Travel Ban Drives Wedge Between Iraqi Soldiers and Americans

President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order has driven a wedge between many Iraqi soldiers and their American allies. Officers and enlisted men interviewed on the front lines in Mosul said they interpreted the order as an affront — not only to them but also to fellow soldiers who have died in the battle for Mosul.

“An insult to their dignity,” said Capt. Abdul Saami al-Azzi, an officer with the counterterrorism force in Mosul. He said he was hurt and disappointed by a nation he had considered a respectful partner. “It is really embarrassing.”

“If America doesn’t want Iraqis because we are all terrorists, then America should send its sons back to Iraq to fight the terrorists themselves,” Capt. Ahmed Adnan al-Musawe told a New York Times reporter who was with him this week at his barricaded position inside Mosul.

Col. John L. Dorrian, the spokesman in Baghdad for the American-led operation against the Islamic State, emphasized that the president’s order was temporary, calling it “a pause.”

Video of Lotfi S. appears online after attack

Lotfi S. previously appeared in the news demonstrating in the city of The Hague, supporting IS and calling for violent attacks against Jews. (Photo: anp)
Lotfi S. previously appeared in the news demonstrating in the city of The Hague, supporting IS and calling for violent attacks against Jews. (Photo: anp)

Last week it became clear that Lotfi S. from Amsterdam is responsible for a suicide attack in Fallujah, Iraq. Now a video of him appeared online, wherein he speaks about his so-called martyrs-act. He calls it an effective weapon and calls upon others to follow his example. ‘Don’t stay behind’. In the video, Sultan B. appears next to Lotfi S. He died in a previous suicide attack in Baghdad, Iraq.

Lotfi S. previously appeared in the news demonstrating in the city of The Hague, supporting IS and calling for violent attacks against Jews.

Islamic State: Hollande ready to “increase actions” in Iraq

Francois Hollande assured Iraq’s president of his support in the fight against the Islamic State. In a joint statement with prime minster Haidar Al-Abadi, Hollande declared that France is ready to “increase actions” against the Islamic State.

“We will continue to provide military support to Iraq, which is the victim of a full-scale terrorist attack,” he continued. “For three months actions were carried out by the Iraqi army after having received the coalition’s support, and these actions have led to clear progress and military success and therefore political success.”

There are currently nine Rafale and six Mirage fighter jets that are part of the “Chammal” operation. “Baghdad is secure. We are currently moving to free the entire territory that has been occupied by [the Islamic State],” said Hollande. Al-Abadi added, “We believe that liberation is not far away. Today there is more optimism and more hope that Iraq can stay together as one nation, one people.”

The Prime Minister also asked for funding to reconstruct occupied areas. “Reconstruction of areas destroyed by the Islamic State is an important topic,” he added, because “terrorism thrives on the people’s poverty and dissatisfaction with their economic circumstance.” Al-Abaid added that, “the decline in oil prices and in our oil exports have had a negative impact on our budget.”

The uncontrolled return of Jihadists from Syria is alarming the Spanish police

March 22, 2014

 

The Spanish intelligence services admitted for the first time that there are Jihadists, belonging to the Al-Qaeda cells returning from Syria to Spain. These are young people willing to do the jihad in Spain after being trained in weapons and explosives. ” We do not know how many have gone and how many of those who have returned. That is the danger, we do not know what we should know. Nobody is able to give reliable figures,”acknowledges a member of the General Information Office.

” The potential danger is brutal. They are people who have already killed. (…)Returnees are the biggest security problem we have, “said a Spanish police official.

So far the only known case of a returned Jihadist is of Abdeluahid Sadik Mohamed, born in Ceuta, age 28, married with two children aged 5 and 6 years old. He participated in the assault on the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad ( Iraq ) to free 500 jihadist prisoners and also participated in the heavy fighting in Syria before he was stopped at the airport of Malaga, in January 2014.

 

El País: http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2014/03/22/actualidad/1395507832_135409.html

Iraqi Asylum Seekers to be Repatriated

21 June 2012

 

Negotiations over the place of a group of Iraqi asylum seekers in the Netherlands continue. Immigration Minister Gerd leers and his Iraqi counterpart Shafiq Duski met in the Hague this week and will again meet in Baghdad in September. The Netherlands offered a fund of 5.5million euros to Iraq to reintegrate failed asylum seekers, on the condition that Iraq cooperate in the repatriation process. Minister Duski will consult with Iraqi parliament on the issue, but prefers a phased return for the asylum seekers, as Iraq reportedly would have difficulty coping with the large numbers of repatriated individuals. The negotiations arose after asylum seekers from Iraq and elsewhere established a protest tent camp near Ter Apel.

Judge says American defense contractor can sue Rumsfeld personally over torture allegations

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former U.S. military contractor who says he was tortured during a nine-month imprisonment in Iraq.

The lawsuit lays out a dramatic tale of the disappearance of the then-civilian contractor, an Army veteran in his 50s whose identity is being withheld from court filings for fear of retaliation. Attorneys for the man, who speaks five languages and worked as a translator for Marines collecting intelligence in Iraq, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the U.S. military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive.

Court papers filed on his behalf say he was repeatedly abused while being held at Camp Cropper, a U.S. military facility near the Baghdad airport dedicated to holding “high-value” detainees, then suddenly released without explanation in August 2006. Two years later, he filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington arguing that Rumsfeld personally approved torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis and controlled his detention without access to courts in violation of his constitutional rights.

Iraqi shoe-thrower launches Geneva-based agency

The Iraqi journalist who pitched his shoes at former United States President George W. Bush is in Geneva setting up a foundation to help Iraqi war victims. Munthader al-Zaidi, a television reporter, shot to fame on December 14, 2008 when he hurled his two shoes at Bush at a Baghdad news conference, shouting: “This is your farewell kiss, you dog!”

“From Geneva, the capital of humanitarian institutions, I am launching an appeal on behalf of my people,” Zaidi told journalists in Geneva on Monday. He aims to build orphanages, a children’s hospital, and medical and orthopaedic centres offering free treatment and manned by Iraqi doctors and medical staff. He also wants to set up income-generating schemes for widows to help them get back on their feet. The foundation carries his last name.

Zaidi arrived in Switzerland on October 13 on a three-month tourist visa, accompanied by his brother. He was released on September 15 after spending nine months in an Iraqi prison. “He hopes to surf on the wave of support he has gained to do some good,” explained Mauro Poggia, his Swiss lawyer, who organised the visit.

EU Countries Move to Stop Flood of Iraqi Refugees

The ongoing terror in Iraq is driving an increasing number of refugees to Europe. Now the EU is being forced to make some tough decisions: Who will be allowed to stay in Europe, and will Iraqi Christians have greater chances here than Muslims? Bassam persevered for five years, believing that he could live with the daily violence, the car bombs, the roadside bombs and the snipers. But the terror kept getting closer and closer. At first, poverty and crime drove Bassam, a 45-year-old electrician, from his war-torn village deep in Iraq’s south to the capital Baghdad, where he opened a stand selling ordinary electrical items like light bulbs, two-way adapters and hotplates. It was a miserable life, but bearable — until Bassam became caught between rival militias. He was told to pay protection money, and eventually his little shop went up in flames. SPIEGEL Staff report.

U.S. soldier in Iraq uses Koran for target practice

U.S. military commanders have apologized to community leaders in Iraq after a soldier used a Quran for target practice. The Muslim holy book was found at a shooting range near Baghdad, riddled with holes. The U.S. military said the soldier had not been identified, but is a deeply embarrassing incident for the military, still struggling with fostering trust among Iraq’s diverse Muslim communities. Major-General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. troops in Baghdad, said “I am a man of honor, I am a man of character. You have my word this will never happen again.” Saeed al-Zubaie, head of U.S.-allied Sunni Arab tribal council said that while he was feeling bitterness after the incident was first uncovered, he appreciates the apology and is ok with them. President George Bush telephone Iraq’s prime minister to offer a personal apology for the desecration of the Muslim holy book.

Young French Muslims Recruit for Iraq

Boubakeur el Hakim, 24, is on trial this month in Paris accused with four other young Frenchmen of funneling French Muslim fighters to Iraq. The case is a delicate one, as France is largely strongly opposed to the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq, but also struggles against homegrown terrorism. In a French radio interview on RTL radio broadcast from Baghdad in 2003, el Hakim urged Parisian friends to join him on the battlefield. The key concern for the French police has been what these fighters do when they return to France. The fighters claimed to have first traveled to Syria to take Arabic lessons and receive basic weapon training prior to arrival in Iraq.