The ex-terrorist, Abu Osama al-Tunisi, was a major piece of bad news for the Iraqis, thankfully he won’t be a factor to worry about any longer. With the capture of each terrorist, the trail leading to those “higher up” in the chain of command becomes more clear. The latest departure of this key Al-Qaida leader is a very welcome piece of good news, for both the Iraqi population and Coalition soldiers, which had three soldiers kidnapped and brutally murdered last year by the man.
Commanders have said that the increase in troops ordered by President Bush in January — and the increased operations that followed — have pushed militants into remote parts of the north and south of the country. Additional operations have been going after those pockets of fighters. “We’re having great success in isolating these pockets,” Anderson said.
“They are very broken up, very unable to mass, and conducting very isolated operations,” he said. He could not estimate the number of foreign fighters in Iraq but said they commit over 80 percent of suicide bombings in the country.
Anderson said that he believes al-Qaida leadership is taking stock of its ability to disrupt U.S. and Iraqi government activities in Iraq. He said he thought they would shift their attention back to Afghanistan, where they had safe haven before the U.S. invasion that followed the 9/11 attacks.
Asked if he had any evidence they were returning to Afghanistan, Anderson said: “Obviously, they had a base there already and what we would think would be … they would want to expand that base if they can. The question becomes, how much can they?”
This great piece of news however, is not welcome everywhere in the west. The online (subscription only) portion of the Helsingin Sanomat offers a typical (AP) rendering of the same news article. The AP wire article does in fact mention the killing of this wanted Al-Qaida terrorist, but it also includes a totally unrelated piece of unsubstantiated news, that “the US killed 10 civilians in a recent operation”.
“Al-Qaida-johtaja tapettiin Irakissa“
Washington. Yhdysvaltain joukot ovat surmanneet merkittävän terroristijohtajan Irakissa, Yhdysvaltain sotilasedustaja kertoi perjantaina. Tiistaina ilmaiskussa kuollut Abu Usama al-Tunisi kuului Irakin al-Qaida -terroriverkoston ydinjoukkoon. Hänen kerrotaan järjestäneen muun muassa amerikkalaissotilaiden sieppauksen vuosi sitten. [Editor: repeats the above]
Here is the interesting section of the AP/Helsingin Sanomat report:
“Ainakin kymmenen siviiliä sai surmansa Yhdysvaltain helikopterien tulituksessa Bagdadin eteläosassa perjantaina, silminnäkijät kertoivat. / At least ten civilians were killed by US helicopter fire in the southern section of Baghdad Friday, eyewitnesses stated.” AP
How one incident is related to the other is anyones guess, though I believe that it’s a typical tactic by the media to compare the two sides. Both the AP and the HS want people to believe that there is no difference between immoral, blood thirsty terrorists and the US.
This is further proof that the media have become participants to the conflicts they report on. More here. *L* KGS