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Daily Column
US Papers Thu: MEK Loses 'Terrorist' Tag in UK
Kuwaiti Gitmo detainee one of several suicide bombers in Mosul; Marriott in Iraq
By CHRIS ALLBRITTON 05/08/2008 01:38 AM ET
A Kuwaiti detainee released from Gitmo was one of several suicide bombers in Mosul last month, both The New York Times and the Washington Post report. Also, the People’s Mujadhedeen of Iran won an important court battle in the United Kingdom.

Over there
Alissa J. Rubin of the Times reports that a former Kuwaiti detainee of Guantanamo was a suicide bomber in a string of deadly attacks in Mosul last month, the American military says. Abdullah Salim Ali al-Ajmi was picked up in Afghanistan and spent three years in Gitmo before being released in 2005. He returned to Kuwait and then traveled to Iraq via Syria, the military says. He's one of several former detainees who have gone back to the battlefield, military spokesmen say. No doubt this will make it harder to close the camp on the tip of Cuba. In other news, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari urged the U.S. and Iran to get back to jaw-jawing to avoid war-warring, but he admitted that right now was a difficult time to promote reconciliation.

Josh White of the Post has the story of al-Ajmi, noting that he called conditions in Guantanamo "deplorable" and urged others to fight America around the world. He is one of as many as three dozen former detainees who have returned to "terrorist activities," the Pentagon says. After his return to Kuwait, al-Ajmi was tried in a local court, but he was acquitted and released.

Legal victory
John F. Burns of the Times and Marc Champion of the Wall Street Journal both write that the Mujahadeen e-Kalq, or People's Holy Warriors of Iran, have been delisted from the U.K.'s list of terror groups. The group is currently and supposedly confined to Camp Ashraf near the Iranian border in Iraq, under American watch, but the group plans to use the English ruling to get off the E.U.'s and U.S. State Department's blacklists, too. The group is made up of exiled, leftist Iranians opposed to the current regime. They took refuge in Iraq and found a friend in Saddam Hussein to carry out attacks against his enemy during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. They also provided intelligence on Iran's uranium enrichment in 2002, leading to the current confrontation between the West and Tehran. Iran called the ruling "political."

Military matters
Gregg Zoroya of USA Today reports that 43,000 troops were listed as "medically unfit" for deployment in the weeks before they were shipped off to Iraq for multiple tours since 2003. It's a sign of the additional strains being placed on the troops as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars grind on.


Washington Post
Michael S. Rosenwald of the Post reports that Marriott International is considering opening up a hotel in the Green Zone in response to American officials who want foreign investment in Iraq. Security and infrastructure are key concerns for the company. CEO Bill Marriott sits on President George W. Bush's Export Council, which advises the president on trade issues. Most absurdly, to show how daring Marriott can be, Rosenwald tells the story of the hotel's launch of the Marquis in Times Square in the 1980s. Yes, it was full of pimps and prostitutes, then, but they didn't have mortar shells falling.

Christian Science Monitor
No Iraq coverage today.


Wounded Warrior Project