Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

US Forces Capture Iraqi in League With Iran

One of the most irritating problems we still seem to have in Iraq are insurgents. Those people do not like us there, and they are doing their best to drive us out. Most of the insurgents faded away on the heels of the Anbar Awakening, but not all of them got the hint. The J-Post reports we caught an Iraqi was was an arms dealer, and one who provided transportation for insurgents into Iran for training, then back to Iraq to fight:

US soldiers in Baghdad captured an Iraqi arms dealer and "assassination squad" leader responsible for trafficking Shi'ite extremists in and out of neighboring Iran for training, the military said Sunday.

The arrest reinforced long-standing US allegations that Iran arms, trains and funds Shi'ite Muslim militiamen inside Iraq - charges that Teheran denies. It also coincided with a two-day visit to Iran by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his second such trip in a year.

The Iraqi prime minister, himself a Shi'ite, is struggling to keep Washington happy while reassuring Iran, the largest Shi'ite nation, that a proposed US-Iraqi security agreement would not make his country an American launching pad for attacks on Iran.

The US arrest campaign against Shi'ite militiamen with alleged ties to Iran was likely to be on the agenda for al-Maliki's talks with Iranian officials.

US soldiers, acting on intelligence from other Shi'ite militiamen already in custody, captured the Basra-based "special groups" leader late Saturday at a hideout in eastern Baghdad, according to a military statement.

"The wanted man is alleged to be a commander of an assassination squad in Basra, an arms dealer with connections to Iran and a document counterfeiter," the statement said.

He also arranges transportation of criminals into Iran for training, and then back into Iraq, it said. One of the leader's aides was also arrested without incident.

The US military uses the term "special groups" to describe Shi'ite fighters defying a cease-fire order from anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose militiamen fought American and Iraqi forces for seven weeks until a May truce.Meanwhile, the military said in another statement that it captured six more suspected Sunni extremists Sunday in the northern city of Mosul, including an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq leader and another man who is a wiring expert in charge of a bombing cell there.

It is al-Sadr's militiamen who have broken the cease-fire he ordered, and therein lies part of the problem. Al-Sadr is in Iran, and Iran is involved with the Mahdi Army. They helped train a good deal of his fighters, and have continued to supply weapons and munitions to them. Iran denies this, of course. The problem for Iran is as long as we keep finding their people working with insurgents and al-Qaeda in Iraq, the worse it looks for them.

Toss in their nuclear program, and Iran is facing some serious scrutiny. Well, at least from us, they are. The rest of the world is content to leave them be, and allow them to continue working on their nuclear ambitions. The West (Britain, Germany, France, etc.) claims that they do not want Iran getting a nuclear weapon, but they have done little to halt the problem. And the United Nations is no help as China and Russia continue to do business with Iran. As long as that continues both nations will not enforce any sanctions handed down.

But with regard to the Iraqi we just nabbed, it will be interesting to find out what can be gleaned from his interrogations. Among the information sought should be what sort of mandate does the Quds forces, or even Hezbollah, have officially from the Iranian regime when it comes to interfering in the stabilization of Iraq?



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