Peace Like A River

It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you'd been wading and knew its current. Somehow I'd crossed it... Now I saw the stream regrouped below, flowing on through what might've been vineyards, pastures, orhards... It flowed between and alongside the rivers of people; from here it was no more than a silver wire winding toward the city. - Leif Enger, Peace Like A River

Friday, November 25, 2005

Shooting the Messengers

While we were having turkey, CentCom released news of the capture of yet another terrorist propaganda cell leader:

Acting on multiple intelligence sources and tips from concerned citizens, Coalition forces raided a suspected Jaysh al-Mujahideen terrorist safe house in Abu Ghurayb, west of Baghdad, Oct. 23.

Captured during the raid was Ahmad Niímah Khudayyir Abbas (aka. Abu Shihab), a recently identified Jaysh al-Mujahideen lieutenant who oversaw the propaganda cell and who commanded several mortar and improvised explosive device cells.

Abu Shihab, as the propaganda chief for the Jaysh al-Mujahideen media cell operating in the Baghdad area, initially recorded videos and digitized them to compact disc for distribution to various Jaysh al-Mujahideen and al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist groups. These videos would then be downloaded to various Jihadist web sites as propaganda against Iraqi security and coalition forces.

Additionally, the videos would be used to recruit terrorists and foreign fighters, as well as to provide information on potential targets for other terrorists. As his skills and terrorist connections developed, he began directing and coordinating media operations throughout the Baghdad area for Jaysh al-Mujahideen.
The Jaysh al-Mujahideen terrorist organization, which is centrally controlled in Baghdad, also has terrorist cells in major cities in Iraq, to include Mosul, Fallujah, Ramadi; Jaysh al-Mujahideen is associated with al Qaeda in Iraq.

Abu Shihab is just the latest propagandist taken down over the last month or two.

* Abu Dijana, senior Al Qaeda in Iraq propaganda cell leader for Karabilah, Al Qaim and Husaybah, was captured in Karabilah Sept 25. News of his capture was released Oct 16.

* I noted at the time, that Abu Dijana's capture came a day after a very significant intelligence success, the capture of Abu Khalil, a chief terrorist finance manager. As controller of the purse, Abu Khalil would've had tremendous knowledge of terrorist operations, and could've provided funds that the propaganda cells needed to put out their their twisted message. (It is certainly possible Abu Dijana's capture had nothing to do with Abu Khalil. Coalition Forces were quite active in the wester river towns, and could've developed intelligence on their own, without information from Abu Khalil.)

* Then, on Oct 19, another high level terrorist finance manager was captured. At the time, I speculated that perhaps Abu Khalil provided information that led to the capture of Yasir Sabhawi Ibrahim. Again, it is pure speculation on my part, but the money managers could've had knowledge of the propaganda operations, and it is interesting to note that Abu Shihab's capture came four days after Ibrahim was apprehended.

* There's more. As I noted here, also captured Oct 23, the same day as Abu Shihab, was Abu Hassen, a senior terrorist media cell member and document forger for senior terrorist leaders in Baghdad. News of his capture was released Nov 10.

* Following the capture of Abu Hassen came the capture of Abu Ibrahim, the technology expert who provided Abu Hassen the computer equipment needed to do his work. Abu Ibrahim was also associated with the al Qaeda in Iraq Baghdad propaganda cell. Abu Ibrahim was captured Oct 31, and the news was released Nov 20.

I can't say for certain, but it is fun to speculate that the chain of events was this.

The capture of Abu Khalil leads to the capture of Abu Dijana and Yasir Sabhawi Ibrahim. The capture of Ibrahim leads to the capture of Abu Shihab and to the capture of Abu Hassen. The capture of Abu Hassen leads to the capture of Abu Ibrahim.

Regardless of the exact intelligence that went into each of this captures, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Coalition Forces are achieving amazing success in dismantling key elements of terrorist operations.

Take note of how news of these captures was released days after the events. It is likely intelligence gained from these captures was used to develop other leads, and so on, as I speculated above.

There will be certainly be news of other successes coming in the days ahead, perhaps as a direct result of the ones listed here.


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