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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Iranian Rockets Found, Turned Over to Coalition Forces

Iranian Rockets Found, Turned Over to Coalition Forces

Courtesy of Multi-National Forces - Iraq

Saturday, 08 December 2007

Kazakhstani Soldiers received 14 Iranian 107 mm rockets and fuses at Forward Operating Base Delta, Dec. 4, from the Iraqi civil defense corps. The rockets, manufactured in 2006, were the first Iranian rockets to be turned over to Coalition forces at FOB Delta.  Photo courtesy of Multi-National Division-Central.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA — A cache of Iranian manufactured rockets was turned over to Coalition forces based at Forward Operating Base Delta, Dec. 4.

Iraqi civil defense personnel delivered 14 107 mm Iranian rockets and fuses to the Kazakhstani Soldiers, said 1st Lt. Almaz Mukashev, the Kazakhstani liaison officer. The rockets were manufactured in 2006.

The Iraqi civil defense personnel have turned over munitions to Coalition forces before, but this was the first delivery of Iranian weapons to Coalition forces, said Col. Peter Baker, the 214th Fires Brigade commander.

“This is another indication of the cooperation of Iraqi officials who in all earnestness want to have a better society,” Baker said. “They know these rockets are here illegally and that they are here to maim and kill Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces.”


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Two Testimonies by Young Men Who Went to Wage Jihad in Iraq

Courtesy of MEMRI

Special Dispatch-Iraq/Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project December 7, 2007 No. 1780

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit this link: Two Testimonies by Young Men Who Went to Wage Jihad in Iraq

Two testimonies by young men who went to Iraq to wage jihad were published recently. In the first testimony, a young Saudi named Ahmad bin 'Abdallah Al-Shayi' said that he regretted his actions, and accused Al-Qaeda of exploiting young men by tempting them to join the organization and then sending them to carry out martyrdom operations. He warned all young men, and Muslims in general, to learn from his mistake, and not to join the jihad in Iraq or in other regions of conflict.

The second testimony was that of an individual calling himself "the noble mujahid Muhibb Al-Sunna Al-Iraqi." Unlike Al-Shayi', he described his experience in very positive terms, and praised the Al-Qaeda commanders, particularly the late Al-Qaeda in Iraq commander Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi.

The interview with Al-Shayi' was published in the Saudi government daily Al-Riyadh, on November 21, 2007, as part of recent Saudis efforts to prevent young men from participating in jihad in Iraq. The second testimony, published by the Rafidayn Center, was posted in French on the Islamist forum Minbar-SOS (hosted by Bravenet Web Services Inc. in Canada) on October 28, 2007,(1) and also on the Islamist forum Elshouraa (hosted by ZipServers Inc. in Oklahoma, USA), on November 21, 2007. (2)

The following are excerpts from the two testimonies.

Al-Shayi': Although I Couldn't Drive Heavy Vehicles, They Asked Me to Drive a Fuel Tanker to Baghdad – Without Telling Me It was a Truck Bomb

In the interview, titled "I Set Out to Seek Jihad – And They Turned Me into a Pawn for Killing Innocents... My Going There Was a Grave Mistake," Al-Shayi' recounted the unfolding of events from the time he left Saudi Arabia for Iraq via Syria to his injury while detonating a truck bomb in Baghdad, his arrest, and his extradition to Saudi Arabia, where he renounced his jihadist views.

"I left for Iraq in order to participate in the jihad, and to fight the occupiers – [at least] that was what I thought at the time. The commander of my group, Abu 'Abd Al-Rahman, asked me to deliver a fuel tanker to a particular place in the Al-Mansour residential neighborhood in Baghdad, and drew me a diagram of the spot. I told him that I didn't know how to drive a heavy vehicle, but he said that [it] was easy. In truth, this operation, which was the first mission I was asked to carry out since I entered Iraq, was highly suspect. Why were they asking me to deliver [a fuel tanker] when I didn't know how to drive a heavy vehicle – while [the commander] or any other Iraqi in the organization could deliver the tanker and knew the way? But I could not refuse to carry out the operation, for fear that they would kill me.

"[In general,] from the moment I entered Iraq I saw that they were acting suspiciously, and were not training me to use weapons [so that I could] participate in the fighting. But... I told myself, 'They pray and fast, they are jihad-fighting Muslims; they could not possibly kill me or harm me.' And I agreed [to carry out the mission].

"They asked me to deliver [the tanker] at 9:00 PM, and at the appointed hour we [got in] the tanker, which was very long, and drove off. After a while, the driver asked me to try and drive. I did, until I learned how to do it. After that, we got on the main road [to] Al-Mansour, where I was meant to hand over the tanker. A while later, they stopped the tanker, got out, and left in another vehicle. Left there alone, I considered running away, but where [would I go]? I didn't know anyone except them. I trusted in Allah, hoped for the best, and set out to carry out what they had asked of me...

"When I reached the street where I was meant to stop, the truck suddenly exploded. I saw the fire take hold, and it was a nightmare for me; I couldn't believe the horrible sight. Twelve people were killed in the explosion, and dozens of others were wounded – [all of them] innocent people. Later, I learned that this was one of a series of bombings aimed against the Jordanian Embassy, and that this kind of tanker could hold 25 tons of propane.

"After the explosion, I quickly jumped out of the window [of the tanker]... and fell to the ground. [I lay there] until an ambulance took me to the Al-Yarmouk University hospital, and from there to the Muhammad Baqr Al-Hakim hospital, based on the [forged] identity card given to me by the [Al-Qaeda] organization.

"Then Iraqi intelligence was informed of my whereabouts, and an Iraqi intelligence officer came and questioned me in the hospital. Later he took me to the Iraqi Interior Ministry... where I was interrogated by the minister's aide for intelligence affairs... The Iraqi government handed me over to the American forces, which sent me to the hospital at the Abu Ghraib prison, to have my burns and wounds treated. I spent six months there, and received treatment like all the other prisoners.

"Before my extradition to Saudi Arabia, three officers from the Saudi Interior Ministry came, and met with the Saudi prisoners, including me... About a month after that, the American investigator told me that they were going to extradite me to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, a week later, I was extradited to Saudi Arabia on a special plane. When I reached the Riyadh air force base, before we went into the arrivals hall, one of the senior Interior Ministry officers told me, 'Your family is here to welcome you,' and my joy was multiplied."

It All Began When a Friend Gave Me Videocassettes of Jihad Movies and Talked Me into Going with Him to Iraq

"It all began when an old friend of mine, whom I had not seen for years, met with me a few times, and then began to talk about jihad, to tell me hadiths, [and to quote] Koran verses backing up his statements. He also gave me numerous videocassettes that included jihad movies, and the one that stood out most and affected me the most was the one telling the story of the jihad [carried out by] Khattab(3) in Afghanistan and Chechnya...

"After that, he told me that he knew a way to get to Iraq, and that he himself was about to go. He asked whether I wanted to accompany him, and I said yes. I misled my family [into thinking] that I was going abroad, and didn't tell them of my [true] intentions, because I knew that they would be against it. [My friend] once brought [me] a fatwa... that sanctioned going out to wage jihad without the permission of parents or of the ruler, and pointed out that 26 sheikhs and scholars had signed it.(4) [This fatwa] strengthened my resolve. This was during the last third of the month of Ramadan 1425 [November 2004]."

They Asked Me If I Knew that Once I Entered Iraq There Was No Coming Back – Because We Swear an Oath of Allegiance to Death

"About a week later, we left Buraidah together to go to Riyadh, and from there to Syria. In Damascus, my friends introduced me to a coordinator, a Saudi called Abu Abdallah, and he took me to the organization's commander in Aleppo, who was called Mazen... [Mazen] asked me if I knew that once I entered Iraq there was no coming back, because we swear an oath of allegiance to death there... He took me to a crowded hotel for two days, where I met two Saudis and two Moroccans. Then he took me to another hotel, in the suburbs of Aleppo, where I met [some other] Saudis and Moroccans, and where I stayed until after Eid Al-Fitr.

"After that, Mazen asked me to go to the city of Al-Raqa on our way to Iraq, to meet another coordinator [there]. I went there together with another man, a Moroccan, after Mazen provided us with two forged identity cards, one Syrian, the other Iraqi. When we got to Al-Raqa... the coordinator was waiting for us, and when we reached the designated place, a man dressed like a Syrian Bedouin arrived... I learned later that he was a Saudi called Abu Saleh...

"Then we went to a hotel, where I met the friend who had left [Saudi Arabia] with me... I stayed one night at this hotel, and then Abu Saleh asked me and the three Saudis who were with me, one of whom was my friend, to go to the city of Deir Al-Zor to meet the final coordinator [before going to meet] the smuggler [who would get us into Iraq]. [The coordinator] appointed one of us commander [of our group]..."

The Commander of the Arabs in Al-Qaeda Greeted Us and Asked If We Wanted to Become Martyrs

"[In Deir Al-Zor, the final coordinator] handed us over to the smuggler, together with eight more young men of various Arab nationalities – Moroccan, Syrian, Jordanian, Gulf, and Yemeni... We departed in a minibus from Deir Al-Zor to Abu Kamal on the Iraqi border. Before [turning off on] the road to Abu Kamal, the vehicle stopped behind a truck carrying goods to Abu Kamal, and we were asked to get into its front part. When we'd gone about five kilometers, the truck stopped, and 12 more people of various [Arab] nationalities joined us. After another distance, the truck stopped [again], and seven more, all Syrians, joined us. [By now] there were 31 people in the truck...

"When we got to Abu Kamal, they let us off at a farm on the banks of the Euphrates River. Then a boat came, and it began to take us, in groups of seven each time, to an island in the middle of the river, and from there to the other bank. This, they explained, was because there was a checkpoint on the bridge over the river.

"It was 11:00 PM. After crossing the river, the minibus came and took us to the home of the smuggler, which was right on the border. After a short rest, the smuggler took a submachine gun and night-vision binoculars, and we set out for the border, without the seven Syrians...

"When the Iraqis who were meant to take us from the smuggler arrived... the smuggler went back [to Syria], and the Iraqis, who were young, took us and bid us to move quickly [so as to reach our destination] before dawn, and so as not to be discovered.

"We kept running until we came to Iraq, entering via the city of Al-Qaim. The first to greet us was the commander of the Arabs in Al-Qaeda in Iraq, who was a Moroccan called Abu Assil. He asked if we wanted to be istishhadiyun [that is, to carry out martyrdom operations]... Nobody raised his hand. Then [the commander] began to praise istishhad and its benefits, but not one of us changed his mind. Then he took the money that he had and gave each of us $100, took our passports, and took us to the Rawa region of the Al-Anbar district, where at a hotel... 40 Arabs were staying. Together with them, we waited to receive training."

In Five Weeks, I Never Received Any Training

"After staying at the hotel for a week, the commander of the Rawa [region] in the Al-Qaeda organization, called Abu 'Ubaida Al-Ansari, asked me and another Saudi to go to the city of Al-Ramadi, and said there were training camps there. I stayed [at these training camps] for a month, and never received any training... When I complained to the Al-Anbar commander, who was called Abu Osama about not receiving training, and said that we had come to participate in the war, he said that they would take us to Baghdad.

"The next day, they took us [to Baghdad]. At that time, I and another Saudi were greeted by an Iraqi called Abu 'Omar Al-Kurdi, who I later learned was the [operations] commander of Al-Qaeda... Abu 'Omar Al-Kurdi told me that my group commander was Abu 'Abd Al-Rahman. Then he left, and I stayed with the new group – nine men, all of them Iraqis... [The Iraqis] were not pleased at [Saudi] participation [in the war against the Americans]... because [they] consider this to be interference in their internal affairs..."

Fatwas, Islamist Websites, and Jihad Books and Videos Inflame Young People to Go Wage Jihad

"I think that several factors [influence young Saudis to go to wage jihad] – some of them directly, and some indirectly, such as fatwas... websites, and web forums. Many of the websites are spreading poison in the name of Islam, which Islam [itself] renounces, and are saturated with takfir [accusing other Muslims of heresy] and extremism...

"Another factor is the books, cassettes, songs, and films. As I said, there are cassettes and books that include hair-raising atrocities, and these, unfortunately, can be found in libraries... I think that on a short visit to the Islamic libraries one can find songs of incitement and books that inflame the spirit of young people, [and] that include all the forbidden things. I think that letting these materials onto the shelves and into the shops is [an act of] negligence, and I expect the education and information ministries to give their opinion on this matter... because all these things inflame the young people and ignite the fire of war in their hearts...

"I call on young people particularly, and Muslims in general, to learn from my mistakes, and not to be tempted to go to Iraq or to other regions of conflict."

Muhibb Al-Sunna Al-Iraqi: "My Beloved Brother Abu Muhammad... Asked Me to Help Him with an Operation... I Could Not Turn Him Down, For I Craved [Allah's] Reward..."

Al-Iraqi's testimony, titled "One Day in My Life, and the Truth about a Commander," recounts how he went on a jihadist operation in Baghdad, and met Al-Qaeda operatives, including Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi.

"...I have learned, when it comes to matters of jihad and mujahideen, to keep what I have seen and heard to myself, in two senses [of the term]: keep it so as to forget it, and keep it so as not to tell anyone. This is what a mujahid taught me... But today, I will bring back to life one of the things I have buried...

"About three and a half years ago, I was in a phase of transition in terms of ideology and religious approach, and the love of the Sunna was beginning to fill my heart... My close, beloved brother Abu Muhammad – may Allah accept him among the martyrs – asked me to help him with an operation he was preparing in the Baghdad area. I could not turn him down, for I craved [Allah's] reward and compensation. 'For these, let those who want to fight, fight.'

"Abu Muhammad... asked me and [another] brother..., Abu Zaynab – may Allah have mercy upon him whether he is dead or alive – to accompany him to the Baghdad area with the items necessary for the operation. We drove in two cars, my brother Abu Muhammad in one car, Abu Zaynab and me in the other. My meeting with him for this operation was our first and last one...

"After a short time, we arrived at the designated spot, and brother Abu Zaynab asked to enter the house where the necessary items were kept, and to fetch them by himself, while we were to wait for him nearby... This neighborhood had been set on fire that very day, following the murder of a renowned mosque imam at the hands of the Ghadr (Badr) militia,(5) and there were reports of another operation near the district.

"Just a few seconds later, a group of cars full of masked men wearing ashamigh [kaffiyehs] surrounded us on all sides. They all had guns or Kalashnikovs!..."

"He Who Puts His Trust in Allah... Knows for Sure that the Primary Goal is the [Establishment of the] Islamic State"

"I put my fate in Allah's [hands]. They seized me and my brother Abu Muhammad and blindfolded us. I sensed that they were handling Abu Muhammad roughly. Then they drove me to a fairly remote place, and [put me in] a room. There, I asked my brother Abu Muhammad: 'Who are these people?' He said, 'I don't know'... It was very difficult for me, since this was the first time I had [ever] been imprisoned... [But] he who puts his trust in Allah and his fate into Allah's hands, and remains patient throughout the trial, knows for sure that the primary goal is the [establishment of the] Islamic state... And if the moment of death is brought closer by Allah, the reward (for the Hijrah) is certain...

"A few seconds later, a man whose face was covered with a kaffiyeh came in and untied us, and began questioning us... I heard that they were mujahideen and my heart was appeased... At that moment, Abu Zaynab appeared, exhausted from running. His eyes were full of tears, and when he saw us he did the takbir [i.e. greeted us with 'Allah Akbar'], and then embraced us and the man asking questions...

"Later... I went with Abu Zaynab to the house nearby where we had waited so long... We entered the house and greeted the brothers, who apologized for what had happened... I asked a brother for a place to pray. While I was praying, I heard someone give the salaam. I finished praying, and to my right I saw a man – yes, by Allah, a man at a time when [true] men are rare – and felt as though I knew him... So I greeted him and his companions, and began relating what had happened, and praising Allah. I kept looking at that man and he kept smiling at me.

"Then he went to talk with the old man who owned the house. According to what I heard, he was a muhajir (emigrant)... Yes, by Allah, he was talking of ways to improve the condition of the Sunnis, with the help of the renowned and ancient tribal [authorities]. And he seemed... to be worried [that the Sunnis] would face a dark fate if the Crusaders and the Rafidha [i.e., the Shi'ites] came to rule over them, and if the renowned and ancient [authorities] and the tribal sheikhs and their families stopped elevating themselves [to the rank of] the Sunnis, [and stopped] managing the general affairs of the Sunnis and preventing any Tom, Dick or Harry from ruling over them...

"The muhajir advised me to be patient, and reminded me that the way [of the mujahideen] is one of trials and suffering... These few words from the muhajir... were enough to recognize the minhaj [way] of the Al-Qaeda brothers – their patience, tolerance, and their disdain for all differences [between people]...

"A few minutes later, a young man who resided in the house informed the old man [i.e. the owner of the house] that the worshippers of the Cross had entered the area. So the old man told the muhajir: 'This place is no [longer] safe for you.' The muhajir rose with his companions, gave us the salaam, his smile never leaving his face as he looked at me. Then he left the house.

"Later, my brother Abu Muhammad, may Allah accept him, arrived and we took [the items] we had come to fetch..."

"I Have Never Met Any Purer Soul, Softer Heart, or Humbler People than... the Al-Qaeda Soldiers"

"This smiling man, this muhajir whom I met, who smiled when setting his eyes on me... was the Amir of the Martyrs, the Imam, the Muhajir, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, may Allah accept him in the uttermost [places of] Paradise...

"I believe that, thanks to its [excellent] Amirs and ministers..., the leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq, may Allah secure its pillars, are able to avoid fitna [civil strife]... I was never, not even for one day, a member of Al-Qaeda or [Jama'at] Al-Tawhid Wal Jihad.(6) Rather, we worked to help the mujahideen in general.

"Oh Allah, You bear witness that I have never met any purer soul, softer heart, or humbler people than the People of the Tawhid, the Al-Qaeda soldiers – [nor have I met people] tougher in their power, strength, and hatred for the idolaters than the Al-Qaeda soldiers. As Allah is my witness... The group with whom I carried out the operation was not Al-Qaeda or Al-Tawhid Wal Jihad. It was another group known in the area.

"Oh Allah, accept your servant, the mujahid on Your path, Abu Mus'ab, among the martyrs.

"And accept my beloved brother Abu Muhammad, and all those killed from among the mujahideen...

"Oh Allah, protect the Islamic State [of Iraq], Oh Allah, protect the Islamic State...

"May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon you.

"[Signed] your brother Muhibb Al-Sunnah Al-Iraqi,

"Rabi' Al-Thani 1428,

"Al-Rafidayn Center Publications."


(1); ISP verified November 29, 2007.

(2); ISP verified November 27, 2007.

(3) Al-Khattab, or Ibn Al-Khattab, are aliases of Samer Al-Sweilem, a Saudi who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and then commanded the Arab jihad fighters in Chechnya until his death by poisoning in 2002.

(4) For more on the fatwa signed by 26 Saudi sheikhs, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 896, "Reactions and Counter-Reactions to the Saudi Clerics' Communiqué Calling for Jihad in Iraq," April 21, 2005, .

(5) The word ghadr ("traitor") is used here as an epithet for the Badr Forces – the military arm of the Iraqi party SCIRI (Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq), headed by 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Hakim, which is supported by Iran.

(6) Jama'at Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad (the Group of Monotheism and Jihad) was the name of Al-Zarqawi's organization before it joined forces with Al-Qaeda and took on the name Al-Qaeda in Iraq.


The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837

Phone: (202) 955-9070

Fax: (202) 955-9077


Search previous MEMRI publications at


Friday, November 30, 2007

Bin Laden's Message to the Europeans

Courtesy of MEMRI

Special Dispatch-Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project
November 30, 2007
No. 1776

Bin Laden's Message to the Europeans

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit the link: HERE

On November 29, the Islamist website Al-Ekhlaas, hosted by NOC4HOSTS Inc., in Florida U.S.A., posted an audio message from Osama bin Laden, produced by Al-Qaeda's media company Al-Sahab. The message, addressed to the European people, is an attempt to exploit the moral debate on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan currently underway in the West, particularly in Europe. Bin Laden portrays the European leaders as vassals of the U.S., and calls upon Europeans to pressure their governments to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan.

The following are excerpts from the address(1):

In the beginning of his address, bin Laden criticizes the Europeans for participating in the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks while knowing that the Afghans and their government had in no way been involved in these attacks. He states: "America was aware of this fact, because they [i.e. the Americans] had captured several Taliban ministers and had interrogated them... That is why the Taliban government requested that the U.S. produce evidence in support of their [accusations] prior to the invasion. But America failed to produce any evidence, and insisted on invading [Afghanistan without evidence] – and Europe followed suit..."

"In this war, you combined two injustices... [First], you did not possess even one piece of evidence admissible in court... You destroyed Al-Qaeda's camps, killing some of its members and capturing others, most of them from Pakistan. What, then, is Afghanistan's sin that you continue this unjust war against it? [The Afghans'] only sin is being Muslims. This reveals the extent of the Crusaders' malice towards Islam and its followers.

"Second... you have not observed the ethics and rules of warfare. Most of the intended victims of your attacks are women and children. [Even though] you know that our women do not fight... you kill them, hoping thereby to crush the mujahideen's morale. This will not help you... [because] we are determined... to continue taking our revenge on the unjust and to expel the occupying invaders."

Bin Laden then promises the Europeans that just as the Afghans defeated Great Britain and the Soviets in the past, they will now defeat the Western invaders under the command of Mulla 'Omar and Mansour Dadullah.

He concludes by saying: "The American tide is receding... and soon they will return to their homes beyond the Atlantic, leaving the neighbors to settle their accounts with one another. So it is better for you [Europeans]... to work diligently to end the oppression of the oppressed [i.e. withdraw your forces from Afghanistan]."

(1), November 27, 2007.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
Search previous MEMRI publications at

Ohio Man sentenced to 10 years conspiracy to provide support to terrorists

Must have missed this in the lamestream media. it is good to focus on some of our successes and also keep an eye on our vulnerabilities of potential future terroristic endeavors in America. Not all who come to our shores come with love and peace in their hearts.

Have a nice day.


Press Release link ((here))


WASHINGTON – An Ohio man has been sentenced to serve ten years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, Assistant Attorney General for National Security Kenneth L. Wainstein, U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Lockhart of the Southern District of Ohio, Assistant Director Joseph Billy, Jr., of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, and Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced today.

Nuradin M. Abdi, 35, a Somali national living in Columbus, Ohio, was named in a four-count indictment returned under seal in the U.S. District Court in Columbus on June 10, 2004. On July 31, 2007, Abdi pleaded guilty in federal court to Count One of the indictment, which charged him with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
Count One of the indictment specifically alleged that on April 27, 1999, Abdi applied to the Immigration and Naturalization Service - now known as ICE - for a travel document, wherein he concealed his destination by representing that he intended to visit Germany and Saudi Arabia for the purpose of "Umrah (Holly[sic] - Mecca) and visit my relative," when he actually planned to travel to Ogaden, Ethiopia, for the purpose of obtaining military-style training in preparation for violent jihad. Abdi allegedly sought training in radio usage, guns, guerilla warfare and bombs.

“Today's sentence is just punishment for a defendant who exploited our country's freedoms and manipulated our immigration system on numerous occasions, all in an effort to support and conspire with international terrorists,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Kenneth L. Wainstein.

“I want to commend the men and women who have diligently investigated and prosecuted this case,” U.S. Attorney Lockhart said. “They are successfully carrying out one of our nation’s most important jobs in the fight against terrorism - stopping those in this country who provide support to terrorists.”

“Nuradin Abdi's sentence should send a very clear message to those who, like Abdi, provide support to terrorist organizations and operatives. The FBI will not tolerate the propagation of violence and discord by those who wish to harm the U.S. and its citizens, and we will continue to work with our partners to pursue suspected terrorists and their supporters” said Assistant Director Joseph Billy, Jr., FBI Counterterrorism Division.

“Today's sentencing brings to conclusion one aspect of a critical joint investigation that identified and stopped three terrorist supporters bent on causing panic and significant harm to U.S. citizens,” said ICE Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers. “This investigation highlights the aggressive pursuit by ICE and the Department of Justice to identify and prosecute those who seek to terrorize America and its allies.”

According to the statement of facts agreed upon by the government and the defendant, Abdi first entered the United States in 1995 using a false passport. He once again illegally entered the United States from Canada in 1997. Abdi was later granted asylum in this country based on a series of false statements.

In the ensuing years, Abdi befriended co-conspirators Christopher Paul and Iyman Faris in Ohio. Christopher Paul was later arrested and indicted in April 2007 on charges of providing material support, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives). Iyman Faris was later convicted of providing material support and conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda. He is currently serving a 20-year prison term.

Federal agents arrested Abdi on Nov. 28, 2003. Abdi subsequently agreed to be interviewed by FBI agents and admitted conspiring with Faris, Paul and others to provide material support to foreign terrorists. These admissions by Abdi have been corroborated in a variety of ways, including bank records, travel records, invoices, and items seized in search warrants.

This case was investigated by the Southern Ohio Joint Terrorism Task Force, a multi-agency operation that includes agents and officers from 15 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The investigation was a joint investigation by agents and officers of the JTTF, specifically ICE Special Agents Bob Medellin and Rich Wilkens; and FBI Special Agents Steve Flowers and John Corbin.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dana M. Peters and Robyn J. Hahnert from the Southern District of Ohio and Sylvia Kaser, Trial Attorney with the Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section.

Friday, November 23, 2007

US Navy denied port visit to Hong Kong

USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group returning to port in Yokosuka, Japan

By U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

Posted: 11/23/2007

SOUTH CHINA SEA -- After the USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group had been refused entry into the port of Hong Kong yesterday, building seas and deteriorating weather conditions necessitated the strike group’s departure from the area. The strike group is returning to Yokosuka, Japan.

Kitty Hawk Strike Group ships originally scheduled for the Nov. 21-24 port visit are: USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), and USS Mustin (DDG 89). The Los Angeles class nuclear fast attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) was also due to enter port with the Strike Group.

The USS Kitty Hawk Strike Group is permanently forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. It is commanded by Rear Adm. Richard B. Wren.


Also reporting:  Associated Press, courtesy of the Globe and Mail

After snub by China, U.S. carrier battle group sails home


Associated Press

November 23, 2007 at 1:46 AM EST

TOKYO — Thousands of sailors aboard the USS Kitty Hawk and its carrier battle group had to mark the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday at sea after they were denied entry to Hong Kong for a port call that had been planned months in advance, navy officials said Friday.

China turned the ships away when they neared the port for the planned four-day stop. Beijing later reversed its decision but by that time the aircraft carrier, along with four warships and a nuclear submarine, were already leaving the area under heavy weather.

China has given no reason why it refused the ships entry.

The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific said he's “perplexed and concerned” by China's move.

“It's hard to put any kind of positive spin on this,” Adm. Timothy Keating told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday while flying back to the U.S. after visiting troops in Iraq.

“The crew members were disappointed but that did not deter them from celebrating Thanksgiving on the ships with meals and movies,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Steven Curry, a spokesman for the 7th Fleet, which has its home port in Yokosuka, Japan, just south of Tokyo.

The Kitty Hawk and its strike group were on their way back to Yokosuka on Friday, he said.  link to article in Globe and Mail

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pilots' valor honored for thwarting ambush

Courtesy of Centcom

By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert

1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Set up in five trucks with heavy machine guns, enemy forces sat in wait for a helicopter to fly over their location west of Baghdad on the last day of May.

It appeared their plan was to strike a blow to Multi-National Division-Baghdad by taking down a U.S. Army helicopter.

Photo - Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, commanding general of Multi-National Corps-Iraq, (left) presents the Distinguished Flying Cross to Onawa, Iowa, native Chief Warrant Officer Elliott Ham, (second from right), as Portage, Ind., native Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steven Kilgore, (right), waits in a ceremony Oct. 28 at Camp Taji, Iraq.The enemy forces were trained and prepared with personnel to drive the trucks, man the guns and keep a lookout for any of the U.S. helicopters that patrol the skies of Baghdad in search of roadside bomb emplacers or insurgent mortar teams.

The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade's Apache crews had become a thorn in the insurgency's side by regularly disrupting terrorist attacks on Coalition Forces and Iraqi civilians.

As they waited, four Apache pilots from 1st "Attack" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB, 1st Cavalry Division, were getting an intelligence briefing before heading out on their mission. The intelligence indicated that there were up to 30 gun trucks in a specific area, and the pilots' mission was to check it out.

With both determination and caution, 1st Lt. Brian Haas, chief warrant officers 4 Steven Kilgore and Elliott Ham and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Cole Moughon took to the skies to check the validity of the report.

All four said they thought from the onset that some sort of engagement was imminent. They expected to find at least several trucks with gun mounts that could easily be modified to attack air and ground assets.

The two Apache crews, each with a pilot in command and a copilot-gunner, came up on a truck and sedan that stopped suddenly; the occupants quickly exited the vehicles and low crawled toward a ditch. The crews didn't know if this meant the people were being cautious, preparing for a possible engagement by taking cover, or if they knew that an engagement was imminent.

"That instantly heightened our awareness; something is going on out here," said Kilgore, a Portage, Ind., native. "These people aren't just scared of us. They may be a little bit, to an extent, but there's something going on out here. We started keeping an eye open."

It didn't take long for their suspicions to be confirmed.

"I remember ... thinking this is weird; something's up," said Moughon, from Gray, Ga. "We (in the lead aircraft) heard (Kilgore) make the call over the radio: "Hey, I'm taking fire at my rear." We heard (Haas) say there was a big gun. I looked over to my right, and I was about to say: "Oh, I got it." I just got out "oh." I could see the flash from the muzzle. I saw a stitch of dirt in the road coming up towards us."

It was even worse than the intelligence report had predicted; the trucks had more than just weapon mounts.

"We were looking for trucks with mounts - not trucks with heavy machine guns looking to kill us," Moughon said. "At that point, it was pretty scary, because I knew - back in February, we lost an aircraft to heavy machine gun fire - we knew what the deal was right away. We knew that we were in something pretty dangerous."

Kilgore spotted a gun truck about one-and-a-half kilometers away shooting at the helicopters, but there was a much more ominous threat.

"We started taking fire from my right side about 1,500 meters away," Kilgore said. "What I didn't know is there was another gun about 300 meters away in the same line that started shooting at the same time. That rattled the aircraft. It didn't hit ... but rattled the aircraft."

A seasoned Apache pilot with multiple deployments under his belt, Kilgore initially thought his aircraft had been hit.

"We were so close to the gun that when the aircraft started to rattle, I thought I was taking hits," Kilgore said. "I actually saw muzzle flashes from it. It was about 250 to 300 meters out my right door."

Within a couple of minutes, the Apache crews had gone from searching for the gun trucks to becoming the targets of a planned ambush by the enemy forces.

"I was definitely at a position of a disadvantage, and I needed to gain an advantage," Kilgore said. "That meant ... moving out away from that (gun truck) to get out of his ability to track me. I was able to put a salvo of (rockets) on that gun truck and clear that gun truck. We came back later and destroyed the gun truck."

Both aircrews broke contact safely, and then came back in to engage the trucks and insurgents.

The trail aircraft had disabled one of the trucks, and Moughon and Ham in the lead aircraft took out another one on the second pass.

"They broke off that truck, and we followed them out and then came back in. (Ham) called and said he had trucks fleeing to the north," said Haas, from Ashley, N.D. "They came around and engaged there. We came in behind them and just kind of suppressed again as they were breaking. They shot another missile. I think we made two more passes."

With nearly half of the gun trucks already disabled, the aircrews were not about to let some of them get away to launch an ambush on another aircraft.
"I saw three trucks with machine guns in the back in kind of like a straight trail formation hauling ... down the road," Moughon said. "As soon as I got the sight on them, I launched the missile. I saw the guy swing his gun around and just a bright flash of the gun firing. The (driver) braked. The missile hit right in front of the truck and didn't do anything. We broke, I think (the trail aircraft) suppressed, then we came back around and fired another missile.

"(It was) the same thing; the guy knew what he was doing. He slammed on the brakes, but this time it killed the driver. That caused him to careen into his buddy and pushed him off the road. We further engaged with the (30mm) gun and got several guys that were running away. We just started (destroying the weapon systems) from there."

The seemingly determined enemy forces had blinked and tried, without success, to flee.

"Once they knew that we weren't going to run away from them, that's when we got the advantage and just got real aggressive," Haas said. "I think that helped us, because we got noise and rockets flying off the helicopter, and they saw that and they knew they were in for it."

A couple of days later, with plenty of time to reflect on the engagement, the pilots realized there were some things they could have done differently.
"In this situation, you're going to make mistakes," Moughon said. "It's not like (training) back at Fort Hood where we've got time. Everything was heat of the moment. You had to get rounds out. It was all a matter of who made fewer mistakes - whether or not you were going to be going home.

Obviously, we made fewer mistakes than the enemy."

While that may have been true about their actions during the 15 intense minutes that the engagement lasted, the Apache crews were simply more prepared, thanks to a whole team of Soldiers from the 1st ACB who provided support back at home base, Kilgore said.

He explained that the information on the gun trucks from the brigade's intelligence report, the operational briefing from the brigade operations staff and the aircraft maintenance and armament personnel all contributed to the mission's success.

"All of that led to us being successful in this engagement," Kilgore said. "Yes, we were the executors - the four of us - but, there is a big picture here that goes into everything we do. It's really the Army aviation team that led to this win, this success. I think we can all take pride in that. We, 1ACB Army aviation, defeated the enemy. We did it pretty much by ourselves as aviation. We didn't have ground forces with us. We didn't use artillery.

"We can see that teamwork that went into it - across the board teamwork - we can see that tenacity that is being exhibited every day by these guys. I think it's something we can all take pride in. This was a big win for the whole team."

For their quick and heroic actions in the chaotic scene on May 31, the pilots were awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses - the top aviation-specific military award. The awards were presented Oct. 28 by Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, Multi-National Corps-Iraq commanding general.

"I've been an aviator my whole career, and I've always wanted to be an aviator, since I was a little kid," Kilgore said. "The Distinguished Flying Cross ... is a special award. For me to be included in that group that has received the Distinguished Flying Cross - it feels a little humbling. There have been a lot of great aviators who have received the Distinguished Flying Cross and great aviators who haven't received the Distinguished Flying Cross. How do I match up to that? I don't know; maybe it's a one fight thing, and it was something special enough that someone took notice and thought that we deserved the Distinguished Flying Cross for it."

For Moughon, it still hasn't sunk in that he earned the prestigious medal.
"When I got to the unit, my commander (for Company B, 1-227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion) had gotten a DFC for acts in OIF II. I got to looking at it, because I wanted to know what it was," Moughon said. "Then, I realized who all had got it before him. When somebody mentioned that we might get it, I thought: 'I am not in their company.' I'm just two years out of flight school. I was just trying to stay alive. Receiving the award was a very humbling experience and almost embarrassing. There are guys out here that do just as much every day - sacrifice every day to go out there and find the enemy and kill them. They don't get recognized for it."

While the pilots couldn't pin down what made their actions heroic, perhaps how they approached the engagement itself is telling as to why they received Distinguished Flying Crosses. In the initial moments of the engagement, with bullets and tracers flying past their aircraft like something out of "Star Wars" - as Moughon said - and with the Apaches outnumbered nearly three to one by gun trucks on the ground, the pilots never even considered high-tailing it to safety.

"I can't say that I thought: 'We should get out of here.'" Haas said. "I don't know why, but it never crossed my mind. Maybe that's just the way we are. I didn't come here to say: 'Yep, there's bad guys out there. I'm not going out there.' I came over here to - I'm not going to be naïve and say to make a difference - but I came over here to do my job and do it to the best of my ability. There's a lot of the guys that I've flown with before, and they're the same way. The hard part is finding (the enemy). We fly around Baghdad where there are millions of people and they all look the same; unless somebody is shooting at you, you don't know. When they shoot at you first, that makes it easy."

"The initial contact was scary, and you thought about - yeah, this was a big deal," Moughon added. "At that point, it was like they say in the westerns: 'If you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound.' We were in it, so we had no choice. If we had just flown away, they probably would have been there to take somebody else down. We're a gunship; that's what we do. We don't get low and suppress and run. We stay and fight. Our job is to go out, find the enemy and kill them. That's what we do."

Photo - Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, commanding general of Multi-National Corps-Iraq, (left) presents the Distinguished Flying Cross to Onawa, Iowa, native Chief Warrant Officer Elliott Ham, (second from right), as Portage, Ind., native Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steven Kilgore, (right), waits in a ceremony Oct. 28 at Camp Taji, Iraq. Four Apache pilots from 1st "Attack" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, earned Distinguished Flying Crosses for their actions against five gun trucks with heavy machine guns on May 31. The Distinguished Flying Cross is the U.S. military's highest aviation-specific award. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Iraq Policemen Basic Training

Courtesy of Centcom

Iraqi Policemen Learn the Basics During 10-day Prep CourseFort Lauderdale, Fla., native Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Brinson, the platoon sergeant for the Military Police Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, instructs an Iraqi Police trainee in a 10-day preparatory course how to properly bound when under direct fire at Camp Taji, Iraq Oct. 27. Photo by Spc. Shejal Pulivartiy.

By Spc. Shejal Pulivarti

1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

CAMP TAJI, Iraq – “Left, left, left, right,” the 30-man platoon of Iraqi Police in training shouted in Arabic while marching to their next class.

The Military Police Platoon from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment developed a 10-day preparatory class to implement the basics for Iraqi Police recruits prior to attending the Baghdad Police Academy which initiates them as official police officers.

“This course is designed to give … IPs a basic understanding on what their job will consist of,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Brinson, the MP Platoon’s top sergeant for HHC, 1st Squadron, 7th Cav. Regt.

The trainees, waiting to attend the academy, come from various stations in the surrounding area to learn basic policeman skills, he added. It’s an orientation, ensuring all baby IPs go into the academy on the same level of general knowledge.

“The training covers basics on ethics, principles, Iraqi law, first aid, basic rifle marksmanship, responding to a crime scene and search techniques in various scenarios. The recruits follow a structured daily schedule emphasizing teamwork and discipline,” said Brinson, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native.

The 10 days are spent introducing the material in the classroom and then actively applying them. The last two days consist of practical exercises that incorporate the entirety of the course.

“Everything learned has to be applied during the hands on scenarios. The situations gradually get harder to test their understanding,” explained Brinson. “Everything is a perishable skill; they have to practice it in order to retain it. They understand the task; they are definitely learning what they need to know to be successful.”

“The trainees get better every day. The course helps them become good IPs and work with the coalition forces to do our job,” said Iraqi Police 1st Lt. Hesham Saman Ali Sauba Boor, a course instructor.

Each IP station is responsible for sending an academy graduated officer to teach the new IP recruits various topics. Military personnel rotate through as instructors from the MP Platoon and are also assisted by the Iraqi Army liaison officers.
“Having the IP officers teach them accomplishes a lot; it mainly helps the Iraqi Police force become self-sufficient,” Brinson said. “It’s another step in the progress to make security forces stronger.”

As he watched the IP recruits successfully complete a bounding exercise, Brinson noted, “I see the trainees take more pride in themselves, and this course is helping them to become a cohesive unit to accomplish the mission.”

Staer Gabar Abedallah, a trainee, shared that he chose to become an Iraqi Police officer to serve his country, secure his community and stop the terrorists.

“The training is a great opportunity to concentrate on training and help the Iraqi people move forward in self governance,” said Stonington, Ill. native, Sgt. David Ashbridge, a military police team leader for HHC, 1st Squadron, 7th Cav. Regt.

Photo - Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Brinson, the platoon sergeant for the Military Police Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, instructs an Iraqi Police trainee in a 10-day preparatory course how to properly bound when under direct fire at Camp Taji, Iraq Oct. 27. Photo by Spc. Shejal Pulivarti.


Courtesy of Centcom

Release Number: 07-01-03P


BAGHDAD– One of the terrorists killed in Tarmiyah Nov. 5 has been positively identified as Tha’ir Malik.

Tha’ir Malik was the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader for the Tarmiyah sector of the northern belt. Reports indicate Malik was previously involved in a terrorist group that conducted attacks against Iraqi citizens for not following Taliban-like rules.

During the operation, surveillance elements observed Malik operating in the area and supporting aircraft was called to strike the time-sensitive target. Secondary explosions erupted from the building, indicating that weapons and ammunition were stored inside. As Coalition forces cleared the surrounding area, they discovered two terrorists believed to be killed by the initial blast to include Malik, small arms ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades. The target building ignited from the secondary explosions, preventing the ground force from assessing the building’s interior.

Malik was a subordinate of Abu Ghazwan, the al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader of the northern belt and direct associate of Abu Ayyub al-Masri. Reports indicate that as Coalition forces operations captured al-Qaeda in Iraq elements in Tarmiyah, many of the northern belt leadership were forced out, but Malik remained and was promoted to military emir of the northern belt network. He was allegedly in charge of as many as 120 individuals and directed a variety of operations, including kidnapping, car-jackings, extortion, and attacks on Coalition and Iraqi security forces, and members of the Awakening.  The previous AQI military leader for the Northern Belts who Malik replaced was killed as a result of Coalition Force operations last August.

“This was a dangerous terrorist who is no longer part of the al-Qaeda in Iraq network,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “We will continue to relentlessly pursue the terrorist leaders and their replacements who plan to deny the Iraqi people a future of their choice.”



Courtesy of Centcom


Release Number:



BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces medically treated and evacuated an Afghan woman after the Taliban shot her for not supplying help in Shaheed Hasas District, Oruzgan Province Nov. 13.

“The Taliban came to her tribal camp asking for food and supplies,” said the detachment commander. “The tribal elders explained they did not have any extra food to give the Taliban, and that they were in short supply themselves…the Taliban retaliated by shooting at the civilian residents’ homes.”

An innocent Afghan woman received a severe gunshot wound to the hand. Her husband, knowing that ANSF and Coalition forces are willing to help Afghan citizens, brought her to a Coalition base for treatment.  Upon examination by a trained medical staff, it was determined that the wound required extensive treatment at a more sophisticated facility.  Friendly forces treated the woman’s wound and medically evacuated her, along with her escort, for further treatment. 

“The Taliban continue to display their brutality,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a CJTF-82 spokesman. “Fortunately, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Afghan National Security Forces, and Coalition forces continue to improve their ability to provide emergency services to the people of Afghanistan.”

Contact Information – CJTF-82 Public Affairs Office Tel – 0093-799-063-013
DSN: 318-431-7852

For more news and information about CJTF-82, please visit


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gadhafi being threatened by Al -Qaeda and Ayman al-Zawahiri

I don't know were these moronic radicals get crazy wild eyed extremist Mohammedans to follow them. Al Zawahiri is now got his sites fixed on Gadhafi (Qaddafi or however you spell his name).

Courtesy of AP and Fox News

Al Qaeda Deputy Leader Takes Aim At Libya's Gadhafi In New Video
Saturday, November 03, 2007

CAIRO, Egypt — Al Qaeda's No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri harshly criticized Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in a new audio tape Saturday, accusing him of being an enemy of Islam and threatening a wave of attacks against the North African country because it improved relations with the United States.

In the 28-minute audiotape called "Unity of the Ranks," al-Zawahiri also announced that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was joining ranks with Al Qaeda.

"The Islamic nation is witnessing a blessed step ... The brothers are escalating the confrontation against the enemies of Islam: Gadhafi and his masters, the Washington crusaders," al-Zawahiri said in the audiotape. The recording could not be independently verified, but it appeared on a Web site commonly used by insurgents and carried the logo of Al Qaeda's media production house, as-Sahab.

The recording also carried a message Abu Laith al-Libi, a Libyan Al Qaeda commander in Afghanistan who accused Gadhafi of decades of tyranny.

"He is the tyranny of Libya and is dragging the country to the swamp," al-Libi said in the recording that also featured old video footage of him walking with other masked gunmen.

"After long years, he (Gadhafi) discovered suddenly that America is not an enemy ... and is turning Libya into another crusader base," said al-Libi, who has appeared in several recent Internet Al Qaeda videos.

For the rest of the story visit Fox News: Gadhafi

Why don't the (estimated) 1,902,095,000 Mohammedans in the world purge these whacked out radical Mohammedan morons from the Muslim religion and clean up the al Qaeda problem?

If radicalized Islam is the problem, why don't the "moderates" step up to the plate? Just where do Bin Laden and Al Zawahiri find wild eyed foaming at the mouth radicals to follow them anyway?

Friday, November 02, 2007

War Clouds on the Horizon: Are we preparing for war with Iran?

According to the Glenn Beck Show, there may bear warning signs going off that show we are preparing for a war with Iran. Are we preparing 'just in case' or are we preparing because we are on an unavoidable crash course with Iran?

Best selling author Vince Flynn (his newest book is titled Protect and Defend) visited Glenn Beck in his Radio City studios to talk about U.S. boots possibly hitting the ground in Iran, why we should be torturing terrorists, and television's hit TV show '24'.

Read the transcript(an excerpt of the longer interview). (Insiders listen to the full interview here).


Protect and Defend: A Thriller
by Vince Flynn


Al-Qaeda on the Run in Iraq, Coalition Spokesman Says

Courtesy of American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Al-Qaeda may not yet be defeated in Iraq, but the group's terrorists are on the run, a senior official in the area said today.

"We've taken out a significant part of their leadership. We've gone after their foreign fighter facilitation network. We've gone after their financial networks. And ... we also have gone after, very heavily, their propaganda network," said Navy Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, spokesman for Multi-National Force - Iraq, via telephone to a group of military analysts.

As much as 80 percent of al-Qaeda's media structure has been destroyed, greatly hampering the group's ability to spread propaganda, recruit and gain financing for its operations, Smith said.

Reports in the country have shown a downward trend in violence against coalition forces, civilians and the Iraqi security forces, Smith said. He added that he remains cautiously optimistic, but he also warned of the lethality that still exists within al-Qaeda's network.

"Those are good trends, and we are seeing some very good numbers. But ... obviously we have a lot of work to do, as well," Smith said. "(Al-Qaeda is) still very much a threat."

For example, Smith cited a suicide bomber on a motorcycle who killed 27 Iraqi policemen in Baqubah, north of Baghdad, Oct. 29, in one of the worst attacks on Iraq's security forces in months. "Al-Qaeda still has a capacity to kill civilians and certainly go after infrastructure," he said.

Still, Iraqi citizens are continuing to mobilize their local village forces against al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, Smith said. So far, nearly 70,000 concerned citizens have formed 120 groups across the country, he said.

"That is making a huge impact on our ability to really understand what's happening at the local level as our commanders in the field partner with these groups. ... We're discovering more and more of the deep-rooted activity in those areas," he said.

This has translated into local commanders finding remaining elements of al-Qaeda operatives in communities, as well as record numbers of stockpiles of weapons. By next week, coalition forces in 2007 will have found double the number of weapons caches found in 2006, the admiral said.

"That's ... in large part due to the fact that civilians are becoming extremely more confident in working with local security forces and pointing out where things just aren't right," Smith said.

Most of the trust comes from the fact that surge forces are able to build confidence by working in the communities. In its fourth month, the surge of additional forces into Baghdad and other areas of Iraq has given commanders the numbers of troops needed to embed them in outposts in the communities, instead of having forces commute to the communities from large forward operating bases.

Coalition forces also are focusing on rogue militias who have splintered from the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia loyal to Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who ordered a cease-fire in August. Smith said the groups continue to operate much like al-Qaeda, kidnapping and intimidating local citizens. He said the rogue groups operate under a criminal, mafia-like, gang structure.

"We're reminding really all Iraqis (to) think about what side they ought to be on. The side that Sadr's asked them to be on, which is a peaceful side, is the right side to be on right now. And if not, we're going to treat you like a criminal, and we're going to hunt you down, and we're going get you. We're doing that with increasing numbers, as well," Smith said. "I won't say there are two fronts out there, but there sure are two main efforts."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Press releases from Iraq, October 26

Press Releases
International News

Rebuilding Northern Iraq Continues

Courtesy of Multi National Force Iraq

Multi-National Division - North continues to rebuild northern Iraq

Two women from Diyala province cut wire to assist in the assembly of transformers at a Diyala Electrical Industries factory which is located in Baqouba, Iraq, Oct. 22. Diyala Electric Industries, which has been operating at a limited capacity since 2003, now employs approximately 800 citizens from Baqouba and its surrounding villages. Photo by Sgt. Serena Hayden, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs.

BAGHDAD — North continues working with the Government of Iraq to rebuild the infrastructure and improve the quality of life for the people of Northern Iraq.

Since assuming responsibility of northern Iraq in September 2006, Task Force Lightning reconstruction has reported beginning 1,433 projects valued at $101.4 million and completed 1,119 projects valued at $37.4 million. The projects include supporting over 100 humanitarian assistance projects costing $4.1 million and reconstruction of major crimes courts.

In Diyala, completed projects included a water filtration system in Buhriz and a library in Muqdadiyah.

For the Nineveh province, the division renovated a business center, purchased water trucks in Ba'aj, and completed several other projects. In the works, Task Force Lightning is improving the consistency of fuel distribution throughout the province by assisting with the Ministry of Oils allocations.

For Mosul, MND-N is helping plan Mosul Dam contingencies, and continues to support reconstruction of the Mosul Major Crimes Court.

Salah ah Din projects include major crimes court construction, as well as rebuilding the provincial television station.

In addition to helping rebuild Northern Iraq, the projects also provided 197 grants to small businesses throughout the area.


Soldiers help celebrate Sadr City school renovation

Courtesy of Multi-National Force - Iraq

Soldiers help celebrate Sadr City school renovation

U.S. Soldiers and Iraqi National Police officers talk to students at the Yarmook Girl's School in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood during a visit to the school to see improvements made during a recent renovation effort sponsored by the Iraqi Government, the INP, and the U.S. military.  Photo taken by SGT Mike Pryor, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs.

U.S. Soldiers and Iraqi National Police officers talk to students at the Yarmook Girl's School in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood during a visit to the school to see improvements made during a recent renovation effort sponsored by the Iraqi Government, the INP, and the U.S. military. Photo taken by SGT Mike Pryor, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs.

BAGHDAD — When students at the Yarmook Girl's School in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood returned from summer vacation last month, they found that their school had received an extreme makeover thanks to the government of Iraq and the U.S. Army.

U.S. Soldiers and Iraqi National Police visited the recently renovated school Oct. 22, to see the improvements and hand out backpacks and soccer balls to the students.

The renovations to the school totaled $200,000 of improvements, including a new roof, a new lighting system, repairs to cracks in the pavement and stairs, and a paint job, said Glen Allen, Va., native Capt. Alex Carter, a U.S. Army Civil Affairs team chief who helped oversee the project.

Nine other schools in Sadr City also have been renovated over the past few months, as part of the same program that refurbished the Yarmook Girl's School, Carter said. The school improvement program was made possible by cooperation among the Ministry of Education, the local neighborhood councils, school officials, the Iraqi National Police, and the U.S. Army's 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, which operates in the Sadr City area, he said.

"What makes this special to me is that this really validates how effective we are working with the Iraqi Police in Sadr City," Carter said.

The top Iraqi Police official present at the school visit, Brig. Gen. Ali Ibrahim Daboun, commander of 8th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, said he also was pleased by cooperation between the Iraqi government, the Iraqi Security Forces, and the U.S. military.

He said he hopes that the school improvement program would show the 2.5 million residents of Sadr City that they are a priority of the Iraqi government.

"In the past, they were neglected, but the new government will serve them," he said. (Story by SGT Mike Pryor, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

In other recent developments around Iraq:

•           A concerned citizen led Coalition Forces to a large weapons cache yesterday in a home in Sa’ada Village, Iraq. This cache is one of the largest discoveries of explosively formed penetrators found in at one location in Iraq.

•           Coalition forces captured two wanted individuals and detained 19 suspected terrorists during operations Wednesday in central and northern parts of Iraq.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

LTC Dave Grossman: On Combat

Courtesy of Blackfive.Net

The following essay (an extract from the book, 'On Combat') was written by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.) Director, Killology Research Group (  Colonel Grossman is a somewhat controversial figure - he authored the book - "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" - a very interesting topic that our politically correct society would rarely discuss. (Thanks to Tom and Mark for sending the article)

On Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves
By Dave Grossman

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.

Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there that will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."...

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, which is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."

Until the wolf shows up! Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- From sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

"Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men." - Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize; especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust, or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness, and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in "Fear Less," his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.

If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... "Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically, at your moment of truth.