Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Arrest of The Week

The Iraqi government announced this week the arrest of Sami Mohammed al-Jafi,also known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi. Kurdi is the mastermind of 75 percent of the car bombs in Baghdad since March 2003.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

In a lengthy description of Kurdi's involvement, the government laid out his connection to many of the most spectacular suicide attacks to hit Iraq over the past two years.

Kurdi rigged a car that killed leading Shi'ite Muslim cleric and politician Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim at a shrine in the holy city of Najaf in August 2003, the statement said.

It said he was behind two separate bomb attacks on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad and is linked to insurgents who attacked the United Nations headquarters in August 2003 killing 21 people including UN special envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Kurdi also planned the car bomb attack that killed the head of the US-backed Governing Council, Izzedine Salim, in May 2004, just before the official end of the US-led occupation.

More recently, Kurdi was blamed for an attack on a leading Shi'ite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which killed 13 Iraqis last month.


Kurdi was arrested 10 days ago. It may explain the rumors on the internet about the arrest of Al-Zarqawi. Nope, it wasn't him. I don't think this arrest will slow down the business of car bombing. But, it tells us the Iraqi police are doing a better job than months ago.

They're not only doing a better job. They're actually using technology to locate insurgents. The Associated Press reported (Via Virtually Islamic):

In the volatile Shiite-Sunni towns south of Baghdad known as the "triangle of death," Iraqi civilians increasingly are letting their thumbs do the talking, via Arabic text messages sent from the safety of their homes, Iraqi security forces and U.S. Marines say.

At a time when U.S. and Iraqi security forces are desperate for information on attacks - preferably in advance - mobile phone text messages allow civilians to pass on information from a discreet distance, their identities shielded from security forces and their neighbors.

Although a cell phone displays the caller's number, phone records are so chaotic in Iraq that chances are slim anyone could track down a tipster. And text messages can be sent to the most trusted officer, a far safer avenue than calling a police station that might be riddled with informants.


Hopefully, this idea would be implemented in other troubled areas in Iraq. It makes sense to me. Some of you may remember my "Arrest of The Week" post from last Janaury, where I talked about Iraqi citizens text messaging the Iraqi National Guards to report terrorism activities in Iskandariyah, Iraq.

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