Iranian Special Forces Responsible for Karbala Captured

This is an important update to an article I posted Friday the 6th, it appears that the “Hezbollah” or Qods force operatives captured are the agents that planned and executed the Karbala attack. You might remember this from early last year — the US compound was raided in a sophisticated attack that included fake US uniforms and knowledge of the compound’s layout.

The Four US soldiers captured were subsequently murdered and mutilated, one died in the initial attack and others were wounded. So now we have the perpetrators, who in the meantime acting as agents of Iran, have been supplying explosive formed projectiles (EFP’s) to the Shia miltias and causing other mayhem.

The Karbala attack, along with the EFP report I did back in ’06 are tied together now. Both are terrible but somehow this gives me the sense that things are truly getting better in Iraq and it’s a bit of closure over both reports. The Iranian Quds forces have operated with impugnity until now in a large part due to sympathy from the local Shia population. Something has now turned that around.

RIght Wing Nuthouse has the details of the original Karbala attack here, and Bill Roggio has the latest on this important capture here.

Iranian Backed Hezbollah Captured in Iraq

Our forces captured a Hezbollah operative today Southeast of Baghdad, and it appears that they’ve opted to become actively and openly engaged in Iraq according to this article:

The U.S. military in Iraq has captured the deputy military chief of the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah, coalition officials said.

Iraqi sources said the U.S. Army has arrested the No. 2 figure in Hizbullah’s military wing. The sources said the unidentified Hizbullah commander was responsible for training the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army in the Baghdad area.

“The arrest is a major achievement and could provide an intelligence bonanza,” an Iraqi source said.

The U.S.-led coalition has reported the capture of a senior Iranian operative south of Baghdad. In a coalition statement, the operative was described as a “primary weapons smuggler and financier for Iranian-backed enemy fighters.”

Hezbollah has also announced that they are “opening a front” in Iraq, as noted in this Mid East Times Summary of News from Arab Papers:

Al-Seyassah (Kuwait): Hezbollah decides to open front against Washington in Iraq – NATO sources in Brussels said yesterday that Lebanon’s Hezbollah has opened a military front against the Americans in Iraq, claiming that dozens of its members were now in Iraq training special Shiite and Sunni elements to fight the U.S. forces there. The sources also said that Hezbollah has a plan to subdue the U.N. forces in south Lebanon in the event of another confrontation with Israel.

The Quds force or Hezbollah capture is also noted here by Defense link:

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2008 – Coalition forces killed four enemy fighters and detained dozens of suspected terrorists in recent operations, military officials said.
The leader of an Iranian-backed “special group” surrendered to coalition forces today in Hayy, about 190 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Acting on intelligence information, coalition forces raided the presumed residence of the special group leader, who’s suspected of directing and ordering attacks against coalition forces in Wasit province, as well as attacks and kidnappings against civil authorities there. The man also is suspected of smuggling Iranian weapons — specifically, Katyusha rockets — into Baghdad.

In a separate operation in Hayy today, coalition forces raided the residence of another wanted special groups operative. The suspect attempted to flee, but coalition forces were able to track him, and he eventually surrendered.

In other news from Iraq, coalition forces captured 10 wanted men and 22 other suspects involved in al-Qaida in Iraq’s bombing networks in Mosul, Baghdad and the Tigris River valley yesterday and today.

Coalition forces detained more than 20 suspected terrorists believed to be responsible for car-bomb attacks and weapons smuggling, and killed four others June 4 during an operation targeting a major al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist network along the Tigris River valley in the western portion of the Tamim province.

In separate June 4 operations, Iraqi soldiers uncovered several weapons caches in Baghdad’s Sadr City district. The caches contained rocket-propelled grenades, explosives designed to pierce armor, machine guns, AK-47 rifles, AK-47 magazines, various-sized rounds, mortar fuses, two ski masks and special groups propaganda.

Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered a cache and detained five suspects in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad on June 3-4.

With the known links and support from Iran to Hezbollah, if the statement in Mid-East Times is true, then this is close to the state of Iran openly declaring war on Iraq and the US.

All Five Hostages Alive

Joshua Munns, Jonathon Cote, John Young, Bert Nussbaumer, and Paul Reuben.When I posted Monday about Jonathon Cote I stated that I have high confidence that he is alive.

 I had promised the family not to reveal details on how I knew that, however now the news is out and it’s revealed that all are alive.

All five of the hostages are confirmed as alive, we know this because five fingertips were received. DNA was confirmed by authorities, so the hostages are all still alive. Story from Reuters:

VIENNA (Reuters) – A fingerprint and DNA sample of an Austrian hostage in Iraq have been received by U.S. authorities, an Austrian official said on Wednesday after a magazine reported that fingers of five westerners had been obtained.

Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Johannes Kyrle told a news conference U.S. authorities in Baghdad had told Austria the samples belonged to Austrian Bert Nussbaumer, 26, who was seized with four American colleagues near Basra in November 2006 while they worked as security guards.

The weekly magazine News said on Wednesday that five fingers had been received and that DNA analysis had shown them to come from Nussbaumer and Americans Josh Munns, Jonathon Cote, Paul Johnson Reuben and John R. Young.

The Reuters story goes on to cruelly point out that the fingertips could have been removed after death, however that’s unlikely. This is traditional hostage taker method of reminding you that they have the hostage. It’s a cruel way to both raise and dash hope. I have faith in our authorities, and have hope that these captive souls on foreign shore will be returned. Four of them are US Citizens, think on why it is you haven’t heard much about this — they are now held captive 38 days longer than the Americans held in the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

If you want to read more, or see the latest news from the families, please visit FreeCote.Com.

UPDATE: More at Washington Post

UPDATE II, From Vicki at Not Ready for my Burqa: McClatchey Newspapers are reporting that one of the fingers belongs to Ronald Withrow, an American computer technician kidnapped in January 2007 in Basra, but who was not confirmed as being held by the kidnappers of the Crescent Security contractors:

Authorities have confirmed that the fingers belonged to hostages Jonathan Cote, of Gainesville, Fla., Joshua Munz, of Redding, Calif., Paul Reuben, of Buffalo, Minn., Bert Nussbaumer of Vienna, Austria, and Ronald J. Withrow, of Lubbock, Texas.

[. . .]

There was no word today on a fifth contractor who was seized with them, John Young, of Kansas City. Contrary to Austrian news reports, none of the fingers belonged to him, authorities said.

More at Not Ready For My Burqa

The false checkpoints and precision of both these operations further supports my speculation that this is Qods Force, or Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commando planned and executed.

Update III from WGRZ:

The father of Getzville native, Jonathon Cote says a fingerprint and D.N.A belonging to his son and four other men being held hostage in Iraq, have been sent to the U.S. government.

Francis Cote says a representative from the F.B.I. told his family about the development, two weeks ago.

Cote and four other private security workers were kidnapped in Iraq in November 2006. A hostage tape of the men was released a few weeks later but they have not been seen or heard from since.

On Wednesday, Reuters news agency published an internet article about the development after an Austrian magazine reported that fingers from the five hostages had been sent to U.S. officals.

Francis Cote says he has not received confirmation from the U.S. government but he did read the on-line article.

He told 2-on-your-side Wednseday afternoon he and his family have hope that this means Jonathon is still alive and they are praying for his safe return.

The family has a weekly conference call with the State Department and his son’s finger was not mentioned in that call this week. Mr. Cote is also asking why he had to learn about that from a website. 

Previous Story from WGRZ on the January 2007 Tape released on the hostages.

UPDATE IV, Etymology, Messages from Kidnappers:

According to Viennese Correspondents to News.com.AU Online, this story first broke in a Viennese Weekly Magazine, titled simply “News”.  There is also this which is more information:

The magazine said three messages had been sent by kidnappers but no financial or political demands had been received by Austria.

Update V

Yahoo news has the most comprehensive article in News so far.

Previous Article:

In November I wrote a post about Jonathon Cote, who’s now been held hostage in Iraq or Iran for 36 days longer than the people in the Iranian Hostage Crisis were. Jonathon is in the middle of top row of the accompanying picture.

He and the other heroes in captivity (one police officer, a US Army Soldier,) will be hostage for two years this coming November. It’s easy in the buzz of events to forget this, but at times it comes back with a thud to me.

Most people are probably assuming that the hostages have been killed by now, but I have high confidence that they are still living. No, I won’t tell you the reason for that confidence until perhaps after he’s freed.

The thud comes at odd times — I’ll click on Itunes and think “Jonathon doesn’t get to listen to music I bet.” Or I will read of another hostage taking by Islamic Terrorists, like this one today, or perhaps I will stumble across an Israeli story on Gilad Shalit.

Do other people besides his family and friends think of Jonathon? It doesn’t seem so. Unlike the Iranian Hostage Crisis, there aren’t any demonstrations. The current hostage crisis doesn’t help or hurt anyone politically, so it’s just ignored – it’s not even a crisis to the newsies. If you do a google for him, you won’t find anything except now-archived-for-pay old news stories from last year.

That’s saddening, it’s not only for Jonathon and family you should grieve — it’s also for this great nation. What have we become that we can ignore US Citizens held hostage so long? Israel remembers and doesn’t write-off their citizens held hostage — why are we?

Sorry to be such a bummer tonight, but I have to say what is.

Not Ready for My Burqa also remembers Jonathon, and all the other hostages as well.

Resources:

The Brookings Institute Iraq Index 10-29 (PDF Link) – contains many good charts and stats on how the surge is going as well.)

US policy for Hostage situations (PDF Link)

Freecote.com

All Posts about Jonathon Cote

There’s another site out there that is also working for the hostages, SAVE5.net, but I will not link to a site flying the American flag upside down. I understand the meaning, but it also has meaning with the anti-war crowd, so I remain suspicious of the site.

Also MISSING

Jonathon Cote: Still Alive and Still Hostage

Joshua Munns, Jonathon Cote, John Young, Bert Nussbaumer, and Paul Reuben.In November I wrote a post about Jonathon Cote, who’s now been held hostage in Iraq or Iran for 36 days longer than the people in the Iranian Hostage Crisis were.

He and the other heroes in captivity (one police officer, a US Army Soldier,) will be hostage for two years this coming November. It’s easy in the buzz of events to forget this, but at times it comes back with a thud to me.

Most people are probably assuming that the hostages have been killed by now, but I have high confidence that they are still living. No, I won’t tell you the reason for that confidence until perhaps after he’s freed.

The thud comes at odd times — I’ll click on Itunes and think “Jonathon doesn’t get to listen to music I bet.” Or I will read of another hostage taking by Islamic Terrorists, like this one today, or perhaps I will stumble across an Israeli story on Gilad Shalit.

Do other people besides his family and friends think of Jonathon? It doesn’t seem so. Unlike the Iranian Hostage Crisis, there aren’t any demonstrations. The current hostage crisis doesn’t help or hurt anyone politically, so it’s just ignored — it’s not even a crisis to the newsies. If you do a google for him, you won’t find anything except now-archived-for-pay old news stories from last year.

That’s saddening, it’s not only for Jonathon and family you should grieve — it’s also for this great nation. What have we become that we can ignore US Citizens held hostage so long? Israel remembers and doesn’t write-off their citizens held hostage — why are we?

Sorry to be such a bummer tonight, but I have to say what is.

Not Ready for My Burqa also remembers Jonathon, and all the other hostages as well.

Resources:

The Brookings Institute Iraq Index 10-29 (PDF Link) – contains many good charts and stats on how the surge is going as well.)

US policy for Hostage situations (PDF Link)

Freecote.com

Ancient Enemies

From November last year, Analysis of the other roots of Jihad that lie beyond hate of Israel and the US, such as tribal nationalism, economics, expansionism, class envy, and of course which particular sect is most Muslim, and therefor tops the caliphate. The Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut Tahrir, Al Qaeda, and other Jihadist groups are experts at leveraging these flaws in the Muslim world to their benefit.

In conflict resistless each toil they endur’d
Till their foes shrunk dismay’d from the war’s desolation.
And pale beam’d the crescent, its splendor obscur’d
By the light of the star-spangl’d flag of our nation.

– Francis Scott Key 

guards.jpgThe tribes of Araby and the tribes of Persia have fought since times ancient. When Alexander conquered Egypt the Arabs flung open town gates and flogged the Persians out as he passed for the Persians were more hated than the new conquerers.

Today we see no change — Sunni and Shia are again at odds for ascendency in the Middle East, egged on by prideful despots. As one power rises the other will fall; both held fast in hatred and enthralled to tyranny.

Occasionally there are interlopers in their internecine wars, the Greeks, the Jews, The Romans, The Americans; but when it comes to precedence of place their pride feels its greatest sting when their ancient tribal enemy rises above them.

We are at such at time again – and in four countries the strife between these ancient enemies threatens to overthrow stability and four existing governments. The pattern of these struggles remains constant throughout history — the land always ruled by tyrants, opposed by rebellious mystics wrapping themselves in twisted religion who are abetted by the neighboring tribes driven by timeless emnity.

Centuries ago the west freed themselves from rulers tied to deity with the Magna Carta and many bloody that birthed modern liberty, the Reformation, and the Renaissance. In Islamic lands there’s been no reformation, no declaration of individual rights, no rendering unto Ceasar. Instead it’s the dictator, the monarch, the tyrant, the despot tied to Allah who still rules.

When rule is based on Allah’s will, and all are slaves to the state and Allah both, then government is weak, for it takes little to convince ignorant slaves that you know Allah’s will better perhaps than the current ruler. All the despotic kingdoms and dictatorships of the Middle East are like feathers upon the sand, awaiting the deathwind of the next religious fanatic.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan we see two parliamentary governments under attack by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their political arm, the MMA. The MMA, upset with passage of the Women’s protection bill, threatens to resign and disable the weak parliamentary government in Pakistan ruled by the party of Musharraf. Musharraf in turn recently escaped three attempts to assassinate him. Neighboring states aid the terrorists, Iran, India, and of course both Pakistan and Afghanistan agitate against each other.

In Lebanon we see fledgeling democracy being throttled by the political thugs of Hizb’Allah, who are also threatening to resign from parliamentary government and hold the citizens of Lebanon hostage. A head of state was assassinated, and Hamas is aided by neighboring states.

In Iraq we see the Sadrists threatening resignation, and holding the fledgling Iraqi democracy hostage, egged on by Al Qaeda. Many heads of state have been assassinated, and the Mahdi Armies are aided by neighboring states.

In Palestine we see Fatah and Hamas near civil war, with no real ruling authority. Thanks to the Israelis, the Hamas and FATAH factions don’t have to assassinate each other – a tip to the IDF gains them what they need. Hamas and FATAH are aided by neighboring states.

In each case above you glimpse the ancient emnity and you see tactics exactly the same. You see a political arm backed by a terrorist militia, aided and abetted by neighboring tyrants and madmen. Do you wonder that the tactics are the same, the timing the same, and the aim the same? You really shouldn’t.

By pointing to external enemies these tyrants survive, they externalize all problems and make others the reason for the dirt, dust, death, and despair in their lands. They point to America and Israel as the great satans; for there really are two enemies more ancient even than these and they side with one, while America and Israel side with the other.

Liberty must always oppose tyranny, freedom must always oppose slavery. And so you have it that America has fought at least three wars against these tyrants. The first was at the birth of our nation, and below you see the first famous song written by Francis Scott Key:

“Warrior’s Return”

When the warrior returns from the battle afar
To the home and the country he was nobly defended,
Oh! Warm by the welcome to gladden his ear,
And loud be the Joys that his perils are ended!
In the full tide of song, let his fame roll along.
To the feast-flowing board let us gratefully throng.
Where mixt with the olive the laurel shall wave
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
Columbians a band of thy brothers behold!
Who claim their reward in they heart’s warm emotion:
When thy cause, when thy honour urg’d onward the bold,
In vain frown’d the desert; in vain rag’d the ocean.
To a far distant shore to the battle’s wild roar
They rush’d they fair fame and thy right to secure.
Then mixt with the olive the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
In conflict resistless each toil they endur’d
Till their foes shrunk dismay’d from the war’s desolation:
And pale beam’d the Crescent, its splendor obscured
By the light of the star-spangled flag of our nation.
Where each flaming star gleam’d a meteor of war,
And the turban’d heads bowed to the terrible glare.
Then mixt with the olive the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
Our fathers who stand on the summit of fame,
Shall exultingly hear, of their sons, the proud story,
How their young bosoms glow’d with the patriot flame,
How they fought, how they fell, in the midst of their glory.
How triumphant they rode, o’er the wandering flood,
And stain’d the blue waters with infidel blood;
How mixt with the olive the laurel did wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
Then welcome the warrior return’d from afar,
To the home and the country he so nobly defended.
Let the thanks due to valor now gladden his ear,
And loud be the joy that his perils are ended.
In the full tide of song, let his fame roll along.
To the feast-flowing board let us gratefully throng.
Where mixt with the live the laurel shall wave
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
New York Evening Post, January 9, 1806, Boston Independent Chronicle, December 30, 1805

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Walter Tevis, from who I borrowed some phrasing above, Walter originally wrote:

“My life is light, like a feather upon the back of my hand awaiting the deathwind.”

Norm Podhoretz Let me Down

As you can see by my sidebar I am a Rudy Guiliani supporter – one of his foreign policy advisors is Norman Podhoretz, also someone whose views I support. Norm is going to have to get quicker on his feet however. Here he debates with Fareed Zakaria, who makes a seemingly clear argument that Norm failed to counter well.

You cannot sound-bite attack arguments like this with Chamberlin arguments — instead you must destroy the case in total, not with ad hominem comparison but instead with clear facts. There are many that Norm could have marshalled, but failed to. 

Here is the transcript of the segment with “Jihad Judy” Woodruff, (sorry, that’s my Mom’s nickname for her,) Norman Podhoretz, and Fareed Zakaria, please read and follow to my thoughts  below the segment. The lead-in was a pastiche of fact and opinion on the potential of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons: Continue reading “Norm Podhoretz Let me Down”

Iranian Special Groups Murder Muslims in Baghdad

Bill Roggio has a report of a false-flag Quds force attack on the 24th in Baghdad. Apparently the Pet Market bombing was designed to simulate an Al Qaeda in Iraq attack in order to build support for the Sadrist or Iranian militias. Full story at The Long War Journal.