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Catfish and Cod
Monday, October 27, 2003
Al-Sadr's making trouble: VI.
(Link path: Command Post / Nikita Demosthenes, Defend America)

The paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division, attached to the 1st Division in Baghdad, provided the backup and intelligence services for operations against "religious extremists in al-Rashid district, south Baghdad", says this Defend America article. These were likely the operations from Sept. 29 through Oct. 6 involving Sheik Moayed Khazraji and the Ali Bayaa mosque (see timeline):

"[Capt. Tyson] Voelkel, who recently worked with Iraqi Police Service officers in Baghdad Oct. 6 to detain a local religious leader responsible for anti-coalition violence..."

Thanks, Capt. Voelkel. As we'd say around my home: "He needed putting in jail."

On a more disturbing note, confirmation that outside elements are aiding the al-Sadr movement:

“We have defeated the (former regime loyalists), and they are really no longer a major threat,” Fuller said. “Now, a new enemy has emerged.”...
“The guys we’re working against now, they’re better trained,” Voelkel said. He said some extremists may be coming in from neighboring countries. These foreign instigators are “trying to persuade younger Iraqis to turn against the coalition.”

But who? Given al-Sadr's connections to Iran, the involvement of Iranian Intelligence must be suspected; but could al-Qaeda elements be giving aid and succor as well?

Previous episodes: I. II. III. IV. V.