Feb 11 2008

al-Qaeda Fleeing Iraq

Published by at 4:50 pm under All General Discussions,Iraq

Another day another clear indication that al-Qaeda is near defeat. In a previous post it was clear money and recruits were drying up for al-Qaeda as Iraqi Muslims turned on them to hunt them down and rid Iraq of Bin Laden’s thugs. And as the operational area for al-Qaeda shrinks and is surrounded by US and Iraqi forces, those who can beat a hasty retreat apparently are doing so:

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.

With their ‘leaders’ running for the exits (just like the Democrat’s proposed the US do) it must be clear to the remaining fighters (which I doubt there are many now) have to know the end is near. Without money or leadership (which is being decimated rapidly) foreign thugs cannot survive long in a country whose people would like nothing more than to hang them for the bloodshed al-Qaeda caused on Iraqi Muslims.

Update: I want to point out the tip Iraqi forces got in Mosul (the last AQ stronghold in Iraq) and how that tip led to other leads:

Mosul’s guerrilla fighters had managed to hide away an unusually large amount of bomb making materials, despite a heavy presence by U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces in the city. A tip about the cache drew local police, who set about detonating the materiel they found in the above-ground rooms of the building. They failed to realize, however, that the basement contained an even larger store, according to U.S. military officials. The “controlled” blast wound up leaving an estimated 60 people dead. Now, many observers are wondering how the insurgents had managed to gather so much unnoticed.

On any given day in Mosul a number of U.S. aerial surveillance aircraft float overhead. There is a blimp, laden with cameras, tethered to the main base that hangs over the city. Unmanned drones buzz through the air gathering video. And at times jets high above scan Mosul as well. In the days after the explosion, military officials at FOB Marez began reviewing video tape with scenes from the site in the hours prior to the blast. Many cars pulled up to the building and then drove elsewhere into the city, leading military officials to believe that the visitors were insurgents picking up explosives to use in the dozens of roadside bombs that persistently plague the city. Watching the surveillance tapes, U.S. officials were able to track where a number of the cars came from and went to after visiting the cache. A fresh list of suspected insurgent safe houses or way stations soon emerged.

Clearly the tips are coming in, and clearly in this instance the depth of the tip was clearly missed with deadly repercussions. But the trail was still hot and more terrorists were nabbed. Each spectacular attack is also a trail back to any remaining cells. So it is not as if al Qaeda can attack without concern. I would suspect all attacks have this characteristic ‘track back’ feature, which means killing Muslims comes at a high price in Iraq.

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