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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Travels with Abe, an Israeli's perspective: Yaman

Welcome back with another article from an Israeli friend, Abe. Abe is a guest contributor with history to tell. Perhaps you will begin to see an Israeli’s perspective of this world that we live in and what we are up against. Respectfully, Bosun


I first met Yaman when we were both in Basic Training. Yaman is a nickname that is automatically bestowed on all Yemenite Jews in Israel. He was slightly built, wiry and a fast runner, no matter how much weight you piled on him. He was dark skinned and black haired. He looked like the archetypical Yemenite. We immediately dubbed him “Yaman.” He kept the name, even after he explained, to anyone who would listen, that he wasn’t Yemenite. He was ethnically Indian. We didn’t care. To us he was Yaman.

Our basic training was that of Armoured Infantry. Back in 1967, the Armoured Infantry was transported mainly by half-tracks. We didn’t have APCs yet. After basic training, we tankers went on to tank training while the infantry guys went to their advanced training. Throughout basic, Yaman was my buddy. He could out-march and out-run anyone on base, and that included the corporals and sergeants who were training (abusing) us. On one march, when we were traversing a freshly plowed field during a rainstorm, my leg muscles cramped up badly. Every step we took, we raised these heavy clods of mud that stuck to our boots. The farmer sat in his tractor and laughed as we trudged through the mud. Keeping pace with us, he sipped lemonade and told us how tough his service had been, and how spoiled we were. I was barely able to walk; Yaman took my pack and rifle, and supported me for the next 5 km to the end of that day’s march. Back in our tent, he helped me lay down and brought a medic who wrapped up the legs and assured me that they’d be as good as new by morning.

When we finished Basic, I went to Tank Driver’s school and Yaman went to Advanced Infantry Training. We didn’t see each other for months. When, as a newly trained tank driver, I arrived in the Central Canal Sector, the first person I saw was Yaman. The Suez Canal Zone was divided into three sectors. The total length of the Canal was 160 km (100 miles). The Northern Sector started way up at the northern tip of the Canal and reached a point just south of Al Kantara. The city of Al Kantara was empty. The inhabitants had fled when our forces reached the city in the Six Day War. Driving a tank through a ghost city was eerie. You drove through streets that were empty. Houses were empty.

The Central Sector extended from just south of Kantara (where the Northern Sector ended), to just south of Doer Suwair. At its center, the outposts faced the City of Ismailiya, on the other side.   The Southern Sector went from there all the way to the Gulf of Suez. We would be stationed at the Canal itself for about three months. Another unit would relieve us. We would then move to a base in the center of the Sinai for three months. After three months of non-stop training, we would, once again, return to the Canal for a three-month stint. Each such stint was called a “line.” You did “lines” and “rears” your whole service.

This was my first “line,” and I was excited. A history buff, I had read a lot about the Suez Canal. I was excited to actually be there. This excitement, of course, faded somewhat after I had dodged some shells. Yaman and I lived in the same bunker. There were six of us living in this bunker. The bunker consisted of a dugout in the earth, covered by a steel arch with sandbags on it. The IDF Corp of Engineers was planning to upgrade the bunkers, but that was it in the meantime.

This first “line” was in the Central Sector, opposite the ghost-city of Ismailiya. The Egyptians had artillery aimed at us. We used tanks. This meant that they could fire from a greater range. We had to get closer (to, at least, a range of 4000 meters, or less). Israel didn’t have an Artillery Corp the size of the Egyptian one. Besides, we were trained to be mobile, and we were with the tanks.

Yaman and his infantry guarded the outpost and the tanks. He became a Squad Leader, and his men loved the “little Yemenite.” His protestations of being Indian and not Yemenite were to no avail. As far as we were concerned, he was “Yaman,” a Yemenite.

We cooked our own meals at the outpost, and every day, there would be a different tank crew in charge of the kitchen. Yaman had brought spices from home, and they were hidden in plastic bags among his “stuff.” Once in a while, he would shoulder us aside as we were cooking, and take over, with his spices. We would then be rewarded with an incredible curry or other Indian dish. We would laughingly call it “Yemenite Curry.”

Back then, we would get to go home about once in six weeks. At one of our Backgammon games, (Called Shesh-Besh in the ME, it’s a very popular game), I mentioned to Yaman that I’d be going home on leave the next week. He asked me to pick up some sunflower seeds for him. Eating sunflower seeds is an Israeli passion, and I also confess to the act. I went home. On the radio, (Israel didn’t yet have TV), the morning news would include the names of those killed the day before at the front (Egypt or Syria). I was sipping coffee, when I heard the announcer say, “Yitshaq Tzadiq!”

I couldn’t believe it. Yaman was dead. I hadn’t even been there. I had been relaxing at home while he was dying. I picked up some sunflower seeds, and headed back to the Canal. My holiday was over. Once back at the outpost, they told me how Yaman got caught up in a direct hit on the bunker. One of the steel beams comprising the arch of the bunker had been sent flying and skewered him. It happened very fast. He didn’t feel a thing. I laid the bag of sunflower seeds at the base of the arch, and went aside to mourn my friend.

Yaman was the first friend I lost in the Canal. I only wish he had been the last.


Travels with Abe, An Israeli's Perspective: The Technological Edge

Welcome back with another article from an Israeli friend, Abe. Abe is a guest contributor with history to tell. Perhaps you will begin to see an Israeli’s perspective of this world that we live in and what we are up against. Respectfully, Bosun

The Technological Edge:

Israel has a technological edge over its neighbours. Israel has ALWAYS had a technological edge over its neighbours. It’s one of the things that ensure its survival. There is one thing that needs to be understood by anyone before discussing what Israel can or can’t do; Israel is a technological giant. Anti-Israelis, (I’m loath to use the other anti-** word too loosely), have a tendency to equate Israel with third-world countries. They make the mistake of believing their own propaganda. Because they hate Israel, they downgrade it in their minds. “It’s not possible,” they say, “that a country so reviled (by us), could be so technologically advanced without importing this technology from the West.”

This reminds me of the Six Day War, back in 1967. Egypt, Syria and Jordan, (followed by anti-Israeli institutions world-wide), stated that the devastating air-attack that Israel carried out at the beginning of the war to destroy their air-forces, was actually done by the British and American air-forces. Anti-Israelis everywhere were only too happy to believe this. Bogged down in their denial of Israeli technological superiority, it gave some order to their explanation of Israel’s dramatic victory.

Israel’s technological edge goes back a long way. Jews have always been at the forefront of scientific advance. No need to mention the many Jewish scientists who, through the ages, helped the human march to what we have today. During the middle ages, when being a scientist in the Christian world was dangerous, and being a Jew was even more dangerous, Jewish scientists worked in Muslim states such as Egypt, where they were honoured and permitted to function. One of Judaism’s greatest sages, Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, the Ramba’m), was also the personal physician to the Sultan, Saladin (Yusuf Ibn Ayoub, Salah-a-Din).
Jews continued to participate in the development of technology throughout history. When the Modern Zionist movement began to accelerate in the late 19th Century, Jewish scientists started paying attention. There were scientists who abandoned their posts in the West and “ascended” to the Holy Land. In the early 20th Century, Germans came by the thousands. They built the sister-cities of Netanya and Nahariya. There’s a story in Israel that’s so old, it has a beard as long as Israel’s Coastal Road. Back when Netanya was being built, a group of Bedouin camel drivers heard a loud “whooshing” sound in the sand dunes of the Sharon plain. It sounded like a waterfall. They cautiously climbed dune after dune, until they came to the Mediterranean coast, where they saw an astonishing site. The Jews were building a city in the sand. Bricks were being passed to the masons. As he passed a brick to a mason, a worker would say, “Bitte Schön, Herr Doktor,” to which the mason would reply, “Danke Schön, Herr Doktor.” That, multiplied by the hundreds, was the “whooshing” sound the Bedouin had heard. The “Herr Doktors” were PhDs in virtually every science of the time. They built cities, roads and farms, and created one of the soundest scientific communities in the world.

Israel has offered to share its technology with its neighbours a few times. Back in the early 20th Century, Kibbutzim would offer medical aid to nearby Arab villages. An average Kibbutz would have an infirmary. Many of them had a doctor and all had a nurse or two. The clinic was always open, at no cost, to local Arabs. Some took advantage of it, some didn’t.

When Peace was established between Israel and two of its neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, Israel immediately offered to share technology. Israel had a lot to offer in the field of agriculture (among others), but Egypt did not break any speed records agreeing. The trouble is an inferiority complex. Egypt feels that agreeing to accept this from Israel makes it lose face. There are now many projects in which the two countries co-operate, but Egypt doesn’t like to advertise them. Jordan is more open with these projects, as well as the combined projects being run with chemicals from the Dead Sea. The border runs right down the center of this salt lake.

In the town of Rehovot, just southeast of Tel-Aviv, stands the Weitzman Institute. Named for Israel’s first President, who was a physicist, it’s a modern research institute that provides data to like institutes all over the world. There is no field of science today that is not represented by Israeli scientists. Israeli schools have very high standards. Many Israelis study in overseas universities because they can’t pass the difficult entrance-exams to Israeli colleges. The bar is so high, that US corporation recruiters show up on Israeli campuses to “snatch” the graduates. Many end up in Silicon Valley. Israeli companies have to offer a lot to prevent a “brain-drain.”  

As a result, IAF pilots are well trained to operate today’s technologically advanced fighters (with an attitude). Israel’s navy runs complex systems in its array of weapons and the Merkava tank has electronic systems that rival those of the M1 Abrams. Israel’s technological edge is what keeps it alive (along with pure attitude-Hutzpa). Let no one make the mistake of thinking that Israel’s technology is a borrowed one. It’s very solidly based and is respected everywhere. Israel holds expositions every year to advertise agricultural technology including, but not limited to, desert irrigation and other techniques of growing produce and flowers in the region. Representatives come from all over the world to see the innovations and make orders. I’ve met reps from the Gulf States, and from other Arab countries that, officially, are at war with Israel, but know that they need the technology. Gaza earned $3 million dollars last year from the export of flowers, an industry, left behind by Israel, which survived the destruction of the hothouses.

The American Southwest uses Israel’s Drip-Irrigation system. Years ago, Israeli scientists discovered what amount of water each plant needed optimally. Depending on what you were growing, water would spurt out of a perforated pipe at certain intervals and in certain amounts. This greatly economizes on water, while keeping the plant well supplied. These upgraded, computerized systems are causing an agricultural revolution in areas that were traditionally considered to be “too dry to grow anything.”

Many Americans are not aware how many Israeli tools they use daily, from cell phones to computer software. Most of the software used today all over the world was developed in Israel. A United Middle East using Israeli technology and an Arab workforce would be an economic bloc that would be hard to beat. It’s my dream.

Nuclear power? Israel has nuclear plants. That much is common knowledge. What is going on there is not. Most of us believe that we have the bomb. International military think tanks say that Israel has nuclear armaments that number in the hundreds (depending on the source), and that it has a capability of delivery both by air and artillery. We (the public) tend to believe that but, apart from an occasional “blurt” by Israeli leaders, Israel neither denies nor admits it. This, neither denying nor admitting, works for us. It has a stronger effect than if we admitted it outright. Keeps them guessing. Will they, or won’t they? Do they, or don’t they? Can they, or can’t they? Personally, I don’t see Israel using nukes under just about any condition, but just not admitting or denying is, in itself, a deterrent.

Israelis are well aware that the technological edge helps Israel to survive. We are very proud of the high standards we have and are determined to maintain them in a world that is increasingly being “dumbed down.” If we succeed, we’ll keep the technological edge. If we don’t, our very existence is in peril.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

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

Courtesy of MEMRI

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

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

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

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

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

The following are excerpts from the two testimonies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Five Weeks, I Never Received Any Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Rabi' Al-Thani 1428,

"Al-Rafidayn Center Publications."


(1); ISP verified November 29, 2007.

(2); ISP verified November 27, 2007.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Phone: (202) 955-9070

Fax: (202) 955-9077


Search previous MEMRI publications at


Friday, November 30, 2007

Bin Laden's Message to the Europeans

Courtesy of MEMRI

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

Bin Laden's Message to the Europeans

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

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

The following are excerpts from the address(1):

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

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

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

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

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

(1), November 27, 2007.

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

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

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

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


Press Release Link (HERE)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 24, 2007

And now, a neutered Australia.

Interesting to see where the Aussie's will end up, now that they has cast aside Prime Minster Howard for a liberal leftist.

'Don't mention the war'
Alex Bainbridge, Sydney
17 November 2007

“We have a plan to withdraw from Iraq, while Mr Howard doesn’t” — with these words on October 14, ALP leader Kevin Rudd described the war on Iraq as one of five “critical areas where the difference [between Labor and the Coalition] couldn’t be clearer”. He then went on to virtually ignore the Iraq war throughout the rest of the election campaign.

True, Rudd did utter the words “I will implement an exit strategy for our combat forces from Iraq” in his opening address to the October 21 “great debate” between PM John Howard and Rudd. He was then silent on the topic until ABC journalist Chris Uhlmann asked Howard about “terrorism” towards the end of the 90-minute debate.

The left cheers that it is a great day for Australia with the mantra "Right wing thuggery defeated at long last."

I say, that is a very misguided analogy and that the leftist apologists and appeasers are rather naive and  willing to sell out the free world.  Don't they realize that they will be next?

Friday, November 23, 2007

US Navy denied port visit to Hong Kong

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

By U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

Posted: 11/23/2007

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

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

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


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

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


Associated Press

November 23, 2007 at 1:46 AM EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Articles:


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Keeping the Meaning of Thanksgiving Alive

Courtesy of CBN NEWS
By Wendy Griffith, CBN News Senior Reporter
November 22, 2007 - Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving today, a holiday tradition that dates back hundreds of years. But some say there's an attempt to remove the religious significance from this great American holiday.

President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving official in 1863. He proclaimed the last Thursday in November to be "a national day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent father who dwelleth in the heavens."

But for most of us - when we think of that first Thanksgiving - we think about the Pilgrims and the Indians.

Thanksgiving and the True Story of Squanto

The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. Weak and sick - they began to die. The Pilgrims needed help to survive and they got it from an English-speaking Indian named Squanto.

Historian Peter Marshall explained, "Here comes this American Indian suddenly who speaks perfect English, who offers them his services. So they plant all this corn under his tutelage. In October the corn is ripe finally, and they want to have a celebration, a Thanksgiving celebration."

Marshall continued, "So they invite Chief Massasoit, who had taken Squanto in when he had no family, no relatives. So Massasoit and 90 braves show up for this celebration festival, and they had a three day celebration of feasting, bow-and-arrow shooting contests, foot races and relay races and games."

Although some would say it was just a day of celebration - historical records show it was a time to give thanks to God.

Rev. Paul Jehle said, "They looked at everything as a gift from God, even the sorrowful things they saw as God allowing that to perfect their character. So they were amazing Christians and great examples for us today."

For a lot of people thanksgiving has become a day to watch football, eat turkey, and watch the Macy's Day Parade. And these are not bad things, but some believe the most important part of Thanksgiving - giving thanks to God for our many blessings - is being down-played or left out altogether.

That's why private Christian schools like Stonebridge Christian School in Virginia make a point of teaching children the real Thanksgiving story - including the religious aspects.

"God was very much a part of that first Thanksgiving and we teach that," said Stonebridge history teacher Ed Sotto."

Parent Steve Elliott says he's glad his four daughters are learning the whole story.

And the students, who recently re-enacted the story of the Pilgrims at Jamestown, agree that the Thanksgiving story they're learning now is not the one they were taught in public school.

"In public school, we colored turkeys and it was all about the turkeys - like they were an idol," ninth-grader Anastasia Peele said.

Colson Vorwald, also in the 9th grade, said, "We were taught that the Pilgrims were thanking the Indians - not God - for the blessings."

What's sad is that here in the U.S. the day after Thanksgiving is often more celebrated than Thanksgiving itself. But many people like the teachers

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pilots' valor honored for thwarting ambush

Courtesy of Centcom

By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obviously, we made fewer mistakes than the enemy."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Courtesy of Centcom

Release Number: 07-01-03P


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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Concerned Citizens fend off attack, Iraqi Army Mechanized Company Slams the Door

Courtesy of Multi National Force Iraq

Paratroopers of 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska, position themselves on the rooftop of a hasty observation post south of Hawr Rajab. The Paratroopers observed a firefight between insurgents and a concerned citizens' checkpoint. Photo by Sgt. Luis Delgadillo, 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.

Paratroopers of 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska, position themselves on the rooftop of a hasty observation post south of Hawr Rajab. The Paratroopers observed a firefight between insurgents and a concerned citizens' checkpoint. Photo by Sgt. Luis Delgadillo, 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.

BAGHDAD — Coalition forces saw a possible glimpse of the future in Hawr Rajab recently, when they observed Concerned Local Citizens (CLC) at a checkpoint come under attack from insurgents, defend themselves, and then receive reinforcements from Iraqi Army troops, Oct. 31.

Paratroopers of Troop A, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska, currently attached to 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div., Fort Stewart, Ga., observed the event from a rooftop.

Everything kicked off with a bang.

Paratroopers were en route to the concerned citizens’ southern-most checkpoint just outside of Hawr Rajab, when their casual conversations were shattered by the thunderous sound of a mortar landing nearby. The Paratroopers moved into a building to avoid any potential threats. From inside, Paratroopers began to hear bursts of small arms fire coming from the south. “Get to the roof, go, go,” one Paratrooper shouted.

In a flurry of movement, they ascended the stairs to the second floor and in seconds they were on top of the action, weapons drawn and at the ready. The momentary confusion of the gunfight cleared up as soon as communication was established with the checkpoint.

Initial reports from concerned citizens indicated the insurgents were attacking from a position behind a canal, approximately 400 meters from the checkpoint.

As 1-40th Cav. Regt. troops saw the events unfold, 1st Lt. Daniel L. Doverspike, a platoon leader for Troop A, contacted the Iraqi Army (IA) troop commanders in the area. He asked IA commanders to move the tanks belonging to the newly arrived IA mechanized company into position and assist the concerned citizens at the checkpoint.

When the tanks arrived, they engaged the enemy forces, alongside their concerned citizen counterparts.

Soon an Apache attack helicopter air weapons team from 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, arrived on site and was scouring the nearby canals for enemy forces.

The insurgents retreated after a 45-minute ‘cat and mouse’ game with IA and concerned citizens, which resulted in no injuries.

The determination and team work of the IA and concerned citizens showed Paratroopers that both groups could work together effectively.

Spc. Charley Stetson, an infantryman with 1-40th Cav. Regt. said he felt his unit had done a good job of rooting out insurgents in the area around Entry Control Point 20, but the addition of concerned citizens and now the IA has helped the security situation.

Their actions during the insurgent attack gave insight into the growing relationship between the two groups.

Stetson, a native of Falmouth, Maine, said the IA’s resources add much to the concerned citizens’ capabilities and the concerned citizens add much to the IA’s knowledge of the area.

“It’s like the best of both worlds,” he said.

Capt. Frederick B. Giles, effects coordinator for the military transition team assigned to the 5th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division said the concerned citizens were happy about the Iraqi troops moving into the area and assisting with security.

“I haven’t sensed any tension between the CLC leadership and the IA leadership,” said Giles, a native of Honolulu.

The good relationships developing between the concerned citizens, the IA and Coalition forces in the urban farming community of Hawr Rajab may signal the beginning of a community with a secure future.

(Story by Sgt. Luis Delgadillo, 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div)

In Other Recent Developments around Iraq:

•           Coalition Forces discovered a large weapons cache while conducting a search near the Turki village area south of Balad Ruz, Oct. 29.

•           An early morning combined operation led to the detainment of three individuals in the Maderiyah area, Oct. 30.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Use wounded troops if diplomats refuse service

Rep. Hunter urges Bush to fire rebellious officials who complain Baghdad assignment 'death sentence'

Courtesy of

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.

Responding to reports that State Department officials are refusing to serve in Iraq because it's too dangerous, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has proposed a novel plan to President Bush – to bypass the agency and recruit from among U.S. military troops discharged after suffering injury.

Hunter, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, told talk-radio host Glenn Beck today he met with Bush just 30 minutes prior to the interview and gave him a letter outlining the plan.

"I said, 'Let's go over to Bethesda and Walter Reed (hospitals) and as we get these new – these soldiers and Marines who are embarking on new careers," Hunter said, "let's recruit them for the State Department; and let's fire these guys that refuse to go, and we'll give the State Department careers to these military guys." For the rest of the article at World Net Daily: Plan: Use wounded troops if diplomats refuse service

Attention Mayor Sanders, is anyone home?

DISCLAIMER: The different points of views on the Rick Roberts  are not supported nor do they reflect the views and beliefs of The Bosun Locker or any entity affiliated with Bosun.

Courtesy of  Rick Roberts, KFMB AM 760, San Diego
November 2nd, 2007

On this blog you will find a growing list of potential fire locations. These are illegal alien encampments, where illegals are known to start illegal campfires to cook food, stay warm, etc.

With the pending Santa Ana’s and the fact that the Harris fire, among several other fires in San Diego County history, was started by illegal alien encampments (according to County Supervisor Dianne Jacob), we feel it is our duty to keep San Diego neighborhoods safe from this fire hazard.

If I went camping this week, there would be several State and Federal permits I would be required to obtain and follow to start a campfire and with good reason. The combination of open fires, the Santa Ana winds and our dry brush is a recipe for another wildfire sweeping through our county.

Why is the city and county doing nothing about this potential fire hazard?

Could it be that we are IN FACT a SANCTUARY CITY, MAYOR SANDERS???

Hopefully the Mayor, or someone with guts, will do something about cleaning up this potential fire danger and health hazard once and for all.

Today, we asked listeners of The Rick Roberts Show to call with the illegal alien encampment locations throughout San Diego County. It is a long and growing list that we hope City, County, and Fire officials review and take seriously.

Please feel free to add more locations in the comments section of this blog.

It’s bad enough that American citizens have stopped hiking and biking in our parks and canyons for fear of being attacked by groups of unknown men… It’s bad enough these illegal encampments are full of human waste and stolen goods…




Comments at Rick Roberts KFMB San Diego »

Glenn Beck: UN to Tax Americans?

The U.N. must not be satisfied with the worldwide UNICEF carton collections, because they just keep on pushing ways to implement a global tax.

The door may be starting to creep open on that front, with the Law of the Sea Treaty, which Glenn Beck believes will lead to a U.N. global tax. Everyone whom Glenn has talked to, callers and politicians alike, say it's a bad idea yet Senator McCain and others on a Senate panel backed the idea 17-4.

This is the same idea that had Ronald Reagan losing sleep at night. Members of Congress and the Senate, this is why more people believe the moon landing was a hoax than approve of the job you are doing. Pat Gray from KSEV in Houston joined Glenn to talk about this and more. Read the transcript Link Here. (Insiders listen here).

Bias in the news; Only ABC Reports Military's Stats on Violence Plunging in Iraq

Courtesy of NewsBusters  

    Lt. General Raymond Odierno on Thursday reported significant progress in reduced violence in Iraq, but of the broadcast network evening newscasts only ABC's World News bothered to cover the positive trend as anchor Charles Gibson introduced a full story on how "military officials gave one of the most upbeat assessments of the security situation in Iraq that we have heard since the opening months of the war."

     The CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly skipped the positive trend, but CBS had time for a story on the investigation of the September shooting of civilians by Blackwater and NBC aired a piece on Hillary Clinton "playing the gender card."

     The Washington Post and New York Times on Friday also made very different news judgments on the importance of the positive direction as the Post put the news on its front page while the Times hid it in a story, on an inside page, about Iran's role in Iraq. This was the third time in less than two weeks that ABC has uniquely highlighted positive developments in Iraq.

     This was the third time in less than two weeks that ABC has uniquely highlighted positive developments in Iraq. On Tuesday, ABC ran a piece about "booming" shopping markets and significantly improving life in Baghdad and eight days earlier World News showcased Fallujah's "extraordinary comeback story."

     Referring to the briefings by Ordierno via satellite from Iraq and by the Secretary of Dense at the Pentagon, ABC's Jonathan Karl relayed that "nobody over here is anywhere near ready to declare victory, but the military statistics tell an unmistakable story. Violence in Iraq is down, and down considerably. Baghdad's marketplaces are slowly coming back to life, as violent attacks in Iraq have fallen to less than half of what they were a year ago." Specifically, "roadside bombs fell in October to an average of 20 a day -- still high, but the lowest level since October 2004. Iraqi civilian deaths have fallen to a third of where they were a year ago. And after the deadliest summer ever for U.S. forces in Iraq, U.S. combat deaths fell to 29 last month, the lowest level in more than three years."

     Karl ended with some caveats, pointing out the lack of political progress and how the 30,000 troops in the "surge" will be "going home in the coming months, raising the question of whether the violence will go up when they leave."

Read the rest of the story: Only ABC Reports Military's Stats on Violence Plunging in Iraq.   A PDF of a transcript of the November 1 briefing by Odierno, commander of multi-national forces in Iraq: