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1 juin 2009 1 01 /06 /juin /2009 23:13
Dissident Watch: Mithal al-Alusi

by Heather Robinson
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2009, p. 96

http://www.meforum.org/2142/dissident-watch-mithal-al-alusi

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Amid growing conservatism and ethnic and sectarian populism in Iraq, parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi, a Sunni Arab, has become the country's chief advocate for liberal values including a free market, free press, religious pluralism, cooperation among democracies in fighting terror, and human—including women's—rights.

Mithal al-Alusi

Alusi was born on May 23, 1953, in Alus, a small village near Haditha, in Iraq's western Anbar province. In 1976, while studying aeronautical engineering in Cairo, Egypt, he was sentenced to death in absentia by Iraq for allegedly trying to undermine Saddam Hussein by circulating anti-Baathist flyers. He fled Cairo for Syria and then Germany, arriving on August 23, 1977. During his German exile, he became active in the Iraqi opposition coalition led by Ahmed Chalabi. In December 2002, to protest the gravity of Saddam's abuses, he staged a takeover of the Iraqi embassy in Berlin. It was his record of staunch activism in exile, he believes, that prompted Iraqis on the governing council to choose him, after the liberation, as leader of the de-Baathification commission.[1] He returned to Iraq in November 2003 and was appointed by the Iraqi Governing Council to head the Supreme National Commission of de-Baathification, a body dedicated to removing top Baathists from government and preparing the Iraqi people for democracy.

Trouble started for Alusi in September 2004 when he traveled to Israel to attend a counterterrorism conference at the Institute for the Study of Counterterrorism (ICT) in Herzliya. At the time, the insurgency in Iraq was accelerating. That summer, mass casualty bombings had spiked with sixteen taking place in September alone, killing over 200.[2] Alusi did not hesitate to travel to Israel, explaining that normalized relations between Iraq and Israel are in the self-interest of Iraqis. "Israel," he said, "is a modern state and an important part of the Middle East."[3]

Upon his return, the Iraqi Interim Government stripped him of both his government position and security protection for violating a law dating from Saddam Hussein's regime against visiting Israel. Then, on February 8, 2005, terrorists murdered his two sons, Ayman, 30, and Gamal, 22, and one of their bodyguards in revenge for Alusi's decision to travel to Israel. Minutes after the attack, he told reporters, "Even if these terrorists try to kill me again, peace is the only solution. Peace with Israel is the only solution for Iraq. Peace with everybody, but no peace for the terrorists."[4]

Alusi has worked to build the Iraqi Democratic Nation Party (Hizb al-Umma al-Dimuqratiya al-Iraqiya), which his sons helped him establish. Despite assassination attempts and propaganda campaigns by Islamist parties branding him a Zionist agent, in December 2005, voters elected Alusi to parliament as an independent with approximately 36,000 votes, a difficult achievement in a system that favors parties.[5]

Alusi has boldly defended liberals. In the spring of 2006, as militiamen targeted progressives across the country, he attended women's rights rallies in Baghdad. "They are brave women," he said at the time. "To meet a few hundred Iraqi women in these days who will stand [up] for their rights. It is very difficult. But for how long can they face the extremists without support?"[6]

He returned to Israel in September 2008 for that year's ICT conference. Upon his return to Iraq, approximately 100 out of his 275 fellow parliamentarians sought to strip him of parliamentary immunity so that he could face charges of traveling illicitly to Israel, a capital offense under the old Saddam Hussein-era law. Some of those who voted against him did so apologetically, telling Alusi, "We are sorry we voted against you. But we can't do differently [or] we will be killed."[7]

Alusi's boldness has paid off. On November 24, 2008, Iraq's Federal Supreme Court, the highest court in the nation, ruled in his favor, maintaining it was no longer a crime for Iraqis to travel, including to Israel. After he returned to his Baghdad headquarters, hundreds of supporters greeted him openly, a scene that would never have occurred under Saddam. No doubt there will be obstacles ahead, but Alusi cites many Iraqis' increased willingness to openly express their support for him as a hopeful sign. "The Iraqi street is free," he says.[8]

[1] Telephone interview with Mithal al-Alusi, Jan. 14, 2009.
[2] "Oct. 1, 2004, mass casualty bombings in Iraq," Brookings Institution Iraq Index, accessed Dec. 31, 2008.
[3] Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 9, 2005.
[4] BBC News, Feb. 8, 2005.
[5] Wall Street Journal, Nov. 1, 2006.
[6] Telephone interviews with Mithal al-Alusi, June 2006.
[7] The American Spectator, Sept. 16, 2008; The Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24, 2008.
[8] Telephone interview with Mithal al-Alusi, Oct. 2008.

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17 mai 2009 7 17 /05 /mai /2009 00:29
US, Iraqi forces target Syrian-based network

Iraqi and US special operations forces took aim yesterday at al Qaeda's Syrian-based network operating in northern Iraq. The joint forces conducted an operation to take down senior leaders of Abu Khalaf's facilitation network operating west of Mosul along the Syrian border.

The special operations forces raided a compound near Tall al Hawa, a town in Ninewa province about 12 miles east of the Syrian border near the Tal Kujik border crossing point. The operation netted three of Abu Khalaf's associates, Multinational Force Iraq stated in a press release. One of the men was wanted for his involvement in car bomb attacks in the region.

The Tal Kujik and the nearby Sinjar crossing points have become al Qaeda's main pipeline to push foriegn fighters into Iraq from Syria. According to al Qaeda documents and a manual intended to aid foreign fighter crossing into Iraq from Syria, the border crossing at Husayba/Al Qaim in Anbar province became too dangerous for al Qaeda while the northernmost point in Kurdistan has always been considered to be too dangerous.

Abu Khalaf, whose real name is Sa'ad Uwayyid 'Ubayd Mu'jil al Shammari, was identified by the US Treasury just days ago as a terrorist under Executive Order 13224 [see LWJ report, Senior al Qaeda leader in Syria sanctioned by US Treasury]. The designation allows the US to freeze his assets, prevent him from using financial institutions, and prosecute him for terrorist activities.

Khalaf "is believed to be responsible for facilitating the main pipeline of suicide bombers, as well as the flow of money, weapons, terrorists and other resources from Syria into Iraq," Multinational Force Iraq stated.

Khalaf recruits terrorists from North Africa to serve as suicide bombers and aids in setting up their travel arrangements into Syria and ultimately Iraq. Recently, General David Petraeus, the Commander of US Central Command, said the bombers behind four of the most deadly suicide attacks in Iraq during April were from Tunisia. The suicide bombers were identified after one of the Tunisians was captured. The Tunisians are thought to have been moved into Iraq via Khalaf's network, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

Khalaf also helps al Qaeda suicide bombers based in the Persian Gulf region travel to the Levant to conduct suicide attacks. The Levant consists of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea and includes Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. Khalaf is believed to operate in Tal Hamis in Syria and Tal Wardan and the 'Awinat village in the Rabiah district in Iraq.

Al Qaeda's network in Syrian behind suicide attacks in Iraq

Syria has long supported or looked the other way as al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents used the country as a transit point and safe haven for fighters entering western Iraq. More than 90 percent of the suicide bombers who have entered Iraq since the insurgency began in 2003 have entered Iraq via Syria.

After the US invasion of Iraq, al Qaeda established a network of operatives inside Syria to move foreign fighters, weapons, and cash to support al Qaeda's terror activities. An al Qaeda manual written by a jihadi named Al Muhajir Al Islami, and discovered in the summer of 2005, detailed ways to infiltrate Iraq via Syria. The manual is titled The New Road to Mesopotamia.

In the manual, he Iraqi-Syrian border was broken down into four sectors: the Habur crossing near Zakhu in the north; the Tal Kujik and Sinjar border crossings west of Mosul; the Al Qaim entry point in western Anbar; and the southern crossing at Al Tanf, west of Rutbah near the Jordanian border. Islami claimed the Al Tanf and Habur crossing points were too dangerous to use, and Al Qaim was the preferred route into Iraq, and the Tal Kujik and Sinjar border crossings were also recommended.

The US military learned a great deal about al Qaeda's network inside Syria after a key operative was killed in September of 2007. US forces killed Muthanna, the regional commander of al Qaeda's network in the Sinjar region.

During the operation, US forces found numerous documents and electronic files that detailed al Qaeda's efforts to organize, coordinate, and transport foreign terrorists into Iraq and other places. Several of the documents found with Muthanna included a list of 500 al Qaeda fighters from a range of foreign countries that included Libya, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Oman, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.

Other documents found in Muthanna's possession included a "pledge of a martyr," which is signed by foreign fighters inside Syria, and an expense report. The pledge said that the suicide bomber must provide a photograph and surrender their passport. It also stated the recruit must enroll in a "security course" in Syria. The expense report was tallied in US dollars, Syrian lira, and Iraqi dinars, and included items such as clothing, food, fuel, mobile phone cards, weapons, salaries, "sheep purchased," furniture, spare parts for vehicles, and other items.

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point later conducted a detailed study of the "Sinjar Records," which was published in July 2008. The study showed that al Qaeda had an extensive network in Syria and that the Syrian government has allowed their activities to continue.

"The Syrian government has willingly ignored, and possibly abetted, foreign fighters headed to Iraq," the study concluded. "Concerned about possible military action against the Syrian regime, it opted to support insurgents and terrorists wreaking havoc in Iraq."

Al Qaeda established multiple networks of "Syrian Coordinators" that "work primarily with fighters from specific countries, and likely with specific Coordinators in fighters’ home countries," according to the study. The Syrian city of Dayr al Zawr serves as a vital logistical hub and a transit point for al Qaeda recruits and operatives heading to Iraq.

The US began to target al Qaeda's Syrian facilitation network after General Petraeus took command of Multinational Force Iraq in January 2007 and implemented the counterinsurgency program. Al Qaeda's suicide bombers were wreaking havoc in Iraq and threatened to push the country into civil war.

An estimated 120 plus foreign fighters a month are thought to have entered Iraq from Syria at the peak of the violence in Iraq in 2007; the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point estimated that 75 percent of those entering Iraq from Syria conducted suicide attacks. The number of foreign fighters is now estimated in the single digits, but there is concern that the Syrian network is being rejuvenated, according to a report in The Washington Post.

The US sent a strong message to Syria in October 2008 when it launched the first recorded cross-border strike inside the country since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Nine terrorists were reported killed after US commandos dropped from helicopters conducted a raid in eastern Syria. The target was Abu Ghadiya, a senior al Qaeda leader who had been in charge of the Syrian facilitation network since 2005. Ghadiya and his staff were killed in the attack. Abu Khalaf is thought to have taken Ghadiya's place.

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24 avril 2009 5 24 /04 /avril /2009 23:08
Islamic State of Iraq leader reported captured
baghdadi-zawi.jpg

Hamed Dawood Mohammed Khalil al Zawi, who is better known as Abu Omar al Baghdadi. Image from Talisman's Gate via al Arabiya.

The Iraqi Army claimed to have captured Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the leader of al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq, during a raid today. The report has not been confirmed by the US military. The reported capture of Baghdadi takes place as two suicide bombers killed more than 60 Iraqis in attacks in Baghdad and Diyala.

Baghdadi was captured during a raid in eastern Baghdad, according to a report by the Al Iraqiyah television network. Brigadier General Qassim Atta, the official spokesman for the Baghdad Operational Command, confirmed that Baghdadi was captured by Iraqi forces based on an intelligence tip.

"The Iraqi security forces have arrested Abu Omar al Baghdadi, al Qaeda leader in Iraq and emir of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq," Atta said, according to Al Arabiyah Television. But the network indicated there are conflicting reports on where he was detained. Some reports indicated that Baghdadi was detained in Kirkuk or Diyala provinces.

Baghdadi's capture has not been confirmed

The US military has not confirmed Baghdadi's capture. "We have no operational reporting on this incident," First Lieutenant John Brimley, a Public Affairs Officer for the Media Operations Center in Baghdad told The Long War Journal.

Nibars Kazimi, an Iraq expert and visiting scholar at the Hudson Institute, said the Iraqi security forces are claiming a man named Ahmad 'Abid Ahmad Khamees al Majma'i was captured and he is being identified as Baghdadi.

Iraqi security forces have a poor track record on reporting on the capture or death of senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders. This is the fourth time since 2007 that the Iraqi security forces have claimed Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al Masri, al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, were either killed or captured.

In February 2007, the spokesman for the Interior Ministry claimed that al Masri was wounded and captured in a major clash between al Qaeda forces and the Awakening and police forces near the city of Balad. Al Masri was not captured, but Abu Abdullah al Majamaia, an aide to al Masri who also is believed to lead his security detail, was.

In May 2007, Sunni tribes reported that al Masri was killed in a battle near Taji, just north of Baghdad. Iraq’s Ministry of Interior claimed its forces saw his body. Just days later, the Ministry of Interior said that Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the supposed leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, was reported killed in another battle in the town of Dhuluiya in Salahadin province. US forces confirmed that Muharib Abdul Latif al Jubouri, al Qaeda in Iraq's senior minister of information was killed, but neither al Masri nor Baghdadi were killed. In May 2008, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced the capture of al Masri, but just one day after that announcement, the US military denied that al Masri was in custody.

Al Masri and other senior al Qaeda operatives are thought to have been recalled to Pakistan after al Qaeda's failure to break the Iraqi and US effort to secure Iraq during 2007.

Who is Abu Omar al Baghdadi?

Baghdadi's true identity has been the source of controversy since the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq during the summer of 2006. Al Qaeda created the Islamic State of Iraq as part of its efforts to put an Iraqi face on its operations. Baghdadi was named the emir and chief of the Islamic State's shura, or executive council, while al Masri was appointed the military commander.

The appointment of Baghdadi as the leader of the Islamic State caused rifts within the Sunni insurgency. Tribal leaders and Iraqi Islamist and insurgent groups objected to the creation of the Islamic State and the appointment of an anonymous leader. Abu Omar al Baghdadi is a pseudonym.

The US military dropped a bombshell in July 2007 when it stated Baghdadi was in fact a fictitious person created by Abu Ayyub al Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. Baghdadi was played by an Iraqi actor named Abu Abdullah al Naima, the military stated. This was confirmed after the capture and interrogation of Khalid Abdul Fatah Da’ud Mahmud Al Mashadani, then al Qaeda's media emir.

The US military's claim that Baghdadi is a fictitious character was challenged in May of 2008 after Haditha's police chief identified Baghdadi as Hamed Dawood Mohammed Khalil al Zawi, a former officer who was "dismissed from the army because of his extremism."

The US military believes that al Qaeda quickly backfilled the position of Baghdadi after the Naima charade was disclosed last year.

"Al Qaeda in Iraq filled in the position with a real individual after Multinational Forces Iraq revealed that Abdullah al Naima was a hired actor," a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal in September 2008.

"Hamid al Zawi was one of the few senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders who could meet the criteria of being descended from Hussein that was a key part of Baghdadi's biography," the official said. The ability of a potential leader of the Islamic State to trace their lineage back to Hussein Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, is a requirement.

Baghdad, Miqdadiyah hit with major suicide attacks

As the Iraqi military announced the capture of Baghdadi, al Qaeda in Iraq suicide bombers conducted two major attacks in Baghdad and Miqdadiyah in Diyala province.

In central Baghdad, twenty-eight Iraqis, including eight security personnel, were killed, and more than 50 were wounded in an attack. "The bomber blew up an explosive belt strapped to his body targeting civilians who were receiving food materials in al Karada region," Atta told Voices of Iraq.

In an attack in the Imam Wess region near Miqdadiyah, thirty-two people, many of them Shia pilgrims from Iran, were killed and 63 more were wounded. The suicide bomber targeted the pilgrims as they visited religious shrines in the area, Voices of Iraq reported.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has stepped up attacks recently in Baghdad and in central, northern, and western Iraq. Today's two attacks mark the eleventh and twelfth major strikes since April 5. Nearly 100 Iraqis and five US soldiers have been killed in the attacks.

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8 février 2009 7 08 /02 /février /2009 20:08
Iraqi forces kill senior Mahdi Army operative

Iraqi police killed a senior member of the Mahdi Army during a raid in Diwaniyah province, sparking a protest from the Sadrist movement. Twenty other " Sadr loyalists" were detained in other raids in the province, according to a Sadrist spokesman.

Mahdi Army commander Tariq Azab was killed in a shootout after police attempted to arrest him, AFP reported. "He tried to escape, which prompted armed clashes and he was killed," a police official told the news agency. The police official described Azab as an "important" leader of the Mahdi Army who had just returned from Iran.

A US official said Azab was wanted for conducting attacks on US forces and murdering Iraqi civilians. “The raiding force was planning to arrest him,” the US source based out of Camp Echo told Voices of Iraq. “The killed man was carrying out armed operations against US forces and is wanted on charges of murdering civilians in the province.”

It is unclear if Azab is part of the mainstream Mahdi Army loyal to the Sadrist movement or part of the Iranian-backed splinter groups such as the Asaib al Haq, or League of the Righteous. An official from the Sadrist office in Diwaniyah province described Azab as a "Sadr loyalist" and claimed Iraqi police and US forces conducted multiple raids against the Sadrists in Diwaniyah resulting in the detention of 20 members of the Sadrist movement.

The Sadrist official also claimed the raid was conducted after the Sadrists posted gains in Diwaniyah. “The campaign came on a background of initial vote counting for the provincial council elections, which showed that we have garnered a large number of votes in Diwaniyah,” Nidal al No’mani Voices of Iraq.

But election results reveal that the independent political parties backed by the Sadrist movement had a poor showing in southern and central Iraq. In Diwaniyah (Qadisiya), the Sadrists received just 6.7 percent of the vote, coming in fifth place in the polling. In Maysan province, the Sadrists received 15.2 percent (second) of the vote. In Baghdad the movement received nine percent (tied for second place). In Basrah, the movement received five percent (fourth place). These three provinces are considered Sadrist "strongholds." Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's party won the elections in nine of the 14 provinces where elections were held, including in Baghdad, Basrah, and Maysan.

Iranian activity in Iraq

Flash Presentation on the Ramazan Corps and the Iranian Ratlines into Iraq. Click the map to view. A Flash Player is required to view, click to download.

Both the Iraqi government and the US military have said Iran has backed various Shia terror groups, including elements of the Mahdi Army. While the Iranian government has denied the charges, Iraqi and US forces have detained dozens of Iranian Qods Force officers and operatives, captured numerous Shia terrorist leaders under Iranian command, and have found ample documentation as well as Iranian-made weapons.

Iran's Qods Force, the special operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, has supported various Shia militias and terror groups inside Iraq, including the Mahdi Army, helping to build the groups along the same lines as Lebanese Hezbollah. Iran denies the charges, but captive Shia terrorists admit to being recruited by Iranian agents and then transported into Iran for training.

Iran established the Ramazan Corps immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime to direct operations inside Iraq. The US military says Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have helped establish, fund, train, and arm, and have provided operational support for Shia terror groups such as the Hezbollah Brigades and the League of the Righteous. The US military refers to these groups as well as the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the "Special Groups." These groups train in camps inside Iran.

US and Iraqi forces have captured several high-level Qods Force officers inside Iraq since late 2006. Among those captured are Mahmud Farhadi, one of the three Iranian regional commanders in the Ramazan Corps; Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative; Qais Qazali, the leader of the Qazali Network; and Azhar al Dulaimi, one of Qazali's senior tactical commanders. The US has imposed sanctions on Major General Ahmad Foruzandeh, the former Qods Force commander, and Abdul Reza Shahlai, a deputy commander in Iran's Qods Force, for backing Shia terror groups inside Iraq.

US military officers believe Iran is ramping up its operations inside Iraq after its surrogates suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Iraqi military during the spring and summer of 2008. Iraqi troops went on the offensive against the Mahdi Army and other Iranian-backed terror groups in Baghdad, Basrah, and central and southern Iraq. More than 2,000 Mahdi Army members were killed and thousands more were wounded. The operation forced Muqtada al Sadr to agree to a cease-fire, disband the Mahdi Army, and pull the Sadrist political party out of the provincial elections. Sadr's moves caused shock waves in the Mahdi Army, as some of the militia's leaders wished to continue the fight against US forces in Baghdad and in southern and central Iraq.

The League of the Righteous is a splinter group that broke away from Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army after Sadr announced he would disband the Mahdi Army and formed a small, secretive military arm to fight Coalition forces in June. The new group, called the Brigade of the Promised Day, has not been linked to any attacks since its formation last summer.

The League of the Righteous was led by Qais Qazali up until his capture in 2007. It is now said to be under the command of Akram al Kabi, a former Sadr loyalist.

The League of the Righteous receives funding, training, weapons, and direction from Iran's Qods Force, the country's secretive special operations group that backs terror groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah. The League of the Righteous conducts attacks with the deadly armor-piercing explosively formed projectiles known as EFPs, as well as with the more conventional roadside bombs.

The size of the League of the Righteous is unknown, but hundreds of members of the group were killed, captured, or fled to Iran during the Iraqi government offensive against the Mahdi Army from March to July of 2008, according to the US military.

Sadr is looking to pull the rank and file of the League back into the fold of the Sadr political movement. In a recent message issued by Sadr where he rejected the US-Iraqi security agreement, he said he "extends his hand to the mujahideen in the so-called Asaib but not their leaderships who have been distracted by politics and mortal life from the [two late] Sadrs and the interests of Iraq and Iraqis."

The US and Iraqi military believe the Special Groups are preparing to re-initiate fighting as their leaders and operatives are beginning to filter back into Iraq from Iran. On Feb. 4, Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin, the deputy commander of Multinational Forces Iraq, said that Iran continues to arm, fund, and train the Special Groups, and that munitions traced back to Iran continue to be uncovered in Iraq. Recent intelligence and the finds of new Iranian caches "lead us to believe that Iranian support activity is still ongoing," Austin warned.


For more information on Iran’s involvement in supporting Shia terror groups in Iraq, see:

Iranian Qods Force Agents Detained in Irbil Raid
Jan. 14, 2007
The Karbala attack and the IRGC
Jan. 26, 2007
Iran, Hezbollah train Iraqi Shia "Secret Cells"
July 2, 2007
Surging in Wasit Province
Sept. 18, 2007
Captured Iranian Qods Force officer a regional commander in Iraq
Oct. 3, 2007
Iran's Ramazan Corps and the ratlines into Iraq
Dec. 5, 2007
Sadr forms new unit to attack US forces
June 13, 2008
Sadrist movement withdraws from political process
June 15, 2008
Mahdi Army decimated during recent fighting
June 26, 2008
Iraqi forces detain Sadrist leaders, uncover Special Groups headquarters in Amarah
July 2, 2008
Iran continues to train Shia terror groups for attacks in Iraq
Aug. 15, 2008
New Special Groups splinter emerges on Iraqi scene
Aug. 20, 2008
Iraqi troops find EFP factory in Sadr City
Oct. 30, 2008

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19 décembre 2008 5 19 /12 /décembre /2008 19:36
US forces detain Iranian 'agent' near Baghdad


Coalition special operations forces captured a suspected Iranian "agent" and an associate during an early morning raids north of Baghdad, Multinational Forces Iraq reported.

The Iranian is described as a "commander of Iranian special operations in Iraq who is also believed to be involved in facilitating training of Iraqi militants at Islamic Republican Guard Corps-Qods Force training camps."

The raids took place in the town of Qastin in Diyala province. The Iranian agent then led US forces to his associate.

US and Iraqi forces have captured several high-level Qods Force officers inside Iraq since late 2006. Among those captured are Mahmud Farhadi, one of the three Iranian regional commanders in the Ramazan Corps; Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative; Qais Qazali, the leader of the Qazali Network; and Azhar al Dulaimi, one of Qazali's senior tactical commanders. The US has imposed sanctions on Major General Ahmad Foruzandeh, the former Qods Force commander, and Abdul Reza Shahlai, a deputy commander in Iran's Qods Force, for backing Shia terror groups inside Iraq.

Iraqi and US forces have killed one Qods Force operative and captured 11 since mid-October.

Qods Force has supported various Shia militias and terror groups inside Iraq, including the Mahdi Army, helping to build the groups along the same lines as Lebanese Hezbollah. Iran denies the charges, but captive Shia terrorists admit to being recruited by Iranian agents and then transported into Iran for training.

Iran established the Ramazan Corps immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime to direct operations inside Iraq. The US military says Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have helped establish, fund, train, and arm, and have provided operational support for Shia terror groups such as the Hezbollah Brigades and the League of the Righteous. The US military refers to these groups as well as the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the "Special Groups." These groups train in camps inside Iran.

US and Iraqi forces have detained 11 Hezbollah Brigades operatives in and around Baghdad since December 1.

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4 décembre 2008 4 04 /12 /décembre /2008 11:43
Coalition forces target Iranian-backed Hezbollah Brigades in Baghdad
Hezbollah-brigades-logo.jpg

Hezbollah Brigades' logo is nearly identical to that of Lebanese Hezbollah.

US and Iraqi forces continue to keep pressure on the Iranian-backed Hezbollah Brigades operating in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Six members of the group have been captured and one has been killed over the past three days.

Coalition forces, likely the special operations hunter-killer teams of Task Force 88, conducted two raids in Baghdad’s Karadah district. One Hezbollah Brigades operative was killed while resisting arrest, while two more members of a special "operations cell" were captured during a raid targeting the cell leader.

Four more members of the Hezbollah Brigade were captured during separate raids in Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district and south of Sadr City on Dec. 1.

http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24105&Itemid=130
The Hezbollah Brigades have been hit hard over the past three weeks. US and Iraqi forces have killed three members of the terror group and captured eighteen more during raids in and around Baghdad over the past three weeks.

The Hezbollah Brigades, or Kata'ib Hezbollah, has been active in and around Baghdad for more than a year. The terror group has increased its profile by conducting attacks against US and Iraqi forces using the deadly explosively formed penetrator land mines and improvised rocket-assisted mortars, which have been described as flying improvised explosive devices. The Hezbollah Brigades has posted videos of these attacks on the Internet.

The terror group is an offshoot of Iranian-trained Special Groups, the US military said last summer. Hezbollah Brigades receives funding, training, logistics, guidance, and material support from Iran's Qods Force.

Background on Iran's backing of the Shia terror groups

Flash Presentation on the Ramazan Corps and the Iranian Ratlines into Iraq. Click the map to view. A Flash Player is required to view, click to download.

Qods Force has supported various Shia militias and terror groups inside Iraq, including the Mahdi Army, helping to build the groups along the same lines as Lebanese Hezbollah. Iran denies the charges, but captive Shia terrorists admit to being recruited by Iranian agents and then transported into Iran for training.

Iran established the Ramazan Corps immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime to direct operations inside Iraq. The US military says Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have helped establish, fund, train, and arm, and have provided operational support for Shia terror groups such as the Hezbollah Brigades and the League of the Righteous. The US military refers to these groups as well as the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the "Special Groups." These groups train in camps inside Iran.

US and Iraqi forces have captured several high-level Qods Force officers inside Iraq since late 2006. Among those captured are Mahmud Farhadi, one of the three Iranian regional commanders in the Ramazan Corps; Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative; Qais Qazali, the leader of the Qazali Network; and Azhar al Dulaimi, one of Qazali's senior tactical commanders. The US has imposed sanctions on Major General Ahmad Foruzandeh, the former Qods Force commander, and Abdul Reza Shahlai, a deputy commander in Iran's Qods Force, for backing Shia terror groups inside Iraq.

US military officers believe Iran is ramping up its operations inside Iraq after its surrogates suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Iraqi military during the spring and summer of 2008. Iraqi troops went on the offensive against the Mahdi Army and other Iranian-backed terror groups in Baghdad and central and southern Iraq. More than 2,000 Mahdi Army members were killed and thousands more were wounded. The operation forced Muqtada al Sadr to agree to a cease-fire and disband the Mahdi Army.

Recently, the US military shifted its tone on the Mahdi Army, and has begun to refer to the group as a 'militia insurgency group.' Previously the US military took a more conciliatory tone with the Mahdi Army in an effort to coax members in reconciling with the government.

Sadr has threatened to form a new unit, called the "Brigade of the Promised Day," to target Coalition forces. But Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin, the operational commander of US ground forces in Iraq, largely dismissed the threat when asked about the purported new Shia terror group.

"While certainly we’ve heard talk of this issue, we’ve not seen any tangible evidence of these brigades operating in and around the countryside," Austin said in a Baghdad press briefing on Nov. 3."If and when we do find that and if there is an armed element that conducts operations against the Iraqi Security Forces, the Government of Iraq, or the coalition forces, we’ll deal with those forces just as we’ve done with any criminal element that we’ve faced in the past."

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24 novembre 2008 1 24 /11 /novembre /2008 22:55
Iraqi court acquits lawmaker for Israel trip

Defense lawyer says court ruled that Mithal al-Alusi's visit to Israel was not actually against Iraqi law, restored his immunity

Photo: Ronen Bodoni'Will regain all his rights.' Alusi Photo: Ronen Bodoni

Reuters

Published:  11.24.08, 18:41 / Israel News

An Iraqi court acquitted a legislator on Monday whom the government had prosecuted for making a trip to Israel, ruling that his visit was not actually against Iraqi law, the defense lawyer said. Skip related content

Death by Hanging
Vengeance for Iraqi who visited Israel / Smadar Peri
Former Iraqi culture minister sentenced to death by hanging for involvement in killing of parliament member Mithal al-Alusi's two sons after his visit to Israel
Full Story

 

The Iraqi government had accused member of parliament Mithal al-Alusi of committing a crime by visiting a country Iraq considers an enemy, in breach of a law it said had been retained since the rule of late dictator Saddam Hussein.

 

Like most Arab countries, Iraq has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

 

Members of parliament voted to strip him of his legal immunity in September, over the trip he made earlier that month for a conference on terrorism and security.

 

The court affirmed that there is no explicit law against visiting Israel, even though passports issued by Saddam's Iraq warned recipients that they were not allowed to go there. Passports no longer carry that prohibition.

 

"There is no law preventing any Iraqi from travelling to any country," Alusi's lawyer Tariq Harb told Reuters.

 

He said the court had restored Alusi's immunity and that parliament had had no constitutional right to strip him of it.

"Alusi will regain all his rights," he said, adding that he would resume work at parliament soon.

 

Alusi, a secular Sunni politician, says he was the victim of a campaign against him because of his outspoken views against Shiite Muslim Iran, an ally to many of Iraq's ruling elite.

 

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23 novembre 2008 7 23 /11 /novembre /2008 17:48
US forces capture 14 Iraqi Shia terrorists in Baghdad
Hezbollah-brigades-logo.jpg

Hezbollah Brigades' logo is nearly identical to that of Lebanese Hezbollah.


US forces have stepped up operations against the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups operating in Baghdad after a relative lull in November. Fourteen operatives from the League of the Righteous and the Hezbollah Brigades were captured in Baghdad during raids today.

Coalition forces - likely the hunter-killer teams from Task Force 88 - captured eight members of the League of the Righteous (Asaib Ahl al Haq) during two operations in Baghdad's Adhamiyah and New Baghdad districts early Sunday morning. Six Hezbollah Brigades operatives were captured during two operations inside Adhamiyah.

Raids targeting the two Iranian-backed terror groups have been infrequent during the month of November. Only two other Hezbollah Brigades fighters were captured during a Nov. 11 operation in Baghdad. Twenty-eight Hezbollah Brigades operatives were captured during multiple raids in October.

The League of the Righteous is splinter groups that broke away from Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army after Sadr announced he would disband the Mahdi Army and form a small, secretive military arm to fight Coalition forces in June. Sadr's moves caused shockwaves in the Mahdi Army, as some of the militia's leaders wished to continue the fight against US forces in Baghdad and in southern and central Iraq.

The League of the Righteous receives funding, training, weapons, and direction from Iran's Qods Force, the country's secretive special operations group that backs terror groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah. The League of the Righteous conducts attacks with the deadly, armor-piercing explosively formed projectiles, or EFPs, as well as the more conventional roads bombs.

The size of the League of the Righteous is unknown, but hundreds of members of the group were killed, captured, or fled to Iran during the Iraqi government offensive against the Mahdi Army from March to July of this year, according to the US military.

Sadr is looking to pull the rank and file of the League back into the fold of the Sadr's political movement. In a recent message issued by Sadr where he rejected the US-Iraqi security agreement, he said he "extends his hand to the mujahideen in the so-called Asaib but not their leaderships who have been distracted by politics and mortal life from the [two late] Sadrs and the interests of Iraq and Iraqis."

The Hezbollah Brigades or the Kata'ib Hezbollah, has been active for more than a year and has increased its profile by conducting attacks against US and Iraqi forces using the deadly explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, and improvised rocket-assisted mortars, which have been described as flying improvised explosive devices. The Hezbollah Brigades has posted videos of these attacks on the Internet.

The terror group is an offshoot of Iranian-trained Special Groups, the US military said last summer. Hezbollah Brigades receives funding, training, logistics, guidance, and material support from Iran's Qods Force.

Suspected Qods Force officer released

Iraqi and US forces have detained several Qods Forces officers operating in southern and central Iraq over the past month. Iraqi and US forces have killed one Qods Force operative and captured 11 since mid-October.

On Nov. 18, US forces detained a suspected Qods Force commander as he attempted to leave Iraq via Baghdad International Airport. The US military said the Qods officer used a construction company as a front for his activates.

The Iranian, whose name is Nader Qorbani, was released on the request of the Iraqi government. "We called them and asked them to release him and we can confirm that the arrest was unlawful," Deputy Foreign Minister Labeed Abbawi told Reuters. "He's working here on a contract and he's been working here for some time."

The US military did not comment on the detention, and referred inquiries to the Iraqi government. "Coalition Forces have long recognized Iraq's sovereignty in making decisions concerning their own legal affairs," a US military spokesman told the news agency.

Background on Iran's backing of the Shia terror groups

Flash Presentation on the Ramazan Corps and the Iranian Ratlines into Iraq. Click the map to view. A Flash Player is required to view, click to download.

Qods Force has supported various Shia militias and terror groups inside Iraq, including the Mahdi Army, helping to build them along the same lines as Lebanese Hezbollah. Iran denies the charges, but captive Shia terrorists admit to being recruited by Iranian agents and then transported into Iran for training.

Iran established the Ramazan Corps immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime to direct operations inside Iraq. The US military says Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have helped establish, fund, train, and arm, and have provided operational support for Shia terror groups such as the Hezbollah Brigades and the League of the Righteous. The US military refers to these groups as well as the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the "Special Groups." These groups train in camps inside Iran.

US and Iraqi forces have captured several high-level Qods Force officers inside Iraq since late 2006. Among those captured are Mahmud Farhadi, one of the three Iranian regional commanders in the Ramazan Corps; Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative; Qais Qazali, the leader of the Qazali Network; and Azhar al Dulaimi, one of Qazali's senior tactical commanders. The US has imposed sanctions on Major General Ahmad Foruzandeh, the former Qods Force commander, and Abdul Reza Shahlai, a deputy commander in Iran's Qods Force, for backing Shia terror groups inside Iraq.

US military officers believe Iran is ramping up its operations inside Iraq after its surrogates suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Iraqi military during the spring and summer of 2008. Iraqi troops went on the offensive against the Mahdi Army and other Iranian-backed terror groups in Baghdad and central and southern Iraq. More than 2,000 Mahdi Army members were killed and thousands more were wounded. The operation forced Muqtada al Sadr to agree to a cease-fire and disband the Mahdi Army.


For more information on Iran’s involvement in supporting Shia terror groups in Iraq, see:

Iranian Qods Force Agents Detained in Irbil Raid
Jan. 14, 2007
The Karbala attack and the IRGC
Jan. 26, 2007
Iran, Hezbollah train Iraqi Shia "Secret Cells"
July 2, 2007
Surging in Wasit Province
Sept. 18, 2007
Captured Iranian Qods Force officer a regional commander in Iraq
Oct. 3, 2007
Iran's Ramazan Corps and the ratlines into Iraq
Dec. 5, 2007
Sadr forms new unit to attack US forces
June 13, 2008
Sadrist movement withdraws from political process
June 15, 2008
Mahdi Army decimated during recent fighting
June 26, 2008
Iraqi forces detain Sadrist leaders, uncover Special Groups headquarters in Amarah
July 2, 2008
Iraqi forces detain Sadrist leaders, uncover Special Groups headquarters in Amarah
July 2, 2008
Iran continues to train Shia terror groups for attacks in Iraq
Aug. 15, 2008
New Special Groups splinter emerges on Iraqi scene
Aug. 20, 2008
Iraqi troops find EFP factory in Sadr City
Oct. 30, 2008

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18 novembre 2008 2 18 /11 /novembre /2008 18:08

Le rédacteur en chef d’une chaîne de télévision irakienne : tous les slogans dont nous avons été abreuvés n´étaient que mensonges

[Sources : elaph.com, 11 novembre 2008 ; alfayhaa.tv, Irak, 10 novembre 2008]

Dans un article mis en ligne sur le journal électronique arabe libéral Elaph, Muhammad al-Ta’i, rédacteur en chef de la chaîne libérale irakienne Al-Fayhaa, basée à Bassora, écrit que les slogans des dictatures arabes ont laissé leurs citoyens traumatisés. Il conclut en plaidant contre les slogans et pour le bien commun.

Lire : http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD211808

* * * * * * * *

Consulter les derniers rapports de MEMRI : http://www.memri.org/

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10 novembre 2008 1 10 /11 /novembre /2008 19:19
Al Arabiya : Irak / L’une des kamikaze est âgée de 13 ans
lundi 10 novembre 2008 - 17h06
Logo MédiArabe.Info

Selon « Al Arabiya », les attentats simultanés de ce matin qui ont frappé le quartier nord de Bagdad (Al Aazamieh) et l’hôpital de Amiriya de Baaqouba, ont laissé le bilan le plus lourd depuis juin dernier. Une journée sanglante qui a fait des dizaines de victimes. Le plus inquiétant est l’âge d’une femme kamikaze qui s’est fait exploser à l’hôpital. Elle était âgée de 13 ans.

© Nos informations, analyses et articles sont à la disposition des lecteurs. Pour toute utilisation, merci de toujours mentionner la source « MediArabe.info »

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  • : Le blog de Gad
  • : Lessakele : déjouer les pièges de l'actualité Lessakele, verbe hébraïque qui signifie "déjouer" est un blog de commentaire libre d'une actualité disparate, visant à taquiner l'indépendance et l'esprit critique du lecteur et à lui prêter quelques clés de décrytage personnalisées.
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Magie de la langue hébraïque


A tous nos chers lecteurs.

 

Ne vous est-il jamais venu à l'esprit d'en savoir un peu plus sur le titre de ce blog ?

Puisque nous nous sommes aujourd'hui habillés de bleu, il conviendrait de rentrer plus a fond dans l'explication du mot lessakel.

En fait Lessakel n'est que la façon française de dire le mot léhasskil.

L'hébreu est une langue qui fonctionne en déclinant des racines.

Racines, bilitères, trilitères et quadrilitères.

La majorité d'entre elle sont trilitères.

Aussi Si Gad a souhaité appeler son site Lessakel, c'est parce qu'il souhaitait rendre hommage à l'intelligence.

Celle qui nous est demandée chaque jour.

La racine de l'intelligence est sé'hel שכל qui signifie l'intelligence pure.

De cette racine découlent plusieurs mots

Sé'hel > intelligence, esprit, raison, bon sens, prudence, mais aussi croiser

Léhasskil > Etre intelligent, cultivé, déjouer les pièges

Sé'hli > intelligent, mental, spirituel

Léhistakel > agir prudemment, être retenu et raisonnable, chercher à comprendre

Si'hloute > appréhension et compréhension

Haskala >  Instruction, culture, éducation

Lessa'hlen > rationaliser, intellectualiser

Heschkel > moralité

Si'htanout > rationalisme

Si'hloul > Amélioration, perfectionnement

 

Gageons que ce site puisse nous apporter quelques lumières.

Aschkel pour Lessakel.

 

 

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