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Jihadists Read, Mock New U.S. Army Guide
U.S.'s Enemies Dissect 282-Page Counterinsurgency Manual
By EASON JORDAN 12/18/2006 00:22 AM ET
Jihadists and their supporters are reading and mocking the Pentagon's new counterinsurgency field manual, which was released publicly and posted on several Department of Defense Web sites Friday even though it addresses such sensitive topics as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting.

One Arabic-language jihadist Web site linking to the Pentagon's 282-page counterinsurgency manual is Tajdeed.net, which routinely calls for the killing of U.S. and British forces in Iraq; praises bin Laden, al Qaeda, and the 9/11 attacks; and whose sponsor, Mohamed al Massari, has called for the assassination of George Bush and Tony Blair.

Al Massari, an expatriate Saudi dissident, and his jihadist Web site are based in Britain, where he lives despite calls by some British leaders for Al Massari's deportation or arrest.

On the same Tajdeed Web page providing a link to the Pentagon's new counterinsurgency manual (linked from a related Reuters story posted on the site), there is a gruesome photo of the body of a U.S. Air Force pilot whose parachute is still strapped to his back (apparently Major Troy Gilbert, whose plane went down north of Baghdad in late November).

Next to that photo is a computer-generated smiley face with these words in Arabic: "This one won't be reading the manual."

The Arabic-language Tajdeed message board posting is headed: "The American occupation publishes a booklet containing directives to its soldiers on facing the mujahadeen."

Notable Arabic-language comments from readers of the Tajdeed posting include "Bless you, you who have broken the U.S. and its military and made it resort to booklets." Also: "The Pentagon is distributing the booklet to save whatever is left of it!," referring to the U.S. military.

As of 0015et (0815 Iraq time) Monday, 363 people had read the Arabic-language message board containing the link to the manual and the photo of the dead U.S. airman.

The Tajdeed Web site also showcases gory videos of attacks against western targets in Iraq, provides de facto insurgent training manuals, and provides tips for jihadis on how to sneak into Iraq.

Initial reaction to the Pentagon's global, unrestricted distribution of the counterinsurgency field manual was one of disbelief.

One British private security contractor with employees in Iraq said: "Only in the land of the free could (such) a handbook be produced and issued to the enemy." The contractor spoke on the condition of anonymity because his company works with the U.S. military.

The 282-page counterinsurgency manual is the first comprehensive U.S. military guide on the topic in two decades. U.S. military commanders say the document isn't specific to any particular conflict, although two U.S. generals wrote in the manual's foreword that it should be especially useful to U.S. fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the entire manual was released to the world without restriction, an earlier, smaller preliminary U.S. military counterinsurgency guide distributed in 2004 was classified as restricted to distribution to DoD personnel and military contractors.

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