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Archive for the ‘AQ’ Category

Have you ever given any thought to a ‘three-dimensional’ website? Look at it this way, we no longer live in a world where the net is a ‘flat earth’ development. To give you a peek inside this fact, Douglas Farah has written a very informative and chilling article.

At the Counterterrorism Blog, you will find just about any type of news that we are NOT hearing about on the news. Especially the type of news which we should all be looking for to keep our country safe. I suppose that could be because of the elections, but you would think our survival would be an election year topic. Oh well.

Jihadists Move to Encryption on Internet Sights.

…Today’s Washington Post carries an extensive look at the radicalization of two Islamists from the state of Georgia who were filming potential targets in Washington, D.C.

Much of the process took place on line, as did the radicalization of an Egyptian businessman who sponsored the trip of combatants to Iraq based on the Internet statements and broadcasts by Yousef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. [Continue reading.]

So, they think catching illegal aliens is too hard of a task? Check out this story from Jayson Javitz over at Wizbang!

Dragnet.

…’They think they’re pretty much home free once they get up here,’ said Bill Botts, of the Border Patrol’s Gulport, Mississippi, station. But Operation Uniforce, as the two-week crackdown started Jan. 13 is called, ‘is pretty much a shocker for the [alien] smuggling organizations.’

More than 300 illegal immigrants and alien smugglers had been arrested as of Tuesday, just over a week into the operation. [Continue reading.]

Now I will share with you some articles and their links and who they are written by in groupings. That is because there are too many of them! lol

First I would like to start with Michael Yon. This first post of his is Moment of Truth in Iraq, a book that Michael has written, and it is very good. I’ve read the first chapter of Danger Close (it is online), and you might like to read it also. He is one of the citizen journalists who tells it as it is, not the way we would like to hear it. I like that. It shows me respect, because he trusts that I can make up my own mind.

CORRECTION: It has been brought to my attention that Michael’s book is Titled “Danger Close.” Jon is correct. The link to the first chapter is right here and you may purchase it only at Michael’s site here. Thank you Jon for catching that for me. *blush*

His next post is News Flash: Dragon Skin. This one is about body armor. Next is “Commanders Update #9, Commander’s Update #9 JAN 08, By LTC. James Crider. Then there is “General Lee Comes Home, Part 2, Stryker Dubbed ‘General Lee’ Rejuvenated, By Ann Roosevelt, for Defense Daily. After that one is this one where he was profiled by the NY Times, “News Flash: Frontline Blogger With a Soldier’s Eyes. They actually did a good job. Then finally, there is a collection of Michael’s writings: Archives: Table of Contents.

This one is not technically a blogger (Former Ambassador to the USA, John Bolton), but he has written a very chilling warning to President Bush, Condi, and the new president of the USA in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion and commentary section. The title of this article is “North Korea’s True Colors.” Read it! Another article which they printed is “The Legacy, Bush of Arabia. This U.S. president is the most consequential the Middle East has ever seen. by FOUAD AJAMI.” It is a refreshing look at both President Bush (whom I have lost much hope of having anything positive get done) and the Iraqi people. It is a good read.

For the following articles from CentCom, I will put them in list form. There are many good articles!

Here are six links to YouTube videos from Blackfive: This video is 1:16 minutes long. The title is “Sgt. Giles.” This one is “Arab Jabour: An Introduction,” and it is 2:45 minutes. This next one is titled “Arab Jabour: Terrain Denial.” The next three are “Surge Plus One: Doura,” “Robin Williams in Kuwait” and “Crazy I-Ranians threaten US warships with Jihad.” Now I have links you may be interested in reading.

ANA deliver infant saving mother, child, by Public Affairs COMBINED JOINT TASK FORCE- 82, Bagram Media Center.
ANA provides assistance to Kunar villagers, by Luis P. Valdespino Jr., Combined Security Transition Command.
Medical engagement a success in Abu Farris, by U.S. Army Christopher McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
Soldiers distribute wheelchairs, by U.S. Army Grant Okubo, MND-N PAO.
Tip leads MND-North Soldiers to bomb factory, MND-N PAO.
Kirkuk academy graduates 1,325 police, by U.S. Army Margaret Nelson, 115th MPAD.
Iraqi Soldiers graduate leaders’ course, by SPC Emily Wilsoncroft, MND-C PAO.
Paratroopers battle elements, keep valley safe, by Sgt. Brandon Aird, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.
Afghan, Coalition troops hold clinic in Farah, CJTF-82 PAO.
Army exchanges medical skill with Djiboutians, by MC1 Mary Popejoy, CJTF-HOA.
Afghan students prepare for future through education, by Spc. Gregory Argentieri, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.
Ghazni PRT brings care, clothes to Nawa District, by Spc Nathan Hutchinson, 22nd MPAD.

Next I have for you some articles from ACT! for America is a great site to go to find patriotic people keeping an eye on legislation and other news that we can appreciate. They now have chapters that are posted on their website. You can also receive e-mails from them, if you wish.

This next news article is an interview between National Review Online and M. Zuhdi Jasser. This is the third part of the article. The title of this portion of the interview is “We Need a Hero, Looking toward 2008 and beyond.” Mr. Jasser has also had a press release, “FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award given to Zuhdi Jasser.” One more article here. It is written by Electa Draper at the Denver Post. The name of the article is “Moderate Muslim view outshouted by Islamists.” Oh, those so understanding and tolerant libs. You may read about him and keep up with him at AIFD. This acronym stands for American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

American Congress for Truth is a very fine site. It is run by conversatives who just happen to be black. This is an amazing site, and you really should add it to your sidebar. For example, they are on top of this internet problem which I started this post off with.

Terrorism Probe Points to Reach Of Web Networks.

In April 2005, police swarmed the U.S. Capitol to confront an erratic Australian man, carrying two suitcases, who they feared was a suicide bomber. After blowing up one of the bags, officers realized he was harmless.

The police never noticed the two nervous young men on a nearby sidewalk filming the Capitol during the standoff. But they might have been the real threat, according to newly released documents.

The men, ultraconservative Muslims from Georgia, were making surveillance videos that could help extremists plan “some kind of terrorist attack,” as one man later acknowledged, according to court documents disclosed last week. One of their videos was sent to a notorious al-Qaeda publicist in London, authorities said. [Continue reading.]

Does that give anyone pause? It does me.

Okay, that should be enough information to hold you through the weekend. Don’t worry. If it doesn’t, I will still be posting at my site. I am having an Open Tracktrack Alliance and an Open Trackback at Linkfest. Share with others your work. Before you trackback, please add me to your post. After you this, I will add your name and title to the main page. This way, everyone will be able to see your work and may come over to view it. Have a good weekend everyone!

Update: I just have to add this one last(?) post. It is very funny and is also a member of Open Trackback Alliance. Since I do not like to post a trackback on someone’s post who has not listed that post for today’s OTA, I have written this little piece about it. Oh, what is it? Study: Few Keyboards Actually Destroyed By Coffee. Enjoy!

Members of the Samantha Burns’ OTA:

S. The Crazy Rantings of Samantha Burns: OTA Weekend, F. Stix Blog: 8 Things youneed to know about Obama and Rezko, F. Pirate’s Cove (M, F): TB Friday Featuring The Surrender Monkey: Kucinich Supporters Should Vote Ron Paul, F. The World According to Carl: Open Trackback Friday — January 25, 2008, F. Woman Honor Thyself: Sderot and the UN Party Balloons, S. Church and State, Su. The Amboy Times, Su. Stageleft, Su. walls of the city, Wknd. Blue Star Chronicles: Wear Red on Friday Reading List, Wknd. Leaning Straight Up: Friday Video Break: Smoke on the water… as you have never seen it before, Wknd. The Uncooperative Blogger, Wknd. Stuck On Stupid, Wknd. The Bullwinkle Blog, Wknd. 123beta (F, Wknd): Open Trackback Weekend, S. Point Five: Study: Few Keyboards Actually Destroyed By Coffee, S. 7 Deadly Sins, S. Steeljaw Scribe, S. Selective Amnesia, S. Case Notes from the Artsy Asylum, S. LyfLines, Su. InMuscatine, Su. Onemanbandwidth, Su. The Blazer Blog, Su. Miceland, Su. Where are my socks?, Su. Peakah’s Provocations, Su. Otimaster, Su. Grandinite, Su. Free Constitution, Su. Conservative Culture (Su, T), Su. – a metamorphoself, Su. The Dissentators (Su, M).

Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Linkfest and other sites:

Adam’s Blog: John McCain: Putting Mexico First?, Blue Star Chronicles: Why the Story of Dellon Tyler Ward Matters, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: New director for National Hurricane Center, third world county: “Mugger” Pledges: Will Give Money Back, Nuke Gingrich: WFFOT Aaaaaaaaay, Dumb Ox Daily News: Ron Paul’s Good and Bad News Letter, Outside the Beltway: John Edwards’ South Carolina Surge, Big Dog’s Weblog: Will MSM Give Hillary the Same Treatment As Bush?, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: Hurricane Proof House, Wolf Pangloss: Friday: I Feel Your Pain Open Posts, Leaning Straight Up: Making the Case For McCain; Just In Case, Shadowscope: Grand Jury Indicts Cesar Laurean, With many thanks to: Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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12. Blue Star Chronicles: British Diva Katherine Jenkins Entertains British Troops The Past Two Christmases.
11. Woman Honor Thyself: Super BowL: Gooooooo Giants! (A woman after my own heart!)
10. Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: Global Warming causes FEWER hurricanes.
9. A Blog For All: Fences Make Good Neighbors: Hamas Doesn’t Want Them.
8. Blue Star Chronicles: Retired Green Beret Gets Court Martial After Shooting Intruder.
7. Blue Star Chronicles: Phelps Family Hate Cult to Picket Heath Ledger’s Funeral.
6. Blue Star Chronicles: Tom Cruise on Scientology and Ah …. ah …. Wow …. You Know…Man…Wheh!
5. The World According To Carl Hillary LOVES A Man In Uniform?
4. Mark My Words: Irrational atheists and their groupies.
3. Stix Blog: 8 Things youneed to know about Obama and Rezko.
2. Pirate’s Cove: Global Warming Today: Less Hurricanes To Hit U.S.?
1. Planck’s Constant: Bernie`s Bic Vacation.

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News you should know about

Howdy y’all. I’m just sitting here wondering why we even bothered to waste our time letting Congress know how strongly we feel about illegal aliens when you, in South Carolina, are only going to vote for John McCain, author of the amnesty bill. Hey, it wasn’t me.

I would like to ask all of you to pray for one of our blogger friends. I was not given permission, so I will not use his/her name, but this person’s marital partner has had a heart attack and is in the hospital. With all of the medical breakthroughs we have had in the last few decades, he/she should be just fine. It is pretty serious, though. I don’t believe they have any breakthroughs to help people when they look death squarely in the face, whether it happens that way or not. It is very unnerving when you come that close to losing your best friend. God be with them every moment.

I caught up on some sleep I desperately needed. That feels good. I always feel a little ‘off-key’, however, when that happens. I do not do it on purpose. My body is sometimes the boss. *heh* (Thanks David for the *heh*. I’m stealing it. Isn’t there something that says imitation is a form of flattery? lol) Getting back my monologue. Okay, dribble. 😉

There is so much I want to write about, but I do not have the time. There is an article in the Sudan Tribune titled, “Sudan wants released rebel monitors to leave Darfur ceasefire HQ“. This article does not help any form of movement forward for peace between Khartoum and Darfur.

There is also an article written at Counter Terrorism Blog by Andrew Cochran titled, “The “Cartoon Jihad” – The Lie That Doesn’t Die.” The terrorists just will not leave this alone until everyone is silenced. My words, not his. The whole ordeal started out with a lie, but it shall be put down by the Truth.

The next article is also from the Counter Terrorism Blog by Olivier Guitta. The title of this is, “Europe faces up to Iranian threat.” I found this one particularly interesting. Did you know, for instance, that the Dutch are considering banning altogether Iran students? They have already refused Iranian three students who wanted to study nuclear techniques. Very interesting how they are getting tougher while the Left in America are going soft of Iran’s nuclear weapons drive. Interesting indeed. This is happening because the NIE was released not too long ago. I guess no one read the part that said that Iran could start up their programs anytime they felt like it.

Just for the record. I believe, if they actually did stop progress on their nuclear weapons, it was because WE WERE RIGHT NEXT DOOR. Everyone talks about international pressure? There’s nothing like the good ol’ US of A’s Army and Marines to help you change your feeble-minded ways. When the Democrats started showing weakness, the war against Iran’s weapons was lost. They started back up. Thank you, you useful idiots. The blood will be on your hands.

I have just stumbled upon these two articles by the same blog, Counter Terrorism Blog. The first one is titled, “Text of Original Senate Finance Committee Letter on Suspect Charities, Including IARA“, and the second one is titled, “Another Indictment Shows Sophistication of Charity Operations“. They are written by Andrew Cochran and Douglas Farah respectively.

The first one concentrates on terrorists financing and Congressional oversight with the IRS, while the second one concerns a newly released indictment. There is just one more that I would like to bring to your attention, and that is, “Al-Qaida’s MySpace”: How Suicide Bombers Are Being Recruited Online. It is written by Evan Kohlmann. Anyone who is following these monsters on the terrorists sites and forums, when they disappear, inform someone. They are showing up as suicide bombers for al Qaida.

That should be enough for now. Now I think I shall have a cup of tea (we don’t have any) and relax. Yeah right! Oh brother. Please God, help us to elect someone who will actually KEEP OUR SOVEREIGNTY and win this war they are having with us, because you sure as heck couldn’t convince me we are at war with ANYONE…

Each of the men writing for Counter Terrorism Blog is an expert in one field or another having to do with counter-terrorism. They do not always agree, which makes it a very good read. They do not act like children when they disagree, they present their facts and try to persuade the readers and the person with whom they disagree to agree with them. Or at least, if nothing else, to look at the data with fresh eyes. They are a very fine group of men, and I am very grateful we have them on our team.

Have a good day everyone.

Update: Debbie has written about the health of her husband and thanks us all for our prayers and concern, so it is okay for me to disclose her name. Please go to her site and send her your warm wishes, prayers, encouragement, and just plain old decent concern. Thank you.

Sites I have trackbacked to:

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One of my Afghanistani friends has written a horrifying article about what is happening in Afghanistan under the control of President Karsai, and I don’t like it. No, not one bit!

Mullah Abdul Salam A Terror Loving Murdering
Low-Life Lunatic and Massacring Maniac
Is Now The New Chief Of Musa-Qala District

By: Mohammad Khairy

From the beginning of 2002, many Taliban top commanders were freed from Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan’s jails by assurance of Karzai and his Pashtunsit team. Most of these commanders are implicated for civilian killings, women trafficking, raping, looting and imprisoning non-Pashtun citizens. The freed Taliban commanders rejoined Al Qaeda or were hired in many different position in the current government.

Mullah Abdul Salaam, a first degree murderer for the massacre of civilians and a former Taliban governor of Oruzgan Province and a senior Taliban commander was appointed on January 7,08 by President Karzai as the new chief of Musa-Qala district after US-troops and NATO recaptured it from the hand of Taliban. [Continue reading.]

This is an awful situation. All males are being summarily executed just so they do not have time to raise up against these animals. And we are allowing this? Hurry up with those 3,000 Marines!

I am very saddened. Please pray for these men, women and children who do not enjoy the same freedoms that you and I do. Pray for their lives, safety, and hope. Also pray for God to crush al Qaida and the Taliban. Those freakin’ animals.

Hat-tip: Welcome to Mohammad Fahim Khairy’s Blog.
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Source: CentCom.

09 November 2007
Multi-National Division – North PAO
4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division PAO
.

BAQOUBA, Iraq – The 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis, Wash., is in the process of expanding its area of responsibility to include all of Diyala province, Iraq.

The brigade is taking over the area of operations currently held by 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, which has begun redeploying back to its home station at Fort Hood, Texas. 4-2 will continue to own much of its current battle space, which includes northern Baghdad province and western Diyala province.

“Because the security situation here (northern Baghdad province) and in Diyala province has improved, we are effectively able to expand our area of influence from Baghdad up through Diyala,” explained Col. Jon Lehr, 4-2 commander.

The Stryker brigade’s new area of operations includes the strategically important city of Baqouba. Al-Qaida in Iraq considers the city of approximately 300,000 as the capitol of the Islamic State of Iraq.

This summer, 4-2 SBCT units supported successful operations to clear AQI from Baqouba, and U.S. officials now estimate that AQI has been degraded by 80 percent in the area.

“Baqouba has so much importance to the enemy, and it is critical that we hold onto Baqouba,” said Command Sgt Maj. John Troxell, 4-2 SBCT’s top noncommissioned officer, during a recon of the city Nov. 5 and 6. “We want to continue to empower Iraqi Security Forces and Concerned Local Citizens so that the threat of AQI and other insurgent groups coming back into this area are very minimal.”

Concerned Local Citizen is the term given by Coalition Forces for local nationals who are providing security in their own areas, including guarding neighborhoods and buildings and manning checkpoints. The U.S.-supported volunteers number more than 67,000 nationwide, according to military officials, and they play a crucial role in providing peace and security throughout 4-2’s expanded area of operations.

“You can’t over stress the importance of CLCs,” Lehr said. The intent is to find groups of people willing to prevent insurgent extremists from attacking local citizens, with the aim of eventually transitioning these men to legitimate institutions within the Iraqi government, turning them into Iraqi Security Forces, both police and Iraqi army. There may be certain individuals that go beyond being able to do that because there is just too much blood on their hands, but I am willing to work with any group that comes forward with true reconciliation on their mind – someone that says I am not resisting the efforts of coalition forces and the government of Iraq to make Iraq a stable, sovereign nation.”

Lehr outlined some of the new challenges that come with expanding into a new area, including increased geographic responsibility, working with Iraqi Security Forces and additional infrastructure rebuilding needs.

“When you think of operating on a piece of ground the size of Maryland, that really paints a good word picture of just the physical difficulties of expanding,” Lehr said.

“Unlike our current AO where we have very little influence over Iraqi Security Forces … we will have an entire Iraqi Army Division that we will have the ability to shape and influence, and that’s a good challenge,” Lehr continued, adding, “The third challenge is the condition of the infrastructure, meaning essential services throughout Diyala province.”

Before Baqouba and the surrounding area was cleared of insurgents this past summer, essential services were relatively austere compared to the neighboring Baghdad province in which 4-2 currently operates.

The brigade is gaining several new enablers to help with those challenges, including the State Department’s Diyala Provincial Reconstruction Team, the 4-2’s Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team and essential services teams.

The brigade is also in the process of fielding new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to replace its up-armored HMMWVs. The MRAP has a V-shaped hull designed to better protect passengers against improvised explosive devices and ballistic threats.

Lehr stressed that the overall strategy of conducting successful counter-insurgency operations will not change with the expanded battle space.

“Being a counterinsurgent is akin to being a police officer and how a police officer conducts community policing,” Lehr said. “This type of fight requires different skills sets beyond tactical and technical. It requires interpersonal and conceptual skill sets, to understand that along with the lethal operations, diplomacy is what we do down to the lowest level. I think our units across the board have done exceptionally well at this.”

The expanded area of operations marks the first time that 4-2 SBCT will be together as a whole unit since before its deployment in April. Two of the brigade’s battalions, 1-38th Infantry Regiment and 2-23rd Infantry Regiment, have been attached to other units, first in Baghdad and now in Diyala.

“When you organize, equip and train as a brigade combat team and then get in combat and get pulled apart, it hurts,” Troxell said, “but when you get it back together, it feels great. I know our Soldiers are great fighters, and as a team we will be successful.”

Photo – Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, the top noncommissioned officer of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis, Wash., speaks to Soldiers of Company C, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment Nov. 5 in Baqouba, Iraq . The brigade is in the process of expanding into Diyala province. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Russell Bassett.

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Bill Roggio: Sr. AQI leader killed

Bill Roggio has a new site: The Long War Journal. What I read today, gives me great pleasure. I would like to share a bit with you to get you to go read it. I’ll give you a hint, a top AQI bites it.

Senior al Qaeda in Iraq leader killed in airstrike.
By Bill Roggio, September 29, 2007, 12:00 AM.

The intelligence-driven raids against al Qaeda in Iraq’s command structure has netted two senior operatives in the past month, a senior American military intelligence official told The Long War Journal. On September 25, Task Force 88, the hunter-killer teams assigned to kill or capture senior al Qaeda operatives, killed Abu Usama al Tunisi, who is described as the possible successor to al Qaeda in Iraq’s leader Abu Ayyub al Masri. On August 31, Task Force 88 killed Abu Yaqub al Masri, al Qaeda’s military advisor to units operating in and around Baghdad. [Read more.]

How about that, eh? Way to go guys. Keep up the good work. The sane among us support not only you, but your mission as well. Godspeed.

PS. My left paw isn’t working, so it is hard for me to write. That also makes it difficult to write the trackbacks on the front page. Please forgive me for this. I will correct this as soon as possible. I think it is my wrist, because I can move fingers a little but I cannot lift my hand. Hmm. NO, I will not go to the doctor. For what? So he can tell me I have a pinched nerve? Well…duh. lol.

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Trackback for this post: http://rosemarysthoughts.com/2007/09/29/bill-roggio-sr-aqi-leader-killed/trackback/ If you would like to read to read the trackbacks and comments, just add /#comments/ to the end of the URL. If all else fails, just hit comments. lol.

UPDATE: 18. Leaning Straight Up: San Francisco’s Anti Military Disease Spreads to Oakland. A MUST READ, says me. Toll free to the Capitol: 866-340-9281. Do the right thing.

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26 Aug 07
by Multi-National Division-North
Public Affairs Office
.

BAGHDAD – Operation Lightning Hammer concluded Wednesday after a 12-day, large-scale operation to disrupt al-Qaeda and other terrorist elements in the Diyala River Valley, a complex area of villages and palm groves in Iraq’s Diyala province.

The operation, which involved approximately 16,000 Iraqi and Coalition forces clearing approximately 50 villages, was a key element in Multi-National Corps-Iraq’s overall operation, Phantom Strike; and resulted in 26 al-Qaeda members killed, 37 suspected terrorists detained and the discovery of 10 weapons caches. “The strength and determination of the fighting men and women from the Iraqi and Coalition forces showed great results during Lightning Hammer,” said U.S. Army Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of Coalition forces in Diyala province. “We have continued to diminish their supplies and disable al-Qaeda’s abilities to disrupt the population.”

Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, partnered with members of the 5th Iraqi Army Division, initiated the operation with a late-night air assault into targeted locations on Aug. 13, and conducted an additional three air-assaults during the course of the operation. Residents of most villages welcomed the security forces, providing tips and intelligence about recent activities in their towns, and were interested in joining the Iraqi Security Forces. Following clearing operations, the Iraqi Army provided medical assistance and humanitarian aid to the local citizens, many of whom said their villages were recently influenced by al-Qaeda.

More importantly, more than 80 tribal leaders and representatives, some of whom had not spoken in over a year, met Aug. 19 to discuss their grievances and swore on the Quran to unite in their fight against terrorists and become one tribe of Diyala. “As I conducted my battlefield circulation and talked with many of the citizens, they repeatedly thanked our Soldiers, but more importantly, their security forces, for liberating their towns from the terrorists – specifically al-Qaeda,” Sutherland said. “Because their villages have been cleared, the local and central governments will now be able to provide those essential services al-Qaeda destroyed, and the people feel a sense of security they have not known for some time.”

Throughout the operation, the Task Force Lightning Soldiers also discovered 22 improvised explosive devices, 11 of which were discovered based on tips from a police chief in the river valley, and reduced three house-borne IEDs and six vehicle-borne IEDs, all of which could have been used to harm a large portion of the population or security forces. Additionally, an al-Qaeda command post was discovered in the village of Shadia, and an al-Qaeda medical clinic was located in Qaryat Sunayjiyah.

The command post, which was surrounded by fighting positions, contained bed space for 20 individuals, supply requests, records of munitions, a list of families supporting the element, a list of al-Qaeda members detained by Coalition forces and other terrorist propaganda. “Although we didn’t find many of the terrorists, the operation proved to be a great success because we disrupted al-Qaeda, causing them to run,” Sutherland continued. “Their fear of facing our forces proves that the terrorists know there is no safe haven for them in Diyala.

“And though this specific operation is over, our fight is not over,” he continued. “We will continue to aggressively target al-Qaeda, and ultimately, they will be brought to justice.” The results of Lightning Hammer cleared the Diyala River Valley of al-Qaeda and allowed Iraqi and Coalition forces to maintain a permanent presence in Mukeisha, a village in the heart of the river valley area.

Photo – Spc. Samuel Melendez, Bravo Trop, 5th Battalion, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, patrols a mrash outside of Qubah, a small village in the Diyala province. The patrol was part of Operation Lightning Hammer, a maneuver to flush insurgents from the area. Photo by Sgt. Patrick Lair, 115th MPAD.

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Coalition Reclaims al-Jamea’a

30 July 07
By Spc. Alexis Harrison
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
.

BAGHDAD – As Operation Arrowhead Ripper moves along in Diyala, ever so quietly, Operation Rogue Thunder swept through a section of the capital in hopes of ridding the area of anti-Iraqi forces for good.

The 3rd Battalion, 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army, their Military Transition Team and Soldiers from the U.S. 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, cleared al-Jamea’a of caches, bombs and insurgents while helping to ramp up security efforts to reclaim the area terrorized and bullied by al-Qaeda.

Terrorists in the area had been ruthlessly controlling every action of the people according to Maj. Chris Norrie, the transition team’s commander. Women were forced to cover their faces, men were arrested for no apparent reason and children weren’t even allowed to play soccer in the streets.

At one time al-Jamea’a was occupied by white-collar professionals until insurgents began scare tactics that led many of the well-off residents to leave their homes. Many of the mansion-sized homes in the neighborhood are empty, and as Capt. Peter Kilpatrick said, the empty homes are seen as an opportunity for insurgents to move in.

“Only 30 percent of al-Jamea’a was occupied,” said Capt. Kilpatrick. “The vacancies made it vulnerable.”

Several caches had been found during previous operations around the Najra Mosque area. During the first day of this operation, streets and shops around the mosque were empty. A few people cautiously came out to see the Humvees, tanks and Iraqi army vehicles stage. This would begin the lengthy process of securing the area.

Sgt. Kenneth Swartwood said many of the residents are happy to see the Coalition forces move into their neighborhood. More importantly, the combined presence of Iraqis and Americans working together proved to the people just how important the area’s security was.

“We came in with open arms to the Iraqi army,” said Sgt. Swartwood. “A big reason Adel and Jamea’a are good now is because of the partnership with the IA. They actually worked with them hand-in-hand. The civilians feel a lot better when it’s a partnership. They feel like it’s twice as secure.”

After many of the new security measures were in place, the commander of the Iraqi Army battalion, Col. Raheem went to the mosque to use its loudspeaker to make an announcement to the people in the neighborhood.

He let it be known to the people that coalition forces were in the area to make a change for the better. He said security will improve for the people and that they have not only God watching them, but the entire coalition.

“Almost immediately, people began to come out of their homes,” Col. Raheem said. “These people deserve to live in peace after al-Qaeda had oppressed them for so long.”

Now that security measures are in place, Capt. Kilpatrick said coalition forces in the area will have 24-hour surveillance over the entire area.

“We’ve established several static positions,” he said. “However, I don’t think locals would have felt comfortable with putting a coalition outpost next to the mosque without help from the Iraqis.”

Col. Raheem said many of the locals feel that having a combined presence in the area is good and that it helps gain the trust of the people even faster.

Photo – The commander of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, Col. Raheem, points out locations of traffic control points and other security measures being placed in Al Jamea’a during Operation Rogue Thunder. The Iraqi army battalion, along with a Military Transition Team and Soldiers from the U.S. 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, swept the area and implemented several new security measures during the operation. Photo by Spc. A. Lexis Harrison.

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