BAGHDAD – Iraqi forces, with U.S. Special Forces as advisers, detained two individuals believed to be linked to the al-Qaeda in Iraq criminal network Oct. 2, near Baghdad.
During one of the operations, Soldiers from the 6th Iraqi Army Division detained a suspected al-Qaeda financier in Kindi. The extremist financier is suspected of traveling to foreign countries to acquire financial support for terrorist activities and is suspected of supplying more than $50,000 to al-Qaeda each month. He is believed to have received $100,000,000 this summer from terrorist supporters who cross the Iraq border illegally or fly into Iraq from Italy, Syria and Egypt.
The terrorist is linked to financing cells in Doura, Tarmiyah and Baqubah, and uses a leather merchant business as a front to smuggle weapons and explosives from surrounding countries. Intelligence shows he has stores in Fallujah, Syria and Jordan.
He allegedly employs 40 to 50 extremists who help deliver and emplace improvised explosive devices to attack Iraqi and Coalition Forces. The group allegedly pays cell members $3,000 for each operation.
The financier is additionally linked to purchasing explosives and weapons that were used to destroy the dome of the sacred “Golden Mosque” in 2006 and then re-attacking it in 2007. In April, the suspected terrorist allegedly shot at a Coalition patrol in Al-Mansour, killing three U.S. service members and wounding one.
This is major good news for Iraq and American forces in the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq, and when looked at with the recent good news and progress that has been reported from Iraq as well as yesterdays news, and add to that the death toll of insurgents and terrorists since 2003, the big picture is starting to look better and better for our fight against terror and especially against al-Qaeda.
Lets look at it all together: (The bigger picture)
• On Monday came news that U.S. military deaths in Iraq fell to 64 in September, the fourth straight drop since peaking at 121 in May and driving the toll to a 14-month low.
• Civilian deaths also have plunged, dropping by more than half from August to 884. Remember just six months ago all the talk of an Iraqi "civil war"? That seems to be fading.
• The just-ended holy month of Ramadan in Iraq was accompanied by a 40% drop in violence, even though al-Qaida had vowed to step up attacks.
• Speaking of al-Qaida, the terrorist group appears to be on the run, and possibly on the verge of collapse — despite making Iraq the center of its war for global hegemony and a new world order based on precepts of fundamentalist Islam.
• Military officials say U.S. troops have killed Abu Usama al-Tunisi, a Tunisian senior leader of al-Qaida in Iraq who was responsible for bringing foreign fighters into the country. Not surprisingly, the pace of foreign fighters entering Iraq has been more than halved from the average of 60 to 80 a month.
• Last month, 1,200 Iraqis waited patiently in line in Iraq's searing heat to sign up to fight al-Qaida. They will join an estimated 30,000 volunteers in the past six months — a clear sign the tide has turned in the battle for average Iraqis' hearts and minds.
•Five million Iraqi children returned to school last week, largely without incident, following their summer vacations.
Yesterdays news: (From the Long War Journal)
•In a press conference today, Major General Kevin Bergner, the spokesman for Multinational Forces Iraq, provided further evidence of al Qaeda in Iraq's foreign influence. Bergner highlighted the killing "Muthanna," al Qaeda's the emir of the Iraq/Syrian border. "During this operation, we also captured multiple documents and electronic files that provided insight into al Qaeda’s foreign terrorist operations, not only in Iraq but throughout the region," Bergner said. "They detail the larger al-Qaeda effort to organize, coordinate, and transport foreign terrorists into Iraq and other places."
"Muthanna was the emir of Iraq and Syrian border area and he was a key facility of the movement of foreign terrorists once they crossed into Iraq from Syria," Bergner said. "He worked closely with Syrian-based al Qaeda foreign terrorist facilitators."
Bergner said several documents were found with Muthanna, including 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."
The expense sheet, recovered with the killing of Muthanna. Click to view.
Other documents found in Muthanna's possession include a "pledge of a martyr," which is signed by foreign fighters inside Syria. and an expense report. The pledge signed by the recruited suicide bomber requires the terrorist provide a photograph and passport, and states the recruit must enroll in a "security course" in Syria. The expense report is tallied in US dollars, Syrian lira, and Iraqi dinars, includes items such as clothing, food, fuel, mobile phone cards, weapons, salaries, "sheep purchased," furniture, spare parts for vehicles and other items.
In another news release yesterday:
•In December, President Bush accepted recommendations of military leaders to place five more combat brigades and their supporting complements in and around Baghdad. More troops went into Anbar province, and Iraqi forces also bulked up in Baghdad and surrounding areas. "The full complement of surge forces were in place by mid-June and provided us with significant flexibility and operational reach,” Odierno said. "The trends we have seen over the past three and a half months since the surge was completed are encouraging, and to this point they've been consistent.
"Violence throughout the country has dropped to a level not even seen before the first bombing of the Golden Mosque in 2006," he continued. "Last week, we saw a slight rise in attacks as al Qaeda attempted its own Ramadan surge, but for the large part, Iraqi security forces, as well as coalition forces, were successful in interdicting most of them."
In past years, Ramadan meant extremist attacks, the general said. Not so this year. "Attacks have decreased, and signs of normalcy across Iraq are starting to appear," he said.
Because "some" of our politicians are unable or unwilling (take your pick) to look at the bigger pictures, they are still trying (unsuccessfully) to try to force defeat upon us with "redeployment" bills that are being defeated on a regular basis, the last one Feingold tried was yesterday and it was defeated in a vote of 68 to 28. (Roll call can be found at that link)
One has to ask themselves why the Democratic politicians are so desperate to try to stop all the progress evidenced above?
Could it be because politics are more important to them than acknowledging all the good news that is coming out of Iraq on a daily and weekly basis in the last few months?
Leaves me wondering, exactly how much good news has to come from Iraq before the blind begin to see?
Exactly what does the Democratic politicians and the far left liberals consider "progress"?