
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/23/2005 13:27 Comments || Top||

#8  Mark Z.

I have yet to meet a pro honor killing Muslim.

Of course the Muslims I meet are typically secular muslims who are professionals and they tend to blame honor killings on lower class stuff. They tend to be in denial about female genital mutilation.

They love to talk about Sharon, however.

Posted by: mhw || 05/23/2005 13:47 Comments || Top||

#9  Just had a thought...Bashar's uncle is back in town, right? Is this a pre-emptive "I'm still in power here dammit" type of move?
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2005 13:52 Comments || Top||

#10  I have yet to meet a pro honor killing Muslim.

ITYM, "I have yet to meet a Muslim who will admit to a Westerner that they support the idea of honor killings."
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/23/2005 14:06 Comments || Top||

#11  mhw - They had their chance to kill Sharon in '73 when he was bitch-slapping the Egyptian 3rd Army. Now they just whine about him.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 05/23/2005 14:22 Comments || Top||

#12  While reading the headline I read it as 'Syria [removed and] arrested [just the] head of human rights organization'.

Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/23/2005 15:42 Comments || Top||

#13  heehee Raj!
Posted by: Shipman || 05/23/2005 16:13 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Bush, Karzai sign pact for long term US military presence in Afghanistan
Posted by: ed || 05/23/2005 15:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top|| File under:

#1  After 3000 years of misery, it's about time that Afghanistan lives the good life. I hope they can pull it off.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/23/2005 17:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Bush, Karzai sign pact for long term US military presence in Afghanistan (AFP)

Bush rejects Karzai army demand (BBC)

Bush Rebuffs Karzai's Request on Troops (AP)

Posted by: SwissTex || 05/23/2005 18:32 Comments || Top||

General's son was hurt in Iraq
Posted by: tipper || 05/23/2005 11:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

Africa: North
Islamic group members get 15-day detention
And they have to write on the blackboard 100 times: "I will not boom infidels in tourist areas"...
Egyptian prosecutors on Monday ordered 15-day detentions for 25 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the most senior leader arrested in nearly a decade, who were swept up in a crackdown ahead of a referendum the group says would lead to sham elections. The detention order is intended to allow time for further investigation into activities of the 25, picked up Sunday. They are accused of belonging to an outlawed group and possessing and preparing to distribute leaflets urging Egyptians to boycott Wednesday's referendum.
"Leaflets? What good are leaflets? Do they explode?"
"Sometimes people get paper cuts from 'em!"
"'At's not the same as explodin'! Back in my day, by Gar, we handed out explosives!"
Prosecutors' orders ensure Mahmoud Ezzat, No. 4 in the Brotherhood hierarchy, and the 24 others will be behind bars while Egyptians decide whether to accept changes to the constitution that would allow for the country's first multi-candidate presidential election in September. Government opponents, including the Brotherhood, say the new system is being set up to ensure President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party still controls the election outcome. Mubarak, president for the past 24 years, has been regularly re-installed in yes-no referendums in which his name is the only one on the ballot. He hasn't formally announced he will run again but is widely expected to do so.
The sun's widely expected to rise tomorrow, too. Though, at age 77, Hosni's consumption of Grecian Formula's been on the rise in recent years. Even he might realize that he'll be doddering in full view of an adoring public...
Protests demanding greater political reform, many of them led by the Brotherhood, have been staged in Cairo and around the country in recent months. More than 800 other members of the popular and powerful Brotherhood, which calls for the peaceful installation of an Islamic state, remain in custody as a result of this month's protests. Hundreds more have been arrested and released. The Brotherhood, founded 1928, has been banned since 1954 but tolerated. Fifteen Brotherhood supporters sit as independents in parliament, the largest opposition bloc. But Mubarak has vowed not to allow any religious-based parties to seek office.
One of the few points of agreement I have with him...

This article starring:
MAHMUD EZZATMuslim Brotherhood
Posted by: Steve || 05/23/2005 9:06:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

Muqtada al-Sadr urges halt to violence
EFL: Baghdad -- An influential anti-U.S. Shiite cleric joined the campaign to get Sunni leaders to help quell the sectarian violence now roiling Iraq, even as insurgents carried out more attacks against government officials and U.S. troops Sunday. Muqtada al-Sadr, who commands thousands of militia fighters in the slums of Baghdad, sent a delegation to meet with Sunni leaders and appeal for an end to tensions. At least 10 Shiite and Sunni clerics have been killed in recent weeks, prompting speculation that they were retaliatory killings.
Guess a bunch of dead clerics got Sadr's attention.
Last week, the head of the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars blamed several of the Sunni killings on the Badr Brigades, a Shiite paramilitary force linked to the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the nation's largest Shiite political movement.
Al-Sadr, who had been in hiding since a high-profile clash with U.S.-led forces in August, told Al-Arabiya satellite television that he had returned to the political scene to try to reconcile Muslim factions. "Iraqis need to stand side by side at this time," al-Sadr said, warning that extremists are provoking civil war.
Al-Sadr's interview came amid more insurgent violence. On Sunday, gunmen in the capital killed a senior official of the Iraqi Trade Ministry, identified as Ali Moussa, a Ministry of Interior official said. This morning, two carloads of gunmen assassinated a top aide to the Cabinet of Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in central Baghdad, police Lt. Majid Zaki said. The aide, Wael al-Rubaei, was on his way to work; his driver also was killed.
Al-Sadr's attempt to help calm the violence could be seen as a challenge to U.S. authority in Iraq. He and his militants have made withdrawal of foreign forces a prerequisite for participation in the emerging political process. A U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity indicated that al- Sadr's activism will be tolerated by Washington so long as he refrains from "crossing red lines," or violating the U.S.-backed government's goal of peaceful restoration of order and national reconciliation.
Al-Sadr's gesture followed Saturday's vow by Sunni clerics, politicians and tribal leaders to unite to recover a measure of the political clout they enjoyed before their patron, Saddam Hussein, was ousted. Shiites and Kurds now hold the most powerful positions in the new government. The Sunni leaders said they will try to forge a common strategy for engagement with Shiites and Kurds in drafting a new constitution and in campaigning for the National Assembly to be elected in December.
Sunnis who belonged to Hussein's disbanded Baathist Party have been blamed for driving the insurgency that continues to disrupt reconstruction projects and security more than two years after the U.S.-led invasion brought 150,000 foreign troops to Iraq. In less than four weeks since the new Iraqi government took power, more than 550 people have died in a wave of suicide attacks, drive-by shootings and roadside bombings.
Posted by: Steve || 05/23/2005 8:55:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Translation:
"I've got my own resurgent wave of violence planned, and youse guys are disrupting my logistics/stealing my thunder."
Posted by: Dar || 05/23/2005 9:19 Comments || Top||

#2  coward. when it's the fodder getting killed, np
Posted by: Frank G || 05/23/2005 9:37 Comments || Top||

#3  Can't we all just get along? A strange operator that Muqtada is.
Posted by: Tkat || 05/23/2005 9:55 Comments || Top||


That was kind of what I was thinking; he wants calm for an interval long enough for the bulk of U.S. forces to depart, then calls together his followers that weren't blasted into a million pieces and he makes his move.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/23/2005 10:30 Comments || Top||

#5  Tater calls for stopping the violence - LOL
Posted by: SR-71 || 05/23/2005 11:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Switch on...switch off...switch on...switch off...
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/23/2005 11:30 Comments || Top||

#7  Sounds like Tater could use the Clapper.
Posted by: Steve || 05/23/2005 14:05 Comments || Top||

#8  Sunni and Shia Mullahs agree that targeting Mullahs is against Islam.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/23/2005 16:06 Comments || Top||

#9  And thus, Mister Ship, precisely what is called for.

Fry it up. I'll bring the ketchup.
Posted by: .com || 05/23/2005 17:45 Comments || Top||

Chrenkoff: Good News From Iraq, pt. 25 (on the right side as you scroll down)
Posted by: trailing wife || 05/23/2005 00:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

Gunmen kill Iraq PM adviser
GUNMEN assassinated an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari's office today, an interior ministry official and police sources said. They said Wael Rubaie and his driver were killed, in the latest of a series of assassinations of officials by insurgents who have stepped up attacks since a new government was announced last month. Rubaie and his driver were shot as they drove through the Mansour district of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, a suicide truck bomb exploded today outside the mayor's office in the Iraqi town of Tuz Khurmatu south of the oil city of Kirkuk, killing at least five people and wounding 18, police said. Among the dead was the brother of a senior official in one of Iraq's main Kurdish parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, police said.

The official, Mohammed Mahmoud Jigareti, was wounded in the blast. Both men had been in a car that was entering the mayor's office compound when the bomber struck. Tuz Khurmatu is an ethnically mixed town with a large population of Kurds and Turkmen.
Posted by: Spavirt Pheng6042 || 05/23/2005 04:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The great strength of democracy is that there are a great many people willing and able to replace anyone. It is proved every election cycle. So with the Iraqis we mourn the brave men who were murdered, comfort their bereaved, and soldier on.
Posted by: trailing wife || 05/23/2005 11:04 Comments || Top||

A Division of Iraqi Troops Trap Terrorists
May 23, 2005; In the first division size operation involving Iraqi forces since 2003, four battalions of Iraqi troops, three battalions of police, backed by two battalions of American troops, swept into western Baghdad (the Abu Ghraib district). The operation is a large scale "cordon and search", capitalizing on newly acquired information about terrorist, criminal and anti-government activities. There are hundreds of people, places and things to look for. By coming in on such a large scale, the enemy has fewer options to get away.

Such a large force of combat ready Iraqi soldiers and police is the result of two years recruiting and training, and peaceful conditions in most of the country. The only areas where terrorists, or any other anti-government forces, can hide are those containing many Sunni Arabs. That means central Iraq, and especially Baghdad. Eastern Baghdad is largely Shia, but western Baghdad, and thinly populated western Iraq, is Sunni Arab. Last week, American marines chased hundreds of terrorists and gangsters away from hideouts along the Syrian border. Some of them fled to other sanctuaries in western Iraq. Now those hideouts are being surrounded and searched. By hitting the enemy this quickly, and this often, they are more likely to get sloppy, make mistakes, and get caught.
Posted by: Steve || 05/23/2005 8:32:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [362 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ah-ha! This is a Division training exercise. To explain: Division operations are really unique, difficult, and something that cannot be learned in a book. Undoubtedly, we are bringing in one or more experienced Divisional staffs to fine-tooth-comb train the C&C of the 1st effective Iraqi Division. This training is literally worth millions or even billions of dollars to the Iraqis, because a competant and trained Divisional staff can take on a win against a half dozen comparably armed Divisions that do not have such competency, or whose training is inferior (read Soviet-style). Man, what a gift.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/23/2005 13:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Hope you're right Mooseman. Sounds like an large scale ad-hoc raid to me. Unless an Iraqi division is going to use 3 batallions of MPs. :)
Posted by: Shipman || 05/23/2005 16:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Modern US Army doctrine is actually very stratified. There is a recognition that at each command level, the means, method and mode change dramatically. Companies and Battalions have a singleness of purpose, attached to a Brigade they are like fingers to a hand. But there the analogy ends, because at Division level, the Division is like a complete body. It thinks, communicates, eats, runs, jumps, kicks and punches. In earlier days it would have been called an Army, being the largest tactical unit in the field. Corps are in the realm of strategy, otherwise they are just the structure that keeps Divisions operating in concert. As seen in Iraq, the war is won with Divisions. And if Iraq has its first functioning Division, led by those who understand how a Division works, then it really has its first field Army. It will be the future model on which all subsequent Divisions are based.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/23/2005 21:58 Comments || Top||

#4  Aactually, the brigade is regarded by nearly every military in the world as a unit that is organized to fight and resupply on its own, a pocket division, if you will, due to the number of the staff in the headquarters and the more senior rank of the officers on the staff.

What is decsribed here is more like a reinforced brigade rather than a division, possibly component elements of a divison to be sure.

Under Saddam an Iraqi division was composed of three manuever brigades, similar to the size of a US divison**, but frankly with the firepower and combat correlation of a single US maneuver battalion.
Posted by: badanov || 05/23/2005 22:24 Comments || Top||

U.S., Iraq Troops Launch Baghdad Offensive
Seven Iraqi battalions backed by U.S. forces launched an offensive in the capital on Sunday in an effort to stanch the violence that has killed more than 550 people in less than a month, targeting insurgents who have attacked the dangerous road to Baghdad's airport and Abu Ghraib prison. The U.S. military said the offensive in the west of the capital had been set in motion to root out insurgents, especially those who have staged bloody assaults on the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison and the notoriously dangerous road from downtown to the airport. Without providing numbers of troops, U.S. officials said four battalions of Iraqi soldiers and three battalions of police launched the offensive with the support of an unspecified number of American military personnel, although a total of about 2,500 personnel were believed involved. Suspects were detained but the military gave no numbers. "Iraqi army and ministry of interior forces worked very well together and demonstrated good, solid fundamental skills today," said Col. Mark A. Milley, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

The Polish military said Sunday that Polish and Iraqi forces have arrested 187 people suspected of carrying out, planning or supporting insurgent attacks in central Iraq, seizing explosives and ammunition. The arrests were made Thursday and Friday in Wasit province, which borders Iran.

Separately, Iraqi security forces captured Ismail Budair Ibrahim al-Obeidi, a "terrorist" close to the network of the Jordan-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi on Tuesday in Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad, a government statement said. The terror suspect, also known as Abu Omar, planned car bomb attacks in Baghdad and rigged booby-trapped cars for foreign fighters, the statement said.

UPDATE: BAGHDAD, Iraq — Almost 300 suspected terrorists were detained overnight in the largest joint U.S.-Iraqi military offensive in Baghdad, the military said Monday. The ongoing offensive, dubbed Operation Squeeze Play, is centered on western Baghdad's Abu Ghraib district and is targeting militants suspected of attacking the U.S. detention facility there and the road linking downtown to the international airport, the military said in a statement.

Separately, U.S. soldiers conducted six Baghdad raids on Sunday, detaining 22 suspected militants and confiscating weapons and $6 million in American currency, the military said.
This article starring:
ABU OMARal-Qaeda in Iraq
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  W00t! Abu Omar / al-Obeidi is on your Who's Active list, Sheriff! And a bomb-maker, too. Gooood work, Boyz.

Hope they bag a bunch more of the Hard Boyz Terr Scumbags.
Posted by: .com || 05/23/2005 0:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Moderate Muslim watch - US military gives impression Iraqis are doing the beating down the door and arresting stuff, with backup from US forces.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/23/2005 9:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Iraqthemodel a.k.a. http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

has more on this.

As near as I can determine, the Wolf brigade, which has a lot of Sunni in it, has a pretty good counterintel capability. It was able to infiltrate some of the terrorist org(s) so the intel going into this operation was quite good --- much better than the operation near the Syrian border.
Posted by: mhw || 05/23/2005 17:12 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
12 insurgents killed in Afghan fighting
Fighting between insurgents and US-led coalition and Afghan forces in the country's troubled east left 12 rebels dead and one US soldier slightly wounded, the US military said on Sunday. The clash occurred on Saturday in Paktika province, which borders Pakistan, said US military spokesman Lt Col Jerry O'Hara. "It was clearly the insurgents who fired upon us first," O'Hara said. O'Hara said the 12 were killed by a combination of direct fire from troops on the ground and coalition attack aircraft, and that the rebels fled across the border into Pakistan after the fighting. He said no coalition or Afghan forces crossed the border.

Pakistan's military reported that some shells from the fighting landed in Pakistan's North Waziristan Agency, but no one was hurt there. Mortar and artillery shells fired by the US military at suspected militants in Afghanistan landed in Pakistani territory on Sunday, but no one was injured, Pakistan Army spokesman Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan said. The shooting in the early hours of Sunday morning occurred when the US troops were operating in Afghanistan's Paktika province, near the Pakistani border village of Alwara Mandi in North Waziristan Agency, he added.

The US commander in the area had informed his Pakistani counterpart that since they were engaged in a "skirmish with miscreants" — a byword for militants — very close to the Pakistani border, the possibility of some rocket or artillery fire landing in Pakistani territory could not be ruled out. "Certain shells did land in Pakistani area but there was no collateral damage," Maj Gen Sultan said. owever, a Pakistani intelligence official in Miranshah, said on condition of anonymity that five men were killed near Alwara Mandi by US jet and rocket fire. Alwara Mandi residents have picked up the bodies and have asked local people to help identify them, he said.

An Afghan official said the gunmen were Taliban. Afghan government and US military accusations that Taliban and other Islamic militants are able to operate from Pakistan have angered Pakistan, a US ally, which has been trying to clear militants from its side of the border. US military spokeswoman Lt Cindy Moore said Pakistani border forces had cooperated with US forces in their pursuit of the rebels.
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fighting between insurgents and US-led coalition and Afghan forces in the country’s troubled east left 12 rebels dead and one US soldier slightly wounded, the US military said on Sunday.

Moderate Muslim watch. But how many Afghans actually fought, and how effective were they?
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/23/2005 9:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Liberalhawk, I'd have to argue the Mod. Muslim categorization in this case. This is about control of the country, not whether Muslims can play nicely with others. ;-) That said, it is a positive development for the Afghans that they continue to work together on this nationhood project we've presented them with. I'll be happier when they have a Wolf Brigade of their own for the wimminfolk to swoon over, though. Nothing like all the wimmin swooning as one to get the men thinking in parallel. ;-p
Posted by: trailing wife || 05/23/2005 10:43 Comments || Top||

#3  I count muslims fighting on our side against Jihadis, not just statements from ideological or religious types.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/23/2005 11:24 Comments || Top||

Mulla Omar aide escapes Multan raid
A close aide to Osama Bin Laden and Mulla Omar escaped before police raided his house in Nagina Colony, Multan, on Sunday, intelligence sources told Daily Times.
"Hello? Abdur Rehman? Lissen, dis is Mahmoud the Weasel! Scram! [Click!]"
Sources said intelligence agencies traced Abdur Rehman Wazir's satellite phone call to Multan and raided his house, but Wazir fled while three activists of a banned militant organisation were arrested. "Wazir helped Mulla Omar escape from Kandahar on a motorbike after the fall of the Taliban," sources added. After fleeing from Afghanistan, Wazir hid in Waziristan and formed a group with Al Qaeda activists Abu Haris and Abu Khalid, sources said, adding that they were killed in military operations in Wazirstan after which Wazir also left the place and settled in southern Punjab.
"Da boyz is dead, boss!"
"Okay. I'll go to Punjab and get some more!"
"Abu Farraj Al Libbi, the third most wanted Al Qaeda activist, who was arrested a few weeks ago, also gave information about Wazir," sources said, adding that Wazir's arrest could have been big, but unfortunately he escaped. They said, "It is quite possible that Wazir is in touch with Bin Laden or Ayman al Zawahiri or even Mulla Omar." The search for Wazir is continuing throughout southern Punjab.
This article starring:
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [248 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "We were this close!"
Posted by: .Abu Maxhmoud al-Notsosmart || 05/23/2005 0:06 Comments || Top||

#2  I'll do a song about this and call it The Grand Wazir...
Posted by: Frank Zappa || 05/23/2005 0:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Wazir hid in Waziristan>>>Spock: "Logical".

Abu Haris...Black Panther from Oakland?

Mulla Omar..I wonder if he lost his glass eye in the hurry up?
Posted by: Mini Mullah || 05/23/2005 1:11 Comments || Top||

#4  He's no mullah, he's been de-turbaned.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 05/23/2005 2:02 Comments || Top||

#5  "Abu Farraj Al Libbi, the third most wanted Al Qaeda activist, who was arrested a few weeks ago, also gave information about Wazir,"

Singing muslim watch?
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/23/2005 9:20 Comments || Top||

#6  Before the phone hits the receiver
You're halfway to the door
The voice said 'get out while you can,
There's just ten minutes, nothing more'
Time only for the essentials
Better gather them and run
The false name inside the passport,
The gold bars and the gun
And once again they've come out of the past
And though your mind is cool your heart is beating fast
You've been through it all before
Each time you wish a little more that you could ask

"What do you want from me?
What do you need from me?
There's no rest for the running man
Why can't you let him be?'

--Al Stewart, "Running Man"
Posted by: Mike || 05/23/2005 10:30 Comments || Top||

#7  On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
Contemplating a crime
She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolour in the rain
Don't bother asking for explanations
She'll just tell you that she came
In the year of the cat

She doesn't give you time for questions
As she locks up your arm in hers
And you follow 'till your sense of which direction
Completely disappears
By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls
There's a hidden door she leads you to
These days, she says, I feel my life
Just like a river running through
The year of the cat

Well, she looks at you so cooly
And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea
She comes in incense and patchouli
So you take her, to find what's waiting inside
The year of the cat

Well, morning comes and you're still with her
And the bus and the tourists are gone
And you've thrown away the choice and lost your ticket
So you have to stay on
But the drum-beat strains of the night remain
In the rhythm of the new-born day
You know sometime you're bound to leave her
But for now you're going to stay
In the year of the cat

--Ali Stewart "year of the cat"
Posted by: Mac Suirtain || 05/23/2005 14:10 Comments || Top||

Bomb seized from bus
Baloch paramilitary forces on Saturday foiled a terrorist bid to blow up a bus near Sabeel village in Kohlu district, and defused a high-intensity bomb. Sources said a passenger boarded the bus from Raknee with a gunny bag and tried to disembark in Sabeel village while leaving his bag on the bus. Other passengers and bus staff overpowered him and found a locally manufactured high-intensity bomb in his bag. The bomb disposal squad quickly arrived and defused the bomb, while the terrorist was taken to an unknown place for interrogation.
"Ouch! Oooch! I'll talk! I'll talk!"
Also on Saturday, Baloch forces seized a huge quantity of arms from three vehicles in Kohlu district. "We have arrested three men, Sadiq Khan, Sher Khan and Soorat Khan, on charges of arms smuggling, and handed them over to investigation agencies for interrogation," a Baloch official told Daily Times.
"Aaaaiiieee! Not the pliers!"
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [236 views] Top|| File under:

Israel will transfer control of Rafah crossing to Egypt
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [248 views] Top|| File under:

#1  S-T-U-P-I-D

Is Al Sharon taking orders from dah Jimmah?
Posted by: Mac Suirtain || 05/23/2005 14:12 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2005-05-23
  Mulla Omar aide escapes Multan raid
Sun 2005-05-22
  Cairo Blast Suspect Dies in Custody
Sat 2005-05-21
  DHS Arrests 60 Illegals in Sensitive Jobs
Fri 2005-05-20
  UK Quran protests at U.S. Embassy
Thu 2005-05-19
  Uzbek troops retake Korasuv
Wed 2005-05-18
  Uzbek Rebel Leader Wants Islamic State
Tue 2005-05-17
  Chechen VP killed
Mon 2005-05-16
  Uzbeks expel town leaders from Korasuv
Sun 2005-05-15
  500 reported dead in Uzbek unrest
Sat 2005-05-14
  Qaeda big Predizapped in NWFP
Fri 2005-05-13
  Uprising in Uzbekistan
Thu 2005-05-12
  New al-Qaeda group formed in Algeria
Wed 2005-05-11
  Capitol and White House Evacuated
Tue 2005-05-10
  Attempted Grenade Attack on President Bush?
Mon 2005-05-09
  U.S. Offensive in Western Iraq Kills 75

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