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FATAL DISGUISE – Iraq the Model Examines the Murderous Impersonation of US Troops in Kerbala

uniform.jpgAn exclusive report from PJM's Baghdad editor Omar Fadhil on the attack in Kerbala last Saturday, where five US troops were killed by a group who spoke some English, drove SUVs similar to vehicles used by top U.S. military officials, and flashed fake badges. These days have been terribly bloody for both the American military and the Iraqi civilians as large-scale sweeps in Baghdad are being prepared. While most attacks have much in common when it comes to their goals and the destruction and pain they leave, some attacks are of a quality that suggest some messages that are more dangerous beyond the immediate harm they cause.

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January 23, 2007 - 9:19 am

I’m particularly referring to the incident last week in Kerbala when US military personnel came under attack as they were meeting with local officials to coordinate security plans for the Shia religious season of Ashura.

There’s more than one reason that drive me to think that the Iraqi story wasn’t even close to what really happened.I suggest you take a look at the story first before reading further here.

So, the place is Kerbala, the Iraqi city that hosts the Shrine of Imam Hussein and the time is just days before the anniversary of his martyrdom, commonly regarded the holiest day on the Shia calendar.

The significance of the ceremony and the crowds of pilgrims have always been a favorite target for terrorists and this means security measures are always tightest at this time of the year in that city.

The story of the local officials says that a convoy of SUVs with tinted windows and passengers dressed as US and Iraqi soldiers who spoke some English and passed through checkpoints. Now I don’t buy this!

Maybe they spoke some English but, did they actually look like Americans?

Suppose they fooled one checkpoint or two but how could they fool all the checkpoints all the way to the provincial headquarters?

Let’s assume the attackers fooled the Iraqi guards with their broken English, uniforms and vehicles, but what about their weapons? Were they carrying AK-47′s or M-4′s and M-16′s? Someone in the checkpoints must have seen some of the weapons and at least got a little bit suspicious seeing no American weapons in the vehicles.

Even stranger, no one chased the attackers after that and the excuse is even harder to accept:

When asked why Iraqi police did not intervene to stop the gunmen from fleeing, al-Mishawi said “they assumed it was American-on-American violence and wanted to stay out of it.”

As if this “American-on-American” violence were a daily occurrence!

No Iraqi soldiers, policemen or officials were hurt in the attack. The attackers knew about the timing and location of the meeting and they were certainly not al-Qaeda fighters or Sunni insurgents. I mean why would al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents risk making the very dangerous trip to the heart of Kerbala to kill American soldiers while they could’ve inflicted more casualties by planting a few IED’s in the streets of places they control? Plus, they wouldn’t have spared the lives of the Iraqis in the building.

If I remember well, some time ago the head of the provincial council was arrested under charges of terrorism, so the local authority in Kerbala isn’t exactly trustworthy. The governor said there was a security breach but what I smell here is the stench of an inside job at the highest levels in Kerbala.

Like I said earlier, this was not just a brazen attack by some militia or terrorists; behind this is a message and a threat from Iran and its surrogates to turn even the calm parts of Iraq into a dangerous war zone for America and the government in Baghdad.

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