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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The State Department's annual terrorism report finds that Iraq is becoming a safe haven for terrorists and has attracted a "foreign fighter pipeline" linked to terrorist plots, cells and attacks throughout the world, a senior State Department official involved in the preparation of the report told CNN.
 

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Funny, Eric is for them when even the Sunni arabs in Iraq are turning against them:

[q]BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi and U.S. forces have killed a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq, Interior Ministry sources and the U.S. military said on Friday.

Humadi al-Takhi, who they said was a district commander of the group, was killed in a raid on a house on Friday about 10 km (6 miles) northeast of the city of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

It was not possible to independently verify the claim.

Samarra is a stronghold for Sunni Arab insurgents fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces, and the city where a Shi'ite shrine was bombed in February, fanning sectarian violence across Iraq.

A senior intelligence official in the nearby city of Tikrit said the raid followed intelligence reports.

The U.S. military said in a statement two other militants were killed in the raid.

Support for the insurgency in Samarra was hit badly when rebels killed a local tribal leader last August.

Takhi replaced his elder brother, Najim al-Takhi, as al Qaeda chief in Samarra after he was arrested in June last year while hiding in western Baghdad.

Najim's body was found in Baghdad's central morgue in August, showing signs of torture.

On Thursday, Iraqi forces arrested another senior leader of al Qaeda in the Tikrit region, Abdul Khadir Makhol.

U.S. military spokesman Major-General Rick Lynch said on Thursday the al Qaeda in Iraq group, led by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the main force in the insurgency.

"The primary face of the insurgency right now we are most concerned about is Zarqawi and al Qaeda in Iraq," he told reporters in Baghdad.

Zarqawi appeared in a rare video this week, saying his holy warriors would fight on and accusing Washington of installing a puppet regime so it could pull itself out of its troubles.

[/q]
 

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You think Condi's actually "in charge" at State? It's run by an entrenched bureaucracy that does what it damn well want, making minor attempts to pretend to executive supervision.

Condi's job at State is to clean it up. While I wish her the best of luck, I'm not optimistic.
 

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[q] ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
Fri Apr 28, 2:04 AM ET

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The incoming prime minister won the backing Thursday of Iraq's top Shiite cleric for his plan to disband militias, which the U.S. believes is the key to calming sectarian strife and halting the country's slide toward civil war.

But violence flared across a wide area of Iraq on Thursday, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld departed after two days of talks with Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials.

In Baghdad, gunmen assassinated the sister of the Sunni vice president a day after he endorsed the use of force to quell Sunni-led insurgents. Elsewhere, three Italian and one Romanian soldiers were killed in a bombing in southern Iraq, insurgents launched attacks northeast of the capital, and a U.S. jet fired missiles at insurgent positions in Ramadi.

The endorsement of al-Maliki's plan came during a meeting in Najaf with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. The ayatollah told al-Maliki, a Shiite tapped last weekend to form a government, that security should be his top priority.

"Therefore, weapons must be exclusively in the hands of government forces, and these forces must be built on a proper national basis so that their loyalty is to the country alone, not to political or other sides," a statement from al-Sistani's office said.

Al-Maliki plans to integrate militias, many of them linked to Shiite parties, into the army and police. To ensure their loyalty to the government, he wants to appoint defense and interior ministers without connections to militias.

Former militiamen who have joined government forces, especially those run by the Shiite-led Interior Ministry, have been widely accused by Sunni Arabs of operating as death squads targeting Sunni civilians.

Attempts by previous Iraqi governments to abolish militias have failed, and their numbers have grown, in part because U.S. and Iraqi forces have been unable to guarantee public safety.

The leader of one major militia, radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, refrained Thursday from endorsing calls to disband his Mahdi Army. After a separate meeting with al-Maliki, the cleric was asked if he would give up his militia.

He replied: "All groups inside or outside the government work for the people's interest and service."

Al-Maliki has until late May to present his Cabinet to parliament, the final step in building a national unity government. The United States believes a government of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds will help calm sectarian passions and tamp down the Sunni-led insurgency so the 130,000 American troops can begin to go home.

Sectarian tensions rose dramatically after the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra, triggering reprisal attacks against Sunni mosques and clerics. Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the second-ranking U.S. general in Iraq, told U.S. reporters Wednesday that militias pose an urgent threat to the country's stability and were "an issue we've got to get fixed."

In a briefing Thursday, however, U.S. spokesman Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch told reporters that "we are not seeing widespread militia operations across Iraq" and that "ethno-sectarian" attacks had dropped by half in Baghdad over the last week.

Lynch also said U.S. forces had found no "widespread movement" of Shiites and Sunnis away from religiously mixed areas, despite reports to the contrary by Iraqi officials.

"So we do not see us moving toward a civil war in Iraq," Lynch said. "In fact we see us moving away from it."

But there was little sign Thursday that the violence was nearing an end.

In Baghdad, gunmen firing from a speeding car assassinated Mayson al-Hashimi, sister of Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, as she left her home in a southwestern neighborhood, police said. Her bodyguard was also slain.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. On Wednesday, however, Vice President al-Hashimi, a Sunni, joined Shiite and Kurdish leaders in calling for the use of force if necessary to crush the Sunni-led insurgency.

"We have to defend the future of our people," the vice president said at a news conference with President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, and his fellow vice president, Shiite Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

Two weeks ago, the vice president's brother, Mahmoud al-Hashimi, was shot and killed while driving in a mostly Shiite area of Baghdad. The brother of another leading Sunni politician, Saleh al-Mutlak, was found dead in Baghdad on April 17 after he was kidnapped. No arrests have been reported in either case.

The Italian and Romanian soldiers were killed near Nasiriyah, 200 miles southeast of Baghdad, when a bomb exploded near their four-vehicle convoy in a Shiite area. The death was Romania's first combat loss of the war.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported conflicting claims of responsibility by the Islamic Army in Iraq, a major insurgent group, and the lesser-known Imam Hussein Brigades.

In and around Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, Iraqi police and soldiers repelled a series of attacks Thursday by insurgents using mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire against five police checkpoints, a police station and an Iraqi army headquarters, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.

Seven Iraqi soldiers and 21 insurgents were killed, Iraqi Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Awad said. He said 46 attackers were captured. U.S. officials said seven Iraqi soldiers and two civilians were killed and the wounded included 10 Iraqi soldiers, four policemen and four civilians. Authorities imposed a curfew, and residents said roads to Baghdad had been sealed off.

In Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, a U.S. jet fired two laser-guided missiles at buildings used by insurgents during a gunbattle with American soldiers, Lt. Col. Ronald Clark said.

He said there were no U.S. losses but that eight attackers were killed. Elsewhere in Ramadi, an Iraqi soldier was killed in a firefight with insurgents.

[/q]
 

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I think the terrorist problem has been around long before Bush.Just maybe they will all show up in Iraq and the civilized world won`t have to chase em down all over the world,or at least we can thin em out a bit.
 

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[Q]Jerry Grimes originally wrote:
I think the terrorist problem has been around long before Bush.Just maybe they will all show up in Iraq and the civilized world won't have to chase em down all over the world,or at least we can thin em out a bit.
[/Q]That's one way to make sh!t smell like Shalimar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[Q]Fritzer originally wrote:
You think Condi's actually "in charge" at State? It's run by an entrenched bureaucracy that does what it damn well want, making minor attempts to pretend to executive supervision.

Condi's job at State is to clean it up. While I wish her the best of luck, I'm not optimistic.
[/Q]

State is deeply entrenched with America haters, insurgents, terrorists, communists, atheists, Frenchmen, Nazgul, scientologists, you name it.

Just ask Fritz
 
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