Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tough Times for AQI

That is the title of a recent blog post at Power Line. The proof is in the pudding so to speak, and the pudding is the simple raw numbers. First, as we have already pointed out along with the begrudging support of the Mainstream Media, deaths for the good guys are down, and down a lot. Now, the numbers are in for AQI for September.

during the month of September, 29 senior AQI operatives were either killed
or captured. Five were Emirs at the city level or higher in the AQI leadership
structure. Nine were geographical or functional cell leaders. Eleven were
facilitors who supported foreign terrorist weapons movements.

When Coalition Forces killed one AQI Emir, they captured more than 400
documents, three computer hard drives, two thumb drives, and eleven compact
disc. Among other things, this treasure trove revealed that the names of 500
foreign terrorists being recruited by al Qaeda, including the recruiters' names,
and the date and route of entry into Iraq. The terrorists came from a range of
foreign countries including Libya, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Oman, Yemen,
Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.
The documents also provided information about financial transactions involved in
the movements of each foreign terrorist.

The coalition is not letting up. Word out of Baghdad is the MNF just announce the capture of another major financier

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.

I have said it over and over. This enemy won't roll over and die. The news is not all positive, Izzat Al-Douri, the highest Saddam henchman who remains at large, has just announced the formation of an umbrella insurgency that includes 22 obscure groups.

Nearly two dozen previously unknown Iraqi insurgent groups announced a new
coalition to fight foreign occupation but it also set conditions for talks with
the U.S. in a statement on a Web site affiliated with the country's deposed
Baath party.

The 22 groups said their leader is Izzat al-Douri, the highest ranking
member of Saddam Hussein's former ruling party still at large.

In the nearly half hour video message, an unidentified man, face blurred,
was shown sitting behind a table with an Iraqi flag on his right side reading a
statement announcing the formation of the new alliance called "The Jihad and

The new alliance laid down a series of conditions for talks with the U.S.
It demanded an unconditional withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq, immediately
or within a short timetable, the release of all detainees, return of the
security forces to their status before the occupation and a halt to all
operations against the people.

The effectiveness of this group remains to be sign however their olive branch for negotiations certainly raises questions of their legitimacy and also makes me wonder how strong their ties are within the current political structure. It would be nice if Douri joined Saddam in their own corner of hell, or if not, in a cell next to KSM, but the dynamics are ripe for the good guys. So far, the first four days of October have seen the violence continue at the pace of the month of September and that was of course dramatically down. I have heard of no reported deaths of U.S. soldiers yet (knock on wood), and I have only heard of one car bomb that killed eleven. There will be more death and the violence continues to be unacceptably too high, however the momentum is there. Now, our forces must maintain it. I know they can and I will be praying for their continued strength, courage and of course safety.

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