al Qaeda and Kids
But sometimes , I just can't help myself and I post links to stories you've already read, just because they need to be repeated as often as possible. His two latest dispatches are perfect examples. The first you've probably already read, but if you haven't, here's a link: Bless the Beasts and Children
And here is an exerpt from his latest, Baqubah Update: 05 July 2007
Since my reporting of the massacre at the al Hamari village, many readers at home have asked how anyone can know that al Qaeda actually performed the massacre. The question is a very good one, and one that I posed from the first hour to Iraqis and Americans while trying to ascertain facts about the killings.
No one can claim with certainty that it was al Qaeda, but the Iraqis here seem convinced of it. At a meeting today in Baqubah one Iraqi official I spoke with framed the al Qaeda infiltration and influence in the province. Although he spoke freely before a group of Iraqi and American commanders, including Staff Major General Abdul Kareem al Robai who commands Iraqi forces in Diyala, and LTC Fred Johnson, the deputy commander of 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the Iraqi official asked that I withhold his identity from publication. His opinion, shared by others present, is that al Qaeda came to Baqubah and united many of the otherwise independent criminal gangs.
Speaking through an American interpreter, Lieutenant David Wallach who is a native Arabic speaker, the Iraqi official related how al Qaeda united these gangs who then became absorbed into “al Qaeda.” They recruited boys born during the years 1991, 92 and 93 who were each given weapons, including pistols, a bicycle and a phone (with phone cards paid) and a salary of $100 per month, all courtesy of al Qaeda. These boys were used for kidnapping, torturing and murdering people.
At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al Qaeda directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11-years-old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.
The Deputy Governor for Diyala Province had told me on 04 July that al Qaeda burned the home of a Provincial Council leader named Abdul Jabar. Jabar, an Iraqi official who has no reservations about being named as a source, provided information about the killings I described in the dispatch “Bless the Beasts and Children.” Abdul Jabar lived in the area of the al Hamira village, which he said is properly spelled al Ahamir. Jabar agreed to a video interview, during which he said al Qaeda killed and disposed of hundreds of people in the area. He also said during the video interview that he did not believe the remains of the murder victims I saw were people from the village. Abdul Jabar believes the villagers were run out, and that the people being dug up were kidnapped from elsewhere.
al Qaeda members are animals. No, they're worse than animals. They are the devil incarnate. Lord help us defeat this devil....