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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Detainees Treated Fairly, Rehabilitated to Re-enter Iraqi Society

Courtesy of Multi-National Force Iraq: Detainees Treated Fairly, Rehabilitated to Re-enter Iraqi Society

Staff Sgt. Gregory Smith, 535th Military Police Battalion, watches detainees below play a game of volleyball in the recreation yard from a catwalk at Camp Cropper, a Coalition Theater Internment Facility in western Baghdad, Feb. 19. Coalition forces are dedicated to providing the highest care and custody while supporting the efforts of the United Nations Security Council and the government of Iraq to maintain stability and security in the region.  Department of Defense photo by Spc. Michael V. May.

Detainees form a crowd inside the compound as the loud cheers and even louder jeers intensify. Guards on the catwalks above watch closely as the mob’s shouting reaches its peak. It’s over suddenly, and the participants trickle away in ones and twos, replaying the highlights of the afternoon’s volleyball game and already planning for the next.

Allowing detainees freedom - even fun – inside a detention facility may seem odd, but it is part of a strategic counterinsurgency tactic to engage detainees and separate violent individuals from the rest of the population. The goal is to create a safe and positive environment for successful detainee reintegration into Iraqi society.

Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Smith, 535th Military Police Battalion, is a Reservist military policeman and a civilian police officer from Nashville, Tenn. He works as the noncommissioned officer in charge of Compound Two, known inside the TIF as the most compliant compound. Much of his day is spent walking the compound’s four zones, overseeing his guards and meeting with the detainee zone chiefs, he said.

“I like to describe my job in the TIF as putting out small fires before they turn into big ones,” said Smith.

Link to rest of story

Al-Qaeda in Iraq Intelligence and Suicide Operations Facilitator Killed

Courtesy of Multi-National Force -Iraq

Terrorist Intelligence and Suicide Operations Facilitator Killed

The identification card found on Abu Karrar, also known as Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir, an al-Qaida in Iraq intelligence and suicide operations facilitator in Diyala Province.  Karrar was killed Feb. 17 during a Coalition operation near Khan Bani Sad.  Department of Defense photo.

The identification card found on Abu Karrar, also known as Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir, an al-Qaida in Iraq intelligence and suicide operations facilitator in Diyala Province. Karrar was killed Feb. 17 during a Coalition operation near Khan Bani Sad. Department of Defense photo.

BAGHDAD — A terrorist killed during an operation Feb. 17 has been positively identified as Abu Karrar.

Karrar, also known as Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir, was a senior intelligence leader involved in the al-Qaeda in Iraq network in Baqouba. He was also a terrorist facilitator for the suicide bombing network in the Diyala River Valley region, which conducts attacks in Baghdad, to include attacks by female suicide bombers. Reports indicate the network has been disrupted by recent successful Coalition operations in the area.

Karrar was killed when Coalition forces conducted an operation near Khan Bani Sad Sunday afternoon. As Coalition forces arrived in the target area, they observed Karrar and another suspect fleeing their vehicle. Karrar brandished a weapon with the perceived intent to fire on Coalition forces. The assault force engaged, killing both men. Coalition forces discovered an AK-47 and ammunition in the vehicle, and they destroyed the vehicle to prevent further use for terrorist activity.

“Iraqi and Coalition forces will relentlessly pursue terrorist leaders, like Abu Karrar, who plan al-Qaida’s indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman.

(Multi-National Force - Iraq Press Release)

In Other Recent Developments Here:

BAGHDADMulti-National Force - Iraq joins the Government of Iraq in welcoming al-Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr's pledge to extend the cease-fire.

BAGHDADCoalition forces killed one terrorist and detained 20 suspected terrorists Wednesday and Thursday during operations to disrupt al-Qaida operating in central and northern Iraq.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Soldiers Track, Clear Al-Qaeda from Remote Location

Courtesy of Multi-National Force - Iraq

By Spc. Rick Rzepka
1st BCT, 101st Airborne Division

A Soldier from Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA)peers through the glass as his team searches for weapons near the Bichigan area of the Salah ad Din province, Feb. 15, 2008. Photo by Spc. Rick Rzepka.

A Soldier from Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA)peers through the glass as his team searches for weapons near the Bichigan area of the Salah ad Din province, Feb. 15, 2008. Photo by Spc. Rick Rzepka.

BALAD — As the ramp slammed down in the muck, the rain came howling in drenching the men who leapt off the back of the Chinook helicopter.

The troopers hurried into the field of sloppy mud where they slipped and slid through the landing zone to reorganize in the pitch black Iraqi night.  Not even the moon was friendly on this mission, which would prove to be a testament to the guts of Army Infantrymen and to the determination of Charlie Company Soldiers to make even the most remote hamlets in the Salah ad-Din province safe from al Qaeda. 

Soldiers from Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division conducted Operation Helsinki Feb. 15 to clear out al Qaeda fighters from an area here that has typically not received much attention from Coalition Forces. 

Helsinki was a combined counter-insurgency operation, which was conducted in partnership with the Iraqi Army, to help enable legitimate governmental organizations and to provide security for the citizens in the Bichigan peninsula, said 1st Sgt. Timothy Seeber, Charlie Company First Sergeant.  Seeber called the Bichigan area, west of Balad, an al Qaeda safe-haven that AQI flees to in order to avoid being killed or captured.  “AQI is on the run here and they know we have the means and mobility to kill or capture them where they hide,” said Seeber.

Helsinki began with a pre-dawn air assault into the fertile farmlands of the Bichigan area, which were heavily soaked with the early morning rain.  With mud smeared on faces and firearms, Charlie Company Soldiers spent the day moving from house to house questioning residents and searching for AQI weapons caches along with Iraqi Army Soldiers.

The search turned up two weapons caches and resulted in the apprehension of a suspected AQI operative.

Since Charlie Company moved from FOB Caldwell near the Iranian border in early December, they have been instrumental in capturing three of the Balad area’s high value targets and have discovered numerous weapon caches, said Staff Sgt. Tommy Pafford.

Much of the success that Charlie Company has had is due largely to spending a great deal of time out among the people and to the Sons of Iraq movement, which has enabled U.S. and Iraqi Forces with quality intelligence about AQI operations in the area, said Pafford.

Spending time outside of the relative comfort of FOB Paliwoda has paid dividends for Charlie Company who often find themselves operating in austere conditions.

“Staying outside the wire overnight in the mud and cold is the norm for us,” said Pvt. First Class Michael LaChappelle, who along with his fellow Charlie Company troopers found himself without a helicopter ride back to base on Feb. 15 due to poor weather conditions. 

After spending much of Operation Helsinki cold and wet, the “Rock” Soldiers would have to bear the elements under a foggy, black Iraqi sky until the weather improved.

“My guys would walk to the end of this Earth if they were asked to,” said Pafford.  “They realize that this war is bigger than us.”

More news from Iraq:

Coalition targets al-Qaeda in Iraq networks, six suspects detained

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Prophet offenders must be killed - bin Laden

A trip down memory lane to put radial Islam into prospective, 24 April 2006:

Dubai - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has called for people who ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad to be killed, weighing into the furore that erupted after a Danish newspaper ran cartoons lampooning Islam's holy messenger.

"Heretics and atheists, who denigrate religion and transgress against God and His Prophet, will not stop their enmity towards Islam except by being killed," the Saudi-born militant said.

Bin Laden's remarks were part of an audio tape which Al Jazeera television aired excerpts from on Sunday 23 April 2006.

Related Articles

Al-Qaeda in Iraq Offers Palestinians Military and Economic Aid – And Help in Manufacturing Rockets

Courtesy of MEMRI


Special Dispatch-Jihad & Terrorism/Palestinians February 17, 2008 No. 1845
Al-Qaeda in Iraq Offers Palestinians Military and Economic Aid – And Help in Manufacturing Rockets

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit: Al-Qaeda in Iraq Offers Palestinians Military and Economic Aid – And Help in Manufacturing Rockets .

In a 30-minute video posted February 14, 2008 on the Islamist website Al-Hesbah (hosted by NOC4Hosts Inc. in Florida), Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, commander of the Al-Qaeda-founded organization Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), presents his position on "winning the war against the Jews." In it, he calls Israel "a malignant germ that was implanted in the heart of the Islamic nation and must be eradicated," and stresses that liberating Al-Aqsa mosque is a duty incumbent upon each and every Muslim. He also accuses Hamas of treason for entering into the political process with Israel while turning its back on jihad fighters around the world.

Addressing the Palestinians, Al-Baghdadi calls on them to embrace the path of jihad, and to make no distinction between the infidel Jews and the Palestinians who betray Islam. He advises them to establish a special Salafi organization to train the children of the stones in noble jihad goals, and urges them to eradicate Shi'ism, which has begun to spread in Palestine in the guise of "resistance." He also calls upon all Muslims to strengthen the existing jihad fronts – especially in Iraq and Afghanistan – and to establish new jihad fronts in order to take some of the Israeli-American pressure off the Palestinians. Finally, he offered the Palestinians economic aid as well as help in training fighters and in manufacturing rockets.

Following are excerpts from his address:  

"Israel is a Malignant Germ… The Jewish Traits, as Described in the Koran, Have Persisted through the Ages, and Are Passed from One Generation [of Jews] to the Next"

"Today, I will devote my address to my perception about how to prevail in the struggle against the Jews... Before discussing the solution, let me state some facts that I believe to be true: The [duty of] liberating Al-Aqsa is incumbent upon every Muslim [around the world], just as every Palestinian Muslim has a duty [to participate in] liberating Iraq, Chechnya and other Muslim countries... Israel was founded on a religious basis. It is a religious state, and anyone who calls it a secular state is lying... Israel is a malignant germ implanted in the heart of the Islamic nation, and it must be eradicated, even if the traitors sign a thousand capitulation agreements with it. There is no difference between Zionism and Judaism... since the traits of the Jews, as described in the Koran, have persisted through history, and are passed from one generation [of Jews] to the next...

"The nationalist Arabs and their wretched revolution had a hand in the establishment of Israel... The [various] Palestinian organizations... are the root of the problem... Allah has brought disaster upon them and has exposed their shame... The armed organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and especially Hamas – with the exception of the loyal ['Izz Al-Din] Al-Qassam Brigades – have betrayed Islam and the [Islamic] nation, and have renounced the blood of the martyrs..."

"The Leadership of Hamas has Betrayed Islam and Has Turned Its Back on Jihad Fighters Everywhere"

"The treason of the Hamas leadership is characterized by the following: Its joining the political [process] within the framework of a constitution written by man and on the basis of the Oslo Accords, which surrenders three fourths of Palestine; its implicit recognizing of Israel; its announcement that it will honor the international agreements...; its forming a suspect alliance with Israel and with the regimes that have betrayed Islam, particularly with Egypt and Syria...; its turning its back on jihad fighters [everywhere]...; its announcing, in Moscow, that the issue of Chechnya is an internal [Russian] affair; [its announcing] that [Hamas] has had nothing to do with the jihad in Iraq and has not fired a single shot there; its announcing that [Hamas] is not interested in Islamization of [Palestinian] society... and its not demanding that the political process be in accordance with shari'a as well as its not implementing shari'a once it gained full control of Gaza; its [display of] overt hostility towards jihadi Salafism [the Islamic creed followed by Al-Qaeda]...; and its violating the [religious] prohibition on spilling Palestinian blood..."

"Jihad is the Solution; There Is No Distinction Between Olmert... and 'Abbas" 

"Our brothers in Palestine must know that jihad is the solution, and that under the pure flag of monotheism, there is no distinction between war against the Jewish infidel and [war against] the Palestinians who have betrayed Islam. Thus, there is no distinction between [Israeli Prime Minister] Olmert, with his [band of] criminals, and [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] 'Abbas and his gang...

"Another sector that must be dealt a heavy blow is the Shi'ites, and particularly their leaders. This cancer has already begun to spread among our brothers in Palestine, taking advantage of ignorance and poverty. [It is being spread by] a group of traitors who are collaborating with the Iranian Shi'ites, under the guise of 'resistance [fighters]'... Allah's warriors know that Shi'ism is not the [true] Islam revealed by our Prophet Muhammad, but is based on polytheism...

"What would help our brothers in their jihad against the Jewish attack... [is] the establishment of a Salafi organization, which would embrace the [Salafi] ideology... would maintain active ties with the [religious] scholars, the sheikhs, the mosques and the leaders [of Palestinian society], and would train Palestinian youth to wage noble jihad... [Also,] the loyal [fighters] of the ['Izz Al-Din] Al Qassam [Brigades] should announce that they are severing ties with Hamas and with its corrupt and deviant political leadership..."

The Islamic Nation Should Establish New Jihad Fronts To Ease Pressure on the Palestinians 

"The role that the [Islamic] nation must play in liberating Al-Aqsa is manifold. It must open new jihad fronts in order to take some of the Jewish and American pressure off our brothers in Palestine. At the same time, it must make sure to strengthen the existing jihad fronts – especially [where there is] a direct confrontation with [U.S.] troops, as in Iraq and Afghanistan... [The Islamic nation] must also break down the despicable checkpoints that encircle our brothers in Palestine: the Palestinians in Jordan must breach the [Jordanian] border in order to lift the economic siege off the West Bank... while the Egyptians must breach the border separating them from their brothers in Gaza...

"In this context, I suggest that every Muslim put aside two dollars of his monthly income; half [the money] will go to our brothers in Palestine and the other half will go to the other [jihad] fronts.

Virtuous people should establish secret charities... to collect this money and hold it until it can be sent on to its destination...

Religious scholars must break down the barriers of fear... and inform [everyone] of the danger posed to the faith and to the [entire] world by the regimes that have betrayed Islam. [They must] support the jihad fighters and advise them by issuing fatwas... [In addition,] the media must truly support the jihad fighters by emphasizing their virtues and ignoring their flaws..."

The ISI is Persecuted Because It is the Key to Liberating Jerusalem

"As for the role of the ISI in liberating Palestine... we hope it will be the key to restoring [Muslim control over] Jerusalem. The Jews and the Muslims have already realized [its crucial importance], and have tried to prevent us from [attaining] this goal in every possible way. The vicious attack on the Al-Anbar [district] was motivated only by their realization that medium-range missiles fired from Al-Anbar can reach Israel, as demonstrated by Saddam [Hussein in the first Gulf War]... They know that some of [his] missiles are still around, and that new ones can be manufactured...

"The crimes perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq, and especially by Hamas-Iraq, by the [Iraqi] Islamic Party and by Al-Jaysh Al-Islami – [namely] the establishment of the Awakening movement and their continuing attempts to drive us out of Al-Anbar, with direct [collaboration] with the Americans – were aimed solely at preventing us from helping you [i.e. the Palestinians], even if [this help was] only from afar. But know that with Allah's help, the future will be bright, [for] we will never [let] the collaborators and the traitors stand in our way...

"We are willing to help you with the little money we have, and to train your fighters [in everything], from preparing explosive charges to manufacturing rockets...

"[Signed] your brother, Abu Omar Al-Quraishi Al-Baghdadi." 

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

Saturday, February 16, 2008

FBI Warns of Possible Hezbollah Revenge In U.S.

Courtesy of National Terror Alert Center

February 15, 2008

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent a bulletin Friday to state and local law enforcement authorities advising them to watch for potential retaliatory strikes by Hezbollah, one day after the Lebanese militia group vowed to avenge the death of a top commander by attacking Israeli and Jewish targets around the world.

“While retaliation in the U.S. homeland is unlikely, Hezbollah has demonstrated a capability to respond outside the Middle East to similar events in the past,” said the intelligence bulletin sent to about 18,000 state and local law enforcement officials late Friday afternoon.

The FBI also said it was intensifying its domestic intelligence-gathering efforts to identify any potential Hezbollah threats in the United States in the aftermath of Tuesday’s car-bomb assassination of Imad Mughniyah in Syria.

On Wednesday, the FBI sent a confidential internal bulletin to its 101 Joint Terrorism Task Forces across the country warning of the possible domestic consequences of Mughniyah’s killing. As part of that effort, FBI officials at headquarters told the bureau’s field offices and multiagency task forces to increase monitoring and surveillance of suspected Hezbollah operatives and to conduct fresh interviews with sources and informants about the U.S.-designated terrorist group, according to two FBI officials.

U.S. authorities have long described Hezbollah as the “A-Team” of terrorism, with far more discipline than Al Qaeda, vast financing from the government of Iran, and a global network of sleeper operatives who could be called on to launch an attack at any time. Various federal investigations and prosecutions have uncovered dozens of Hezbollah fundraisers and supporters in the United States, but few people are believed to be actual “bomb throwers,” according to a senior FBI counter-terrorism official who focuses on Hezbollah.

Read More - L.A. Times

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Al Qaida Leader's Diary Reveals Organization's Decline

ImageCourtesy of Multi-National Force Iraq WASHINGTON — U.S. troops found a diary belonging to an al Qaida in Iraq leader that has Coalition forces believing the terrorist organization is “on its heels,” a senior military official in Baghdad said yesterday.  Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team captured a diary Nov. 3, 2007, belonging to Abu Tariq, an al Qaida emir in control of five battalions within two sectors, U.S. Air Force Col. Donald J. Bacon, a Multi-National Force - Iraq spokesman, told online journalists and “bloggers” during a conference call.

View Translated Diary (PDF)

The Soldiers found the diary during a patrol conducted about 15 kilometers south of Balad. Bacon said the 16-page diary contains records about man power, operations, weapons, and finances, and it shows that al Qaida is hurting badly in the belts of Baghdad.

“There were 600 al-Qaida members in this sector, now there (are) 20 or less,” said Bacon.

In the diary, Tariq describes each battalion’s number decline and goes on to describe the 4th battalion as “scoundrels, sectarians and nonbelievers.” Tariq attributes his terrorist organization’s decline in large part to groups of Concerned Local Citizens (CLC), who are also known as the ‘Sons of Iraq’.

Many high-ranking al Qaida members, including Osama Bin Laden, have spoken out about the negative impact that the CLC groups have had on their organization. As a result, the CLC are being attacked more frequently by the terrorists, Bacon said.

Nevertheless, Bacon said the numbers of CLC are growing, which indicates that they are less afraid of al-Qaida.

“Right now there (are) approximately 77,500 CLC with 135 different initiatives, and more and more are being hired,” Bacon said.

Bacon said he believes the diary is also in part a will of sorts, in case anything was to happen to Tariq.

“He wanted to keep a clear record,” Bacon said.

Bacon said he believes the diary is indicative of some other areas in Iraq but not all of Iraq. He cautioned that al Qaida is still a dangerous enemy.

“We still believe they are our number one threat,” said Bacon.

“There is a 90 percent decline of violence in Anbar but we are still fighting them in Diala,” he added. “They still have the capacity and the will but we have the momentum.”

Bacon noted, however, that “overall levels of violence in Iraq are down, and we are seeing positive trends.”

(Story by Navy Seaman William Selby, Special to American Forces Press Service)

Foreign Intrigue on American Soil

SPIES ON THE INSIDE, Courtesy of the FBI

Space Shuttle landing on a runway. Courtesy of NASA.

Space Shuttle secrets were among those allegedly stolen by a former California engineer. NASA photo.

There were secret meetings in restaurants, encrypted e-mail messages using a mysterious shorthand, suitcases crammed full of stolen documents.

There were covert payoffs: a pocket stuffed with a wad of bills, free poker games in Vegas, a wallet suddenly flush with cash.

There were bogus cover stories for trips to the “motherland” where secrets were passed and clandestine couriers who helped deliver materials into foreign hands. 

If it all sounds very cloak and dagger, that’s because it is. Two cases worked by the FBI and its partners and brought to fruition Monday with four arrests on opposite coasts had all the intrigue of a good spy novel. 

In the first investigation, a former Boeing and Rockwell engineer in California who had access to secret materials for decades was charged with several counts of economic espionage—including stealing U.S. high-tech trade secrets relating to the Space Shuttle and other aerospace and military systems and passing them to China.

The engineer allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of documents, many of which never made it to China. But he did provide China with some two dozen manuals on the B-1 Bomber and traveled to that country under of the guise of giving lectures, while secretly meeting with Chinese government officials and agents.

For More Information

  - First Investigation Press Release
  - Second Investigation Press Release
  - Tricks of Today's Spying Trade
  - Inside Counterproliferation
  - FBI Counterintelligence website

In the second investigation, a weapons policy analyst at the Department of Defense—along with a New Orleans businessman and a Chinese national living in the U.S.—were charged with passing classified government materials to China. Much of the information related to the sale of military technology to Taiwan. 

According to court documents, the New Orleans businessman cultivated the relationship with the analyst (and other U.S. government officials) and helped funnel information to the Chinese government. The Chinese national served as a “cut-out”—a go-between who worked with the businessman so an unnamed official in China could avoid direct contact with the analyst.

The Defense analyst’s series of secret meetings and telling conversations with the businessman—including admissions that he didn’t want to get caught and go to jail—are recounted in court documents. 

How'd we catch these spies? By using our own set of tradecraft, including surveillance, court-authorized searches and wiretaps, extensive translation work, and close coordination with NASA, the Air Force, and other government agencies. 

It all goes to show that while the Cold War is over, espionage is alive and well. Countries around the world are as determined as ever to steal our nation's sensitive military technologies and valuable trade secrets—even if that means resorting to traditional tricks like recruiting American turncoats. 

You can help prevent espionage and potentially earn a reward of up to $500,000 by reporting suspicious activities. Contact the FBI field office nearest you and ask to speak with our Counterintelligence Domain Coordinator. Or submit an anonymous tip online.