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.
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