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Tony Blair to be confirmed as Middle East envoy
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 5: Local News
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Afghanistan
Taliban Admits Defeat (sort of)
The Americans infiltrated their high command, which led to the death or capture of several senior Taliban officials. There have also been some prominent defections recently.
The Taliban has admitted defeat, in their own unique way. In recent media interviews, Taliban spokesmen announced a shift in emphasis to suicide bombings. The Taliban also admitted that the Americans had infiltrated their high command, which led to the death or capture of several senior Taliban officials, and the capture of many lower ranking ones as well. There have also been some prominent defections recently, which the Taliban spokesmen did not want to talk about.

The Taliban has never been a terrorist organization. They began as a paramilitary operation fifteen years ago, when they were recruited from refugee camps in Pakistan. There, Afghans in religious schools were armed by Pakistani intelligence officers, and persuaded to go back to Afghanistan to end the civil war raging there and establish a religious dictatorship.
The Taliban began as a paramilitary operation 15 years ago when they were recruited from refugee camps in Pakistan.

Once they achieved power they quickly demonstrated that they did not have a clue when it came to running a country.
No terrorism, just brute force by a bunch of gun toting young guys on a mission from God. Once they achieved power, the Taliban quickly demonstrated that they did not have a clue when it came to running a country. They did give al Qaeda, recently run out of Sudan, a refuge. By the late 1990s, they were using a brigade of al Qaeda gunmen as enforcers, to keep increasingly unhappy Afghan tribes in check. Then came September 11, 2001, and it was all over in two months. A few hundred American Special Forces and CIA operatives provided advice, encouragement and smart bombs to help the Afghans drive the Taliban out of power. Fleeing back to Pakistan, the Taliban spent five years rebuilding and soliciting funds from wealthy Islamic conservative Arabs and Pakistanis. Afghan drug gangs also became sponsors, as these guys had got their start when the Taliban were in power. Back then, if you paid the Taliban a "tax" you could produce and ship opium and heroin in Afghanistan. The new Afghan government has been hostile to that arrangement, but the Taliban are eager to restore the good old days.

Terrorism is a step back for the Taliban, and an admission that they have failed, in the last two years, in their effort to march into Afghanistan and take over. Suicide bombing is suicidal in more ways than one. Most of the victims, so far, have been Afghans, and this has turned many likeminded (Islamic conservative) Afghans against the Taliban. But at this point, the Taliban have no choice. They must either step back, or step aside. By choosing to proceed with a terror campaign, they are also selecting extinction.

Posted by: lotp || 06/26/2007 07:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [380 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nooooooooooooooooo! I'm counting on you!
Posted by: Sen Harry Reid (D-himmi) || 06/26/2007 8:37 Comments || Top||

#2  the Americans had infiltrated their high command,
There have also been some prominent defections recently


Well done, CIA (or whoever you are)! The High Command? That's what we've been complaining ought to have been done long ago... and now we learn it was. How glad I am they never succumbed to the temptation to ease our minds all this time. I wonder what else we don't know about?
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/26/2007 8:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Lies! All lies!

We're losing I tell ya!
Quagmire!
Posted by: Sen. John Murtha || 06/26/2007 8:45 Comments || Top||

#4  It's almost like having to wait for it has made it better TW!

Posted by: bigjim-ky || 06/26/2007 8:47 Comments || Top||

#5  We lost. I said it was so. So did Murtha. What do you mean the Taliban lost? NNoooooo! No WMDs. Arrhhhh. Meltdown....

Can you believe Harry Reid was with the Capitol police at one time?
Posted by: JohnQC || 06/26/2007 8:59 Comments || Top||

#6  I think our psyops people should jump all over this, pointing out the glaringly obvious, that Allan despises the Taliban as a bunch of barbaric (bearded), primitive, vicious animals.

Allan smiles on those who bring peace, prosperity, kindness to women and children, non-religious education, and especially Democracy to others.

Whereas Allan makes those who murder and oppress others in His name to be diseased sodomites who suffer horribly and die, whose names are lost to time and descend to Hell.

Of course, such propaganda should be interwoven carefully with Pushtun superstitions and curses, so that the average Afghan who reads it will snicker and point at the Taliban.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/26/2007 9:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Now if we can only infiltrate and defeat the enemy here at home we will be home free.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/26/2007 9:36 Comments || Top||

#8  Feel free to infiltrate the Democrat Party. I suppose someone has to do it.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 06/26/2007 11:11 Comments || Top||

#9  I signed up for Harry Reid's newsletter.

But, I don't read it of course....
Posted by: Bobby || 06/26/2007 12:33 Comments || Top||

#10  It is now 1:03pm - about 25 minutes after America was sold to Mexico. I am numb watching this. Never in my life did I ever think I would see a sell out like this. No wonder we can't win the WoT or any other challenge when we have such lazy, uninspired, gutless leadership. Whatever respect I had for W, the Republicans for the way they responded to 911, I have now lost completely. I'd like to bring the troops home tomorrow to surround the capitol building and the whitehouse and begin the restoration of constitutional rights we use to enjoy. God Bless America, please!
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/26/2007 13:05 Comments || Top||

#11  It is now 1:03pm - about 25 minutes after America was sold to Mexico. I am numb watching this. Never in my life did I ever think I would see a sell out like this. No wonder we can't win the WoT or any other challenge when we have such lazy, uninspired, gutless leadership. Whatever respect I had for W, the Republicans for the way they responded to 911, I have now lost completely. I'd like to bring the troops home tomorrow to surround the capitol building and the whitehouse and begin the restoration of constitutional rights we use to enjoy. God Bless America, please!
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/26/2007 13:05 Comments || Top||

#12  It is now 1:03pm - about 25 minutes after America was sold to Mexico. I am numb watching this. Never in my life did I ever think I would see a sell out like this. No wonder we can't win the WoT or any other challenge when we have such lazy, uninspired, gutless leadership. Whatever respect I had for W, the Republicans for the way they responded to 911, I have now lost completely. I'd like to bring the troops home tomorrow to surround the capitol building and the whitehouse and begin the restoration of constitutional rights we use to enjoy. God Bless America, please!
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/26/2007 13:06 Comments || Top||

#13  How did that happen? 3 for the price of 1.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/26/2007 13:07 Comments || Top||

#14  I like the 3rd one best
Posted by: Frank G || 06/26/2007 14:09 Comments || Top||

#15  Taliban spokesmen announced a shift in emphasis to suicide bombings.

Boy howdy, that'll win the old hearts & minds thingy.
Posted by: Zenster || 06/26/2007 14:24 Comments || Top||

#16  Do not give in to despair, Jack is Back! You'll be comforted to know that the Senate voted merely to readdress the immigration bill, not to pass it. link and apparently Republicans, led by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), are working to thwart the bill in the House. link
Republicans overwhelmingly defeated a motion offered by Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) to ditch consideration of the measure. The 83-28 vote to defeat that motion suggests a broad majority of GOP lawmakers will side with Hoekstra. "A growing majority of House Republicans are uncomfortable with the product and process of the Senate immigration bill," Hoekstra said in a statement. "A public hearing has never been held on it, and it was crafted in secret by only 12 senators and two cabinet officials."
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/26/2007 14:50 Comments || Top||

#17  I emailed both my quasi-socialist senators from MI. Stabenow emailed me back (actually one of her staff) saying she would not support the immigration bill because it would hurt Michigan jobs and workers aka the union angle. I can deal w/that logic. I was surprised because I thought she'd do the opposite. I guess the unions are raising hell about this bill up there in Motown which is good.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/26/2007 21:56 Comments || Top||


Taliban try to turn 6-year old boy into a suicide bomb
Associated Press

FORWARD OPERATING BASE THUNDER, Afghanistan - The story of a 6-year-old Afghan boy who says he thwarted an effort by Taliban militants to trick him into being a suicide bomber provoked tears and anger at a meeting of tribal leaders.

The account from Juma Gul, a dirt-caked child who collects scrap metal for money, left American soldiers dumbfounded that a youngster could be sent on such a mission. Afghan troops crowded around the boy to call him a hero.

Though the Taliban dismissed the story as propaganda, at a time when U.S. and NATO forces are under increasing criticism over civilian casualties,[*] both Afghan tribal elders and U.S. military officers said they were convinced by his dramatic account.

Juma said that sometime last month Taliban fighters forced him to wear a vest they said would spray out flowers when he touched a button. He said they told him that when he saw American soldiers, "throw your body at them."

The militants cornered Juma in a Taliban-controlled district in southern Afghanistan's Ghazni province. Their target was an impoverished youngster being raised by an older sister — but also one who proved too street-smart for their plan.

"When they first put the vest on my body I didn't know what to think, but then I felt the bomb," Juma told The Associated Press as he ate lamb and rice after being introduced to the elders at this joint U.S.-Afghan base in Ghazni. "After I figured out it was a bomb, I went to the Afghan soldiers for help."

*-One imagines the AP editors really struggling here. "What do we do? We can't spin this so it looks good."
"But we have to spin it somehow. We can't let the Taliban look bad."
"Hey, I know, let's throw in a gratuitous, off-topic reference to civillian casualties. It'll distract people."
"Sets up a moral equivalance between the Taliban and the Jew-loving neoKKKon BushCo collaborationist swine. I like it."
"Somehow, I feel dirty doing this."
"Buck up, man, it's for The Cause."
Posted by: Mike || 06/26/2007 06:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  O clever Lions of Islam, caught out by a six year old child!
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/26/2007 7:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Obviously, they didn't follow the Evil Overlord advice:

One of my advisers shall be a five-year old child. Any holes he finds in my plans will be corrected immediately."
Posted by: Gary and the Samoyeds || 06/26/2007 8:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh brave, brave LIONS OF ISLAM!

Posted by: bigjim-ky || 06/26/2007 8:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Are You Smarter Than a First-Grader?
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/26/2007 9:19 Comments || Top||

#5  The Taliban has Pali advisors?
Posted by: Swamp Blondie || 06/26/2007 10:49 Comments || Top||

#6  Suicide Bomber? At 6 I doubt he has a desire to kill himself. The AP reporter should get it right. The LIONS of ISLAM wanted to murder the kid along with whoever else happened to be around. Probably some young girls. Boy they are so brave!
Posted by: Intrinsicpilot || 06/26/2007 11:46 Comments || Top||

#7  By their fruits ye shall know them.
Matt 7: 20
Posted by: doc || 06/26/2007 12:32 Comments || Top||

#8  Clever move.... 6 year old cares nothing about 72 virgins... More virgins for everyone else...
Posted by: BigEd || 06/26/2007 14:07 Comments || Top||

#9  Islam devours its young. Never in recent history has there been such a canibalistic cult. Ayn Rand must be laughing in her grave that such ideological filth struts around so proudly.
Posted by: Zenster || 06/26/2007 14:49 Comments || Top||

#10  and who says the muslims hate their enemies more than they love their children? (sarcasm/off)
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/26/2007 21:08 Comments || Top||

#11  True Zenster, but you know, Rosie is still worried about them militant jehovas or latter day saints coming to her door to git her lover and her children.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/26/2007 21:10 Comments || Top||


Sixteen dead in latest Afghan clashes
Afghan and NATO forces on Monday killed 13 Taliban militants in a battle in southern Afghanistan while Afghan security forces retook the troubled Ghorak district that was captured by Taliban militants almost a week ago.

Taliban fighters attacked a police post in Zehri district of Kandahar province early on Sunday, killing three policemen and leaving two others wounded, Sayed Aqa Saqib told AFP. A gunfight erupted and 13 Taliban were killed. The Taliban have overrun several under-policed district centres in the south and west but have usually been pushed out after a few days.

Meanwhile, the Taliban are expected to free 18 mine-clearing experts they seized over the weekend, an official for the Mine-Detection Dog Centre said. Taliban fighters have executed a number of Afghans and several foreigners they have accused of spying or working for the US-led foreign forces since their overthrow in 2001.
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [397 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


Bangladesh
Jhenidah BNP leader killed in bomb attack
Jhenidah sadar upazila BNP secretary Abu Bakar Siddiq was killed in a bomb attack in front of his home in the town last night. The right hand of Siddiq, 35, was blown away in the blast at about 8:00 pm. He died on way to hospital, police said. Witnesses said Siddiq was standing in front of his home at Beparipara when three or four unknown assailants hurled a bomb at him. Police rushed to the spot and talked to the neighbours to find clues to the murder. None was arrested.
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:


India-Pakistan
Militant killed in failed bid to kidnap British school principal in Pakistan
A masked suspected Taliban militant was killed while trying to kidnap a local school principal of British-origin in Pakistani tribal town of Bannu, said police on Monday.

Four masked armed gunmen broke into the house of Steve Cohen, principal of Muslim Public School, on Sunday after mid-night in Sikander Khel area, about 6 kilometers from Bannu tribal town, local senior police officer Sanaullah told KUNA by telephone. While they were dragging Steve to their Jeep, his two bodyguards opened fire on them, said Sanaullah. He said there was exchange of fire that killed one militant on the spot while three others managed to escape.

Steve Cohen is a British national and has been residing in the area for fifteen years. The identity of kidnappers could not be immediately ascertained but police imputed the bid to local Taliban militants who two months back tried to kidnap school children and had been forcing schools to make personal struggle Jihadi education compulsory.
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [332 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  "Steve Cohen, principal of Muslim Public School"

YJCMTSU
Posted by: Penguin || 06/26/2007 0:04 Comments || Top||

#2  We had a British commenter here some time ago, that ran a school in Pakistan...
Posted by: Pappy || 06/26/2007 0:19 Comments || Top||

#3  You know, we should build some schools in Pakistan and make them in pretty well-defended compounds with private security if we have to and board the students on site and make it free. Give them a real education about geography and space and literature and the arts.

Or build a school out in Wyoming or something that accepts students from Pakistan without regard for economic or political connections and bring them over and educate them for free in their native language and then send them home when they graduate. Would seem to me to be a very worthwhile project to inject a population of educated people who have not known intimidation and war.

And thats where I wake up.
Posted by: crosspatch || 06/26/2007 5:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Steve

Why would you want to work in Pakistan????????
Posted by: Paul || 06/26/2007 13:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Cohen - possibly not the most useful name to have in Pakistan.
Posted by: Victor Emmanuel Sputh1932 || 06/26/2007 19:08 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Pat Dollard about Yesterday’s Hotel Bombing Bad for AQ
This is along the lines of the message we got today, from Dave Kilcullen at SWJ.

Now there’s no doubt that yesterday’s heinous assasination of four U.S.-allied Sunni sheiks was a bit of a loss to our side. However, we certainly did not lose our alliance with those tribes. The sheiks who will take their place will not only remain in the fight against Al Qaeda, but will now be even further motivated to crush them. Fresh, fierce blood vendettas are like that. Most importantly, these assasinations represented not only yet another dramatic setback for Al Qaeda’s ambitions in Iraq, but for its very survival.

Al Qaeda cannot survive in Iraq as a stand-alone entity detached from the population. They need the complicity of the population to survive and function. Wherever they are, the population will know. I’ve done my time on the streets of Iraq, and I understand how Iraqi neighborhoods work. There are no secrets. Now keep in mind that if the population does not want Al Qaeda amongst them, the population will destroy them. They have the means to do it, relatively easily. We’ve been watching this very scenario play out over the last few months.

The Shiites and Kurds will essentially have nothing to do with Al Qaeda. Not only do the Shiites have the obvious religious differences with them, but the Shiites have developed their own social/military/political power structures under leaders like Moqtada Al Sadr, and these men are not about to undercut their own power by fostering the growth of Al Qaeda’s alternative government, The Islamic State of Iraq. So this leaves Al Qaeda with only one option for survival: good relations with a receptive Sunni population. Murdering four Sunni sheiks is not the best way to achieve that. In fact, it’s not only a perfect example of how not to achieve that, but of how to assure their own destruction. This bombing was an incredibly stupid act which betrays Al Qaeda’s desperate, flailing helplesness. The Sunnis will now only further hate them.

Unable to restore alliances with the Sunni tribes they need for survival, Al Qaeda decided to lash out in revenge. It may make them feel good for a minute, and it may make some vague street-rep statement, but it only galvanizes those who will destroy them. By ratcheting up the war with their former and potentially future hosts, they have merely hastened their own demise. No friends = no Al Qaeda.

The writing has been on the wall for Al Qaeda and they’ve seen it. They will never restore relations with the Sunnis of Iraq, because Al Qaeda demands that the territories in which they function submit to their governance. They call their government the Islamic State of Iraq. It is Sharia, it is brutal, it is medieval, it is murderous. The Sunnis got a two year taste of it, and overthrew it. They are not going back.

It is an historical maxim that whenever an empire faces its final days, it grows ever more violent - - desperate to preserve itself. From the recent terrorist horrors that have besieged Baghdad - bombed bridges, bombed shrines, murdered sheiks - we are watching Al Qaeda play this maxim out.

Al Qaeda survives at this point because some Sunni neighborhoods around Baghdad still give them the cover and support they need. We are currently putting these neighborhoods under seige. The Islamic State of Iraq is finished.

The benefits of a stabilized, democratic Iraq, with whom we have good relations, are incalculable. It will be our first line of defense, the West’s primary bulwark against the rising tide of global Islamic Fascist Imperialism. Should we really give it up just so that Hillary Clinton can get elected President?
Posted by: Sherry || 06/26/2007 17:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Should we really give it up just so that Hillary Clinton can get elected President?

Ouch. Thanks, Sherry.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/26/2007 19:04 Comments || Top||

#2  I just figured out what we can do with all those al-Qaeda we have in Gitmo...

...But only if the Sunni tribes *promise* to be nice to them...
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/26/2007 20:45 Comments || Top||


Ar Ramadi - Some Good News
With a quick smack from my right hand the magazine slides into place, my left hand pulls the upper receiver of my pistol back and letting it slide forward it goes home with a click driving the first round of the clip into the chamber, 15 left in the clip, locked and loaded. With the command of "Condition One" all weapons loaded the three other Marines and myself all climb back in the HUMMER. I feel the sweat dripping down my back and down my ribs as the flack jacket I am wearing hugs my upper torso, with my helmet and goggles strapped on the sweat just keeps coming, partly from my heightened heart rate and the increasing heat at only 10:00AM. I am riding with the Marines of 2nd Battalion 5th Marines through the streets of Ar Ramadi. These mean streets have for the past couple of years been a hard and brutal fight for Marine Battalions rotating through here with heavy insurgent activity and lots of fighting. As we move down the streets my eyes are wide and scanning everything, my heart racing looking at everything with a critical eye, any car, the people, the road and everything in my view, all with my right hand resting on my pistol. We are outside the wire and traveling through the city, if nothing else I will be over cautious. I am keenly aware that I am not in Southern Maryland anymore.

We arrive at one of the numerous Combat Outposts (COPS) in the city, this is where the Marines live among the locals and work patrols with the Iraqi police and Army slowly restoring peace and security to this former wild west town. I spend the day out in the city at the COPS and talk with several Marines on the changes that have taken place in Ramadi. It was a great week of getting out to the tip of the spear of this war with the men of 2/5. Today under the command of 2/5 and with added Marines from the “surge” effort Ramadi is a different place. I visited the COPS within the city and saw first hand the changes taking place. The reasons, Good old Marine Corps perseverance, the effects of the “Anbar Awakening” combined with outstanding leadership have paid huge dividends in this city. Attacks are on the decline, in direct fire on the base has been reduced considerably and 2/5 has done an amazing job in working with the local Iraqi Police and Army here, assisting them to take control of their city. The Marines living in the COPS here are out among the locals getting to know the neighborhoods and the people who inhabit them. This has also forced the enemy to rethink their strategy and has them losing ground.

There is a much different story to tell out here in the Al Anbar province than in Baghdad. We are winning out here but news of the gains and successes here never seem to make the 6:00 news. I was told by a Colonel awhile back " I worry that we are close to winning this war but will the American people have the patience to let us?". This western part of Iraq is at a tipping point, but will we have the time?

Even with all the good news I will add never let your guard down, after being back inside the wire of camp Ramadi I stepped outside of the vehicle to a loud earth shattering explosion that caused everyone to pause and look around as if we were receiving incoming. I later found out it was a suicide vehicle attack right outside the wire. Lesson learned, never let your guard down this is still a very dangerous place.

I also hit the Marines of 5th ANGLICO and had a good day with them, perfect timing as they had just come off a long mission and had some great stories to tell. When the topic of Ramadi came up we discussed the same issues I had with 2/5 and the turn around that is taking place here and all seemed to be in agreement. Tribal engagement, The surge, AQI overplaying their hand and the local Iraqi’s seeing a better way to live have made for success in this city.

The attached pictures for this post show my view traveling down the streets of Ramadi from my seat in the HUMMER. The other is of a group of Marines preparing to do a foot patrol out in the neighborhoods from one of the COPS.

Of note also I have linked my office and can mate (Room mate) Capt Tony Licari's blog now to my page, when you get a chance check out his thoughts and opinions under blogs of interest. Semper Fi Mike

Posted by Mike Sears at Saturday, June 23, 2007
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 06/26/2007 11:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bravo Zulu lads, keep up the good work.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/26/2007 21:47 Comments || Top||


GI's encounter HBIED's in Baquba
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/26/2007 02:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

#1  Good article, but some hacker has made it look like it's in the New York Times. I know Yon was talking about some NYT guy writing there, but, c'mon! Pinch would never permit it!

Don't miss the slide show at the link, and you can bypass the ad.
Posted by: Bobby || 06/26/2007 6:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Heart-warming excerpt:

"We need real bomb-squad kind of guys to come do this for us.”
The next morning, an M1 tank arrived. The neighborhood reverberated with enormous booms as soldiers blasted the homes suspected of containing bombs with antitank missiles, artillery and tank fire. The platoon’s advance had been stymied for a day, but there were no American casualties and more bombs had been cleared out.

Posted by: Glenmore || 06/26/2007 7:10 Comments || Top||

#3  The IEDs are a real problem. I saw something on the military channel the other day. There is a lot being tried to address the IED problem. Jamming, lasers, small robots, etc. There were many other methods that could not be talked about. One bomb expert was featured who had lost an eye and an arm to these devilish devices. Having engineers blast the houses with explosives might be as effective as anything.
Posted by: JohnQC || 06/26/2007 9:12 Comments || Top||

#4  Artillery is a time-honored way to deal with situations like IED's, use it early & often.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/26/2007 11:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Pinch would never permit it!

Pinch isn't in the office this week. I saw him today walking his dog on Gin Lane in Southampton. He was carrying a pooper-scooper with him. Me, I use the NYT Sunday Magazine.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/26/2007 11:56 Comments || Top||


Al-Qaeda emir of West Mosul killed during Coalition operations
Coalition forces killed a known terrorist leader in Mosul during a raid Monday, further depleting a terrorist network already strained by Coalition operations. Khalid Sultan Khulayf Shakir al-Badrani, also known as Abu Abdullah, was the al-Qaeda in Iraq emir of western Mosul. He had a direct hand in numerous terrorist activities in the area, including kidnappings, suicide bombings and attacks on Coalition Forces. In 2005, he facilitated the movement of weapons and foreign fighters into Mosul for al-Qaeda in Iraq operations.

Coalition Forces targeted Sultan during a raid on a house in Mosul. As the ground force entered the building, two men attempted to flee the scene. The ground force caught them on the roof of the building, where one man identified as al-Badrani drew a pistol. Coalition Forces, reacting appropriately to the hostile threat, shot him to shreds engaged al-Badrani, killing him. The other suspect on the roof was detained.

Coalition Forces have killed or detained nine terrorist leaders in Mosul since May 29, including Kamal Jalil Bakr Uthman, the al-Qaeda in Iraq military emir of Mosul, and Aman Ahmad Taha Khazam al-Juhayshi, the emir of Ansar al-Sunna in Mosul. Al-Juhayshi had returned to Iraq after fleeing in 2005 to avoid capture by Coalition Forces, and distributed jihadist media, recruited for Ansar al-Sunna and organized attacks against the Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army, Coalition Forces and Iraqi citizens. His assistant, Mahmud Jasim Muhammad Salih, was captured June 5 in Mosul.

Izz Al Din, also known as Abu Ahmad, was killed by Coalition Forces Jun 15 in Mosul. He was the head of five terrorist cells in Mosul and was responsible for directing attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces.

On June 10, Coalition Forces captured Luay Rakan Aziz Mahmud, an alleged recruiting emir for the Ansar al-Sunna network in Mosul. An early morning raid by Coalition Forces May 30 netted Waad Yunis Bakr Shaykhu, a key al-Qaeda in Iraq member in Mosul responsible for coordinating attacks on Iraqi and Coalition Forces. Salim Jasim Husayn Nasir, suspected of heading and staffing an al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist cell in Mosul, was captured June 3 by Coalition Forces in Mosul.

Based on information from a previous successful operation in Anbar province, Coalition Forces targeted and captured Rafi Khudir Muhammad Mustafa June 4. Mustafa is a suspected senior terrorist leader in Mosul connected to the al-Qaeda in Iraq network, and allegedly makes decisions on enforcing religious punishments. “The leaders of the terrorist networks in Mosul, as well as their facilitators and operational cell leaders, have been significantly disrupted due to the deliberate and decisive attacks by Coalition Forces,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson.
This article starring:
ABU ABDULLAHal-Qaeda in Iraq
ABU AHMEDal-Qaeda in Iraq
AMAN AHMED TAHA KHAZAM AL JUHAISHIAnsar al-Sunna
IZZ AL DINal-Qaeda in Iraq
KAMAL JALIL BAKR UTHMANal-Qaeda in Iraq
KHALID SULTAN KHULAIF SHAKIR AL BADRANIal-Qaeda in Iraq
Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson
LUAI RAKAN AZIZ MAHMUDAnsar al-Sunna
MAHMUD JASIM MUHAMAD SALIHAnsar al-Sunna
RAFI KHUDIR MUHAMAD MUSTAFAal-Qaeda in Iraq
SALIM JASIM HUSEIN NASIRal-Qaeda in Iraq
WAAD YUNIS BAKR SHEIKHUal-Qaeda in Iraq
Ansar al-Sunna
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [388 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq

#1  further depleting a terrorist network already strained by Coalition operations.

Yum. Delicious understatement. Followed by all those lovely names of captured emirs. We're definitely well within their training cycle now.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/26/2007 0:48 Comments || Top||

#2  I really don't like that picture. It's not safe for work.
Posted by: gromky || 06/26/2007 6:14 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't like the pic, either, but I just poked my eyes out so it won't bother me any more.

Mosul has turned in to quite a killing ground for the enemy. The chaos of a couple years ago seems to have convinced the locals that order and security are to be preferred.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 06/26/2007 8:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/26/2007 9:05 Comments || Top||

#5  You all getting the impression that al Queda has as many "emirs" as some antebellum Southern counties had "colonels"?
Posted by: Mitch H. || 06/26/2007 13:10 Comments || Top||

#6  From Dictionary.com:

e·mir /əˈmɪər, eɪˈmɪər, ˈeɪmɪər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[uh-meer, ey-meer, ey-meer] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. a chieftain, prince, commander, or head of state in some Islamic countries.
2. a title of honor of the descendants of Muhammad.
3. (initial capital letter) the former title of the ruler of Afghanistan.
4. a title of certain Turkish officials.
Also, emeer, amir, ameer.

[Origin: 1615–25; < Ar amīr commander]


Simply put, anyone who is the leader or a group of whatever size, apparently. As far as I know, Kentucky Colonels are merely decorative.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/26/2007 13:24 Comments || Top||

#7  Why aren't Kurds doing the dirty for us? Mosul is close to home.
Posted by: Pheang Jones9468 || 06/26/2007 19:10 Comments || Top||

#8  So we're no longer wiping out AQ captains and Lt/s? Now it's emirs? Good...I see progress!
Posted by: Sigmund Freud || 06/26/2007 20:48 Comments || Top||


Four Secret Cell terrorists killed by Coalition Forces in Sadr City
Coalition Forces killed four Secret Cell terrorists during pre-dawn operations on Monday in Sadr City as part of an effort to deny Iranian influence in Iraq. While approaching the targeted area, ground forces came under heavy small arms fire from terrorists on the objective. Coalition Forces took appropriate self-defense measures in response to the threat and called for close air support. The air strike suppressed the enemy fire allowing the ground force to continue its mission.

As Coalition Forces moved towards the objective, the ground force received small arms fire from terrorists using a car for cover. Coalition Forces destroyed the automobile with a main gun round fired from a U.S. main battle tank. Four terrorists were killed during the operation. “Coalition troops continue to target the secret cell network terrorists who bring EFPs and other aid into Iraq,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. “We remain committed to dismantling the bombing network in Baghdad and throughout the country.”
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under: Mahdi Army

#1  Here's what happens to a terrorist when they get hit by a round from a tank . . . .
Posted by: gorb || 06/26/2007 4:46 Comments || Top||

#2  You will note, I believe with some interest, that most of our contact in Sadr City comes in the form of raids like this. We are being very surgical, very precise.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 06/26/2007 8:21 Comments || Top||

#3  We must have an insider there. In order to be surgical you need compelling G2 and the best way to get that is humint.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/26/2007 11:59 Comments || Top||


43 suspected terrorists detained
Coalition Forces detained 43 suspected terrorists during operations Monday targeting al-Qaeda leaders and operatives in central Iraq. Coalition Forces detained 15 suspected terrorists during two coordinated operations just north of Baghdad targeting associates of an al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader. The suspects are allegedly members of the Baghdad vehicle-borne improvised explosive device network, and two of the detainees are believed to be bodyguards for the senior leader.

Northwest of the capital city, Coalition Forces raided three buildings associated with another al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader tied to the Baghdad VBIED network. The ground force detained 13 suspected terrorists for their alleged association with the network.

Based on information gained from successful operations June 13 and 16, Coalition Forces targeted the al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leadership east of Fallujah. During raids on several buildings in the area, the ground force detained 13 suspected terrorists for their alleged ties to the senior leaders.

Coalition Forces captured a suspected terrorist east of Fallujah who allegedly facilitates the movement of foreign fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. One other suspected terrorist was detained in the operation. “Our continuous operations targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq and its senior leaders weaken their ability to strike from sanctuaries,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. “These operations are crucial to reducing the levels of violence in Baghdad and the rest of Iraq.”
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq

#1  OK, we've got about 50 stories about detained insurgents today. I was asking this question a year ago -- but the effort to secure these detainees must be huge; is it worth it? Plus -- at some point they get released, 5, 10, 20 years down the road, right? Can't we just have a higher kill ratio? Just shoot please.
Posted by: Captain Lewis || 06/26/2007 8:09 Comments || Top||

#2  We do get intell from them, and if I were king, they could make a good chain gang for IED road sweeps. But I am against releasing any of them ever.
Posted by: wxjames || 06/26/2007 10:06 Comments || Top||

#3  I understand we are doing biometrics (e.g., fingerprints and maybe retina scans) before releasing anyone.
Posted by: mhw || 06/26/2007 13:41 Comments || Top||


Insurgents suspected of killing Coalition Forces captured
Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers captured three suspected insurgents, believed to be responsible for multiple improvised explosive device attacks, during an air assault mission northwest of Taji June 25. Soldiers from the 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducted the air assault operation into a rural area west of Shammar Jarba, Iraqi, northwest of Taji, capturing the three suspected insurgents and recovering three assault rifles and a shotgun.

In an effort to bring swift justice to insurgents responsible for emplacing a deep-buried IED which killed four MND-B Soldiers and their interpreter June 23, Soldiers from Battery C, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment targeted the suspected insurgent cell using intelligence sources. One of the captured insurgents is alleged to have provided the IED used in the June 23 attack. “We want to make the message clear to the insurgents,” said Lt. Col. Peter Andrysiak, deputy commander for the Ironhorse Brigade, “attacks against Coalition Forces will not be tolerated, and you will be caught and brought to swift justice.”
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

#1  Revengeful guy that I am...I would probably not administer swift justice. I visualize something that would likely take a few days.
Posted by: anymouse || 06/26/2007 17:18 Comments || Top||

#2  "I'd start by applying lit cigars to their feet and then work with a hammer to shatter their lower legs. After that, a douse of gasoline might ease the pain until the match is lit."
Posted by: Sigmund Freud || 06/26/2007 20:45 Comments || Top||


Operation Crazyhorse Thunder detains 7 suspects
Seven suspects were detained for allegedly planting improvised explosive devices along Route Tampa, the highway leading into Baghdad, June 23. Troop C, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division targeted an IED cell, based in the Abu Shiekan and Abu Hillan villages, believed to be responsible for setting IEDs several times a week along the highway. The nighttime raid was based on information provided by area residents and from local tips. The cell was operating in an area 12 kilometers southwest of the Iraqi capital. No one was harmed in the operation. The suspects are being held for questioning.
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency


Iraqi Army detains two al-Qaeda cell leaders near Baghdad
Iraqi Army Forces detained two suspected Al Qaeda cell leaders during an operation June 24 south of Baghdad. The two detainees are involved in improvised explosive device attacks on Iraqi and Coalition Forces, death squad activities against local civilians, housing foreign fighters, transporting weapons and running a medical clinic for wounded terrorists. Iraqi Forces detained six other individuals found at the targeted residence. They also confiscated weapons and a large amount of currency at the scene.

With coalition advisers present for support, Iraqi Forces detained their primary suspects without incident. This operation is aimed at disrupting terrorist networks in Jihad-Shurta areas and attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces. No Iraqi or Coalition Forces members were injured during the operation.
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq


Bayji Joint security station attacked
Terrorists attacked the Joint Security Station (JSS) in Bayji, Iraq, on Monday, killing seventeen Iraqi police and wounding fourteen others. Five U.S. Soldiers received minor injuries in the attack that included a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and a subsequent attack.

A car bomb detonated at around 8:30 a.m., causing damage to the police barracks as well as significant damage to the outer wall of the JSS. The car bomb attack was followed by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades from at least 30 insurgents involved in the attack.

IPs and U.S. Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, repelled the insurgents, killing two and wounded several others, while keeping control over the JSS. “This is a cowardly attack by an enemy whose actions and objectives are contrary to what the Iraqi people want,” said Lt. Col. Scott Harris, commander of the airborne battalion, whose forces established the JSS and work with the IPs. “The terrorists bring nothing but chaos and do not offer a better future. Col. Saad Nafoos, the Bayji chief of police, and I are committed to providing security to the people of Bayji, and this act does nothing more than increase our resolve,” he added.

Task Force 1-505 and the 303rd Military Police Company established the JSS three months ago, enabling the IPs to improve and conduct independent operations. “This is a setback, but nothing more than that,” said Harris. “We will continue to take the fight to the enemy. Saad’s police have disrupted numerous terrorist cells, detained important terrorists in our area and will rebound from this with an even greater motivation to succeed.”

Task Force 1-505 plans to make necessary force protection repairs and improvements as well as continue with their partnership with the IPs. “The terrorists’ mission failed,” Harris continued. “They did not succeed in driving us out or intimidate the IPs, who fought back bravely. In fact, their attack will turn even more of the people of Bayji against them.”

Salah ad Din governor Hamed Hamoud Shekti approved a city-wide, three-day curfew shortly after the attack, which began at 9 p.m.

Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency


Iranian forces crossed Iraqi border: report
Hat tip Drudge.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces have been spotted by British troops crossing the border into southern Iraq, The Sun tabloid reported on Tuesday. Britain's defence ministry would not confirm or deny the report, with a spokesman declining to comment on "intelligence matters".

An unidentified intelligence source told the tabloid: "It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran -- but nobody has officially declared it."

"We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us. It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot."
I'm not surprised that the Brits think this: they also didn't defend their boat when the Iranians seized it. What they need to do is give the Revolutionary Guards a black eye, and dare them to come back for some more.
The Sun said that radar sightings of Iranian helicopters crossing into the Iraqi desert were confirmed to it by very senior military sources.

In response to the report, a British defence ministry spokesman said: "There is evidence that explosive devices used against our troops in southern Iraq originated in Iran."

"Any Iranian link to armed militias in Iraq either through weapons supply, training or funding are unacceptable."
It's fine to say that, but then you're obligated to do something about it.
Britain has about 7,100 soldiers in Iraq, most of whom are based in the southern city of Basra and surrounding areas, though the government has pledged to reduce that to between 5,000 and 5,500 this year.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [413 views] Top|| File under: IRGC

#1  "We are badly on the back foot."

WTF? There must be dozens of Air Force pilots who would jump at the chance of bagging an Iranian chopper. Just get on the damn radio!

(Or is it the current official coalition policy to ignore even blatant Iranian invasions? If so, we have the most spineless 'leadership' in the history of the Republic.)
Posted by: PBMcL || 06/26/2007 0:52 Comments || Top||

#2  Well, it's on Drudge. And it will get lots of eyeballs and at least force a confirmation or denial.

I would have preferred a siren but then that's just me.

What will it take to respond? A mass casualty attack?
Posted by: Danking70 || 06/26/2007 1:32 Comments || Top||

#3  My fear are small Iranian teams with MANPADS.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/26/2007 1:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Is Iran stirring?

Hamas took over Gaza with Iranian help

Lebanon just took out a refugee camp to get at a terrorist group.

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon hit by an roadside bomb

Iran send troops into Iraq.


Will we see more rockets from Gaza again? Will Hezbollah or Syria start to cause some cross border friction?

It portends to be a real hot summer. Hope our troops stay safe. The Navy will see a lot more action this go around.

And George is pushing Immigration...
Posted by: Danking70 || 06/26/2007 2:11 Comments || Top||

#5  Could it be that all the pussy footing around by the Brits, Israel, and the US these last couple of years has been with purpose? A not so sublime sucker play; The Super Power feigning weakness aimed at luring in both Iran and the fat old Twelfth Imami to attack us in a apocalyptic way?

/NAW.. hopelessly romantic

wishful thinking eh... well I hopes that ourstocks in theater, Iraq, Kuwait and the many Persian Gulf bases should be packed full with...

Das gesamte MLRS Gruppe ,

Artillerie Familie,

Flugzeug und Lagerarme

GRUB Logistik,

POL Logistik,

Munitionslogistik.
Posted by: RD || 06/26/2007 6:35 Comments || Top||

#6  /NAW.. hopelessly romantic

For a moment there you had me worried, RD
Posted by: gromgoru || 06/26/2007 6:41 Comments || Top||

#7  But RD's theory would help explain Jimmy Carter's ramblings!
Posted by: Bobby || 06/26/2007 6:51 Comments || Top||

#8  They're testing their ability to screw with us. If there is no response, why not come into iraq.

And why is the British defense minister pissing his pants about it? Maybe kill the bastards next time, we'll have the "PROOF" that DinnerJacket taunted us to come up with just the other day.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 06/26/2007 6:53 Comments || Top||

#9  For a moment there you had me worried, RD

on rare occasions I worry myself.

;-)
Posted by: RD || 06/26/2007 7:35 Comments || Top||

#10  Pat Dollard, How Long Are We Going To Remain Too Politically Scared To Face Our Resposnsibility And Attack Iran?

Pat has good sources in Iraq up and down the chain.
Posted by: RD || 06/26/2007 7:42 Comments || Top||

#11  How Long Are We Going To Remain Too Politically Scared To Face Our Resposnsibility And Attack Iran?

As long as a Republican is in office.
Posted by: Gary and the Samoyeds || 06/26/2007 8:32 Comments || Top||

#12  #11: How Long Are We Going To Remain Too Politically Scared To Face Our Resposnsibility And Attack Iran?

As long as a this Republican is in office.

There, fixed it for ya'.....
Posted by: Snomomble Grundy6207 || 06/26/2007 8:46 Comments || Top||

#13  pretty broad brush there, Jackal Gary. Think FredT would have trouble responding?
Posted by: Frank G || 06/26/2007 9:30 Comments || Top||

#14  If it was me in command of that theater, I would destroy the Iranian troops on the ground, round up the bodies and dump them over Tehran from low flying plane. Little notes would be attached to the bodies saying in Parsi, that if I caught a whiff of Iranians in Iraq again, next time the plane would be loaded with a fun toys and the Iranian leadership would catch a whiff of fuel.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/26/2007 9:39 Comments || Top||

#15  They're testing their ability to screw with us. If there is no response, why not come into iraq.

That's part of the 'test'.

How Long Are We Going To Remain Too Politically Scared To Face Our Resposnsibility And Attack Iran?

Methinks you 'generals' and Mister Dollard confuse different-stragetic-approach for cowardice.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/26/2007 9:53 Comments || Top||

#16  I'm with Pappy.
You don't swing the hammer at the hot metal until it's passing over the anvil. It would be smart to have an accounting of Iranian forces and attack at the weak points. In WW2, Stalin drew the German armies in deep then reacted in force, knowing that their supplies and communications would break down. In this case, we face an Iranian army with little experience. Come closer, please, another 200 miles.
Posted by: wxjames || 06/26/2007 10:25 Comments || Top||

#17  Fpr all the armchair generals who think they are better than Bush. How are you going to supply the armies attacking Iran? Through Pakistan?
Posted by: JFM || 06/26/2007 12:15 Comments || Top||

#18  I think its a sucker play. Let the Iranians stick a toe in and find it is nice and warm. Let them next sit down in it. Then let them run around in the shallow end. Then when they go to the deep end - you nail them - no retreat - sealed off but with plenty of evidence of their excursion. This is probably the way the lawyers at DoD have decided we have to do it.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/26/2007 13:14 Comments || Top||

#19  In WW2, Stalin drew the German armies in deep then reacted in force

Our own revisionist historian?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 06/26/2007 13:57 Comments || Top||

#20  Um JFM,

1) There's no need to supply if you just bomb the shit out them.
2) Iraq (remember there?) has a nice long border with Iran.
3) There's also a nice long coast line complete with some harbors.
4) Afghanistan would serve for small SOPs.

So, if we wanted to we certainly could.
Posted by: AlanC || 06/26/2007 14:19 Comments || Top||

#21  What good does it do us to whack a reccy? The only people that should whack an Iranian reccy into the middle of nowhere is the Iraqis, and they can't do it. Sooo.... Let Iran probe. Let them reccy into an empty desert. What are they going to learn? That it's hot? If we respond, they learn our tactics. We shouldn't teach them those until it's too late for them to learn.
Posted by: Mike N. || 06/26/2007 14:26 Comments || Top||

#22  heh we got arm chair generals and deep arm chair strategic thinkers! LOL!

Posted by: RD || 06/26/2007 17:18 Comments || Top||

#23  And you would correct that statement how, Spemble ?
Posted by: wxjames || 06/26/2007 17:31 Comments || Top||

#24  the comment that a Republican wont go into Iran might be on target for the reason that the Democrats will punish ANY Republican for political gain while the Republicans will go along with what it right and best for the country regardless of who is president.

If we only had a responsible press to hold the treasonous bastards' feet to the fire....

Posted by: Abu do you love || 06/26/2007 18:15 Comments || Top||

#25  Sorry, #7 Bobby - NOTHING can explain Peanut's ramblings.

(Well, except evil....)
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/26/2007 18:22 Comments || Top||

#26  Whoaa...an "An unidentified intelligence source" is quoted in a tabloid rag picked up by an online tabloid. i luv da smell of 'ganda in da mornin.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 06/26/2007 20:22 Comments || Top||

#27  heh we got arm chair generals and deep arm chair strategic thinkers! LOL!

Some of us used to do it for a living - no LOL.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/26/2007 20:55 Comments || Top||

#28  Abu got what I was trying to say. It's not that GWB or any other Rep is unwilling to face what needs to be done; it's that the 'Rats in Congress, the seditionist media, and the chattering classes view any Republican as worse enemy than the worst terrorist state.
Posted by: Gary and the Samoyeds || 06/26/2007 22:00 Comments || Top||

#29  k - my thick-headed misunderstanding....
Posted by: Frank G || 06/26/2007 22:18 Comments || Top||

#30  In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran -- but nobody has officially declared it.

Jimmy wouldn't declare it in 1979, why should anyone else?*

*(Except to save the Western world.)
Posted by: Zenster || 06/26/2007 22:24 Comments || Top||


Baghdad hotel bombed as 45 killed in Iraq
Follow-up on yesterday's story, with identified pols as some of the victims.
BAGHDAD - Suicide bombers struck a hotel in the heart of Baghdad and police targets in a wave of bombings on Monday that killed at least 45 people, including tribal leaders who have vowed to fight Al Qaeda.

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the crowded lobby of Baghdad’s Al Mansour Melia hotel during an informal gathering of local tribal shaikhs, both Sunni and Shia. ‘(The attack) targeted the tribes that are fighting terrorism,’ said Shaikh Mahmud Daham from the restive Sunni province of Anbar west of Baghdad, who was in the hotel at the time.

An AFP correspondent said charred bodies of the victims and many of the wounded were lying near the reception desk in the rubble-strewn lobby, and that the ceiling had collapsed, leaving clusters of white tiles hanging from wires. The blast damaged the stairway, the elevators, and the ceiling of the first floor of the hotel, which lies on the west bank of the Tigris river and houses diplomats and some foreign media organisations. Patches of blood stained the marble floor and scraps of human flesh were left stuck to the concrete pillars.

At least 12 people were killed including Shia and Sunni tribal shaikhs, and 21 wounded, staff and security officials said. One of those killed was Fassal Al Gawud, an ex-governor of Anbar, where several tribal shaikhs have recently allied with US and Iraqi forces against Al Qaeda, according to security officials.

Hussein Shaalan, a Shia tribal chief from the central city of Diwaniyah was also killed along with his son and a bodyguard. A security source had identified Hussein Shaalan as a Shia MP bearing the same name, but this was later denied by MP Aliah Nassef from the Iraqi National List of former premier Iyad Allawi.

Other victims included Rahim Al Maliki, a poet employed by Iraq’s state-run Iraqiyah television, and two Sunni tribal shaikhs.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq

#1  That'll teach 'em to trifle with al Qaeda! I bet all those tribes will just run away - like Harry Reid.
Posted by: Bobby || 06/26/2007 5:52 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Thai insurgency ‘never more deadly’
The violent insurgency plaguing Thailand’s southern region has never been more deadly, said Sondhi Boonyarataklin, the army chief who led September’s coup, although he added that the unrest remains an “internal problem”.

“We must admit that the insurgent groups are now at their peak,” Mr Sondhi said in an interview with Bloomberg, in which he defended the overthrow of the elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra.

When the junta took control, Mr Sondhi said that resolving the situation in the south was a top priority, but so far little progress had been made. The insurgents “are now trying to expand their network and operations. It is what terrorists normally do,” Mr Sondhi said.

Sondhi said the issue remained an internal one and authorities did not consider the south a “crisis area”.
He added that Malaysia had offered support, concerned that the insurgents’ ideology could spread, but Mr Sondhi said the issue remained an internal one and authorities did not consider the south a “crisis area”.

“Strategically, we believe we are winning; tactically, we are still fighting,’’ Mr Sondhi said. “Reconciliation is our main policy.”

In the interview, Mr Sondhi also said that the military acted independently, taking action necessary to restore a democratic system.

“Corruption was widespread, independent agencies, responsible for monitoring the government’s performance, were being interfered with,” he said. “It was imperative that a democratic reform should take place.”

Mr Sondhi reiterated that he would retire as planned in October and had no plans to enter politics.

Mr Sondhi also appeared keen to improve relations with Singapore, saying that the city state’s government-owned Temasek Holdings – in its purchase last year of controlling stakes in mobile-phone and satellite businesses from Mr Thaksin and his family – was “just business”.

Mr Sondhi said in January that Singapore might try to use the assets to spy on Thailand’s military.
Posted by: lotp || 06/26/2007 13:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under: Thai Insurgency

#1  Reconciliation will fail, because the Muslims in the South are being agitated and funded by outsiders who don't want reconciliation.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/26/2007 14:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Mr. Sondhi's response to the terrorism has been so tepid that it makes one suspect he is the biggest part of the problem.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 06/26/2007 18:42 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Senior Iranian cleric whacked
Ardeshir Arian, Pajamas Media

Rasa News Agency, which belongs to the religious school of Qum -the mullah’s Vatican in Iran- reports that a group of unidentified gunmen shot and killed Hesham Saymary of the Alavi section in Ahavz, southern Iran, an area where many Iranian Arabs live. The incident took place last Sunday night at about 10:00 PM local time.

According to the information, gunmen were outside Saymary’s home waiting for him to arrive, and called him as he was about to enter. As soon as he turned to answer they shot him three times, causing his instant death.

Although the dead cleric is a member of the Iranian Arab population of Ahvaz, the regime blames both a small Arab-speaking separatist group from Ahvaz and the Wahabbis -the religious sect that Ben Laden belongs to- for the killing.

A report in Baztab, a website owned by a close friend and ally of ex-president Rafsanjani, Mohsen Rezaei, called the group “an Arab separatist movement”. The Islamic regime is well aware of the Iranians’ feelings against separatism and therefore it was putting the blame on the “bad guys” no matter what the reality may be.

Suprisingly, while doing some research for this story I could not find any report in English. Is this another attempt by the regime to keep this assassination low key and prevent the unrest from spreading? Mullah Hesham is the third senior figure in the Iranian regime killied in the past two months by unknown revolutionaries, and authorities are again trying to play it down.

Interestingly, the other two assassinations took place too close to Tehran for the regime to blame the separatists. So who did it? Are there more groups taking action? Definitely something to think about.
Posted by: Mike || 06/26/2007 14:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [445 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  Saywhat?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 06/26/2007 15:04 Comments || Top||

#2  the regime blames both a small Arab-speaking separatist group from Ahvaz and the Wahabbis -the religious sect that Ben Laden belongs to- for the killing.

Kewl! Best news in ages. Let's get the suicide artists clusterf*cking the terrorist indoctrinators. Talk about a win-win!
Posted by: Zenster || 06/26/2007 15:11 Comments || Top||

#3  summary for #1

Somebody offed a big Mullah in Iran. Said Mullah was a member of the Arab speaking minority (in the southwest) but was pro-regime anyway. The regime is blaming Arab seperatists (who are real unpopular in Iran) but the author of the article hints strongly thats not who did it, theres a more widespread campaign of unrest.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 06/26/2007 15:33 Comments || Top||

#4  We are not not killing mullahs...
Posted by: CIA || 06/26/2007 15:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Who knew? Holy men ventilate just as easily as us plebes...
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/26/2007 15:55 Comments || Top||

#6  But we ARE.
Posted by: NSA, Mossad, Shin Bet, MI5 || 06/26/2007 15:59 Comments || Top||

#7  --The regime is blaming Arab seperatists (who are real unpopular in Iran) --

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

If it's good for the Philippines......and Chechnya.......and China...........
Posted by: anonymous2u || 06/26/2007 16:38 Comments || Top||

#8  Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

"No comment and don't quote me. I was not here and this conversation did not happen. I do not exist."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/26/2007 16:50 Comments || Top||

#9  #7 --The regime is blaming Arab seperatists (who are real unpopular in Iran) --
----------------------------
but they will become less unpopular if they are known to be successful at Cleric Whacking
Posted by: mhw || 06/26/2007 16:53 Comments || Top||

#10  This is very interesting. It suggests that the Iranian agenda has it's opposition. Even though said opposition is on the decline.
I'm sure if they look closer, they will find evidence that Joooos where in the neighborhood.
Posted by: wxjames || 06/26/2007 17:21 Comments || Top||

#11  It doesn't get a lot of press in the West, but assasinations have long been a feature of the Iranian opposition.
Posted by: phil_b || 06/26/2007 17:24 Comments || Top||

#12  I think Mookie al Sadr did it. He's got a history of whacking senior Shia clerics to free up ladder rungs for himself.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/26/2007 17:24 Comments || Top||

#13  Now what is the etymology of assassin?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 06/26/2007 17:28 Comments || Top||

#14  The term 'Assassin' is thought to be derived from its connections to the Hashshashin, a militant religious sect of Ismaili Muslims, thought to be active in the Middle East in the 8th to 14th centuries. This mystic secret society killed members of the Abbasid elite for political or religious reasons.

It was said that they were drugged during their murders, often with materials such as hashish and opium. The name assassin is derived from either hasishin for the supposed influence of the drugs, and disregard for their own lives in the process, or hassansin for their leader, Hassan-i-Sabah.

Today, it is known that hashishinnya was an offensive term used to depict this cult by its Muslim and Mongolian detractors; the extreme zeal and cold preparation to murder makes it unlikely they ever used drugs. As far as is known they only used daggers, rarely survived their attacks, even when successful (unlike in many tales, where they are silent, invisible killers)[citation needed] and it seems that they rarely acted against westerners during the Crusades, partly because the crusading orders were not as affected by losing individual leaders as were the autocratic local regimes of the time.[3]

But I suspect you knew, NS!
Posted by: Bobby || 06/26/2007 17:40 Comments || Top||

#15  Colonel Flagg: "I am the wind"
Posted by: Frank G || 06/26/2007 17:52 Comments || Top||

#16  "Hashashin" means: hashish eaters. Assassin cultists - young unconnected males - were indoctrinated in lush gardens, in order to give them a feel of Muslim heaven, which would be a reward for commission of murder, mutilation and torture on earth.
Posted by: Pheang Jones9468 || 06/26/2007 19:08 Comments || Top||

#17  This site says Saymary openly opposed the Wahabists. The killing may have more to do with the Saudis than the Iranians.
Posted by: lotp || 06/26/2007 19:28 Comments || Top||

#18  I think Mookie al Sadr did it. He's got a history of whacking senior Shia clerics to free up ladder rungs for himself.

He's just antsy about qualifying for the executive dental benefits plan.
Posted by: Zenster || 06/26/2007 19:48 Comments || Top||

#19  Is it too late to take credit for this operation?
Posted by: Halliburton - Band of Thugs Division || 06/26/2007 20:03 Comments || Top||

#20  Well done HBoT Division. Regards HRSEG Division
Posted by: Halliburton - Remote Seismic Event Generation Division || 06/26/2007 20:07 Comments || Top||

#21  "Sometimes a Muzzy assassination is a Muzzy assassination." - S. Freud, Vienna, 1932
Posted by: Sigmund Freud || 06/26/2007 20:42 Comments || Top||

#22  I think the author is hinting that the Iranian government routinely kills its own citizens for its own reasons and then blames a believable opposition group. Although the actual case may be different, the writer's implication is clear to me. You would think that a theocracy wouldn't need firearms and brassknuckles to get the job done. Maybe Ussia is a theocracy also.
Posted by: Super Hose || 06/26/2007 23:26 Comments || Top||


3 Australian Islamic extremists arrested and 1 killed in Lebanon
Alexander Downer said on Monday that three Australians were part of the alleged Islamic militants arrested fighting the Lebanese troops in the northern city of Tripoli. Downer says the arrested Australians were not known to Australian security authorities. "They've been arrested as a result of fighting between the Lebanese army and Islamic extremists and they certainly weren't in the Lebanese army," Downer told reporters in Canberra. "It suggests rather obviously that the Lebanese had very significant security concerns about them". He added

Australian consular officials who have so far been unable to gain access to the trio (the Lebanese Defense Ministry has so far denied consular access to them), were also checking reports that two other Australians were killed in the fighting, Downer said. Downer did not release the names or the date when the men were arrested, whose families are being contacted by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials.

Reports from Lebanon say a man with dual Australian-Lebanese citizenship was killed by Government forces during a weekend raid in the northern city of Tripoli. Security sources say at least six of the seven people killed in the 10-hour siege were armed militants, including Saudis, a Chechen and two Lebanese people, who also held foreign passports. It is suspected one of them was the Australian. The sources have released the identity of the dead Australian fighter but the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) has asked media to withhold his name until it confirms the killing and informs the man's family.

His Lebanese wife, who was not named, was also killed in the raid on an apartment block in the Sunni neighborhood of Abu Samra. At least eight others were killed when Lebanese troops raided the building where suspected Islamic militants had sought refuge. The Army says most of the men killed were non-Lebanese.

One of the 3 arrested Australians a Sydney is not connected to a hard-line militant group and will be released some time in the next few days, his family said today. Ibrahim Sabouh, 33, has been living in Lebanon for more than a year with his wife and family. Sabouh, who has worked in finance in Sydney, was arrested on Thursday by Lebanese security forces at his apartment in Abu Samra, near the northern city of Tripoli. Lebanese authorities are reported as saying Sabouh may be connected to the militant group Fatah al-Islam, but his family has denied the claims.

"I don't know where the hell they got that from,'' Sabouh's nephew, Zac Sabouh, said today from his family's Auburn home in Sydney's west. "We read the papers as well - that's a load of s---." He said Sabouh's family in Sydney has not heard from the Federal Government on the progress of moves to determine his uncle's status. But the family had made contact with its own "sources'' in Lebanon and had been told he will be released in the next two days.
"The sources my uncle ain't got nuttin' to do wit', y'unnerstan'?"
"Everything's good,'' Sabouh said. "He should be released in the next two days.''

Sabouh would not provide details of the family's contacts in Lebanon but said they reported his uncle was being treated well. "We're concerned about how they're treating him but our sources say they're looking after him,'' he said. Sabouh said his uncle had planned to leave Lebanon today. "He's meant to go to Saudi Arabia,'' he said.
Boggle.
"He's already got his visa and everything because he's got a job opportunity in Dubai or Saudi Arabia. He was meant to leave today but they caught him two days ago.''

Sabouh said he was unsure if his uncle would return to Australia. "Hopefully his family will convince him to come back - we're not really sure,'' he said. He said the extended Sabouh family in Sydney was "coping alright'' with the situation but they were still in shock over the arrest. "He's an innocent man,'' he said.
Aren't they all.
Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under: Fatah al-Islam

#1  And I bet none of those Australians were named Bruce. I know it defies all the odds, but there's my prediction.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/26/2007 7:17 Comments || Top||

#2  What, your name's not Bruce?
No, it's Mahmood.
Mind if we call you Bruce to avoid any confusion?
Posted by: Spot || 06/26/2007 8:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Much like the "Canadians" my government tries to contact when caught red-handed on the field of war, I am disgusted yet more tax-payer dollars - in this case Australian - are being squandered on the welfare of Orcs intent on our blood.
Posted by: Excalibur || 06/26/2007 10:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Lemme change that title for ya.

"4 Australian Islamic Extremists killed in Lebanon"

There, much better.
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 06/26/2007 12:59 Comments || Top||

#5  "Four Lebanese Muslim extremists carrying Australian passports..."

So many Lebanese seem to have secondary passports for safe countries these days.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/26/2007 13:27 Comments || Top||

#6  I wonder if this world's political leadership even has a clue about this emerging pattern. Wherever Muslims settle in large numbers outside of the MME (Muslim Middle East), suddenly we find jihadists from those locations appearing on our battle fronts. What more indication do these effete pansy-ass Nancyboys need to understand that Muslims bring jihad with them—and then export it—wherever they go?
Posted by: Zenster || 06/26/2007 14:56 Comments || Top||


Lebanon links Islamists to the UN attack
Lebanon on Monday linked a bomb attack that killed six UN peacekeepers in the south of the country to a deadly standoff between Al-Qaeda-inspired militants and the army in the north. Information Minister Ghazi Aridi pointed the finger at the Islamists, based on confessions extracted from Fatah al-Islam gunmen captured during fierce fighting at a Palestinian refugee camp which is now in its sixth week.

Security has been tightened in south Lebanon following the attack, which has further rattled the fragile security situation in the deeply divided country. "There is a link between the attack which targeted the Spanish contingent of UNIFIL and the combat between the Lebanese army and the terrorists of Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared," he told reporters after a cabinet meeting. "Lebanon is the victim of a terrorist wave striking from the north to the south in which the latest target was the Spanish contingent. This attack was preceded by confessions from arrested terrorists about preparations against UNIFIL."

It was the first fatal attack on peacekeepers since the UN Interim Force in Lebanon's mandate was expanded last year in the wake of a devastating 34-day war between Israeli troops and the Hezbollah Shiite militia.

Lebanese legal sources, quoting confessions from detained fighters, said earlier this month that Fatah al-Islam -- which emerged in the Nahr al-Bared camp late last year -- was planning to attack UN peacekeepers. Abu Salim Taha, a spokesman for the extremist group, had accused UNIFIL forces of siding with the army and threatened to attack the Blue Helmets.

Security was heightened in the south on Monday where Spanish Defence Minister Jose Antonio Alonso was visiting his country's troops after the blast, which killed three Spaniards and three Colombian nationals. No one has claimed the attack, which a Lebanese security source said was carried out by car bomb detonated by remote control. It struck as the peacekeepers' armoured vehicle passed by in the Marjayoun-Khiam valley, an area about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the Israeli border. A Spanish colonel told reporters it was a "deliberate attack".

"This attack was very well prepared in advance," the officer said at the scene. "The bodies of two of the victims were blown several metres (yards) by the force of the blast."

UNIFIL commander Major-General Claudio Graziano of Italy said the bombing was aimed at destabilising the region. "It's not an attack against Lebanon and UNIFIL only but against the stability of the region. This attack has made UNIFIL more committed to fulfil its mission in southern Lebanon," he said in a statement.

Hezbollah too was quick to condemn the bombing in an area considered its stronghold. "This act of aggression is aimed at increasing insecurity in Lebanon, especially in the south of the country," it said.

UNIFIL first deployed in Lebanon in 1978 after an Israeli invasion but was expanded from some 2,000 members after the July-August war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas who dominated the south of the country. It now has 13,225 soldiers from 30 nations, including nearly 1,100 from Spain.

The attack came on top of a series of car bombings targeting anti-Syrian politicians in and around Beirut and as the army pursued its bloodiest internal fighting since the 1975-1990 civil war with Fatah al-Islam. At least 157 people, including 80 soldiers and 55 Islamists, have died in the standoff. Lebanon's pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud said the attack on UNIFIL was part of a "campaign of destabilization".

The Lebanese parliament majority accuse Syria of creating, training and funding Fatah al-Islam. They also claim it is an offshoot of Fatah al- Intifadah , an operation of the Syrian Intelligence , created to destabilize the Palestinian refugee camps and undermine Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. Syria denied any connections with the militant group, but refused to hand over its leader shaker el Absi to the Jordanians when they asked for his extradition. Absi, the Fatah al Islam leader was sentenced to death by Jordan for the murder of a US diplomat

EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner condemned it as a "heinous attack" said those responsible should be swiftly brought to justice.

In the north, 11 people died in clashes in the port city of Tripoli overnight Saturday, including six Sunni Islamists from Fatah al-Islam and a policeman's 4-year-old daughter. It was the first clash in the mainly Sunni Muslim city since the fighting between Fatah al-Islam and the army in Tripoli and Nahr al-Bared began on May 20.

Three Australian men were also arrested in Tripoli at the weekend and are allegedly Islamist extremists involved in the clashes, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said. One of the Islamists that was killed in Tripoli is a Lebanese Australian.


Posted by: Fred || 06/26/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under: Fatah al-Islam

#1  Are they absolutely sure---seems like a typical Methodist job to me?
Posted by: gromgoru || 06/26/2007 6:09 Comments || Top||

#2  My, my, my, what will we have here. UNies being killed in the Middle East and no mention of Israel Defence Force? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

This will not do. It is contrary to our scapegoating policy.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/26/2007 13:17 Comments || Top||


Good morning
Soddies urge Paleos to Unite™, avoid divisionSixteen dead in latest Afghan clashesReturn Muslim lands, detained Indonesian militant saysTony Blair to be confirmed as Middle East envoyIran: We'll launch nuclear plant in Oct.Al-Qaeda emir of West Mosul killed during Coalition operations'Interior Ministry will ensure safety of Chinese in Pakistan'
Posted by: || 06/26/2007 06:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Will I go to hell if I lust after a woman who is now in her late nineties? To think that some of our grandmothers did the flapper thing is frightening.

Who do you think drank all that bathtub gin anyway?
Posted by: GORT || 06/26/2007 8:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Just realized I comingled the Roaring 20's and the Prohibition era.

Apparently I left too many brain cells back in the 70's.
Posted by: GORT || 06/26/2007 8:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Gort, Prohibition was in the flapper era.
Posted by: Chinetle Forkbeard7094 || 06/26/2007 8:26 Comments || Top||

#4  Will I go to hell if I lust after a woman who is now in her late nineties?

Enjoy now, worry about it later! ;-)
Posted by: gorb || 06/26/2007 20:56 Comments || Top||



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Tue 2007-06-26
  Tony Blair to be confirmed as Middle East envoy
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