. . . Stryker crews often refer to their vehicle as their truck, and Krauss crew had named their truck the General Lee. It seemed fitting. LT Krauss and SFC Breaud saw the route clearance team pass by going the opposite direction on Tampa, and to be good neighbors, decided to shadow the team in case it got hit. Attacks on this section of Tampa were frequent; hence the clearing team and the Strykers. The three Strykers of 2nd platoon cruised about half a mile behind the clearance team, and so the section of Tampa where the three Strykers were driving had been cleared within the last five minutes or so.
The patrols can be tedious. Fatigue accumulates after months of fighting, and it seems most units who are performing routine missions go against the grain of strict regulation and plug music into their comms to keep them alert. When they beep into the comms to talk, the music clicks off. Its against the regs, but when everyone is tiredand wearyit works for a while. . . . that day was easy listening: Kenny Chesney was playing on the comms.
The enemy was holding a video camera. Enemy videotape was recording, and the camera was panning from the left side of Stryker, far past the other two lanes, because Krauss and crew were about to drive over a culvert the enemy had packed with explosives.
The crew consisted of four men. Specialist William Pfeiffer was alone up front and driving. Behind Pfeiffer was the crawl space called the hell hole that led to the crew compartment. Standing in the front left hatch was LT Brad Krauss, the platoon leader. To Krauss right stood Staff Sergeant Daniel Walwark who operated the missiles and a machine gun. In the large single hatch to the rear of the stood PFC Devon Hoch.
I dont know which Kenny Chesney song they were listening to before the bomb exploded, but I played my favoriteMe and Youover and over while writing their story, wondering what might have been going through their minds just before the detonation. Although the bomb was massive, they couldnt have seen it. It was hidden and packed into a culvert under the road. . . .
Wow. I'm glad they've been rounding up bombmakers. I particularly noticed the bit about the lieutenant, supposed to take three weeks to let a torn hamstring heal, who ... well, officially, he didn't return to duty until the time was up.
Seventeen people, including eight security guards died when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan, while rockets fired from Pakistan killed two civilians, an Afghan official said on Sunday.
The Ministry of Defence, meanwhile, said 30 fighters aligned with Hezb-i Islami, a faction led by former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, had laid down their weapons and agreed to cooperate with the government. The fighters come from the Tagab Valley of Kapisa province.
In Paktia province, eight security guards working for a road construction company died when a roadside bomb blew up their vehicle, said provincial Governor Akram Akhpelwak. A rocket fired from Pakistan into the Bermel region destroyed a house and killed two civilians, he added. Provincial police chief Ghulam Dastgir told AFP that unknown assailants also opened fired on the chief of Showak district late Saturday, gunning down two of his bodyguards.
In Paktika province, five construction workers were killed when a bomb exploded underneath their vehicle, local police chief Sardar Mohammad Zazi said, adding that the device was activated by remote control and was probably planted by fighters with links to the Taliban. Two others were wounded in the attack, he said.
In the southern province of Helmand, three Taliban fighters were killed and five Afghan soldiers wounded during a battle in Gereshk district, the Ministry of Defence said. And a suspected suicide bomber died late Saturday in eastern Khost province when the explosives he was carrying apparently blew up prematurely, a local spokesman said.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/16/2007 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Taliban
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned a 14-year-old boy caught wearing a suicide vest on his way to assassinate a provincial governor. Rafiqullah had crossed the border from Pakistan and intended to kill Arsala Jamal, governor of Khost province.
Mr Karzai said Rafiqullah had been deceived by the "enemy of Islam" while attending a religious school. Pardoning him at the presidential palace, Mr Karzai said: "I forgive him and I wish him the best of luck."
"Today we are faced with a fearful and terrifying truth, and that truth is the sending of a Muslim child to carry out a suicide attack.
[His parents] sent him to study at a madrassa. The enemy of Islam deceived him."
The president said: "Today we are faced with a fearful and terrifying truth, and that truth is the sending of a Muslim child to carry out a suicide attack.
"[His parents] sent him to study at a madrassa (religious school). The enemy of Islam deceived him."
Rafiqullah's father, Matiullah, said he had been unaware of his son's actions and agreed the boy had been deceived by teachers. He said when he had asked about his son he was not given an answer. "I am very happy to have my son back," said Mr Matiullah, who is from South Waziristan.
Rafiqullah said: "I am very happy that I am pardoned and released."
Rafiqullah said he was trained to drive a car and shown suicide attack videos at the madrassa in Pakistan. He crossed the border and was met by a man who gave him a suicide vest. Rafiqullah said he did not want to carry out the attack but the man threatened to kill him. He was caught last month wearing the vest on a motorbike in the city of Khost.
A number of would-be attackers held in recent weeks have been teenagers.
Afghanistan has urged Pakistan to do more to prevent militants from crossing the border to carry out attacks. In a message to Pakistan, Mr Karzai called for "better relationships, not cheating the children and encouraging them into terrorism and suicide".
In the end, we will have to turn the revolving door into a disintegration chamber...
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
07/16/2007 10:00 Comments ||
Bomb the madrassas. Bomb enough of them to convince parents that they are not safe and the rest of them will close for lack of attendance. If they are nothing but jihadi and martyr training camps anyway then bomb them.
I acutally take this as good news. They've run out of 20-30 year old males, so now they're using teenage boys (under threat of death) to be "martyrs." You mix the "joy of martyrdom" (remember, lil' Amir gets 72 raisins) with a teenage boy and of course, "explosive things" will happen.
When they stoop to the Paleos level (remember the retarded youngster they tried to use, as well as all the raped females), we'll now we have won in the "hearts and minds" arena, lol!
A long-awaited Somali peace conference was adjourned on Sunday just hours after it opened, after some delegates failed to arrive and a mortar shell exploded near the venue in Mogadishu.
President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was addressing the much-delayed meeting at the time of the explosion, which occurred about 500 metres away, but refused to cut off his speech. We cannot be terrified even if anti-peace elements throw an atomic bomb. I want to assure you that the time of uncertainty and the use of force to pursue power is over, said the former warlord.
Shortly afterwards, conference chief organiser Ali Mahdi Mohamed adjourned the talks to await the arrival of more delegates. The conference is adjourned till Thursday when we expect all delegates will have arrived. Some did not arrive for logistical reasons, he said. Officials said around 800 of the 1,325 invited delegates had registered at the conference venue in a police warehouse in northern Mogadishu on Sunday, where appeals for peace resounded.
I urge you to rise above your respective clan and sub-clan (politics) in order to bring normality to our country, said Mohamed, another former warlord. This is a historic opportunity for you to have dialogue and reconciliation in Somalia. Most of the previous conferences were unsuccessful because they were held abroad. Nobody will achieve political ambitions through the barrel of the gun. I have been fighting for over 38 years and what I brought to my country is war and destruction.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/16/2007 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Islamic Courts
The Algerian army halted an attack by Al Qaeda militants and killed four in the troubled northeastern Kabylie region, newspapers reported on Sunday.
About 50 members of the Al Qaeda organisation in the Islamic Maghreb (an Arabic term used to refer to North Africa) attacked two police stations in Yaourene village in Tizi Ouzou province, about 100 km east of Algiers, early on Saturday, El Watan and Liberte dailies said.
The well-armed militants surrounded the police stations and clashed with security forces for two hours before fleeing after the intervention of helicopters, the newspapers said, citing residents and security sources.
Before the attack, the group planted five bombs on a road leading to the stations targeting any reinforcements by the government forces. Two of them exploded without causing casualties, the newspapers added.
The attack came three days after a suicide bomber killed eight government soldiers inside an army barracks in the neighbouring province of Bouira in an attack claimed by al Qaeda. The barracks bombing followed a triple suicide attack that killed 33 people in Algiers on April 11. Those attacks were also claimed by Al Qaedas north Africa wing.
Up to 200,000 people have been killed in Algeria since 1992 after the military-backed authorities scrapped parliamentary elections that an Islamist party was poised to win. The violence has subsided in recent years but some bloodshed continues mainly in Kabylie and nearby areas.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/16/2007 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa
An Indian doctor accused over last month's failed car bombings in Britain was remanded in custody Monday but plans to plead not guilty to a withholding information charge, his lawyer said.
Sabeel Ahmed, 26, is the third person to have been charged over the failed attacks, in which two cars laden with gas canisters were left in central London on June 29 and, the following day, a sports utility vehicle was driven into Glasgow airport, bursting into flames.
Ahmed, dressed in traditional white robes and with shoulder-length black hair and a black beard, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth at a preliminary hearing at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court.
The suspect is the brother of Kafeel Ahmed, 27, who was arrested after the attack at Scotland's biggest airport. Also a suspect, he is critically ill with burns in hospital.
Sabeel Ahmed sat with his arms folded throughout the 20-minute hearing, before being remanded in custody until August 13. His solicitor Nadeem Afzal said that he intended to plead not guilty.
"You will be remanded in custody for the reasons put forward by the prosecution," District Judge Anthony Evans told Ahmed.
He could make his next court appearance by video link, he was told before being led from court.
The medic from Bangalore, was arrested in Liverpool, north-west England, on June 30. He worked at Halton Hospital in Runcorn, south-east of the city.
He is charged under Section 38 of the Terrorism Act with knowingly withholding information that might have led to the arrest of another person preparing or engaging in an act of terrorism.
Ahmed is one of eight people who were arrested in connection with the attack.
British police have charged 27-year-old Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdulla in connection with the London attempts. He was remanded in custody earlier this month, accused of conspiracy to cause explosions.
Australian police have accused Ahmed's cousin, fellow Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef, 27, of providing "reckless" support to a terrorist organisation, a charge under which he faces a maximum 15-year penalty.
Haneef was granted bail in Brisbane on Monday, but the Australian government then ordered him to be locked up in immigration detention after cancelling his visa.
Jordanian doctor Mohammed Asha, 26, remains in custody and detectives have until Saturday to question him.
Three of those arrested have been released. The eighth suspect is Kafeel Ahmed.
Meanwhile Admiral Alan West, Britain's security and counter-terrorism minister, said up to 30 Islamist militant cells are plotting attacks and they are monitoring 2,000 suspects and another 2,000 sympathisers.
Lord West told BBC radio that the scale of the security operation was "quite dramatic" as he backed extending the 28-day limit on the time suspects can be held without charge.
"There are 30 that are actually being looked at very closely indeed because they have got to the stage where they are gathering materials and doing things which could lead in fairly short term to doing something if they wanted to," said the former chief of defence intelligence.
"This means that effectively about 2,000 individuals are being monitored in varying degrees of closeness and probably about another 2,000 loosely connected to them. The scale of this whole thing is quite dramatic."
Two men arrested in connection with failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow were released without charge on Sunday, British police said. The men, aged 28 and 25, were arrested early on July 2 by Strathclyde police at the residences of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Scotland, Londons Metropolitan Police said.
Officers were given more time on Saturday to question a third man, Mohammed Asha, 26, who was arrested by counter-terrorism officers on the northbound M6 motorway in Cheshire, northern England, on June 30. His detention warrant will now expire on July 21. Three people have so far been charged over the attacks.
British police charged Sabeel Ahmed, 26, of Liverpool, on Saturday with failing to disclose information that could have prevented an act of terrorism. Earlier the same day, Australian Federal Police charged 27-year-old Mohamed Haneef, Sabeels cousin, with providing support to a terrorist organisation. Iraqi-trained doctor Bilal Abdulla, 27, was charged in Britain last week with conspiring to cause explosions.
A seventh man, Indian engineer Kafeel Ahmed, 27, who is Sabeels brother, is under police guard in hospital after being badly burned when a jeep was driven into an airport terminal building in Glasgow, Scotland, and set ablaze on June 30. That attack came 36 hours after the discovery of two cars packed with fuel, gas tanks and nails primed to explode in central London. Police think the two incidents were linked. All but one of the eight original suspects are medics from the Middle East or India.
Dana Asha wife of Mohammed and the only woman among those detained in the case was arrested at the same time as her husband, but was released without charge on Thursday.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/16/2007 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Tawhid
Big difference between UK process and ours. Either they were hasty and fickled in nabbing at random with skimpy intelligence or they had the goods but want to see who they contact and where they go. It seems we stop this crap before it goes critical (Lackawana, Ft. Dix, JFK, etc.) and we keep them incarcerated until the ACLU can convince some Clinton appointee to scream Habeas Corpus! Then we can appeal until Gitmo freezes over. But there seems to be a strong difference between two great countries separated by a common language and law?
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
07/16/2007 9:22 Comments ||
A doctor charged in Australia with supporting the failed car bomb attacks in Britain was granted bail on Monday. Mohamed Haneef, a 27-year-old Indian doctor who came to Australia last year from Britain, allegedly gave his mobile phone SIM card to two suspects in the British plot. He was charged Saturday and lodged a bail application on Monday.
Spread the word -- Haneef sang like a canary!
Police describe his support for the plot as "reckless" rather than deliberate.
Police describe his support for the plot as "reckless" rather than deliberate, and Haneef's lawyer claims the case is weak.
Magistrate Jacqui Payne on Monday granted Haneef bail on conditions that he provides a bond of 10,000 Australian dollars (US$8,700; 6,300), reports to police three times a week, and stays away from any international ports.
Haneef, who has surrendered his passport to authorities, is scheduled to return to court next month.
Government prosecutor Clive Porritt had argued against bail for Haneef, citing laws that say terror suspects should only be granted bail in "exceptional circumstances." The prosecutor said authorities were concerned that Haneef, who was arrested July 2 as he tried to board a flight from Australia to India, may flee the country.
Authorities were concerned that Haneef, who was arrested July 2 as he tried to board a flight from Australia to India, may flee the country.
Payne gave eight grounds for granting Haneef bail, including that the prosecutors had not provided evidence of a direct link between Haneef and a terrorist organization in Britain.
Haneef is a distant cousin of Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed, two of the chief suspects in the June 30 attack on an airport in Glasgow, Scotland. Haneef shared a house in Liverpool with the Ahmed brothers before moving to Australia for a job at a hospital on Queensland state's Gold Coast. Police allege Haneef gave his mobile phone card to the brothers in July 2006 when he left Britain.
In the Muslim community, many view the prosecution as driven by pro-Israel political forces and by a form of paranoia they call "Islamophobia."
That's right, Achmed; the Joooos control everything except the brave Lions of Islam. Send your checks or money orders to Hamas, 101 Dead End Steet, Gaza City, Peoples Paleopit of Gaza so your money can be used in the titanic, never-ending struggle against the Jooos.
"The prosecution is trying to criminalize humanitarian aid Muslim terrorism," the vice president of the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Khalil Meek, said. "The Holy Land Foundation and its associates are not charged with any violence. They actually did feed, clothe, shelter, and provide medical support to humanitarian efforts all over the world."
Well almost. In the mean time the local news stations on Minnesota are not going to cover this. Will the liberal multi-cultural ass kissing news directors and editors still send flowers to Ellison, this story will never see the light of day there.
It turns out that promising to pay & then paying the children of suicide bombers is contract murder.
Of course many muslims, even American muslims, don't consider suicide bombing of Israelis to be murder at all (they consider it lawful resistance).
CAIR, an unindicted party in this (whose more unsavory correspondance and communication may be revealed in this trial), has successfully evaded making their policy (which is basically support for suicide bombing of Israelis) public.
There is nothing humanitarian about Islam or Hamas.
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
07/16/2007 9:26 Comments ||
In a recent court filing, the government acknowledged that its case depends on "the counterintuitive notion that charitable' committees and ostensibly benevolent organizations could be so integral and important to a terrorist organization."
There isn't anything "counterintuitive" about it. At least not once you understand that Muslims will lie, cheat, misrepresent and simply steal if that's what it takes to further their cause. It is commonplace to see humanitarian aid diverted into arms purchases, ambulances being used to transport terrorists, sewer pipes converted over into missile bodies and numerous other flagrant abuses of international good will.
None of this even addresses the fact that zakat reaches all the way down. Who can give the least assurance that Palestinian families receiving financial assistance do not immediately turn around and contribute some portion of that money directly to their local terrorist organization?
While Islam may not be doctrinally monolithic, there are certain aspects which create an overall cohesive behavioral pattern. One of these is personal tithing for jihadist causes. When combined with the accepted practice of taqiyya, it becomes impossible to have even the least assurance that aid of any kind to Muslims of any stripe will not fall into the hands of terrorists.
The profound ingratitude and ingrained sense of entitlement displayed by Islamic countries and Muslim populations requires that foreign aid to Muslim majority nations be cut off until there is an end to terrorism. There must be an end to such outrages as having humanitarian assistance subverted towards the monstrous inhumanity of terrorist atrocities against the selfsame donors. Islam has absolutely no problem turning even the kindest deeds against those who do them. An abrupt halt to all further assistanceeven in times of disasteris the only appropriate response to this vile deceit.
Those boys would stand a better chance if they did not have guys from the Left Coast and the East Coast professors defending them. The average Texan views Eastern College professors and CA lawyers lower than Hamas. Once the jury learns what Hamas is, they gonna be asking, "Who those guys think they fooling?" The jury is likely to be saying, "I don't want that stuff going on in my neighborhood." Bad news for the bad guys.
In the Muslim community, many view the prosecution as driven by pro- Israel political forces and by a form of paranoia they call "Islamophobia."
Always the same argument. Wasn't it Hitler who said if you tell a lie long enough . . . ?
Establishing case law that favors the mohammedans is all part of their jihad. In this way, they weaken the system of "their enemies" and (presumably) prepare the way for greater political/social/economic control to be afforded to them so they can carry out more legal avenues of protection, so they can influence and control American society in better ways that favor them, etc., etc.
Lahore police arrested four suspected terrorists and foiled an attack on a mosque late Sunday, while recovering a large quantity of illegal weapons from their custody. Two motorcyclists Javed and his gunman Ashfaq of Mujahid Squad Ravi Road Police were on a routine patrol when they observed four suspicious people travelling in a car. . They signalled the car to stop, but instead of stopping, the driver tried to escape from the patrolmen, following which the officials gave chase to the vehicle and radioed for backup at police emergency number 15.
Responding to the call for backup, four policemen Muhammad Ashraf, Zafar, Ramzan and Maqsood of Tiger Squad Ravi Road and a mobile vehicle reached the spot and pursued the suspected vehicle. The police teams eventually managed to cordon the vehicle near Bhatti Chowk at Link Road and arrested all four passengers. Police recovered two 8mm rifles, rifle-calibre 0.444, 250 cartridges and thousands of bullets from the car. The accused were then handed over to the Ravi Road Police station, where a case has been registered against them.
Sources told Daily Times that the suspects had confessed to planning a terrorist attack on a mosque during preliminary interrogations. They also told police that four other accomplices were surveying a different area of the city. Further, the sources revealed that the arrested men are Mehram Ali, Muhammad Irfan, Haidar and an unidentified suspect. They said Haider and the unidentified man had been transferred to an unknown location and Ali and Irfan were from Shiekhupura.
When contacted, Capital City Police Officer Malik Muhammad Iqbal said the police had arrested four suspects and recovered a large quantity of illegal weapons from their possession. He said further investigations were underway and it was too early to say the accused were terrorists.
Meanwhile, it was also learnt that emergency number 15 received a call from house No 35 in Allama Iqbal Towns Jahanzaib Block. The caller informed the police that four suspicious people were travelling in a car with registration number LRR-1999 in the area. Mobile police responded to the call, but the suspects managed to escape.
Forty people were killed in northwest Pakistan on Sunday in a surge of militant violence which officials said could be aimed at avenging the commando assault on a radical mosque in the capital last week.
Also on Sunday, pro-Taliban militants in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border called off a 10-month peace deal with the government after accusing authorities of violating the pact.
About 90 people, most of them paramilitary soldiers and police, have been killed in attacks in the northwest since July 3, when security forces in Islamabad surrounded the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, complex following clashes with gunmen.
Early on Sunday, 14 people, 11 of them paramilitary soldiers, were killed in a suicide-bomb ambush on a patrol in the scenic Swat valley in North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Hours later, a suicide bomber targeted a police recruiting centre in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, in the same province, killing 26, many of them young men taking a police entrance exam, police said. Dozens were wounded.
Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao said the two attacks could be a militant response to the Lal Masjid assault. "It's very difficult to stop suicide attacks," Sherpao told Geo TV.
Security analysts had expressed fears of a militant backlash over the Lal Masjid assault.
'Backlash' implies the original aggression was the governments. Pfeh.
Up to 45 people were killed and over a hundred injured in suicide bombings targeting security forces in NWFP on Sunday in apparent revenge attacks by extremists for the Lal Masjid operation. Eleven security personnel and six civilians were killed and 47 others injured in Matta, Swat, when suicide bombers smashed two cars packed with explosives into an army convoy, officials said. And 25 people were killed and 61 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Dera Ismail Khan Police Lines on Sunday, police said.
On Saturday, a similar attack on an army convoy in North Waziristan killed 23 paramilitary soldiers. The latest attacks mean some 100 people, mostly from the security forces, have been killed in attacks since July 3, when troops laid siege to Lal Masjid in Islamabad. Some 75 militants were killed when commandos stormed the mosque compound. Extremist clerics, including Maulana Fazlullah in Swat, denounced the operation and called for revenge attacks on security forces. Many of the militants at the mosque and madrassa students were believed to have been from the NWFP.
Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao said the two attacks could be a militant response to the Lal Masjid assault. Sundays first attack occurred between 7:00am and 7:40am, when two cars packed with explosives rammed into a convoy of several vehicles passing through Matta bazaar in Mingora, Swat. In addition, a landmine also hit the convoy, Swat District Coordination Officer (DCO) Syed Muhammad Javed told Daily Times. Among the dead, 11 are army jawans, six civilians, including a child, and two suicide bombers, said the DCO, adding that among the injured, 41 were from the army, two from the Frontier Corps (FC), two from the police, and two were civilians. The blast destroyed some nearby houses and damaged a market.
The dead were identified as Hawaldar Nasir, Hawaldar Ijaz, Lance Naik Azam, Lance Naik Adil Mehmud, Lance Naik Ghulam Muhammad, and Jawans Abdul Latif, Akmal, Muzaffar Ali, Salman, Masood Jan and Said Manan, said the DCO.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack. Some people have been taken into custody and the police are investigating, Javed said. He said the injured were shifted to hospitals in Peshawar, Mardan and Rawalpindi in helicopters. Asked if the government would now conduct an operation against militants in Swat, Major General Waheed Arshad, director general of ISPR, said: Well see what we can do. There is no such move at the moment.
Eyewitnesses said the security forces opened fire after the attack to keep locals away from the blast scene, but there was no crossfire between the assailants and the security forces. However, Gen Arshad said there was no firing at the blast site.
At about 4:15pm, a suicide bomber blew himself up at DI Khan Police Lines as candidates took police entrance exams. Police official Safiullah told Daily Times that a total of 26 people were killed, including 12 policemen and the suicide bomber, and 61 others were wounded. Dera Ismail Khan District Nazim Haji Abdul Rauf said it was not clear how the bomber entered the police lines, whose entrance was guarded by policemen. Police officer Mohammed Aslam told AP that more than 150 people were on the premises when the bomber struck. He said the suicide bombers head and suicide vest had been found.
Up to 8,000 troops are involved in a new US-led offensive against al-Qa'ida-linked fighters south of Baghdad, according to military statements.
Iraqi forces are also participating in the offensive, the according to US forces, who announced a major sweep in the Euphrates River valley, in Babel Province, the US military has announced.
The military has not identified with precision the location or expected duration of the operations, which began early Monday morning when helicopter-borne troops landed in an area 22 miles south of Baghdad, in the Euphrates River valley.
The sweep, launched in predawn raids Monday, is dubbed Operation Marne Avalanche.
According to English-language media reports, the stated goal of the operations is to tighten the security cordon around Baghdad, according to military statements. US commanders said they aim to cut off a southwestern supply route into the capital, running from western Anbar province through Babil province into Baghdad, Reuters writes.
The military said in a statement that the new sweep was "aimed at preventing the movement of weapons, munitions and insurgents into Baghdad."
However, an Arabic-language agency reports that the US military has said the aims of the operation are broader than just shutting off a supply line to Baghdad.
Al-Melaf reports in Arabic that a US military spokesperson, Maj. Alan Conway, stated that the aims of the operation are clear the Euphrates valley of militant fighters, and that the US was targeting weapons caches in and around the areas falling south of Baghdad.
Al-Melaf reports that the operation targets areas around the Iraqi city of Juruf al-Sakhir, al-Melaf reports in Arabic, between the eastern area of anbar province and the North-western areas of Babil province.
The Euphrates Valley area is considered one of the principal al-Qa'ida strongholds in the country, falling within the so-called triangle of death south of Baghdad.
One presumes with inside help.
BAGHDAD - Twenty-four Iranians being held in an Iraqi prison near the border with Iran succeeded in escaping Saturday night, the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) reported Sunday.
VOI cited a security source in Wasit province, 180 kilometres south-east of Baghdad, as reporting the prison escape, and said that police had managed to recapture four of them. These police will have their pay docked for failing to follow the plan.
The source, who declined to be identified, told VOI the 24 Iranians had broken through the prisons main gate to make their escape. The report said a search for the escaped prisoners was underway and a state of siege declared in the area of Badra, 80 kilometres east of the Wasit capital of Kut.
The Iranian escapees were all being held for allegedly having entered the country illegally.
although there are Iranian terrorism supporters in Iraq, these 24 may have been just some clueless dolts who thought they should worship in a Shia shrine and were told by their mullah to 'just do it'.
I'm assuming that if they were really valuable, we would not have handed them to the Iraqis without monitoring them and if they were even moderately valuable the Iraqis would have kept them under someone better than team "D".
Kirkuk, 16 July (AKI) - At least 80 people have been killed and dozens wounded after bomb blasts rocked the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Iraqi police said that in one of the blasts Monday a suicide truck bomber attacked a crowded market near the office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the party of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
A second bomb had been detonated in a car parked in a busy street near an office of the ministry of transport. Police said the number of dead and injured in both attacks is expected to rise. The Arab TV network, al-Arabiya, said authorities had difficulty counting the dead and were transporting the injured to local hospitals.
Witnesses to the attack on the PUK office said the massive explosion there left a crater several metres deep. More than 20 cars were destroyed, two buildings collapsed completely and a number of shops were also damaged, local news reports said.
Meanwhile, in the capital Baghdad, a series of attacks on Monday morning killed at least nine people. In the deadliest of the attacks, a roadside bomb hit an Iraqi army patrol on the city's north-eastern outskirts, killing five soldiers and wounding nine others.
Posted by: anonymous5089 ||
07/16/2007 10:03 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq
Baghdad: The US military on Saturday said its soldiers found rocket launchers armed with dozens of Iranian-made missiles aimed at one of its bases south of Baghdad. "After several rockets hit FOB (Forward Operating Base) Hammer on July 11, the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team manoeuvred to find the source of the attack," a military statement said.
The next morning an "unmanned aerial vehicle located 46 rocket launchers in the northern section of Besmaya Range Complex aimed at FOB Hammer. Thirty-four of the launchers were armed with Iranian 107mm rockets."
The US army believes the other 12 rockets were launched at the base the day before, killing one US soldier. The military announced the death on July 12 but provided no details at the time.
US commanders frequently accuse Iran of providing weapons, training and support to armed groups in Iraq, including many of the rockets launched at Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. They have also accused Iranian special forces of using Shiite Lebanese Hezbollah fighters to train Iraqi extremists to attack US troops in Iraq. Plus various other infos at link, including the snuffing of a rooters translator.
Posted by: anonymous5089 ||
07/16/2007 09:48 ||
Top|| File under: Mahdi Army
We should put them on Iraq's border with Iran, and offer to launch send them back to Iran, any time, on a momemnt's notice...
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
07/16/2007 9:57 Comments ||
After several rockets hit FOB Hammer on July 11, the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team maneuvered to find the source of the attack. Early on July 12, the 3rd HBCTs unmanned aerial vehicle located 46 rocket launchers in the northern section of Besmaya Range Complex aimed at FOB Hammer. Thirty-four of the launchers were armed with Iranian 107mm rockets. The Besmaya Range Complex is adjacent to the Coalition Force base. Soldiers of the 789th Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, currently attached to the 3rd HBCT, immediately responded to the site. According to Capt. Justin Gerken, from Red Wing, Minn., commander of the 789th EOD team, 12 of the 46 rockets had already been used to attack FOB Hammer the day prior. EOD Soldiers were able to determine that the rockets originated from Iran after analyzing the unexploded ordnance. The 789th EOD team was successful in neutralizing the remaining rockets.
I got copies of the photographs documenting the scene from MNF-I PAO this morning.
Iranian 107mm rocket captured while aimed at U.S. FOB Hammer in Iraq.
U.S. Army EOD securing Iranian 107mm rockets and launchers captured in Iraq.
A car bomb packed with explosives detonated Sunday in a central Baghdad square, killing 10 people and wounding 25, the deadliest attack on a day in which at least 18 others died in violence.
Still, a US military spokesman on Sunday that the month-old American offensives in and around the capital were starting to have an effect, reducing violence and civilian deaths, though he did not cite figures. The Bush administration is under increased pressure from critics in Congress who say the US strategy in Iraq is not working, raising calls for a troop withdrawal. Proponents of a pull-out have pointed to the failure of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to enact political reforms considered vital to a long-term fall in violence.
The car bomb attack came in Hussein Square, a popular site of take-away restaurants in the central Baghdad district of Karradah near a bridge across the Tigris River, said a police official. The afternoon blast ripped through nearby stalls and shops, killing 10 and wounding 25, according to officials at the two hospitals where the victims were taken.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/16/2007 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency
I saw Carl "The Penguin" Levin on Brit Hume's Fox News Sunday yesterday, right after Stephen Hadley (NSC) was on. It really doesn't warm your cockles or cheer your patriotic spirit when you listen to Carl whine. To think that our military has to go and crawl on hands and knees to appease this little man is frightening. He is an unrepentent partisan politician who is like a fart in a bottle. Its always "their" policy, "their" strategy, "their" report - not OURS like in America - you pompous idiot. Where the hell is the old "loyal opposition"? Its more like - okay this is your war, not ours. Al Queda and radical islam are Republican's enemies not ours. When they come, they will leave all the little cowards, gays, feminists, liberals, democrats (sorry, repeating myself) and pinkos alone.
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
07/16/2007 9:33 Comments ||
Jack, just forget for a moment that Carl Levin is a sniveling weasel and consider the way he wears his glasses down at the end of his nose and that ridiculous comb over. How can people vote for a guy who looks like that?
Local residents in this southern province [Narathiwat] were unable to travel on Monday morning as roads in 13 districts were blocked by felled trees and spikes. Terrorists Presumed insurgents scattered spikes across main roads and felled trees, blocking transport throughout the province, causing chaos in all 13 districts. Suspicious materials were found on roads and railway tracks. Police cordoned off the roadblock sites while clearing the roadways and collecting evidence. To preclude any untoward incident, during the cleanup activities the public was not allowed to travel to work or school.
Four civilians were bound and shot dead execution-style in northern Sri Lanka near the scene of heavy battles between troops and Tamil rebels, a police official said Sunday.
The bodies of the four were found shot in the head Sunday with their hands tied behind their backs in Vavuniya district. Four people were found shot dead at Tavasakulam in Vavuniya, said a police official in Vavuniya, 260 kilometres north of Colombo. An investigation is under way, he said adding that it was unclear who was behind the killings.
The four were killed in the same region where security forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought pitched battles on Saturday, officials said. The two sides claimed to have inflicted heavy casualties in the weekend fighting with the military saying at least 16 government soldiers and three rebels were killed. The Sri Lankan defence ministry cited different figures, saying that 10 soldiers were killed and 34 wounded.
On Sunday the rebels returned the bodies of four soldiers through the Red Cross, local officials said. The defence ministry said a large number of Tigers were also killed on Saturday, but did not say how many. Claims by either side cannot be independently verified. The latest fighting came three days after troops wrested control over the final rebel base in the east of the island, a move confirmed by the LTTE.
Fighting across Sri Lanka has worsened since the breakdown of a 2002 truce around 19 months ago.
Beirut, 16 July (Aki) - A bomb exploded near a patrol of UN peacekeeping troops driving on a coastal road in southern Lebanon on Monday. Lebanon's state-run National News Agency described the device as "a small bomb".
Initial reports said that none of the troops, who were identified as The Mighty Tanzanians, were injured in the blast which took place in Qassimiyeh, a village near the southern port city of Tyre.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian state-run television broadcast clips on Monday of two Iranian- Americans being held on charges of endangering national security, mixing footage of the detainees with images of civil unrest and revolution.
The video was a preview of a program called "Under the Name of Democracy" that state television indicated would be broadcast on Wednesday.
Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh were shown separately, both in what appeared to be homes and wearing civilian attire. Clips of the two, speaking in Farsi, were shown intermittently throughout the video.
"I was an element in the velvet revolution in Georgia," said Esfandiari at one point. The broadcast made no reference to the context of her comments.
Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, was jailed in early May.
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry has accused her of trying to set up networks of Iranians with the ultimate goal of creating a "soft revolution" in Iran to topple the hardline Islamic regime, along the lines of the revolutions that ended communist rule in eastern Europe.
Archive images of street violence and protests in what appeared to be eastern Europe and Iran were mixed in with images of the two detainees.
At another point in the video, she said: "Finding speakers has been my role," a possible reference to her efforts to bring prominent Iranians to the U.S. to talk about the political situation in Iran.
Tajbakhsh, 45, an urban planning consultant with George Soros' Open Society Institute, is also being held on security charges.
"The role of the Soros foundation might have been targeting the world of Islam," he said in the video clip, reading from a piece of paper.
Iran has in the past allegedly forced detainees to incriminate themselves publicly on television.
British sailors detained by Tehran in March for allegedly entering Iranian territory, for instance, repeatedly appeared in videos during their captivity.
Britain accused Iran of using the sailors for propaganda by putting them on TV for appearances in which they "admitted" trespassing in Tehran's waters. The crew was freed after two weeks.
The TV images on Monday followed Iran's announcement earlier in July that evidence had pushed its judiciary to launch new investigations into the cases of both Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh.
The Wilson Center had said Esfandiari was being held in solitary confinement in Tehran's notorious Evin prison without access to her family, lawyers or international rights organizations.
Two other Iranian-Americans, Parnaz Azima, a journalist who works for the U.S.-funded Radio Farda, and Ali Shakeri, a founding board member of the University of California, Irvine, Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, face similar charges.
Family members, colleagues and employers of the four have denied the allegations.
Shakeri is in custody, while Azima is free but barred from the leaving the country.
International human rights groups, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch, have expressed deep concern for the health of the detained Americansespecially Esfandiari, who is 67.
Esfandiari has been trapped in Iran since visiting her 93-year-old mother in December, when three masked men with knives stole her luggage and passport as she headed to the airport to leave, according to the Wilson Center.
Posted by: anonymous5089 ||
07/16/2007 09:26 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
NAHR AL BARED, Lebanon: Lebanese troops advanced for the first time yesterday into a Palestinian refugee camp as they battled Al Qaeda-inspired militants, and two soldiers were killed raising the military death toll to 100. Quagmire!
Lebanese and army flags were seen flying over two or three devastated buildings inside Nahr Al Bared as the battle for the north Lebanon camp between the military and Fatah al-Islam fighters entered its ninth week. The advance marked a major step for the army in the battle to crush the militants and a rare venture by troops into a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon in four decades.
A 1969 Arab agreement banned Lebanese security forces from entering Palestinian camps. The agreement was annulled by the Lebanese parliament in the mid-1980s but the accord effectively stayed in place. So much for national sovereignty.
Security sources said at least two soldiers died in the latest fighting, bringing the military death toll to 100. A total of 221 people, including at least 80 militants, have been killed since the fighting began on May 20, making it Lebanons worst internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war. The toll includes those killed in limited clashes in other areas of the country.
Fatah al-Islam is made up of a few hundred mainly Arab fighters who admit admiration of Al Qaeda but claim no organisational links. Some of the fighters have fought in or were on their way to fight in Iraq.
Soldiers exchanged automatic rifle fire and grenades with militants at buildings and alleyways leading to the centre of Nahr Al Bared while army artillery and tanks pounded other areas. Fatah al-Islam fighters hit back, firing a dozen Katyusha rockets at surrounding Lebanese villages. The sources said troops pulled out alive two commandos who had been buried under the rubble of a booby-trapped building that blew up on Saturday.
The military has increased its bombardment of the besieged camp since Thursday, anxious not to get sucked into a war of attrition with the well-trained and well-armed militants. But the militants have responded fiercely, killing 13 soldiers and wounding 53.
In south Lebanon, unknown gunmen shot dead Dharrar Rifai at Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp. Rifai was a member of the now defunct Jund al-Sham group. Jund al-Sham was dissolved last month after clashes with the Lebanese army. Two groups dominate Ain al-Hilweh, Lebanons largest Palestinian refugee camp: Fatah and Al Qaeda-linked Usbat al-Ansar.
The violence has further undermined stability in Lebanon, where a Syrian-sponsored paralysing eight-month political crisis has been compounded by Syrian-sponsored bombings in and around Beirut, the Syrian-sponsored assassination of an anti-Syrian legislator and a Syrian-sponsored fatal attack on UN peacekeepers.
Militants holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon fired more rockets that landed in farm fields outside the camp Sunday as the army bombarded suspected hideouts inside the besieged settlement. Security officials said at least five Katyusha rockets landed in farm fields in the northern Akkar region, a few miles north of the Nahr el-Bared camp, where al-Qaida-inspired Fatah Islam militants have been fighting the Lebanese army. No casualties were immediately reported.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting continued at Nahr el-Bared as the army pounded suspected militant hideouts with artillery shells and tank fire. The toll of Lebanese soldiers killed in camp battles is nearing 100.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/16/2007 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Fatah al-Islam
We have rockets, and we're not afraid to use them!
Lebanese troops fought close-quarter battles with al Qaeda-inspired militants at a Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon on Sunday while an Islamist activist was gunned down in the south.
Security sources said unknown gunmen shot dead Dharrar Rifai at Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in south Lebanon. Rifai was a member of the now defunct Jund al-Sham group. Jund al-Sham was dissolved last month after clashes with the Lebanese army. Two groups dominate Ain al-Hilweh, Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp: Fatah and al Qaeda-linked Usbat al-Ansar.
In north Lebanon, soldiers exchanged automatic rifle fire and grenades with militants at building and alleyways leading to the centre of Nahr al-Bared camp while army artillery pounded other areas. Fatah al-Islam militants hit back, firing a dozen Katyusha rockets at surrounding Lebanese villages. The fighting, which entered its ninth week on Sunday, has killed at least 219 people, including 98 soldiers, making it the worst internal violence since Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war. Security sources said troops pulled out alive two commandos who had been buried under the rubble of a booby-trapped building that blew up on Saturday.
The military has increased its bombardment of the besieged camp since Thursday, anxious not to get sucked into a war of attrition with the well-trained and well-armed militants. But the militants have responded fiercely, killing 11 soldiers and wounding 53.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/16/2007 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Jund al-Shams
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.