Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Al-Qaeda - Bin Laden - Ho Hum!
Al-Qaeda? Bin Laden? Well. maybe so but after all the lies and contradictions, one scarcely knows what to believe.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14767726 Note relevant links
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IRAQ WRAPUP 8-Al Qaeda claims killing of 9 U.S. troops in Iraq
Suicide Attack Hits Iraqi Police Station
U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq at 3,333
Israel Rules Out Large Gaza Raid
Updated: 5:51 p.m CT
BAGHDAD - A group led by Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility on Tuesday for two suicide truck bomb that killed nine U.S. soldiers and wounded 20 in one of the worst attacks on U.S. ground forces since the invasion in 2003.
"Two knights from the Islamic State in Iraq ... driving two booby-trapped trucks hit the heart of the Crusader American headquarters in the region of Diyala," a statement from the Sunni group of the Islamic State in Iraq said in a Web posting.
In an interview to an Egyptian television station broadcast in Iraq on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (Bush's puppet) said Iraq had become the "most prominent arena in the fight against al Qaeda".
The U.S. military said on Tuesday night that two suicide trucks were involved in Monday's strike on a military outpost at Diyala, north of Baghdad, scene of fierce fighting between U.S. troops and Sunni Arab insurgents and al Qaeda militants.
It said in a statement one of the trucks exploded along an outer barrier, while the other blew up 30 metres from the base building. "The explosive blast from the second truck ruptured the wall of the patrol base building, collapsing the second floor and causing the majority of the soldier casualties".
It said nine soldiers were killed and 20 wounded. Most of the wounded later returned to duty.
Witnesses said the outpost was located in an old school in the village of al-Mukhisa.
"The building collapsed ... There was a huge fire," said one witness, who declined to be identified, describing the aftermath of the second truck bomb.
Near the city of Ramadi in western Anbar province, a suicide truck bomb killed 25 people and wounded 44, police said. They said the attack targeted police and civilians.
While frontal assaults by insurgents against heavily fortified U.S. bases in Iraq are rare, a two-month-old security plan that places troops in less protected garrisons in Baghdad and neighbouring regions has exposed them to greater risk.
The bombing of the outpost came as a showdown between President George W. Bush and Congress deepened over Democrat efforts to set a timetable for the withdrawal of nearly 160,000 troops.
Congress will vote this week on a funding bill that sets March 31, 2008, as the goal for pulling out most troops, but Bush repeated on Tuesday his vow to use his presidential veto.
FIGHTING FOR THE PROVINCE
Diyala, scene of Monday's attack, is a religiously mixed area where U.S. commanders last month sent a Stryker armoured force and 1,000 extra troops.
There has been a sharp upsurge in violence in the volatile province since the launch of a U.S.-Iraqi crackdown in Baghdad in February that forced Sunni Arab insurgents to regroup in areas outside the capital.
In the previous worst ground attack against U.S. forces in Iraq, 10 U.S. Marines were killed near Falluja, west of Baghdad, in a bombing on Dec. 1, 2005.
The U.S. military also reported the deaths of two other U.S. soldiers on Monday.
At least 87 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq this month, making April the deadliest since December, when 112 were killed.
At least 3,334 U.S. soldiers have been killed since the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
On Tuesday, gunmen wearing uniforms of the Iraqi army raided a neighbourhood in Baquba, killing six people, wounding 15 and burning several homes, police said. A suicide car bomber on Monday killed 10 Iraqi policemen during a gathering of senior police officials in Baquba, including the city's police chief.
(Additional reporting by Richard Cowan in Washington)
(c) Reuters 2007.
Did bin Laden plan Afghan bomb near Cheney?
Taliban commander says he did, calls deadly February attack a success
Now: Life in Afghanistan
View images chronicling the state of the country today, five years after the U.S.-led war.
Torn by conflict
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Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban's top military commander, told Al-Jazeera that bin Laden planned and supervised the attack that killed 23 people outside the big U.S. base at Bagram during Cheney's visit.
"You may remember the martyr operation inside the Bagram base, which targeted a senior U.S. official. ... That operation was the result of his wise planning. He (bin Laden) planned that operation and guided us through it. The operation was a success," Dadullah told Al-Jazeera. He did not say how he knew that bin Laden planned the attack.
Dadullah, who has had close associations with al-Qaida, also insisted that bin Laden was alive and well, according to the interview.
"Thank God he is alive. We get updated information about him. Thank God he planned operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan," he told Al-Jazeera, according to the English translation of the interview provided by the station.
Deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino said it was “an interesting claim but ... I haven’t seen any intelligence that would support that.”
The bombing killed about 20 Afghan civilians, a U.S. soldier, a U.S. contractor and a South Korean soldier outside Bagram while Cheney was meeting with officials inside the base. The Taliban claimed the attack was aimed at Cheney, but officials have said it posed no real threat to the vice president.
Bombing was outside base
The attacker never tried to penetrate even the first of several U.S.-manned security checkpoints at Bagram, instead detonating himself among a group of Afghan workers outside the base.
The bearded Dadullah, wearing a black turban and a gray traditional Afghani robe, was interviewed by Al-Jazeera's correspondent in Afghanistan. In the interview, the Taliban commander was seen sitting on the ground in the middle of a field with some trees.
In the video, a man covering his head and face with a white scarf and wearing an ammunition belt can be seen in the background.
Parts of the interview were broadcast on Al-Jazeera's English and Arabic satellite TV channels and were posted the stations' Web sites.
Al-Jazeera, which is based in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, said it planned to show the entire interview later Wednesday. The station declined to provide any more details about the interview.
Al-Jazeera's interview was not the first time in recent months that Dadullah has said bin Laden was alive. On March 1, London television Channel 4 aired an interview with Dadullah who said the al-Qaida leader was alive and in contact with Taliban officers. The station did not say when the tape was made.
Assumption that bin Laden is alive
U.S. officials have said they assume bin Laden is alive but do not have proof one way or the other. U.S.-led forces drove the head of the terror network from his Afghanistan haven in late 2001 by overthrowing the Taliban's militia government after al-Qaida was blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Bin Laden is assumed to be living now in a rugged area of neighboring Pakistan, where remnants of the Taliban are living and attacking coalition forces in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, Afghan officials claimed their forces trapped up to 200 Taliban in a southern village, possibly including Dadullah. But the Taliban later denied that claim. Dadullah is a close aide to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar and a commander with a reputation for ruthlessness.
Labels: Al-Qaeda - Bin Laden
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