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February 11, 2008

Some Al Qaeda Leaders In Iraq Leaders Running For Breast Cancer Awareness and Their Lives, But Mostly For Their Lives

Executing the Pelosi/Murtha plan of an "over the horizon redeployment."

Some leaders of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist groups are fleeing Iraq with cash to escape US forces and possibly to try to regroup outside the country, a senior US commander said Monday.

Major General Mark Hertling, commander of US forces in northern Iraq, said other Al-Qaeda fighters are dispersing from cities into the desert because of fear of capture.

"We have had many indications that many of them are leaving the country because of what they perceive as an increasing amount of pressure," Hertling told reporters here via video link from Iraq.

"We've also had several indications that several of their leaders are leaving the country, leaving the country with cash, the cash that they were sent to pay fighters with," he said.

Some were fleeing through Syria, while others were going back to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, he said.

The dispersal of extremist fighters has also coincided with a spike in kidnapping for ransom, as fighters try to raise cash for themselves or their organizations.

...

However, Hertling said the groups leaving the country were not large, and there were indications that they were attempting to regroup outside Iraq and then come back in.

In case you missed this: Al Qaeda admits it's in a quagmire.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq faces an “extraordinary crisis”. Last year's mass defection of ordinary Sunnis from al-Qaeda to the US military “created panic, fear and the unwillingness to fight”. The terrorist group's security structure suffered “total collapse”.

These are the words not of al-Qaeda's enemies but of one of its own leaders in Anbar province — once the group's stronghold. They were set down last summer in a 39-page letter seized during a US raid on an al-Qaeda base near Samarra in November.

The US military released extracts from that letter yesterday along with a second seized in another November raid that is almost as startling.

That second document is a bitter 16-page testament written last October by a local al-Qaeda leader near Balad, north of Baghdad. “I am Abu-Tariq, emir of the al-Layin and al-Mashahdah sector,” the author begins. He goes on to describe how his force of 600 shrank to fewer than 20.

“We were mistreated, cheated and betrayed by some of our brothers,” he says. “Those people were nothing but hypocrites, liars and traitors and were waiting for the right moment to switch sides with whoever pays them most.”

...

In an apparent reference to al-Qaeda's brutal tactics, he said of the Americans and their Sunni allies: “We helped them to unite against us . . . The Americans and the apostates launched their campaigns against us and we found ourselves in a circle not being able to move, organise or conduct our operations.”

He said of the loss of Anbar province: “This created weakness and psychological defeat. This also created panic, fear and the unwillingness to fight. The morale of the fighters went down . . . There was a total collapse in the security structure of the organisation.” The emir complained that the supply of foreign fighters had dwindled and that they found it increasingly hard to operate inside Iraq because they could not blend in. Foreign suicide bombers determined to kill “not less than 20 or 30 infidels” grew disillusioned because they were kept hanging about and only given small operations. Some gave up and went home.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, Mansoor Dudallah (brother of Mullah Dudallah) was reported wounded and captured after a firefight.

More on that from Roggio's Long War Journal.

Mansoor was reported to have been wounded during a firefight as he attempted to enter Baluchistan province in Pakistan from Kandahar province, Afghanistan, according to Pakistan's Inter Service Public Relations. Mansoor and his party refused to stop when challenge and a firefight ensued. "Security personnel returned fire. As a result all of them sustained injuries and all of them were captured," Major General Athar Abbas, the military spokesman said. "Dadullah was arrested alive but he is critically wounded."

But unnamed intelligence sources told The Associated Press that Mansoor and his party were captured after police, Army, and anti-terrorism commandos of the Special Services Groups surrounded a religious seminary in the Zhob district of Baluchistan. Mansoor was captured along with associates Haji Lala, Khudai Dad, Khalid Dad, and Abdur Razzak, according to the intelligence source.



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