War on Terrorism

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Detainee Transfer Announced

The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of eight detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Six detainees were transferred to Afghanistan, and one each to Libya and Yemen. These detainees were determined to be eligible for transfer following a comprehensive series of review processes conducted at Guantanamo.

The transfer is a demonstration of the United States' desire not to hold detainees any longer than necessary. It also underscores the processes put in place to assess each individual and make a determination about their detention while hostilities are ongoing – an unprecedented step in the history of warfare.

Approximately 70 detainees at Guantanamo are eligible for transfer or release. Departure of these detainees is subject to ongoing discussions between the United States and other nations.

Since 2002, approximately 445 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries including Albania, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.

There are approximately 330 detainees currently at Guantanamo.

U.S. Officials Discuss Increased Iraqi Capabilities

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 30, 2007 - The Iraqi security forces are standing up and coalition forces are redeploying, but security challenges remain, U.S. officials in Baghdad said today. Some 2,200 Marines and sailors have left Iraq as part of the regular rotation, and Iraqi soldiers have replaced them.

Marine Brig. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, ground element commander in Iraq's Anbar province, and coalition spokesman Navy Rear Adm. Mark I. Fox spoke at a Baghdad news conference.

The 2,200-member 13th
Marine Amphibious Unit has left the country. The unit was part of the surge forces and held the area north of Fallujah near the Lake Tharthar region. The unit is not being replaced by another U.S. unit, Gurganus said. Instead, the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Iraqi Army Division is backfilling the area. The Iraqi brigade had been in Fallujah.

"Due to the improving conditions in Fallujah, this brigade has moved completely out of the city, and Fallujah is in the hands of its
police, advised by some Marines that are still working with the police," Gurganus said.

The 13th represented about half of the surge forces in Anbar, Gurganus said. The 2nd Brigade soldiers are securing a difficult area, the general said. Officials consider it part of the outer belt of Baghdad. "Their deployment not only significantly increased security in Fallujah and Ramadi, but also here in Baghdad," he said.

The general reported that the Iraqi 7th
Army Division – based in Anbar – is near 100 percent of its strength, and he that anticipates the Iraqi Ground Forces Command will assume responsibility for the division shortly.

This does not mean there are not problems.

"The development of the Iraqi
army has been difficult, because we're building an army at the same time that this army is at war," Gurganus said. "At least in al Anbar, we have been fortunate that the young men have enlisted in the army. They have taken the training very seriously, and every place that we see them they are performing very well."

Gurganus said Iraqi jundis – the U.S. equivalent of privates – are brave and well-trained, but the forces cannot operate on their own. He said commissioned and noncommissioned officer
leaders need to be developed. The young men are brave and very competent in what they are doing, he said.

"Can they step out and do it on their own? My answer to that would be no," the general said. Experience and
leadership is the biggest problem. An army does not develop good junior and senior leaders without experience. The young men are receiving that training, often in combat, but it will take time, he said.

Still, "Iraqis are taking the lead in Anbar in planning and conducting operations with some advice from the coalition," he said.

Another problem is logistics. "That takes time as well," he said. The Iraqi
army leadership is working on this problem, but they are simply building an infrastructure to feed, pay and equip and to maintain their equipment.

Fox and Gurganus said that while the
military rules of engagement may be affected by a commission looking at incidents involving private security contractors, they expect the changes will be aimed at the contractors, not the military. "We are very careful and very explicit in how we target and choose to employ lethal force," Fox said.

Military rules are "clear and unambiguous," Gurganus said. "We have the best ROE we have ever had in terms of clarity, in terms of what's allowed, what's not allowed. So I think we're extremely happy with the ROE we have, because it is so clear and it allows us to do the things that need to be done."

Afghanistan Operations Disrupt Extremist Plans

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 30, 2007 - Afghan and coalition forces detained two suspected militants in Afghanistan's Paktika province, and Afghan National
Police officers detained an improvised explosive device maker in Nangarhar province today. In the first operation, the combined force working from intelligence approached compounds in the Yahya Khail district, where the suspected militants were believed to be hiding.

"We will continue to aggressively pursue extremist forces, denying them sanctuary and time to coordinate their efforts," said
Army Maj. Chris Belcher, Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. "Stopping them is vital to the long-term security and stability of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."

The detained militants will be questioned as to their involvement in extremist activities.

The Khogyani Afghan National
Police officers, with coalition advisors, detained an IED cell member named Nurullah and one other in an operation designed to disrupt insurgent IED activities in the Nangarhar province.

police officers arrested Nurullah near Omarkheyl in the Khogyani district. The terrorist is known to be extensively involved in the making and placing of insurgent IEDs in Nangarhar province. He is suspected of directing and participating in the IED attack that killed three coalition servicemembers and an interpreter and wounded another coalition servicemember near Bar Kalakney on Aug. 12.

police officers discovered a substantial amount of IED-making material and a 50-pound bag of opium. Afghan police officers destroyed the IED material and opium on site.

No shots were fired, and no
police officers, coalition or non-combatants were injured or killed during the operation, officials said.

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

Iraqi, Coalition Forces Continue to Pound Enemy Fighters

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 30, 2007 - Coalition and Iraq forces continued taking the fight to the enemy in a variety of recent operations. Coalition forces killed two terrorists and detained 21 suspected
terrorists yesterday and today during operations to disrupt al Qaeda in Iraq networks in the Tigris River Valley.

In a village southwest of Samarra, coalition forces conducted several coordinated operations today targeting individuals believed to be close associates of an al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader. As coalition forces approached, an armed man emerged and maneuvered toward a nearby palm grove. Coalition forces engaged the
terrorist, killing him.

As the ground force secured the area, another armed man emerged and maneuvered toward them. Responding in self-defense, coalition forces engaged, killing him. Two of the targeted individuals and one suspected terrorist were detained on site, including one individual who allegedly is responsible for attacks against coalition forces. During the course of operations, four Iraqi civilians were injured. They were treated on site and transported to a
military medical facility.

Nearby, coalition forces targeted individuals believed to be members of a security network for an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader. During the operations, four of the targeted individuals were captured and three other suspected terrorists were detained.

Coalition forces also captured an individual believed to be an al Qaeda in Iraq emir responsible for
military, administration and financial matters in the village, and to have with ties to senior leadership. In addition to the targeted individual, two suspected terrorists were detained. One suspected terrorist was wounded during the operation when he jumped from a building to evade the patrol. The suspect was transported to a military medical facility.

Also today, coalition forces detained two suspects while targeting an associate to al Qaeda in Iraq in the Arab Jabour area of Baghdad.

In other recent operations:

-- Southwest of Tarmiyah yesterday, coalition forces captured an associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader operating in the northern belt around Baghdad. Officials allege he is responsible for helping foreign terrorists enter Iraq, as well as for kidnapping and weapons trafficking in the country. Five other suspected terrorists were detained during the operations.

-- In Mosul, coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists while targeting an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq suicide bomber. The targeted individual is believed to organize, plan and direct car-bombing operations in Kirkuk and is tied to foreign terrorist networks in the region. Two of the suspects are believed to be relatives of the targeted individual.

-- Near Sinjar on Sept. 28, Iraqi
army soldiers participated in an air assault. The operation led to the discovery of suicide bombers. The soldiers observed a truck moving after curfew in a known al Qaeda in Iraq transit area. They stopped the vehicle and ordered the terrorists to lie on the ground. The passenger did not listen and continued to advance, officials said. Two Iraqi soldiers advanced on the passenger to have him stop, when he detonated a suicide vest hidden in his clothing. The vest contained small steel ball bearings. The blast killed the terrorist, an interpreter and two Iraqi soldiers. After the detonation, the soldiers saw the driver moving and appearing to reach for a weapon. They fired on him killed him. Three coalition service members who accompanied the unit and three Iraqi soldiers received non-life-threatening injuries in the blast, officials said.

-- Also on Sept. 28, Iraqi forces, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, detained a suspected
terrorist leader and destroyed a large weapons cache. Iraqi special operations forces detained a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader believed to be responsible for criminal activities in Ghazaliyah and the surrounding areas. His cell is suspected of conducting assassinations and extra-judicial killings, engaging in firefights and committing crimes against the Iraqi army.

-- In a separate operation Sept. 28, terrorists ambushed U.S. and Iraqi forces as they approached a targeted location to detain a high-level al Qaeda in Iraq leader. The forces responded to the attack with well-aimed, proportionate fire, official said. Close-air support provided suppressive fire, allowing the teams to exit the area. There were no casualties.

-- Coalition forces near Samarra on Sept. 28 detained a suspected key communications link between senior leaders of al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq. The man is alleged to be responsible for the movement of numerous suicide bombers into Iraq. In addition to the targeted individual, coalition forces detained nine suspected terrorists on site.

-- In another Sept. 28 operation in Samarra, coalition forces took fire and called in close-air support. The attack killed five
terrorists. During the operation, coalition forces discovered rocket-propelled grenades, rifles, ammunition, and an improvised explosive device on site. Three buildings and the large cache of weapons were safely destroyed to prevent further use by terrorists.

-- On Sept. 27, coalition forces arrested four men and rescued two kidnap victims in Baghdad's Rashid district. They also uncovered a weapons cache. Helicopter crews coordinated with ground forces to conduct the operation. The troops conducted a coordinated air-and-ground operation to arrest extremists responsible for launching indirect fire attacks from Bayaa in Western Baghdad.

-- In northern Iraq, Iraqi soldiers with U.S. advisors detained 17 suspected terrorists during two raids Sept. 27. Iraqi army scouts conducted a series of intelligence-driven helicopter assault raids southwest of Taji, resulting in the detention of an al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader and 14 others suspected of conducting recent attacks against coalition forces. In another operation, Iraqi soldiers detained two suspected
terrorists during a raid near Bayji. The soldiers detained the targeted individual who allegedly is responsible for making improvised explosive devices and targeting Iraqi and U.S. forces operating in the area. The soldiers also detained one man suspected of assassinating an Iraqi police officer.

-- An air weapons team supporting U.S. special operations forces in Diyala province, near Dali Abbas village, killed three enemy combatants Sept. 27.

-- Iraqi soldiers recovered and destroyed a large weapons cache Sept. 26 in the Zaab village area. Acting on intelligence reports, the forces located and destroyed the cache that contained eight 105 mm artillery rounds, a 155 mm artillery round, 12 120 mm mortar rounds, three 130 mm complete artillery rounds, a complete 105 mm artillery round, a 107 mm rocket body, 15 fuse heads, five rocket-propelled-grenade fuses, five Russian boosters, nine 120 mm mortar fuses, three 57 mm rockets and two cases of 57 mm fuses.

-- Iraqi
police officers discovered a weapons cache in Ameriyah and turned it over to Marines for destruction Sept. 26. Fallujah police officers received the cache of more than 100 mortar and artillery rounds and various other weaponry from fellow police officers in the Anbar city of Ameriyah, located south of Fallujah.

-- Concerned Iraqis turned in a large amount of homemade explosives to coalition forces at Patrol Base Inchon, about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad, Sept. 26. Members of the Qargouli tribe brought the cache of more than 1,275 pounds of homemade explosives in the back of several trucks to U.S. forces. The U.S. contingent has had great success in working with the local tribe, officials said. After intense search efforts in the area led to the detention of multiple al Qaeda operatives and cell leaders, local residents began coming forward to work with the coalition.

-- On Sept. 25, soldiers from the 3rd Iraqi
Army Division, supported by coalition helicopters, killed seven enemy fighters after they were observed emplacing an improvised explosive device by a culvert near Tal Afar. After positively identifying the group and engaging them, the coalition aircraft radioed for an Iraqi patrol to proceed on the ground. The patrol killed two enemy fighters attempting to flee the site. As the soldiers investigated the culvert, they repelled an ambush by two enemy fighters, killing both. The soldiers found a cache of seven IEDs ready for emplacement with 5 to 8 pounds of homemade explosives each.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

'Dragon' Offensives Destroy al Qaeda Outposts in Dora with Iraqi Assistance

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 28, 2007 - Coalition offensives in southern Baghdad, spurred by Iraqi intelligence, have dramatically reduced al Qaeda-inspired violence, a
military commander said today. "We've had about a 60-percent reduction in murders since we arrived and took over in March," Army Col. Ricky Gibbs told online journalists and "bloggers" during a conference call from Iraq. "That's huge."

Gibbs commands the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team "Dragons" of 1st Infantry Division, part of Multinational Division Baghdad, deployed from Fort Riley, Kan. His soldiers patrol the Rashid district in southern Baghdad, where al Qaeda insurgents have sought to establish a base, Gibbs explained.

"We've had great success," the colonel said of operations Dragon Hammer, Dragon Fire, and now Dragon Talon II.

The current mission is focused specifically on the southeastern part of the Dora neighborhood, which is particularly ripe for al Qaeda infestation, Gibbs explained. So far, 24 caches filled with weapons and explosives have been discovered, and 102 suspected insurgents have been arrested, including 17 "high value targets" who finance, lead and organize al Qaeda operations, the colonel said.

"We have also been able to cut down dramatically the numbers of IEDs that were in our area," Gibbs said.

Just last night, the colonel elaborated, his soldiers seized 36 rockets and two mortar systems similar to those that are sometimes fired into Baghdad's heavily fortified International Zone.

"One of the things that is helping us is the people," Gibbs said. "They trust the American soldier. They seek out the American soldier and give him tips."

A classic case of citizen assistance happened just today when a coalition patrol was warned of potential danger by Iraqi children waving and shouting from a roof top, the colonel explained.

"That's one very simple example of the Iraqi people supporting the American operations and giving us intelligence to defeat these
terrorists and criminals," Gibbs said.

Another positive development is the addition of "Iraqi security volunteers," the colonel explained.

"These are people who live in the neighborhood who volunteer to serve as security guards on key facilities and infrastructure who at a later date will be allowed to join the Iraqi security forces," Gibbs said.

The colonel said he also has been meeting with Sunni and Shiia sheiks to help bridge sectarian divides and foster reconciliation.

"We talk about the differences and focus on the people of Iraq and what they can do to help bring peace to the people," Gibbs said. "We're seeing movement on both sides to come together and bring peace to the table."

(David Mays works in the New Media branch at American Forces Information Service.)

New Jersey Marine Corps Reserve Association

Marine Corps-affiliated organization to sponsor counter-terrorism symposium-
Medical Disaster, Blast Injuries, and Catastrophic Triage as well as other
pertinent and timely presentations. How Citizens can be involved will be

Newark, NJ – The
New Jersey chapter of the Marine Corps Reserve Association, The
Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the
New Jersey Institute of Technology
(NJIT) will sponsor the Counter-Terrorism Symposium on Sept. 29th 2007 from
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Newark Institute of T
echnology (NJIT).

The symposium will discuss counter-
terrorist prevention strategies that are in
place and those that are being developed, as well as realistic scenarios as they
apply to threats and regional concerns. School security, Hospital Disaster
Preparedness, Blast Injuries, Improvise Explosive Devices (IED’s-Represen tatives
from the Pentagon), and all forms of threats to modes of travel (air, ship, and
trucking) will be highlighted.

Various organizations and individuals are scheduled to provide briefings. These
include the NJ State Police (School Security Unit) and CERT and Medical Reserve
Corps, Dr. Jim Pruden and Dr. Will Gluckman (Medical Preparedness, Mass
Catastrophic Triage, and Blast Injuries). Representatives from the Pentagon will
speak on the Improvised Explosive Device program and DOD preparedness. A
representative from the Coast Guard will speak on Maritime Security and there
will be experts on safety and security in the trucking industry as well as the
airline industry (Airport Traffic Area Safety). A journalist who has traveled
to the Middle East will give a journalist perspective on the
Global War on
Terror. Lastly an expert on Identity Theft will discuss prevention and

The keynote speaker for this on e- d ay terrorism preparedness symposium is Mr.
Joseph Picciano, Deputy Director, NJ Office of Homeland Security and

Interested individuals can reserve a seat by registering with Regional Security
Consultants (Attn: Col. Walter Conner), 9 Spruce Court, Hightstown, NJ, 08520 or
by calling (609) 977-2114.
Military, Senior Citizen and Student discounts are

Iraqi Troops, Police Pressure al Qaeda in Northern Iraq

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 28, 2007 - Iraqi soldiers and
police have al Qaeda terrorists on the run in the northern city of Mosul and its outlying areas, an Iraqi general posted in the region said today. Brig. Gen. Moutaa Habeeb Jassim, commander of the 2nd Iraqi Army Division, said his soldiers and local police have "broken the back" of al Qaeda operations in his sector of Ninewah province. Mosul, a city of more than 1.5 million inhabitants, is about 225 miles northwest of Baghdad.

"We still have good control of Mosul, and we still have good opportunity to attack the enemy – and we are," Jassim emphasized during a conference call with reporters.

The 2nd Division "has good coordination with the coalition forces and Iraqi
police," Jassim said. Although his unit confers with its coalition partners, the general's troops operate independently of U.S. forces as they continue to press the insurgents.

Iraqi residents are united against al Qaeda, Jassim said, noting that they provide valuable information on insurgent activities to local police and his troops.

And when he quizzes local Iraqis about their feelings of American troops, Jassim said, more than three-quarters say they don't want the Americans to leave any time soon, because the GIs make them feel more secure.

Such cooperation has put immense pressure on al Qaeda, Jassim pointed out. Recent intelligence indicates the terror group admits it cannot conduct operations in the area without incurring heavy, perhaps unacceptable, losses, the general said.

Jassim said his troops could use more equipment, such as heavier trucks and helicopters that can be employed for air assaults, patrols and medical evacuations.

Coalition plans do call for issuing heavyweight vehicles to Jassim's forces, said
Army Col. Stephen M. Twitty, commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team and participant in the conference call. Coalition planners also acknowledge that the general's troops could use some helicopters, as well, the colonel said.

Meanwhile, Jassim and his troops are keeping up the pressure on al Qaeda.

"We are not going to give them any opportunity to do anything," the general vowed.

The general and his troops are living up to their pledge. Four al Qaeda
leaders have been killed or captured in Mosul or its environs over the past four months, Twitty said.

"The Iraqi security forces are truly in the lead here," Twitty said. "They're conducting their own, independent operations."

Coalition Kills al Qaeda Leader Who Coordinated Foreign Terrorists in Iraq

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 28, 2007 - A top al Qaeda leader who coordinated efforts of foreign
terrorists in Iraq was killed this week, a senior official in the region announced today. Abu Usama al-Tunisi, a foreigner who brought al Qaeda terrorists into Iraq, was killed Sept. 25 in an air strike on a building south of Baghdad where he was meeting with other al Qaeda operatives, Army Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Multinational Corps Iraq's chief of staff, said in a briefing to reporters in the Pentagon.

The meeting was near Musayyib, in Babil province, about 35 miles south of Baghdad. An
Air Force F-16 bombed the building. A video provided by defense officials shows a large explosion and the building leveled. Two other al Qaeda members were killed in the blast, and two were detained, Anderson said.

Tunisi was a close associate, and part of the inner circle of advisors to Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the overall leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Anderson said. Officials believe he may have been tapped to succeed Masri.

Originally from Tunisia, Tunisi was the emir of foreign
terrorists in Iraq, responsible for overseeing foreign terrorists' movements into Iraq and partnering them with terrorist cells. More than 80 percent of suicide bombings are carried out by foreign terrorists, Anderson said.

Tunisi has been operating in Yusufiyah, southwest of Baghdad, since November 2004 and became emir of the area in 2006. Tunisia's group is believed responsible for the June 2006 kidnappings of two U.S. soldiers who later were found dead.

Anderson said Tunisi's death was the culmination of a series of operations that began Sept. 12 when coalition forces captured a close associate to Tunisi. During the following days, forces ramped up operations and detained several other key associates of Tunisi in separate operations south and west of Baghdad. One was said to have identified Tunisi at the meeting, Anderson said.

The two others killed were Abu Abdullah, reported to be the new emir of the southern part of Baghdad's Karkh region, and Sheikh Hussein, an al Qaeda in Iraq facilitator, Anderson said.

A handwritten letter found at the site indicated that Tunisi's operations were cut off by coalition forces in the area and that he was trying to get direction from leaders, Anderson said.

"We are so desperate for your help," the letter reads.

"This was a dangerous terrorist who is no longer a part of al Qaeda in Iraq," Anderson said. "His death deals a significant blow to their operation."

Abu Yakub al-Masri, another inner-circle leader, was killed Aug. 31 near Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad. Of Abu Ayyub al-Masri's inner circle of four foreign
leaders, only two remain at large, Anderson said.

Law Enforcement Technology

Editor's Note: Many of the technologies in this new summary are being used by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for their homeland security, counter-terrorism and homeland security functions.

NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary
Thursday, September 27, 2007

"7 Carrying GPS Units in Weeklong Tryout to See How Tracking Software Worked"
Modesto Bee (CA) (09/23/07); Raguso, Emilie

The Stanislaus County Probation Department recently held a trial for a new program that outfitted
law enforcement and county officials with global positioning system (GPS) equipment. The trial put GPS units in the hands of a select group of town officials, including the Modesto district attorney, county supervisor, two Turlock police chiefs, sheriff, and the mayor. The GPS units were rented by the department and given to the group to determine how the equipment and tracking worked. Most trial participants took their GPS tracking devices along with them everywhere they traveled. The monitoring technology not only tracked the whereabouts of the participants, but also informed those monitoring the group how fast they were driving. The monitoring devices, which are designed for probationers, keeps a log of everywhere the person wearing the device goes to make sure people do not violate the terms of their release conditions.

"L.A. Turns Cameras on Gang Graffiti"
Christian Science Monitor (09/25/07) P. 3; Wood, Daniel B.; Tully, Alison

The City of Los Angeles has installed surveillance cameras in a crime-ridden section of the city's east San Fernando Valley area in an effort to deter gang-related graffiti and other gang-related activities. The cameras sit atop poles at locations such as back alleys and have a motion-detection system that flashes the lens when someone is loitering in front of them. After the camera takes a picture, the system plays a voice recording that warns suspects that their picture has just been taken and that they will be prosecuted if caught committing a crime. The cameras have other features that previous generations of surveillance cameras did not have. For instance, the cameras have a wireless feature that allows them to be moved easily and more often to new locations. Officials can also download the photos taken by the camera without having to go up to the camera in a bucket raised and lowered by a crane. Some residents in the east San Fernando Valley area say the cameras are helping to reduce graffiti and other gang-related crimes. Critics, however, say the amount of money the city is spending on the cameras--roughly $70,000 for the 10 that will eventually be installed--is small compared with the $8 million the city pays on average each year for graffiti removal. http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0925/p03s03-usju.html

"High-Tech Law Enforcement"
Tucson Citizen (AZ) (09/21/07) P. 4A; Gargulinski, Ryn

The new $180,000, 400-lbs. robot used by the Tucson
police bomb squad is just one of many high-tech devices debuting on the law enforcement front. The robot is a crime-fighting tool used to protect officers from potentially hazardous chemicals or explosives, entering about 30 percent of the Tucson Police Department's bomb squad crime scenes. Technology that allows license plate scanning will soon be launched in the form of a $24,000 scanning device enabling officers to track license plates of stolen vehicles in one swooping motion. James Wysocki, administrator of information services at the TPD, says the tool will save officers hours of time in addition to maximizing the amount of vehicle plates they can scan. COPLINK, used from coast to coast, is another device that departments largely depend on. The system is accessible from a police car's Mobile Tactical Computer (MTC), enabling officers to view mug shots and maps, among other information. The convenient E-Citation program also allows officers to automatically fill out citations with license information due to a separate high-tech scanning device. Though technology has made strides within the department, Wysocki said the TPD has not eliminated any employees, and has reassigned them instead. He adds, "There seems to be an elastic demand for law enforcement services. Our problem is one of growth, not of shrinking." http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/ss/local/63619.php

"Big Bro's Coming to Transport Hubs"
Boston Herald (09/24/07); Underwood, Mike

In an effort to buffer against future possible threats, the
Massachusetts state government revealed its plan to expand surveillance to all major transportation facilities, including metro stations, ports, and airports. Homeland Security Undersecretary Julliette Kayyem says the initiative is in response to the July 7, 2005, bombing attack in London, and believes video security will enable authorities to respond quickly if a similar attack occurs in Boston. Sen. James Timilty (D-Walpole), the state Legislature's Homeland Security committee chairman, says the new strategy is an important step but there are still other vulnerable public areas. "My biggest fear is that our softest targets are places like schools. I'm very scared about what could happen so we ought to have cameras in certain places," Timilty says. Along with public surveillance, the state government will organize a statewide emergency response program as part of it's heightened focus on transportation, while plans to build an Internet-based alert system and to coordinate evacuation and relocation are also being discussed.

"Police Get a New Weapon in Arsenal to Detect Hazardous Radiation"
Buffalo News (09/19/07) P. B3; Michel, Lou

New York state troopers and members of the Erie County sheriff's bomb squad are regularly carrying radiological detection units on their patrols. The devices, which cost $1,500 and are the size of a paper bag, are so sensitive that they start emitting beeps if a patrol car traveling at 55 mph or higher comes close to another car transporting even a tiny amount of radioactive substances. After radioactivity is located, another unit is sent to the scene to determine what the material is.
Police can then decide whether the radiation being given off from a person or a vehicle's cargo is of real concern. The hand-held "identiFINDER" machine obtains a reading and then deciphers the substance. It also informs police as to whether the radiation is at a satisfactory level. If the portable database in the device cannot provide an answer, the officer can instantly email the data to a government facility. The 450 detection units were purchased with money from the U.S. Homeland Security Department. http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/otherwny/story/165974.html

"St. Louis Police Will Get Help Locating Gunfire"
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (09/20/07) P. B5; Bryan, Bill

St. Louis
law enforcement have received a Department of Justice grant for installing an "urban gunshot detection monitoring system" that can identify the sound of gunfire and its location. The $500,000 grant will be split between financing the new system and the Police Executive Research Forum thinktank, committed to creating strategies to reduce gun-violence. "We believe this joint venture will help us understand and examine the root causes of violent crime, especially those involving firearms," Police Chief Joe Mokwa said. Officers also say the technology will assist in the process of making arrests and lead to confiscation of more weapons. The monitoring system contains microphones that have a range of roughly one mile used to pinpoint the location of a shot. Similar technology is employed by the military, and other police departments in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Oakland, California.

"Cameras Provide Extra Eyes for Police"
Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN) (09/21/07) P. B2; Harris, Ryan

The Fort Oglethorpe, Tenn.,
Police Department is testing a license-plate recognition system outfitted on patrol vehicles. The system is run by eight cameras erected on the light-bar of a police car, and a processor in back of the cruiser interprets the license-plate number and compares it to area and national databases. In addition, a GPS system lists the site of every vehicle, as well as stores a time and date stamp. During three hours of testing, Fort Oglethorpe police were able to take 1,467 license-plate photos with the system and were informed about 14 suspects. Numerous citations were given, and an arrest was made. Implementing the system would cost $30,000 to $35,000 for each patrol vehicle. Though there are not any immediate plans to buy the equipment, Police Chief Larry Black noted he will write a report based on the police department's tests to show to the Fort Oglethorpe City Council, which would have to sanction such a purchase. Black pointed out that money obtained from drug busts could help finance the equipment.

"Machine Aims to ID Liquids at Airport"
USA Today (09/20/07); Hall, Mimi

Scientists working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are developing a machine that is able to identify liquid explosives, which could be used to screen baggage at airports. The project, named SENSIT, uses magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] to identify the molecular structure of chemicals in a liquid. If the
technology is implemented in airports, it could result in the end of the restriction on the size of liquids in carry-on baggage that has been in place since last September. Currently only bottles up to three ounces in weight and smaller than a quart-sized plastic bag are allowed, because current X-ray scanners can't "differentiate between a sports drink and a material somebody could use for a bomb," according to scientist Bob Kraus. The SENSIT machine currently can identify a total of 50 safe and unsafe liquids, with safe liquids showing up as a green dot on a monitor and dangerous liquids being labeled with a red dot. SENSIT is scheduled to be tested next summer at Albuquerque International to determine if the scanner can be effective in a crowded airport environment.

"San Jose Cops Unveil Interactive Crime Map"
San Jose Mercury News (CA) (09/18/07); Skipitares, Connie

San Jose, Calif.'s
police department has launched new crime-tracking software on its Web site that lists the precise location of crime reports. Created by the Salt Lake City firm Public Engines, the software replaces a service that was much less exact. Residents can now look at a report's status, including where an arrest was conducted or if an investigation is still going on or was terminated. In addition, with much more in-depth mapping, they can focus on a region as small as a one-mile radius of their school or house. Map icons reveal where robberies, car thefts, sexual attacks, and additional crimes are being reported. San Jose is only one of a few cities in the country to provide this kind of in-depth and simple to access data. The software enables residents to obtain automatic notification through email when crimes are reported close to their houses or schools. The database is updated each morning at 1 a.m. with the approximately 1,500 crime reports produced daily across San Jose. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_6925367

"$6 Million Grant to Improve Cape Police Response"
Fort Myers News-Press (09/18/07)

The Cape Coral, Fla.,
Police Department has received a $6 million grant from the federal Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Cape Coral will work in tandem with other public-safety groups in Lee County and the county government to utilize the grant to buy and install a highly-advanced digital radio communications system, which will enable each public-safety group in Lee County to communicate with one another. Presently, Southwest Florida public-safety agencies employ radio systems that are not compatible with one another and cannot swap information, which makes it hard for agencies to work jointly to improve crime-fighting and public safety. In remote sections of Lee County, the existing analog system also witnesses drop zones. Changing over to a digital system will result in faster response times for first responders, greater officer safety, and more access to emergency services for local residents, police claim. In addition, the new system will be more dependable and will have broadened channels to accommodate more users. The Lee County Board of Commissioners has earmarked $2 million for the project, meaning that $8 million overall will be utilized to improve the radio communications system.

"Bay Area Leaders to Build Disaster Communications System"
Insurance Journal (09/14/07)

With grant funding, the Bay Area Public Safety Interoperable Communications Initiative will link communication channels for public agencies in a number of urban counties in California, including San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Cost, Alameda, and Santa Clara. The public agencies' interoperable communications system will enable greater disaster response efficiency and disaster relief coordination in the event of earthquake or other catastrophic events. The $200 million project also will connect these counties' communication systems to Sacramento. http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2007/09/14/83487.htm

"SAPD Secures $6 Million From Justice Department"
San Antonio Business Journal (09/13/07)

San Antonio Police Department will receive a $6 million federal grant through the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), part of a U.S. Department of Justice effort to improve communications technology and fight crime. "This funding will help San Antonio first responders fight crime and keep our communities safe," U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said. "It's critical that we provide our law enforcement officials the resources necessary for emergency preparedness and other homeland security efforts to protect homes and families." The funding can be used to purchase technology that allows for increasing communications and data interoperability between law enforcement agencies and other first responders in the area. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stories/2007/09/10/daily26.html

"Clear Connection"
Governing (08/07) Vol. 20, No. 11, P. 56; Walters, Jonathan

Chicago's Citizen and
Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting (CLEAR) database is changing the way members of its police force do business. CLEAR has a number of capabilities designed to better connect the area's law enforcement agencies to each other and to their communities. The system is accessible to squad-car laptops, mobile devices, and community members with an online subscription. All the typical data needed to catch a criminal is made available, including warrants, fingerprints, rap sheets, identifying marks, aliases, license plates, and firearms information. High-tech equipment also monitors video and sound in areas of potential criminal activity, or can be taken on the go to track stolen vehicles or suspects in transit. CLEAR can even screen crime-rates by district or neighborhood, allowing officers to alert communities to potential dangers, ratchet up the heat on suspects, and make sure police presence is felt where it is most needed. The system has proved extremely successful, improving community relations and bringing down crime-rates in and around Chicago. In fact, CLEAR has proven itself so many times, even the federal government has taken notice, ordering similar systems for military use in Iraq and Afghanistan. http://www.governing.com/manage/pm/perf0807.htm

"Medical Remedies Prevent Death by TASER"
Police and Security News (08/07) Vol. 23, No. 4, P. 27

For the past seven months, emergency medical technicians in Miami have been participating in a pilot program that aims to prevent
TASER-related deaths. The program calls for EMTs to spray the sedative midazolam in the noses of subjects who have been TASERed if the first electroshock does not control them. EMTs then inject the subject with iced saline solution to cool their body and sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the toxic acids released by their tense muscles. The treatment, which is the first of its kind in the country, has been used at least 12 times by Miami EMTs to reduce TASERed subjects' body temperatures and calm them down. Government officials and TASER International are hoping the treatment will help to restore public confidence in TASERs. http://www.policeandsecuritynews.com

Coalition Troops Nab 7 Suspects, Seize Weapons in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 28, 2007 - Coalition troops captured seven suspected
terrorists and found two weapons caches today during operations targeting al Qaeda in Iraq, officials reported. Coalition forces detained a suspected terrorist in Bayji believed to be associated with attacks in the city by al Qaeda. Intelligence reports led coalition forces to the suspect's location, where he identified himself and was captured without incident.

In two other operations conducted in Tarmiyah and Baghdad, coalition forces detained three suspected
terrorists in raids targeting al Qaeda senior leaders and associates. During another Baghdad raid, coalition forces seized three more suspected terrorists.

"We're steadily chipping away at the al Qaeda in Iraq network," said
Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "The disruption to their operations and supply of information hinders al Qaeda in Iraq's ability to attack innocent Iraqis."

In another anti-insurgent operation that ended today, U.S. soldiers seized two weapons caches in the Arab Jabour area southeast of Baghdad.

The first cache was found by soldiers of Company C, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. The cache contained three 60 mm mortar rounds, 12 mortar fuses, three 81 mm rockets, a 120 mm rocket, and 35 pounds of homemade explosives.

The second cache was discovered by members of an Iraqi citizens group. The Iraqis told U.S. soldiers of Company D, 1-30th Infantry Regiment who were in the area guarding a key travel route. The cache contained a 155 mm artillery shell, 10 feet of detonation cord, a rocket base plate and a timer with a battery. Both caches were destroyed.

In other operations this week:

-- Coalition forces detained three extremists yesterday in an early morning raid at the Baghdad International Airport. The detainees are believed to have positioned themselves in several high-level jobs at the airport so they could conduct kidnapping operations against Iraqi security forces and civilians. The men are also suspected of attacking Iraqi and coalition force with improvised explosive devices and mortars.

-- U.S. soldiers detained four men who'd been found harboring suspicious materials during a search operation conducted yesterday in the town of Hawr Rajab, south of Baghdad.

Paratroopers of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, detained the men after finding suspicious material in their house. Materials confiscated included an AK-47 assault rifle with three loaded magazines, two ski masks, seven cell phones and a pound of white powder. An explosive ordnance disposal team is assessing the powder, which could be a homemade explosive used in insurgent bombings, officials said.

The paratroopers, attached to the
U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, are conducting missions in support of Operation Marne Torch II to interdict insurgent operations in the region.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Al Qaeda in Iraq Losing, Thanks to Concerned Local Citizens

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 27, 2007 - Iraqi citizens are helping coalition forces hunt down al Qaeda
terrorists in a vast rural area south of Baghdad, a military commander said today. "As the summer went along, we started building the confidence of the people," Army Lt. Col. Ken Adgie told online journalists and "bloggers" from Patrol Base Murray, which is situated beside the Tigris River in the mostly agricultural region of Arab Jabour.

With its desolate location, rugged terrain, thick palm groves and almost-exclusively Sunni population, the region is a perfect breeding ground for
terrorism, Adgie said.

"There is no Iraqi
army here. There is no Iraqi police here. And there's no governmental structure here," he said. "What you had was a petri dish for al Qaeda to grow."

Earlier this month, Adgie and the soldiers he commands in 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, of Multinational Division Center launched Operation Marne Torch II. The ongoing mission aims to stop the flow of weapons, including improvised explosive devices, that local citizens have been manufacturing with al Qaeda funding.

"The al Qaeda that's here is not guys ... from Syria or Somalia. They are local people who grew up here," Adgie said. "They were bad, bad teenagers who stole cars, ... and (with) the lure of fast money from al Qaeda ... they joined al Qaeda, and they carry out al Qaeda's bidding."

These home-grown
terrorists employed "ultra-violence" against their fellow villagers to "strike fear in their hearts," the colonel explained. Coalition forces from the final phase of the U.S. troop surge streamed into the region earlier this summer.

"In early August, we started seeing the first of the concerned local citizens come forward," Adgie said. "And they started providing us with just a lot of information on who the bad guys were."

The "concerned citizen" movement was greatly bolstered last month, the colonel explained, when a retired brigadier general from Saddam Hussein's former
army encouraged more local people to assist the coalition effort.

"(He) decided, 'Enough is enough. I'll be the leader,'" Adgie said. "He stepped up, stepped out into the light of day and helped us recruit this concerned citizen organization."

That organization has grown from 87 to 538 people in just seven weeks, the colonel explained, and its members provide crucial information.

"Al Qaeda operates under a veil of secrecy. No one knows who al Qaeda is," Adgie said. "Well that's no longer possible when the guy you went to high school with is a concerned citizen, and he can look you in the eye and say: 'You're al Qaeda.'"

Information provided by Iraqi citizens is always corroborated by a second source, the colonel explained, such as video from unmanned aerial vehicles. But without that initial human intelligence, he said, the mission would be far more difficult.

"It allows us to take that ... needle in a haystack and make it into a much smaller haystack," Adgie said.

A select, highly vetted group of concerned citizens actually lives on post with coalition forces, wears military uniforms and accompanies troops as they raid suspected al Qaeda safe houses, the colonel explained.

"If there's 10 guys in a house and one's bad, (the concerned citizens) can say: 'That's the guy you want.'" Adgie said.

Since the beginning of Operation Marne Torch II, coalition forces have killed nine enemy fighters, captured 71 detainees, located 14 IEDs, and uncovered 12 weapons caches according to Multinational Division Center officials.

"Al Qaeda is losing right now," Adgie said. "And that's a good thing for Iraqi citizens."

(David Mays works in the New Media branch at American Forces Information Service.)

Forces Detain 21 Suspects in Central, Northern Iraq

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 27, 2007 - Coalition forces have killed and detained many suspected
terrorists during operations over the past two days in central and northern Iraq. Coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained two suspected Iraqi "special groups" members during an operation in northern Baghdad this morning. Coalition forces targeted an individual suspected of weapons facilitation throughout central Iraq. The suspect is believed to have direct communication with senior special groups members as well as ties to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force. One terrorist was killed, and two suspected terrorists were detained during the operation.

"We will continue to target any group with followers who commit hostile actions and oppose security and stability in Iraq," said
Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Each time we capture one of these criminals, it brings us one step closer to a secure future for Iraq."

In other operations over the past two days:

-- Coalition forces operating south of Samarra today captured seven suspected
terrorists, including an alleged foreign terrorist facilitator in the Salah Ad Din province who identified himself to the ground force. During the operation, an armed individual was wounded while attempting to evade capture. He was treated on site and transported to a military medical facility for further treatment.

-- In an operation in Bayji, coalition forces captured a suspected associate to al Qaeda senior leaders believed to facilitate meetings in the Tigris River Valley. Based on intelligence reports, the suspect also is believed to be responsible for attacks on Iraqi security forces in the region. In addition to the targeted individual, four suspected terrorists were detained on site.

-- Near Baghdad, coalition forces targeted a suspect believed to be responsible for the movement of an al Qaeda senior leader involved in foreign-terrorist facilitation and supply for the Baghdad car-bombing network. Four suspected
terrorists were detained during the operation.

-- In a precision operation west of Tarmiyah yesterday, coalition forces also detained five suspected terrorists targeting an associate of the al Qaeda foreign
terrorist network.

In other operations this week:

-- A group of Task Force Marne soldiers discovered a weapons cache consisting of two 60 mm mortars, two 60 mm mortar primers, two 120 mm mortar primers, 10 12.7 mm rounds, 50 .50-caliber rounds, a rocket-propelled grenade, a Chinese-type rocket-propelled grenade, a Chinese-type propelling charge, and five fuses, Sept. 25.

-- Paratroopers of 25th Infantry Division netted 12 suspects during two separate operations south of Busayefi and west of Hawr Rajab on Sept. 25. Four of the detainees were on the paratroopers' target list.

-- Iraqi
army soldiers discovered a weapons cache in an abandoned house in western Ninewah province Sept. 24. Among the items found were more than 140 mortar rounds, nearly two dozen AK-47 assault rifles with dozens of loaded magazines, two sniper rifles, 50 hand grenades, and a ready-made improvised explosive device in a 5-gallon bucket. In addition to the munitions, four sets of Iraqi army uniforms, six tactical vests, and four fake license plates were seized.

"This is the second significant cache discovered based on information provided by four enemy fighters who were captured on Sept. 20," said
Army Maj. Mufutau Taiwo, executive officer of 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment. "The (Iraqi) soldiers out here are doing an exceptional job of finding and removing these large stockpiles of enemy weaponry before they can be used in attacks against the citizens of Nineveh and Iraqi and coalition forces."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Coalition Forces Clear Former Insurgent Stronghold

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 27, 2007 - For the past four months, coalition forces have battled to take control of a former insurgent badland south of Baghdad that had no Iraq security forces, a senior commander in the area said today. For the past two years, the predominately Sunni areas around Arab Jabour and Hawr Rajab have served as a thriving haven for al Qaeda terrorists who used the Tigris River valley to funnel bombs, weapons and ammunition into Baghdad.

Since June 15, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, has -- for the most part -- driven out the insurgency, and a recent rallying of locals against al Qaeda promises a more secure future for the area, said
Army Col. Terry R. Ferrell, the unit's commander.

"We are building from ground zero. As we occupied the battle space, it truly was (an al Qaeda) sanctuary. There was no
army; there was no police; there was no governance," Ferrell said.

The brigade combat team was the last of the surge forces to deploy to Baghdad. Since June, the unit has cleared 1,300 buildings, destroyed 81 weapons caches, detained 443 suspects, and encountered more than 80 bombs, Ferrell said.

"It's been a challenging operation, to say the least. But the soldiers ... continue to take the fight every day, and it's phenomenal what you see these kids doing," Ferrell said.

Earlier this month, officials launched Operation Marne Torch II, which combines airpower, ground forces and locals fighting alongside the coalition for fast-moving raid operations on al Qaeda strongholds. Since then, more than 600 local citizens have sided with the coalition forces and have begun providing security for their villages. Already this month, nine insurgents were killed and 71 captured, 14 bombs and 12 weapons caches were recovered, and nearly 200 buildings have been cleared.

Coalition forces have one patrol base set up in Arab Jabour and are increasing their presence in the area by building a new patrol base. At the same time, they are working to build a local security force.

Ferrell said officials there are working fast to get locals streamlined into the Iraqi security-force system. A recruiting drive is planned for November, he said, adding that a long-term Iraqi security force presence in the area is necessary for continued stability there.

"Security forces have to come into our area and replace us," the colonel said. "If our presence is not here, then al Qaeda will come back."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gates to Raise Issue of NATO's Unfulfilled Afghanistan Commitments

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 27, 2007 - A year after NATO's International Security Assistance Force took full command of security operations in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today he's concerned that NATO has lagged behind in fulfilling its commitments there. The biggest shortfall is NATO's unfulfilled requirement for 3,200 trainers, principally to train Afghan
police officers, Gates told Pentagon reporters today.

"We have been very direct with a number of the NATO allies about the need to meet the commitments that they made at Riga," Gates said, referring to the NATO summit in Latvia in late November.

Gates said he's extended the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan in several cases "to give NATO a few more months to find replacements," but added that now he is ready to hold the line. "I have made pretty clear that I will be loathe to make further extensions where somebody else is not fulfilling the requirement," he said.

The issue is expected to be a major topic of discussion during the upcoming informal defense minister's meeting slated for Oct. 24 and 25 in Noordwijk, Netherlands.

The secretary said he has asked for "a review of the commitments the member states have made for Afghanistan and those instances in which they have fallen short," Gates said. "So it is a matter that we take very seriously. We have been talking directly to a number of our allies.

"Most European governments get it," Gates added. "They understand how important Afghanistan is, and they are actually eager to try and fulfill the commitments they have made."

The problem, he said, is that some of these governments are coalition governments, and some are minority governments in a coalition where there's a lack of appreciation among voters about why Afghanistan is important.

"And so one of the subjects we have been talking about in the alliance is how we do a better job of strategic communications -- not just in Afghanistan, but in Europe -- in terms of what this conflict in Afghanistan is all about and the impact that it has on European security," Gates said. "So it is an issue and it is a concern."

The United Nations-mandated International Security Assistance Force is helping the Afghan government extend and exercise its authority and influence across the country. The goal is to create the conditions for stabilization and reconstruction. In support of that mission, NATO's first and largest ground operation outside Europe, the alliance is leading some 35,000 troops from 37 countries and 25 provincial reconstruction teams.

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Christopher F. Pfeifer, 21, of Spalding, Neb., died Sept. 25 in San Antonio, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire Aug. 17 near Kamu, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Schweinfurt, Germany.

For more information related to this release, media may contact the Southern European Task Force public affairs office at 011-39-0444-71-7011 or 011-39-0444-71-8020

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Mathew D. Taylor, 21, of Cameron Park, Calif., died Sept. 26 in San Antonio of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle July 23 in Sarobi District, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

For more information related to this release, media may contact the Southern European Task Force public affairs office at 011-39-0444-71-7011 or 011-39-0444-71-8020.

Iraqi Forces Show Effectiveness in Operations

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 26, 2007 - In recent weeks, Iraqi security forces have been proving their effectiveness and expanded capability in operations that are increasingly yielding results, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman said today.
Army Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, speaking to reporters in Baghdad, highlighted several recent operations by Iraqi forces, including the discovery of a large weapons cache, the thwarting of several car bombs, and the prevention of a carjacking and kidnapping involving two busloads of Iraqi citizens.

Violence has increased in the past few days, but that was expected because, historically, the Islam holy month of Ramadan has been more violent than other times, Bergner said.

"In spite of the tragic losses, we are seeing the courage and skill of the Iraqi security forces (to) interdict a number of these attacks and limit the effects that might otherwise have been caused this year," he said.

A significant recent development was that the weapons cache discovered yesterday by 8th Iraqi
Army Division soldiers in Diwaniyah included Iranian-made mortars, Bergner said. He displayed a 12-inch, shaped-charge improvised explosive device and an array of five explosively formed penetrators concealed in foam that were found in the cache. Also included in the cache were two EFPs tied together in foam, an array of three EFPs, and 12 81 mm mortar rounds, with fuses.

Bergner noted that Iran has made several public commitments to help the government of Iraq promote security, but has done nothing to fulfill those commitments. Coalition forces recently detained an officer from the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, he said. This officer was a long-time operative with significant responsibility to oversee operations in Iraq and has been involved in networks that provide extremist groups with sophisticated weapons,
training and funding, Bergner said.

Also, Iran has recently closed border crossings with Iraq, which has imposed economic hardship on the people of northern Iraq, Bergner said.

"It is difficult to reconcile these actions that undermine security and create economic hardship for the people of northern Iraq after publicly committing to help the government of Iraq," he said. "Nevertheless, we look forward to fulfillment of the public commitments that have been made."

Other Iraqi security force operations Bergner highlighted were:

-- On Sept. 24, Iraqi
army soldiers stopped a car bomb before it could reach its target, a traffic checkpoint. One Iraqi soldier was killed and another was wounded.

-- Also on Sept. 24, an Iraqi
army patrol in Habaniyah stopped a suicide truck bomb that had crossed a median, causing it to detonate prematurely. The blast was so strong that it caused a dump truck behind the truck to overturn. The dump truck was later discovered to contain more than 6,600 pounds of explosives.

-- Yesterday, Iraqi special operations forces conducted an operation in Rustamiyah to apprehend individuals suspected in the kidnapping and murder of the former commandant of the Iraqi
military college there and with the kidnapping of the current commandant, who was subsequently released. The individuals detained allegedly had used security personnel to murder, kidnap and conduct attacks using IEDs and EFPs and had provided military equipment and weapons to criminal elements.

-- The weekend of Sept. 22-23, Iraqi security forces stopped an attempted carjacking and kidnapping of two busloads of Iraqi citizens from Kirkuk. The Iraqi soldiers killed one terrorist and wounded another in freeing the hostages.

-- On Sept. 21, Iraqi
army soldiers uncovered a large weapons cache in a village northeast of Tal Afar. The buried cache included mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, weapons and ammunition.

In addition to these tactical operations, Iraqi and coalition forces are partnering on a number of medical and humanitarian missions, including medical assistance operations in Karkh, Baghdad and Yusafiya, Bergner said.

As Ramadan continues, the coalition is continuing its joint venture with the government of Iraq to review cases and release eligible detainees, Bergner said. In Multinational Force West, 75 men were released last week, and since Ramadan began, 583 detainees have been released, he said.

"These releases are all in an effort to foster goodwill and reconciliation during the observance of the holy month of Ramadan," he said, noting that those released have pledged to renounce violence.

New Bases, Barracks, Buildings Foster Iraqi Prosperity

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 26, 2007 - New buildings constructed under the guidance of coalition forces are sparking prosperity for Iraqi citizens, a senior
U.S. military engineer in Iraq said today. "It's a concept of ownership," Navy Capt. Joe Hedges told online journalists and "bloggers" during a conference call from Baghdad. "We're using Iraqi funds to build Iraqi facilities."

Hedges is assistant chief of staff for the engineering directorate of Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq. His team is currently working to build
military bases, barracks, airfields, schools and a hospital on 12 different sites in Iraq.

"I'm excited," Hedges said. "I think this is a big step in the right direction."

Hedges explained that coalition
leaders award construction contracts to U.S. firms who then hire Iraqi workers to actually build the projects.

"What you see is a trickle-down effect in regards to prosperity," he said.

Most large projects take a year to complete, Hedges explained. Within six months of construction, he said, surrounding communities are drastically transformed.

"You'll see more women and more children in the markets, ... a safer place," he said. "You'll see prosperity."

Iraqis also are invited to project sites before construction begins so they can offer feedback, the captain explained, to prevent situations such as when beautiful pedestal sinks were once installed in an Iraqi
army barracks, resulting in an unintentional but embarrassing outcome.

"In the Iraqi culture there's a necessity to both wash your hands and your feet," Hedges said. "Since we did not accommodate feet washing, the Iraqis ... crawled in the sinks ... and literally ripped them off the walls."

New latrines, the captain said, now feature feet-washing stations.

"We've learned," Hedges said. "We've adjusted."

Future projects include 30 new
police stations to be built in Baghdad to house the vastly expanded, recently recruited Iraqi forces. Hedges said he is confident these projects will have a tremendous impact on the lives of Iraqi citizens.

"It represents ... civil authority ... peace and stability in that neighborhood," Hedges said, and perhaps a lasting legacy of coalition assistance.

"When people go past that
police station and know that their community is safer and more secure as a result of it, maybe that's what they'll remember America for," he said.

(David Mays works in the New Media branch at American Forces Information Service.)

Coalition Forces Kill 3, Detain 8 in Iraq Operations

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 26, 2007 - Coalition forces killed and detained several
terrorists during operations today in central and northern Iraq.

-- Southwest of Kirkuk, coalition forces targeted an al Qaeda leader who has been connected to numerous other members of the al Qaeda network. As coalition forces arrived at the target location, they were engaged by armed men inside a building. The ground force returned fire and killed three terrorists. Two suspected terrorists also were detained on site. During the operation, three buildings and a small cache of weapons and ammunition were safely destroyed to prevent their further use by

-- In an operation near Baghdad, coalition forces targeted an associate of the al Qaeda network operating in the southern belt around Baghdad. The targeted individual is believed to have knowledge of the movement of foreign terrorists and members of al Qaeda. Three suspected terrorists were detained on site.

-- Coalition forces also detained three suspected
terrorists during an operation south of Tikrit targeting an al Qaeda senior leader reported to be a key member in the terrorist illegal court system throughout the Salah Ad Din province.

"We continue to bring al Qaeda to justice with successful operations like these," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "In partnership with Iraqi security forces and the people of Iraq, we will bring to this country the security its citizens need."

Also today, coalition forces captured an Iraqi "special groups" member wanted for suspected
terrorist activity and detained three others during operations in Baghdad. Intelligence reports indicate the targeted man is linked to logistics network facilitators and has ties to numerous criminals. He is reported to be a logistics expert involved in the movement of weapons used against Iraqi and coalition security forces. The ground force detained three other suspects on site without incident.

"'Special groups' members continue to remain intent on disrupting the growth and development of the government of Iraq," said Army Maj. Brad Leighton, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We are in pursuit and will not allow them to succeed."

In other recent operations:

-- Coalition forces killed three terrorists and detained two other suspected terrorists during operations targeting al Qaeda leaders in Musayyib yesterday. Following the operation, ground forces found weapons, including one suicide vest, and safely destroyed them on site.

-- Scouts from 8th Iraqi
Army Division confiscated and destroyed a large weapons cache following an operation yesterday in Diwaniyah. The forces confiscated the following materials: three rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, three explosively formed penetrators, a shaped charge for an improvised explosive device, 12 81 mm Iranian mortars, detonator cords, batteries, ammunition, sniper rifle parts and magazines, a large amount of fuses, blasting caps, homemade firing devices and explosive primers, and a large amount of terrorist propaganda.

-- Iraqi security forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors intercepted a vehicle carrying IED material during a traffic control point yesterday near Samarra. Forces set up the checkpoint outside Samarra to interdict a possible al Qaeda re-supply of bomb-making materials. As the sedan approached the traffic control point, it was observed pulling off on a side road about 500 meters away. The forces immediately approached the car and searched it, discovering 35 155 mm artillery rounds inside. After the vehicle was moved to a controlled area, an air strike was called in to destroy it.

-- Soldiers from 2nd Iraqi
Army Division detained two al Qaeda terrorist suspects Sept. 24 during a raid in the Jimissa Al-Jazeera village, near Qayyarah. One of the detained insurgents is believed to be responsible for rocket and IED attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces, specifically a forward operating base in northern Iraq. In addition, two AK-47 assault rifles with ammunition were seized.

-- Task Force Marne AH-64 Apache helicopters responded to an IED strike Sept. 24, killing the four extremist militants responsible. The device struck the 82nd Support Brigade, attached to 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, while the unit was traveling south on a main thoroughfare to and from Baghdad. Aerial surveillance observed the four militants in a nearby canal moments before the IED detonated. The Apaches engaged and killed the militants. Forces also found AK-47 assault rifles and ammunition at their location.

-- Iraqi special operations forces detained a suspected
criminal leader during an operation Sept. 23 in western Baghdad targeting rogue criminal elements. The suspect is a leader of a criminal element that operates out of the Ghazaliyah area. His group is responsible for conducting attacks on coalition forces using IEDs. They also are linked to kidnappings and murders of local residents.

-- Iraqi special operations forces detained two suspected al Qaeda
terrorists Sept. 23 during an operation to disrupt terrorist networks on the southern outskirts of Baghdad. The primary suspects are members of a cell that kidnaps local residents and attacks Iraqi and coalition forces with IEDs. Three other suspicious individuals who were present during the operation were also detained for questioning. The forces also seized an AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol, a knife and a pistol belt.

In other news, Iraqi special operations forces conducted an operation yesterday designed to apprehend individuals suspected in the kidnapping and murder of the former Iraqi Military Academy commandant, Maj. Gen. Imad, and with the kidnapping of the current commandant, Brig. Gen. Hassan, who was subsequently released.

"Ministry of Defense action against these criminals demonstrates that the government of Iraqi is dedicated to establishing security and defeating
criminal elements wherever they are in the country," said Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari, a Ministry of Defense spokesman. "Iraqi security forces are focused on eliminating criminals from their ranks."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Additional Pentagon Budget Request Reflects Petraeus' Recommendations

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 26, 2007 - The additional budget request for the
war on terror that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will present to Congress today reflects troop-level recommendations made by the senior U.S. commander in Iraq, a Pentagon spokesman said today. Gates will present a $42.3 billion addition to the 2008 global war on terror supplemental request when he testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee today, Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary, told reporters. This brings the overall request to just under $190 billion, after a $5.3 billion procurement request for armored vehicles was added to the $141.7 billion original request.

The initial request made in February did not take into account the U.S. troop surge into Iraq, Morrell said, so this addition was expected. This request reflects the recommendation of
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq to 15 brigades by the end of July 2008 if conditions on the ground improve, Morrell said.

"You can rest assured that this number reflects the fact that the services believe they're going to need additional dollars to continue at the pace we're now going at coming into the new year," Morrell said.

Morrell declined to comment on how the distribution of the money would break down, but said that a large portion of the money will definitely go toward construction and deployment of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, which are in high demand in Iraq.

The Defense Department is still working to ramp up production of the vehicles, known as MRAPs, to the point where they can begin sea-lifting them to the theater as well as air-lifting them, Morrell said. Many challenges involved in speeding the production, he said, but it remains a high priority for the department.

"We are driving this and driving it hard, and the ultimate indicator of this is, are we getting them to theater as production is ramping up, and everything I've seen thus far suggests that we are still on the pace we hope to be," he said.

Morrell also answered questions about security contractors in Iraq. Based on initial information about how contractors operate in Iraq, which Gates asked for in light of a recent incident involving State Department security contractors, the secretary has dispatched a small team from the Pentagon to Iraq to delve deeper into some questions he had, Morrell said.

"From our perspective, he is satisfied with what he's heard from them and others that we have the right policies, procedures and legal authorities in place to sort of deal with the contractors who are working for us," Morrell said of Gates. "That said, he does have some concern about accountability and oversight."

To help address those concerns, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England yesterday sent a memorandum to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and combatant commanders outlining what their authorities are to hold contractors accountable. "We're just trying to make it clear to them that there are the existing authorities to sort of do this job that people are concerned about," Morrell said.