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Archive for November, 2009

Iraqi Police Arrest 15 with Alleged Al Qaida Ties

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 30, 2009

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2009 – Iraqi police and U.S. advisors apprehended 15 suspects with alleged ties to al Qaida in Iraq during operations in there in the past few days, military officials said.

Iraqi police arrested four suspected members of al Qaida cells today in two joint security operations near Baghdad and Kirkuk, military officials said.

In a joint security operation in Karmah, west of Baghdad, police apprehended an alleged associate of a car-bomb cell believed responsible for attacks targeting government buildings and civilians in the Iraqi capital. Police also arrested a suspected accomplice.

During a separate operation in a rural area southwest of Kirkuk, the 3rd Emergency Services Unit and U.S. advisors arrested a suspected al Qaida in Iraq leader and a suspected criminal accomplice.

The suspected terrorist leader is believed to be responsible for emplacing improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, throughout the region, moving foreign fighters into Iraq to carry out attacks, and transporting and storing weapons.

In earlier operations, Iraqi security forces arrested four suspected members of al Qaida in Iraq during joint security operations in northern Iraq.

During a security operation yesterday in Muqdadiyah, northeast of Baghdad, Iraqi police and U.S. advisors apprehended a man with alleged ties to the terrorist network.

On Nov. 28, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors in southwestern Mosul arrested three suspected associates of an alleged al Qaida member.

In other Nov. 28 operations, Iraqi police in Mosul arrested an alleged al Qaida in Iraq associate, and police in Hawija arrested an alleged associate of the network and a suspected accomplice.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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Bin Laden Was In Our Grasp? What Will Not Be Widely Reported

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 29, 2009

“….it would take weeks to get a large enough U.S. contingent on the scene and bin Laden might disappear in the meantime.”

“….there were sufficient troops available in Afghanistan and nearby Uzbekistan to mount a genuine assault on Osama bin Laden’s position at Tora Bora. And they could have been augmented within about a week by reinforcements from the Persian Gulf and the United States.”

The assault would not have required thousands of conventional forces. A large number of troops would have taken too long to deploy and alerted Al Qaeda to the approaching attack. ‘‘My opinion is that bin Laden would have left even earlier as soon as he received word that the U.S. troops were surrounding him,’’ Fury told the Committee staff. ‘‘I think he only stayed as long as he did because he thought the mujahedin would not aggressively pursue him.’’

“…..deploying 1,000 to 3,000 American troops would have required several hundred airlift flights by helicopters over a week or more.

DeLong defended the decision not to deploy large numbers of American troops. ‘‘We didn’t have the lift,’’ he told the Committee staff. ‘‘We didn’t have the medical capabilities. The further we went down the road, the easier the decision got. We wanted Afghanistan to be peaceful for Karzai to take over. Right or not, that was the thinking behind what we did.’’

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Iraqis Arrest 18 Suspected al—Qaida Associates

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 25, 2009

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2009 – Iraqi security forces arrested 18 suspected al-Qaida in Iraq associates today, and earlier this week captured a terrorism suspect they’ve been pursuing for three years, military officials reported.

Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched several houses in Mosul looking for an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq regional leader who is suspected of staging deadly attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces.

Based on preliminary questioning and evidence gathered at the scene, Iraqi forces arrested 18 of his suspected associates.

The arrests in Mosul are expected to contribute to greater safety for Iraqis from attacks during the upcoming Eid al-Adha, or “Festival of Sacrifice,” Muslim holiday.

In Diyala province Nov. 22, Iraqi security forces, advised by U.S. forces, arrested a suspected leader of a terrorist group, along with a suspected associate.

The judicial court of Muqdadiyah had issued a warrant for Harith Sadun Dawud al-Rubayi for suspicion of murder, kidnapping and bombing attacks against Iraqi citizens and Iraqi security forces. He also is suspected of smuggling weapons, home invasions and stealing money from Iraq’s interior ministry.

He is believed to be linked to the kidnapping and murder of the son of a former Muqdadiyah mayor in September, as well as the murder of an Iraqi policeman in Abu Sayda. The suspect has been wanted by authorities and had evaded capture for three years.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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Forces in Afghanistan Kill, Detain Militants

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 19, 2009

American Forces Press Service
KABUL, Nov. 17, 2009 – Afghan and international forces worked together to kill or detain numerous enemy fighters and terrorism suspects in operations over the last two days, military officials reported.

A combined Afghan and international security force killed several enemy militants, including a sought-after Taliban district commander, and detained several suspected militants in Afghanistan’s Wardak province early today.

The force searched a compound near the village of Mayshin Kala in the province’s Sayed Abad district where intelligence indicated militant activity. Upon entering the compound courtyard, the force came under attack and returned fire, killing several enemy militants.

During the engagement, the building used by the enemy militants caught fire, causing grenades and ammunition to detonate. An Afghan woman was inadvertently killed during the exchange of fire with enemy militants.

Occupants of the compound confirmed that the Taliban district commander had arrived earlier in the night and joined the other militants. The force searched the compound and recovered multiple assault rifles and hand grenades, and detained several other suspected militants.

In a separate operation in Wardak province today, an Afghan-international security force killed two enemy militants and detained several suspected militants while pursuing a Taliban commander and facilitator believed to be responsible for numerous attacks on civilians and infrastructure in the area. The force searched compounds near the village of Qalah-ye Padshah in the province’s Nerkh district after intelligence indicated militant activity. No incidents occurred during the search, and the force detained several suspected militants.

While departing from the last compound, the joint force killed two armed militants who moved aggressively against the force from a nearby orchard. No civilians were harmed during this operation.

In another operation today, an Afghan-international security force killed an enemy militant and detained another man who was identified as a sought-after Taliban district commander in Ghazni province.

A combined force searched a compound near the village of Malang Kheyl in the province’s Qara Bagh district where an intelligence source reported the Taliban commander to be located. At one of the buildings, the joint force shot and killed an enemy militant after the person displayed hostile intent. The force searched the compound without further incident and detained the wanted militant, who surrendered quickly and identified himself as the Taliban commander. No civilians were harmed during this operation.

In Kunduz province today, a combined force detained several suspected militants while pursuing a Taliban commander believed to be responsible for the facilitation of foreign fighters to other militant elements in the area.

The force searched a compound northwest of Kunduz City without incident, and detained several suspected militants. No shots were fired, and no one was injured.

In other news, an Afghan-international security force also detained a suspected militant in Kandahar province yesterday while pursuing a senior Taliban commander. The force searched a vehicle near the village of Shad Khan Kalay in the province’s Kharkriz district after intelligence indicated militant activity. The force detained one man for further questioning. No shots were fired, and no one was harmed during the operation.

(From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news release.)

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Forces Arrest Suspected Militants, Taliban Commander

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 13, 2009

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2009 – Combined Afghan and international security forces detained several suspected militants, including an alleged Taliban commander, in operations in Afghanistan today and yesterday, military officials reported.

A combined force killed enemy militants and detained several militants in Wardak province, including an alleged Taliban commander believed to be responsible for several attacks in the area.

The combined security force searched buildings near the village of Badam Kalay in Nerkh district where intelligence sources indicated a Taliban commander was located. The force surrounded a mosque, known to be used by the Taliban commander to cache weapons, and called for the militants to surrender.

The force received heavy machine-gun fire from the mosque and responded with precision fire, killing two of the militants. The force again called for the remaining militants to surrender.

Several other militants surrendered, including the suspected Taliban commander.

Afghan members of the joint force then entered and secured the mosque and recovered a medium machine gun, multiple assault rifles, grenades, a pistol, ammunition, video recorder and communications equipment. Following the operation, village elders discussed the operation with the combined force and examined the militant weapons cache in the mosque.

No Afghan civilians were harmed.

Elsewhere, a combined Afghan and international security force detained a group of suspected militants after searching compounds in Zabul province known to be used by a Taliban commander believed to be responsible for making homemade bombs and conducting attacks in the area. After searching the compounds without incident, the combined force detained the suspected militants. No shots were fired and no one was injured.

Meanwhile, a combined force killed an enemy militant and detained a group of suspected militants in Khost province while pursuing a local Taliban “shadow” governor with numerous links to Haqqani terrorist organization senior leadership in the area.

The combined force targeted a series of buildings near the village of Bazikani in Spera district after intelligence indicated militant activity there. The militant was killed when he fired on the force. The force searched the buildings, detained the suspected militants and recovered a number of small-arms weapons.

No Afghan civilians were harmed during this operation.

In Kandahar City yesterday, a combined force detained a suspected militant while pursuing a senior Taliban facilitator and subcommander who allegedly operates in the area.

The combined security force searched a compound after intelligence indicated militant activity there. The force conducted the search without incident and detained a suspected militant for additional questioning. No shots were fired, and no one was injured.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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Forces in Afghanistan Capture Terrorism Suspects

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 12, 2009

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2009 – Afghan and international forces in Afghanistan today captured a sought-after Taliban commander following a firefight in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, and also captured a Haqqani terrorist group leader in another area, military officials reported.

In the first incident, the combined force killed several enemy militants and detained others in Ghazni’s Zankhan district.

During the operation, the force received and returned fire, killing several enemy militants. A security element of the combined force searched the enemy position and recovered a rifle, multiple grenades, ammunition and communication gear.

The force then searched the compound and detained a group of suspected militants. The force also recovered IED-making materials and multiple assault rifles.

In other operations in Afghanistan:

— A combined force in the Zadran district of Wardak province today detained several suspected militants, including a sought-after Haqqani leader responsible for financial and logistical support of militant attacks in the Khowst-Gardez Pass. The force searched the camp where intelligence sources located the man. The force detained the suspects, one of whom surrendered and identified himself as the Haqqani leader.

— Combined forces detained several suspected militants in Helmand province yesterday while pursuing a senior Taliban commander who operates in the area. The force searched a camp outside of the village of Nabi Chah in Garmsir district after intelligence indicated militant activity there. The force conducted the search without incident and detained the suspects.

— In an operation yesterday in the Sayed Abad district of Wardak province, Afghan and international forces detained several suspected militants after searching compounds known to be used by a Taliban element. The combined force searched the compounds without incident, detained the suspects and recovered bomb-making materials, small arms components, a small cache of ammunition, and video equipment.

— A combined force yesterday detained two suspected militants in northeastern Kandahar City while pursuing a Taliban commander responsible for financial, media and logistical support of other militant elements in the area. The force searched the compound without incident.

— A combined force yesterday killed a group of enemy militants and detained a suspected militant in Ghazni province while pursuing a Taliban commander responsible for several attacks in the area and with numerous links to other Taliban commanders. The force targeted a compound near the village of Akhtar Kheyl in the Qara Bagh district after intelligence indicated militant activity there. During the operation, the force engaged and killed the enemy militants. The force searched the compound, detained the suspect and recovered bomb-making materials and multiple assault rifles and chest racks. No civilians were harmed.

— A combined force detained multiple suspected militants in Khandahar province after searching compounds known to be used by a Taliban commander responsible for several attacks in the area. The force targeted the compounds near the village of Atalay in Kharakaz district after intelligence indicated militant activity. The combined force searched the compounds without incident and detained the suspect.

— Combined forces detained a suspected militant in Wardak province who identified himself as a Taliban commander responsible for several attacks and supplying other militant elements in the area. The force targeted buildings in the Nerkh district after intelligence indicated militant activity. Afghan soldiers searched the buildings without incident and detained the suspect.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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As the Insurgency Falls, Civilians Look to the GIRoA for Stability and Security Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 10, 2009

Story by Sgt. Debra Richardson
Posted: 11.10.2009 05:36

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – The sun had barely begun its climb over the mountains when the Afghan national army and coalition forces began their patrol to a small village nestled between two of the largest mountains in Zabul province. Parsang Village has been known as a “fence-sitting” village; a village that hasn’t decided where to lay its loyalty.

“We visited Parsang three months ago,” explains an ANA officer as he gives directions to his driver to fall in line in the convoy. “Three months ago, insurgent occupation inside the village was very apparent. The entire village was intimidated and afraid of the local insurgent fighters. They didn’t want anything to do with us, for fear of retribution by the enemy fighters,” the officer continued.

As the patrol drew closer to the village however, the ANA commander smiled. “I see this visit will not be like the last.” As the convoy came to a slow halt, children of all ages ran up to the trucks, shaking hands with the ANA soldiers as they exited their vehicles and waving with excitement.

During the shura, the local elders confided in the ANA, explaining that security in the area has improved significantly due to several operations in the past two months. The elders stated the insurgents are very weak and no longer have a strong command and control over their village.

“Before, we were forced to provide food and shelter to the insurgents or suffer beatings, or even death,” explained one elder. “Now, we rarely see more than two enemy fighters at a time and they never stay in our village for more than an hour,” the elder continued.

“The insurgents feel they are being watched at all times and the ANA and coalition forces can fly down on them at any time,” exclaimed another elder. “The enemy fighters are terrified of the helicopters and no longer believe our village is safe for them.”

During the shura, the elders discussed ways they could provide security to their own villages. They discussed avenues to take in order to become more self-sufficient and not rely so heavily on the ANA to provide security for their own villages. Now that the insurgent’s threat has been diminished, the villagers are more apt to provide security for themselves. The villagers’ confidence in the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan increases as the insurgents’ influence diminishes.

After the shura, ANA and coalition medics provided medical attention to 56 villagers. The ANA also distributed 60 bags of flour, 15 bags of rice, 30 bags of wheat, 10 radios and 20 bags of wheat seed.

The initiative to provide villagers with grain and wheat supplies to discourage planting and harvesting of illicit drugs. This initiative was discussed at an earlier shura and village elders seemed very skeptical that the ANA would deliver on its promise to provide such supplies. The ANA’s ability to deliver these goods to the people of Parsang provides credibility to GIRoA’s stated efforts to support the citizens of Afghanistan.

As the ANA officer shook hands with local elder, concluding the visit, he vowed to be back, to check on security and provide medical assistance to the people. The elder smiled and thanked him and his Soldiers. “You are welcome in my home, anytime,” he said.

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Operational Update; Afghanistan

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 10, 2009

Date: 11.10.2009
Posted: 11.10.2009 06:39

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan national police and ISAF forces seized 500,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, 5,000 IED components and detained 15 people after a raid in Kandahar, Nov. 8.

Based on reliable information, the patrol discovered 1,000 100-lb. bags of fertilizer, which is often used by insurgents to make explosives, and detained 15 people in a warehouse. After the initial find another 4,000 100-lb. bags of fertilizer were found in a nearby compound.

Ammonium nitrate fertilizer is a key ingredient of homemade explosives and used in the majority of main charges for IEDs. This type of fertilizer is illegal in Afghanistan.

“This was a tremendous success for the Afghan national police who led this operation,” said Lt. Col. Todd Vician, an ISAF spokesman. “This find will undoubtedly save many lives and points to the increasing capability of the Afghan national security forces.”

Afghan-International Security Force Detains Taliban Militants in Logar and Interdicts Taliban Facilitator in Helmand.

An Afghan-international security force detained several suspected militants in Logar province while pursuing a Taliban commander operating in the area and linked to several local Taliban shadow government leaders.

The joint security force targeted compounds near the village of Yusof Kheyl in Baraki Barak district after intelligence indicated militant activity. The joint force searched the compounds without incident and detained the suspected militants. No shots were fired, and no Afghan civilians were injured during this operation.

In a separate operation, an Afghan-international security force detained a group of suspected militants in Helmand province, including a sought-after Taliban facilitator responsible for weapon shipments to other militant elements and heavily linked to narcotics traffic in the area.

The joint security force targeted a compound in the rural section of Garmsir District where intelligence sources reported the Taliban facilitator to be located.

The joint force searched the compound without incident, recovered IED-making materials, bomb-making manuals and detained the group of suspected militants. One of the suspects surrendered and identified himself as the Taliban facilitator. No shots were fired, and no Afghan civilians were injured during this operation.

ISAF Casualty

An ISAF service member died as a result of an IED strike in Southern Afghanistan today. The service member was from the United States.

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Insurgents Attack Children Accepting Medical Assistance, Shoes From ANA Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 10, 2009

Afghanistan Public Affairs
Posted: 11.10.2009 05:41

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – During a routine patrol in Khakrez, the Afghan national army, assisted by coalition forces, stopped near the Khakrez district center to distribute shoes to local children, Nov. 5. Several ANA soldiers were helping toddlers try on shoes when a mortar round exploded close to their position. The ANA soldiers promptly responded ensuring the safety of the children while investigating the area where the round was believed to have originated.

While no one was injured during the attack, the village elder told the ANA commander the insurgents were attacking because they were receiving humanitarian assistance from the government of the Republic of Afghanistan. While the villagers were shaken from the attack, the elder asked the ANA to stay and continue providing assistance to the children. Although this act could prompt another attack from enemy fighters, the village elder insisted he had complete faith in the ANA to provide security for the villagers.

The invitation for the ANA to remain in the village contributed to GIRoA legitimacy in the eyes of the villagers and the enemy fighters. Although insurgents have occupied this village by brute force in the past, the ANA has pledged to provide security throughout Khakrez and deny enemy fighters access to this region.

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Forces Clear Taliban from Northern Afghan Province

Posted by Larry Barnes on November 9, 2009

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2009 – More than 750 Afghan and international forces in recent days completed the largest operation to date in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, clearing the northern border area of hundreds of insurgent fighters, military officials reported.
Afghan soldiers hand out supplies to Afghans
The combined forces conducted operations Nov. 1 through 6 in the province’s northern region bordering Turkmenistan, killing more than 130 insurgents, including eight Taliban commanders. The operations, designed to stop insurgent activity and weapons trafficking in the Chahar Dara district, also disrupted the province’s insurgent shadow governor.

The Afghan-international force provided humanitarian supplies to the affected villages after the operation. Six trucks delivered warm clothing and food, including staple items such as cooking oil, rice and beans.

Kunduz Gov. Mohammad Omar praised the accuracy of International Security Assistance Force air strikes against the insurgents while avoiding civilians.

“It is the largest operation I’ve ever seen in Kunduz,” the governor said. “You’ve got the Taliban running all over the place. Overall, I think this operation is wonderful.”

Military officials will continue to meet with village elders to ensure the area remains secure after combat operations.

“People of Kunduz are very appreciative that international forces and Afghan national security forces are working together to better Afghanistan,” Omar said. “Taliban in the area are on the run, and we have shown them that they cannot control the area.”

No Afghan or international personnel were killed, and no civilians were injured during the operations.

In other news from Afghanistan, an Afghan-international security force killed an enemy militant and detained several suspects in the southern province of Kandahar yesterday while pursuing a senior Taliban commander in charge of local and foreign fighters in the area.

The combined force targeted a vehicle in the Khakriz district after intelligence indicated militant activity. The force killed one insurgent, detained several suspects and recovered nine 50-pound containers of homemade explosives, an assault rifle and ammunition. All of the explosives were destroyed safely, and no civilians were injured during the operation.

A combined force detained several suspected militants in Kandahar province after searching buildings known to be used by a Taliban district commander responsible for several attacks and linked to senior Taliban leadership in the area.

The force targeted the buildings on the east side of Kandahar City after intelligence indicated militant activity there, searched the buildings without incident and detained the suspects. No shots were fired, and no civilians were injured.

Meanwhile, search operations continue for two U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, missing since Nov. 4 in western Afghanistan.

“ISAF personnel will endeavor to ensure no servicemember, regardless of nationality, is left behind,” said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, ISAF Joint Command spokeswoman. “Our search operations continue in earnest, and our thoughts and prayers are with their friends and families.”

Further information is being withheld while search and rescue operations continue and while the incident is under investigation.

Elsewhere, a combined force killed several enemy militants and detained a group of suspects in Kandahar province Nov. 7 while pursuing a Taliban operative suspected of being responsible for targeting Afghan civilians and providing improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers to other militants in the area.

The force’s convoy was in transit when enemy militants attempted to hit it with an IED strike. The force immediately located the enemy position and returned fire, killing the enemy militants. A security element with the force pursued and detained the group who were seen leaving the enemy’s location. The force searched the enemy position and recovered IED materials, an assault rifle, chest racks and assault-rifle ammunition magazines. No civilians were harmed.

A combined force killed an enemy militant and detained several suspects in the southeast province of Zabul. One of the detained is believed to be a Taliban bomber operating out of Qalat City and responsible for financing militant activities and the transport of IED materials and weapons into the area.

The force targeted a compound on the west side of Qalat City that intelligence reports identified as a location used by Taliban commanders.

Since the compound was close to an Afghan police station, the force coordinated with the police chief to accompany and assist with the operation. When the police chief called for occupants to exit the compound, the force received hostile fire and returned fire, killing one militant.

The force searched the compound and detained the suspects, one of whom surrendered and identified himself as the Taliban bomb coordinator. He was found hiding in a building later discovered to be a Red Cross office on the compound. Further questioning of the Taliban facilitator revealed he is relative of a local Red Cross employee.

In a separate operation, another combined force detained several suspected militants in Khowst province, one of whom was a sought-after Haqqani terrorist leader responsible for the financial and logistical support of militant activities in the area.

The force targeted compounds in the Sabari district after intelligence indicated militant activity there, searched the compounds without incident, and detained six suspects, one of whom was identified as the Haqqani suspect. No shots were fired, and no one was injured.

In another operation, a combined force detained suspected militants in Logar province after searching a compound known to be used by a Haqqani financier with numerous ties to militant elements in the area.

The combined force targeted the compound in the Baraki Barak district after intelligence indicated militant activity there. The force searched the compound without incident and detained the suspects. No shots were fired, and no one was injured.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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