SAFE Security Awareness for Everyday Report Feb 9, 2004

SAFE (Security Awareness for Everyday) Report Feb 9, 2004

SAFE (Security Awareness  For Everyday) REPORT

9  February 2004

Other  Security Developments


Security  Situation – Kurdish Areas of Northern  Iraq

On 9 February, the  Ministry of Interior (MOI) Office in Erbil announced that the  deadline ultimatum with the Islamic Party has been resolved peacefully (see 8  February SAFE REPORT and NOTICE); and encourages all organizations and personnel  to resume normal operations and routines.  The MOI Office does advise  everyone to exercise caution and vigilance as part of daily security awareness  (or SAFE).  Organizations and NGOs in that area have now  returned to daily operations.  COMMENT:

Reports from that  region indicate there are now many check points in the Erbil and Sulaymaniyah  areas which have been established to monitor persons who travel in that  area.  END COMMENT.

Attack  thwarted – Baqouba

On 9 February, CF and Iraqi forces deactivated several rockets on a road, primed for launch toward Baquouba, and four people were arrested elsewhere with manuals showing how to make bombs. The rockets were found on a road near Diyala University outside Baqouba, and were ready to be fired toward the city. No Further Information (NFI). COMMENT: Baqouba is 35 miles north of Baghdad and part of the Sunni Triangle, a region where frequent anti-CPA/CF activities occurs. END COMMENT.

Arrests  Made – Kirkuk

On 8 February, Iraqi  police (IP) arrested four people, in an area about 35 miles west of  Kirkuk, who were traveling in  a car with maps identifying military and other targets. They also had a manual  for making explosive devices.  NFI.    Also on 8 February,  in Kirkuk, five Iraqi Shiites  were arrested as they were about to plant bombs targeting the two main Kurdish  parties.  IP said the five belonged to Iraq’s Shiite Muslim  majority community, but their political affiliation and motives were not  clear.  NFI.  COMMENT:  The offices of the two Kurdish parties,  the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, were  targeted by suicide bombers in the northern city of Erbil on February 1 in  attacks that left at least 109 people dead.  See above comments regarding  the Northern  Iraq security  situation.  END COMMENT.

CF  Operations – Tikrit

On 8 February, in the  Sunni Triangle, CF killed an Iraqi man, wounded two others and arrested 41  suspects in anti-insurgency operations.  The drive targeted anti-CPA/CF  suspects in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown.  NFI.

Demonstration  – Kirkuk

On 7 February, CF  reported that 100 – 200 Iraqis demonstrated outside the courthouse (ME 444254)  in Kirkuk. The protest was over  non-payment of salaries. The demonstrators refused people entry to the  courthouse. The demonstration was reported to be peaceful.   NFI.

Iraq Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) Attacked – Tikrit

On 7 February, CF  reported the ICDC bunker outside the CIMC building in Tikrit was attacked. The  attack was carried out by gunmen in two vehicles, a white 4-door Oldsmobile with  two personnel and a white two-door KIA with four personnel. NFI.  COMMENT:  In the Sunni Triangle, where Tikrit is located, attacks on both Iraqis  associated with CPA/CF and CPA/CF facilities that provide an interface with the  local populace, are frequent and expected to continue. END  COMMENT.

CF  Attacked – Qadisiyah

On 7 February, gunmen,  including an Iraqi Police (IP) Major, attacked a group of CF soldiers in  Qadisiyah, 30 miles south of Tikrit.  CF returned fire and the IP Major was  killed, two other attackers wounded and two were captured.  The soldiers  were observing a house belonging to a person suspected in RPG attacks on CF in  the village when the gunmen opened fire.  COMMENT:  CPA/CF have, over  the past 10 months, recruited and trained about 150,000 Iraqis to serve in  police, army and other security forces in preparation for handing back power to  a sovereign government by July 1.  The swift buildup of security forces has  led to made complete vetting of Saddam loyalists and insurgency sympathizers  difficult.  Anti-CPA/CF groups are active in targeting police and other  Iraqis seen as cooperating with CPA/CF.  END COMMENT.



Contractor  Convoy Trip Cancelled – Baghdad

On 9 February, a CPA  Contractor was cancelled to the Al-Doura power plant due to the discovery of an  IED on the main road running past the front gate of the facility. The area  around the plant was cordoned off by CF while EOD defused the IED.  NFI.

Rocket  Attack – BIAP


At 1945, four rockets  hit the ramp area of terminal “B” with one round coming though the roof of the  terminal. Damage was caused to the taxi way and the terminal building. There was  also extensive damage to the AN-72 aircraft that was parked on the ramp area.  Three security guards injured in the attack and one later died of wounds  received.  As a result of the attack, a CPA subcontractor organization  departed BIAP.  COMMENT:  The BIAP complex is frequent target for  rocket and mortar attacks due to the large concentration of CF.  Due to its  size, it is very difficult to totally secure against such attacks.   Anti-CPA/CF groups are now using stocks of the Brazilian made SS-30 and SS-40  rocket system supplied to Iraq during the 1980′s (and  also licence made in Iraq). Such rockets are  ideal for attacking large area targets such as airfields; however with their  inherent inaccuracy they only have a harassing effect. Due to these recent  attacks against the BIAP, the Japanese Air Force has delayed using the BIAP to  fly in humanitarian supplies. END COMMENT.


Central  South


CF  EOD Attacked – Al Mahmudiyah

At 1645, 8 February, a  CF EOD soldier was killed as he approached a suspected IED in the median of the  Route 8 highway near Al Mahmudiyah.  The IED was a metal can with  detonation cord protruding from the can.  It appears the device was  remotely detonated.  NFI.  COMMENT:  There have been numerous  attacks on convoys, both civilian and CF, on the Route 8 highway between  Baghdad and  Al  Hillah (see 28 January SAFE  REPORT).  Many of the attacks occur in the towns of Al Iskandariyah and Al  Mahmudiyah which are well known ambush points.  There have been frequent  warnings to not use this stretch of highway because of the frequency of  attacks.  As a result, many CPA Contractors, NGOs and other  organizations have placed that road off limits to their operations.  END  COMMENT.



Demonstration  in Al Amarah

On 8 February, two  separate crowds demonstrated in Al Amarah.  Both were reported as peaceful  and then dispersed peacefully. NFI.

CPA  Contractor Vehicle Hijacked – Baghdad/Basra  Highway

At 0700, 8 February, a  CPA Contractor vehicle was hijacked on the Baghdad/Basra  Highway. Eight armed  individuals in two white sedans cars forced the contractor vehicle to  stop.  The attackers opened fire injuring a number of contractor personnel  and then took the vehicle and two of the contractor personnel, who are still  missing at present.  NFI.  COMMENT: As has been previously reported  armed car jacking is a frequent activity particularly on the stretch of highway  from An Nasirayah to Safwan.  The modus operandi of this incident would  indicate that this was motivated by crime. END COMMENT.



On 8 February, CPA/CF  distributed a new poster offering a total of 16.5 million dollars for the  capture of the five most wanted men, suspected of leading the insurgency in  Iraq and of terror  attacks.  The picture of Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri (see below), came first on  the list, with a 10-million-dollar bounty.  Next is Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a  Jordanian said to be leading an Al-Qaeda affiliated terror group operating in  Iraq, who has a five  million-dollar price on his head.  A member of Saddam’s outlawed Baath  party command, Mohammed Yunes al-Ahmad, is worth one million dollars to whoever  turns him in.   Numbers four and five on the list each have  250,000-dollar bounties.  They are Abdulbaki Abdulkarim Abdullah al-Saadun,  the head of the Baath party military bureau in Diyala province, east of  Baghdad, and Moamar Ahmad  Yussef al-Jaber, of unspecified nationality, who is described as “the deputy of  a terrorist chief.”   The three Iraqis are “wanted for encouraging and  directing efforts against CPA/CF and the Governing Council”, according to the  text of the poster published in Arabic by CF.  Duri and Saadun are also on  the list of the 55 most wanted men published by the US-led coalition after it  ousted Saddam Hussein in April 2003. Duri is top of the list of the 13 still at  large. The Jordanian and Jaber are “wanted for planning and coordinating the  efforts of the Zarqawi terror group,” said the poster. Zarqawi, whose real name  is Fadel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, is alleged by the US-led coalition to be a key  link between Al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam, a militant group operating in  Iraq.  Before the  invasion of Iraq, US Secretary of State  Colin Powell singled out Zarqawi to support claims that Saddam was harboring  senior Al-Qaeda leaders.  Zarqawi is wanted among other things in  connection with the October 28,  2002 murder of  US diplomat Laurence  Foley in Amman.  US officials  said then that Zarqawi had taken refuge in Iraq with Ansar al-Islam  after US-led forces drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.

Al-Douri Wanted  Poster

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