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Female Gang Member Drugged Three year Old Hostage, Sticky Bombs Found in Time
06/14/2009 05:00 AM ET
Photo Daniel W. Smith

On Saturday, in Gharma, outside Fallujah, three sticky bombs were defused after having been placed on the car of Sahwa leader Jashaam Dalaff al-Jumaila, according to Col. Hatiff Muhammed al-Jumaili, the Forsan police chief. The adhesive bombs were thought to have been attached when the vehicle was stopped near a mosque. On of them detonated while an attempt was made to diffuse it, but no casualties were reported.

Also on Saturday, a three year old boy who had been kidnapped in Fallujah three months ago was returned to his parents, after operations by local police. According to a source within the police, five of the six gang members responsible were captured. One of the members was reportedly a woman, who had been responsible for drugging the child “to make it easy for them to travel without him crying.’ The group’s leader is said to be named Abu Sajad, from Baghdad, and the rest of the gang, who had made a $50,000 ransom demand, is from Abu-Ghraib.

Security incidents earlier in the week in Fallujah include the injuring of two policemen when their patrol was targeted by a IED and a bicycle bomb near al-Hadra mosque which wounded five civilians.

Only on Slogger
Botched IED Attack Kills Two Assailants; US Mounts Airborne Raid
By SLOGGER NETWORK 05/22/2009 7:39 PM ET
Google Earth image/IraqSlogger.com.

Iraqi forces in the Hawija sector of Kirkuk Province uncovered the corpses of four abduction victims in a small village in the area, security sources told Slogger.

The bodies, recovered on Sunday in the village of al-Thibat, are apparently are those of four farmers who had been abducted two days before.

The captors reportedly demanded a ransom of approximately $150,000 each, but the men were apparently executed when the families did not pay.

The four bodies were transferred to forensic authorities in Kirkuk city.

The same day, US forces conducted an airborne raid on the al-Jawala village, about 26 miles south of Kirkuk city, eyewitnesses told IraqSlogger. The forces reportedly arrested five wanted men, who were transferred to the al-Huriya airbase in Kirkuk city.

The village is located inside the al-Rishad sector of Kirkuk province, which locals say remains a stronghold of militant activity owing to its harsh terrain, including cavernous mountains and communications across arid lands to the nearby restive Diyala Province.

Two would-be attackers were reportedly killed on Monday in a botched IED attack in central Hawija, local sources said. A third man was wounded when the IED that the three men were attempting to plant exploded prematurely. The two corpses and injured man were transferred to the nearby Azady Hospital. The survivor will be interrogated, Iraqi security sources say.

Exclusive
Iraqi Forces Nab Suspect in Helicopter Drop, Rise in Kidnappings, Assassinations
By DANIEL W. SMITH 05/19/2009 11:55 AM ET
Google Earth image/Iraqslogger

BAGHDAD – Witnesses told Iraqslogger that a US helicopter was damaged by “missiles fired by armed men” in Mosul on Friday. The aircraft was said to not be destroyed, but that the “pilots had to land” the helicopter. Afterwards, US troops returned to the vicinity where the missile was said to be fired from, and cordoned off the area.

In response to a query, Major Derrick Cheng, a US military public affairs officer, confirmed “that there was an anti-aircraft improvised explosive device detonated against one of our scout helicopters in Mosul, May 15. The helicopter safely returned to Forward Operating Base Marez to be inspected by maintenance personnel, while the crew boarded another helicopter to continue their mission. There were no injuries reported.”

Aswat al-Iraq reports that, on Monday, Iraqi helicopters were used in a successful air-drop operation, in which an unnamed “senior leader if the Islamic State of Iraq” was captured. “A force from the 3rd brigade of the Quick Response Department (QRD) arrested a senior leader from the Islamic State of Iraq in al-Arabi neighborhood in northern Mosul,” a security source, also unnamed, was quoted as saying. The suspect was reported to have been caught with two guns with silencers in his possession, and that he had been was “moving between Syria and Iraq, mainly Mosul.”

They also report that a 50 year-old Iraqi civilian was killed on Monday in the al-Dawasa region in central Mosul, “while trying to cross the street while a U.S. vehicle patrol was passing.”

Aside from IED’s (and the bomb which went off near Ninewa Governor Atheel al-Najafi’s residence), some additional incidents not widely reported in the past few days in Mosul are as follows.
A general rise in kidnappings assassinations is reported by residents, the latter always by “unknown gunmen.” Victims include a Lieutenant who worked at Badush prison, who was killed in northern Mosul’s Al-Majmoa'a neighborhood.

The body of an unknown male, showing marks of apparent torture was found inside one of the abandoned structures which are located in Al-Shurta'a, north of the city.

On Sunday, University students complained that U.S. forces imposed tight security measures in parts of Western Mosul, restricting movement, and “greatly hindering students trying to go to their final examinations.”

Members of Iraqslogger’s network of Iraqi staff contributed to this report, but choose to remain anonymous, for security reasons.
Exclusive
Shadowy "Special Groups", not the Mahdi Army, are Spoken of in Whispers
By DANIEL W. SMITH 05/16/2009 10:44 PM ET
An Iraqi Army Vehicle Guards a Government Building in Sadr City
Photo: Daniel W. Smith
An Iraqi Army Vehicle Guards a Government Building in Sadr City


BAGHDAD – On Thursday, a corpse was found in the street in Sadr City. According to an Iraqslogger source, the body was identified as that of a young man who had been abducted twelve days earlier, and that it bore signs of torture. The young man was rumored to have “worked for the Americans,” but it was not clear in what capacity he may have done so.

Despite much improved safety from past years, there is great fear among residents of Sadr City. The return of the Mahdi Army is often written of, in reference to this area, a bastion of support for Muqtada al-Sadr, but people who live in Sadr City speak quietly of another threat. Shadowy “special groups,” underground mafia-like groups are seen as the cause of much violence within the huge slum.

Though reports of violence in “The City” (“al-Medina” in Arabic) as Sadr City is often called, (or “al-Thawra”, its previous name, by those who strongly oppose Sadrist elements) are not widely reported, they are still common. Instead of blatant killings by those easily recognizable as militia members, there is a frightening air of mystery surrounding multiple targeted deaths of late. The rash of killing of young gay men (or those thought to be gay) has been widely reported on, but many other deaths have not. For deaths to be reported as “official”, the Sadr City council must often approve a death certificate, sometimes characterized by members of the council as done in such a way as to repress reporting such deaths in a timely fashion.

The US military describes special groups as Iranian-trained/supported cells of insurgent fighters, but within al-Medina, the perception of who is behind the groups is not always so cut-and-dry. Though this definition can apply for many, special groups seem a frightening secret force whose motives are not always clear. Residents lately often see them as capable of attacks of much more precision than Mahdi Army elements (though there is thought to be some crossover between the two).

There are only four entrances to Sadr City, and the Iraqi Army has up to four checkpoints for all of Sadr City’s 101 districts. Talk both in the streets and in Sadr City council meetings reflect the idea that this strongly suggests involvement of some Iraqi security forces with special groups, and also the existence of buildings used as torture/killing rooms within Sadr City’s borders.

On Saturday, a rocket (perhaps intended to hit a US base nearby) struck a house and killed three members of a family, including a child under two years old.


Members of Iraqslogger’s network of Iraqi staff contributed to this report, but choose to remain anonymous, for security reasons.

Only on Slogger
Violent Attacks in Unruly Areas in South of Disputed Province
By SLOGGER NETWORK 03/30/2009 6:56 PM ET
Google Earth image/IraqSlogger.com.

Security forces in the disputed city of Kirkuk foiled an abduction attempt against one of the guards of the city’s central criminal court last week, security sources said.

Locals told Slogger that ongoing trials of suspects at the Kirkuk tribunal have led to heavy security deployment around the court building in an attempt to guard against the attacks that have plagued the legal processes and threatened court personnel. The building and its staff have been subject to high-profile bombing and assassination attacks as well as ongoing lower-level assaults, such as last Thursday’s attempted kidnapping of a court guardsman.

The intended victim was traveling from his house to the court when attackers driving an Opal vehicle stopped and attempted to force him to enter the car. The guard ran to a nearby checkpoint for protection. Security sources told Slogger that checkpoint staff pursued the vehicle in an attempt to apprehend the assailants, but that the vehicle disappeared into the streets of Kirkuk city. Attacks south of Kirkuk

The same day an IED exploded in the al-Rashad district, south of Kirkuk city, injuring three public electricity workers who were working to repair a transmission cable that links Kirkuk to the rural al-Rashad area. The roadside bomb exploded as the men drove over the disguised device in their service vehicle. Locals say that the Rashad area is known as one of the more lawless areas of Kirkuk Province and remains an area where militant groups continue to operate.

Also Thursday, in another unruly area of Kirkuk Province, a soldier of the 12th Iraqi Division was wounded in attack on a checkpoint in the al-Riyad district.

The soldier was manning the security facility when a vehicle approached the roadblock without slowing. Men inside the approaching vehicle opened fire on the checkpoint, seriously wounding the victim.

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