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Infiltrating the Iraqi Insurgency

| 13 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

There are no significant follow up reports on the military operations south and west of Baghdad conducted over the past two days. Omar from Iraq The Model provides some detail from Al-Iraqia TV broadcasts. According to Omar, Operation Squeeze Play was executed primarily by Iraqi forces and was highly successful, with the number of insurgents arrested at 450 (note: this could not be verified via an alternative source). The real coup appears to be the penetration of the insurgency by Iraqi security forces by the Wolf's Brigade of the Special Police Commandos.

According to Al-Iraqia TV, the Wolf brigade's intelligence elements successfully infiltrated the terrorist groups in the Abu Ghraib region and the information gathered this way paved the way for the latest operation which was done in two waves; the 1st raid was accomplished yesterday while the 2nd one started at 5 in the morning today and has just ended as Al-Iraqia reporter at the scene in Abu Ghraib said.

The successful raids which represent the largest operation performed by Iraqi forces so far had resulted in arresting 450 suspected terrorists. The brigade depended mainly on its intelligence personnel who recognized the suspects' faces and pointed them out one by one. The Wolf brigade did almost all the job with the multinational forces providing backup when needed.

Among the detainees was an "Amir" i.e. someone who beheaded at least 10 Iraqis. Also it's believed that the terrorist who lead the latest large attack on the prison in Abu Ghraib was also among those detained.

Obviously a good deal of intelligence information available to the Iraqi and Coalition forces executing Squeeze Play. Also, a high degree of operational security was maintained among the Iraqi troops involved. It is highly unlikely an operation this size could net over 450 insurgents while taking no casualties if the insurgents were aware of this assault.

Some of the detainees were not your run-of-the-mill dead end Baathists, local resistance, unemployed Sunnis or advantageous criminals. Al Qaeda operatives were in the company of those captured, as the detention of the head-chopper and the commander of the failed Abu Ghraib mass assault demonstrate.

Last April there were reports that an agent was active within al Qaeda in Iraq's network, and had provided information that allowed Task Force 626 to come close to nabbing Zarqawi. The Iraqi Special Police Commandos appears to have duplicated this feat.

Iraq is yielding another asset crucial to winning the War on Terror: a friendly Arab intelligence service that is highly motivated to destroy al Qaeda. Iraqi agents, trained in the culture and languages of the Middle East, have a much better chance than Americans at infiltrating al Qaeda's network and providing valuable intelligence on its membership, communications and operations.

Update:

This article in the Telegraph states a "car bomb factory" was discovered; "They found sufficient bombs for 70 cars, a production line if you like," said Mr Jaafari's spokesman, Laith Kubba. "It was either the factory or one of the two factories that has caused the carnage in Baghdad."

2 TrackBacks

Tracked: May 24, 2005 2:47 PM
Squeeze Play from Caerdroia
Excerpt: Bill Roggio at Winds of Change has an excellent roundup on the results of Operation Squeeze Play, which was a primarily-Iraqi series of raids over the past few days on enemy personnel and sites in the vicinity of Baghdad. The most important information...
Tracked: May 24, 2005 9:06 PM
Iraq Updates from The Fourth Rail
Excerpt: I've posted two updates over at Winds of Change.NET on Iraq: Wounded Z, Revisited discusses reports of on an al Qaeda website that Zarqawi needs your prayers. Infiltrating the Iraqi Insurgency follows up on Operation Squeeze Play and the possibility...

13 Comments

Astute observations and great data, Bill.

Today the terrorists are swinging back to targetting more american troops, after almost exclusively killing (400) Iraqis for the last three weeks. We always get the immediate stats on american deaths from the "free" press.
That argues for some sort of policy decision coming from a top-down control structure, doesn't it? And also that Squeeze Play really hurt them?

Today the terrorists are swinging back to targetting more american troops

Which of course has nothing to do with our troops deliberatly putting themselves at close proximity with them so that guns and bombs and missles can be employed eh ?

Ill take the source on the targeting change with more merit when our guys are done with the current operation of smoking em out and killing them.

Lets see what its like after our mop up ops are done.

Intelligence! ???? I hope so, but I read that 100,000 criminals were released from prisons before the war. We have been cleaning that up also. It may take a lot more time.

Yeah, it may. The criminals are definitely part of the picture for the average Iraqi when they say "security."

Whoever you quoted showed some journalistic integrity by using the term "arresting 450 suspected terrorists."

However, in the sections below where you say " net over 450 insurgents" a journalistic leap of faith, way beyond the facts, is made. 450 people were likely arrested but how many of them were actually "insurgents" may never be determined. In the "fog of war" and the chaos of Baghdad to assume that all 450 people were actually "insurgents" with nobody mistakenly swept up in a dragnet shows either extreme credibility or bias.

Since there appears to be no formal judicial process to determine the guilt or innocence of detainees, maybe we can safely assume that those who were not "insurgents" when detained will become insurgents when they are released, assuming they are not killed in captivity (a somewhat probable result, given the latest IRC reports of US and Iraqi detention conditions).

Jinderella, why do you put the "free" press in quotes? Do you think they are somehow "unfree"?

One thing that confuses me about the right-wing disdain for the US press follows. Right-wing orthodoxy implies that markets are the perfect solution for all problems. Here in the US we have an intensely competitive profit-driven corporate press, so that orthodoxy would imply the US press is the best possible (otherwise something better would out-compete it in the market), yet I hear nothing but complaints about one of the best examples of free-market capitalist competition existent from the supposed champions of the "free market". Ironic.

One interesting aspect of this story above is the return of "body counts" to US military reporting. I noticed that the supposedly left-biased MSM reported the "more than 100 insurgents" killed from Operation Matador as fact, with no alleged or estimated qualifiers. When so many of the fatalities result from rockets and bombs, how does one make an accurate count of the dead, let alone determine how many of the body parts belong to "insurgents" and how many belong to unlucky civilians?

My friends dad was in Vietnam, if they shot a cow it was counted in the weekly body count. Back then every week the Pentagon would announce the number of enemy troops they killed. It was stopped after someone realized how inaccurate it was.
Instead of saying 100 insurgents were killed try saying 100 people were killed

Bill: Thanks and keep up the good work!

Tom:

I agree that most likely there were non-insurgents swept up with the 450 arrests. To believe other wise is naive. What is encouraging is the fact that Iraqi forces are beginning to operate well and are developing intelligence capabilities.

Your claim that there is no formal judicial process is wrong. There is a judicial process in Iraq. Is it perfect? I doubt it, however, I'll wager it is better than the system it replaced. Your claim that it is probable the arrestees will not likely survive incarceration is a non-sequitor. Detainee deaths have been rigorously pursued and responsible parties held accountable, unlike similar incidents under the former regime. There have been very few detainee deaths relative to the number of detainees, and most of these were early in the process.

Calling the free market an "Orthodoxy" must be your way of dismissing facts that don't fit your world view. Markets work, as the news market is proving. Now that MSM bias has been exposed,people are much more aware of the bias that exists. A couple proofs of this are falling newspaper circulation and the success of Fox News.

As for your claim that body counts are "returning", this is also false. They have been present since day one, it's just that they only represented American deaths. It is nice to see them balanced out occasionally with a count of "insurgents" that were taken out of the picture.

Cheers

Just a clarification, I did not call the "free market" an orthodoxy. Unquestioning and simplistic belief in markets as a solution to all problems is an orthodoxy.
Markets are simply an economic tool, while orthodoxy refers to a rigid system of belief. Indeed, markets do work, with both beneficial and destructive consequences (as in the collapse of the North Atlantic cod fishery, heroin/opium trade, slavery, etc.).

As far as your claim of a formal judicial process for Iraqi detainees, I would be very interested in some documentation of your claim. I googled "judicial process for Iraqi detainees" and the only hits I got were discussing the absence of judicial process, except for a Baltimore Sun article about Abu Ghraib which mentioned "Most of the 3,800 detainees have yet to be charged with a crime. Miller said that 74 are going through a judicial process that could send them to Iraqi courts, where they will be offered attorneys. "

Here is a link to a Human Rights Watch paper lamenting the absence of a transparent and formal judical process for detainees HRW

With a relevant quote "We are aware that some persons have been brought before the Central Criminal Court in Baghdad for alleged common crimes. However, an unknown number of persons held by U.S. forces have reportedly neither been charged nor prosecuted for a crime."
and
"International humanitarian law requires that an Occupying Power make information available on persons they intern (Geneva IV, Arts. 136, 138-141).
The precise number of persons held by the United States and other Coalition forces is unknown. We understand that a database of information on persons held by United States forces has been established and lists the number of persons detained at 8,968 as of January 24, 2004. Press reports indicate that the number of civilians held is somewhere between 9,000 and 12,800."

Also "Between May 31 and December 20, 2003, CPT Iraq conducted dozens of interviews of Iraqi detainees and/or their families and support networks. In evidence presented to the CPA they highlighted that often these detentions involved acts of violence, as well as theft and destruction of personal property. They also highlighted the lack of legal representation or clear judicial process." CPT

Your point the US prisons are better than Saddam's is unquestionable, but that is a frighteningly low standard. Current episodes of US mistreatment, torture, and killing of prisoners are unprecedented in US history and attempts to whitewash them do not speak highly of a commitment to "freedom". If you truly believe that "Detainee deaths have been rigorously pursued and responsible parties held accountable" then you have a gift for "dismissing facts that don't fit your world view". Several highly publicized trials of low-level scapegoats, while the architects of policy are unscathed hardly qualifies as "held accountable". Unless, you believe it was really all Lynne England's fault.

Perhaps you should read recent reports from indepedent human rights organizations such as Amnesty to get a more balanced view.


It's really great to hear how well the Iraqi's are learning to fight for their own freedom! I applaud them.

Tom Volckhausen, I'm really sorry that there's no magic pathway between Saddam's regime and Switzerland. The cause of humanity would be better served if human rights groups also looked at, say, North Korea, and criticized them as well. After a while your selective outrage begins to be ignored, if not laughed at, and that's not good for anyone.

The alternative to free markets is state Slavery (socialism).

Don't let your anyone make that choice for you. Die a free man rather than "live" a day as a socialist slave.

Syl,
If you think outside the echo chamber of NeoCon mindlock that "selective outrage begins to be ignored, if not laughed at" then you are seriously out of touch.
US actions in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and Afghanistan are having major negative policy impacts throughout the planet. Sticking your head in the sand is not a long term strategy.
Perhaps you may have noticed that GWB's grand "coalition of the willing" is just about down to Tony Blair and 20,000 mercenaries (euphimisticly called "contractors").

I need to compile a list of the many claims over the last two years that increasing insurgent attacks were a sign of desperation and soon to end. I imagine neocons happily lapping up the same claims 5 years and $500 billion later, but the US public is starting to see thru the BS (note recent polls with 55% considering Iraq a "mistake")

And, of course, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch also report on North Korea, Syria, and Iran,etc.

From the recent International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) report...
"..."Such illegal practices (detainee abuses) made the achievement of any broad international coalition in Iraq even more difficult than it already was, and strengthened the cause of the insurgents."

If your head is in the sand, it is hard to see the world around you.

Tom,

hope you enjoy your "Swiss" freedoms that was paid for by others. Very easy to sit back and condemn, critisize and complain. Why not go out and make a difference. At least now Iraq for better or worse can fight for its place. Under Saddam it was just a short step from your front doot to an execution pit or a jail cell.

History will tell the tale and the people who step forward and take a real stand and tried to make a difference will be remembered.
Tom your eurocentric attitude is as bad or worse as I have seen. YOU have analysis paralysis...soo much thought and theory..little action...Europes conglomerate techno-crat sophists have proven their inability to step up to the plate has proven true time and again. Instead of blasting the US why don't you criticize your own countries role in Iraq or anywhere else...oh wait, Switzerland is the land of I won't get involved...my misstake. Now I understand your interest in blasting my country....yours won't even step up to make a stand for anything....think I have a good idea now...thanks for the insight...maybe in the next life you can roger up and make a stand for something and actually prove your conviction for your beliefs, especially if and when life and limb is at stake. And if needed have the moral strenght of character and belief to fight and die for something...
Until then you are just a loudmouth blowhard...
oh by the way I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan...I put my mouth where my money is....

Thanks for for your analysis...awful easy to pick everyone's beliefs apart...I have seen and dealt with you mealy-mouthed scumbags before....just like a lawyer or intellectual scholar theorist....go out and do something about something if you dare...I doubt you ever will though.

Nice UN quotes and human rights watch. They are sooo un biased also I am sure.

AS FOR THE OTHER POSTERS, I found your insights very interseting and insightful, not just a rehash of amnesty international propaganda.

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