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Sep 5th, 2010

Report: Iran pays $1,000 for Each U.S. soldier Killed by the Taliban

Afghan group’s treasurer admits receiving money from Iran, newspaper says

A Taliban fighter poses with weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan October 30, 2009. The Taliban have called on Afghans to boycott the election run-off and have vowed to disrupt the poll, their threat underlined on October 28 by a suicide attack on a Kabul guest-house used by the United Nations in which five foreign U.N. staff were killed. Picture taken October 30, 2009. (Reuters)
The Sunday Times (London)

Reuters via
September 5, 2010

Iran is paying Taliban fighters $1,000 for each U.S. soldier they kill in Afghanistan, according to a report in a British newspaper.

The Sunday Times described how a man it said was a “Taliban treasurer” had gone to collect $18,000 from an Iranian firm in Kabul, a reward it said was for an attack in July which killed several Afghan government troops and destroyed an American armored vehicle.

The treasurer left with the cash hidden in a sack of flour, the newspaper said, and then gave it to Taliban fighters in the province of Wardak. In the past six months, the treasurer claimed to have collected more than $77,000 from the company.

The Sunday Times said its investigation had found that at least five Kabul-based Iranian companies were secretly passing funds to the Taliban.

The newspaper’s correspondent, Miles Amoore, said he met and interviewed the treasurer, who he said had been an illiterate farmer who was taught to read and write, plus basic accounting, by the Taliban last winter.

“We don’t care who we get money from,” the treasurer was quoted as saying. He described the relationship with Iran as a “marriage of convenience.” Iran is a predominantly Shiite country, while the Taliban is dominated by Sunni Muslims.

“Iran will never stop funding us because Americans are dangerous for them as well. I think the hatred is the same from both us and Iran. The money we get is not dirty. It is for jihad,” the treasurer told Amoore.

In addition to the $1,000 bounty on U.S. troops, the unnamed man said Iran paid $6,000 for the destruction of a U.S. military vehicle.

“I have to sign off on all the receipts and I have to add up how much each fighter deserves after each operation. I also have to communicate in the Iranian language,” the treasurer told the newspaper. …


Iran paying Taliban for attacks? (MSNBC, Sept. 5, 2010) — NBC’s Tom Aspell talks with MSNBC’s Alex Witt about a British newspaper report that Iran is financing the Taliban for attacks on U.S. interests in Afghanistan. (02:30)


Related reports on this site

Taliban fighters ride on motorbikes in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, July 14, 2009. (Photo credit: Reuters)

‘Tough Days Ahead’ in Afghanistan (Sept. 3, 2010)

Taliban Slaughter in Afghanistan (Sept. 1, 2010)

Iran Starts Up Nuclear Plant (Aug. 21, 2010)

Most Americans Oppose Afghan War (Aug. 20, 2010)

Afghan Civilian Deaths Up 31% (Aug. 13, 2010)

Afghanistan American Massacre (Aug. 8, 2010)

Support for Afghan War Plummets (Aug. 4, 2010)



Assault on Baghdad Military Headquarters Kills 12

By Sinan Salaheddin

September 5, 2010

BAGHDAD — Suicide bombers hit a Baghdad military headquarters on Sunday and killed 12 people, two weeks after an attack on the same site [link added] pointed to the failure of Iraqi forces to plug even the most obvious holes in their security.

Baghdad has been on high alert as the U.S. declared the official end to its combat operations in Iraq last week, yet the militants still managed to attack an obvious target in the center of the city that has been struck very recently.

On Aug. 17, al-Qaida linked suicide bomber blew himself up at the same east Baghdad military headquarters and killed 61 army recruits last in the deadliest act of violence in Baghdad in months.

Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said in a statement that 12 people were killed in Sunday’s attack and 36 were injured. Five soldiers were among the dead.

In Sunday’s attack a car bomb charged the building and exploded and then gunmen assaulted the headquarters, battling the building’s guards in a 15 minute firefight in the middle of downtown Baghdad, according to police officials who said at least three militants were wearing explosives belts.

The bombers were headed to the building’s entrance on foot but were shot by the guards before they could trigger their devices. One was only wounded and has been taken into custody. …

Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari confirmed that some of the gunmen were wearing explosives belts. He said they were planning a second blast.

“The plan was to strike twice,” he said. “First with a car bomb and then with suicide bombers.”

Sunday’s attack is an embarrassment for the officials in the capital where security has been high in past days as insurgents intensify their strikes on Iraqi police and soldiers to mark the change in the U.S. mission.

Two of the four attackers even managed to fight their way inside the compound and were only killed after running out of ammunition and detonating explosives belts they were wearing.

The building attacked on Sunday is the headquarters for the Iraqi Army’s 11th Division and an army recruitment center. In mid-August attack, al-Qaida boasted that its operative easily passed through checkpoints before detonating his explosives belt in a crowd of officers and recruits outside the building.

The Iraqi security forces are now solely responsible for protecting the country after President Barack Obama declared an end to U.S. combat operations on Wednesday. Many, however, doubt that Iraq’s police and army are a match for the well-armed insurgency determined to bring down the Shiite-led government.

Last week Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki put his nation on its highest level of alert for terror attacks, warning of plots to sow fear and chaos in the country. He said insurgents would try to exploit widespread frustration with years of frequent power outages and problems with other public services by staging riots and attacks on government offices.

U.S. and Iraqi officials have long worried that political instability would lead to widespread violence in Iraq, and the lack of a power-sharing agreement among the competing leaders has only increased fears.

Six months after an inconclusive election in March, Iraq still has no government as al-Maliki, a Shiite, is struggling to keep his job after his political coalition came in a close second to a Sunni-dominated alliance at the March 7 vote.


9/6/10 Update

U.S. Troops Join Baghdad Battle Against Militants

Image: Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul-Qadir al-Ubaidi, center, inspects the site of a suicide attack
Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul-Qadir al-Ubaidi, center, inspects the site of a suicide attack accompanied by soldiers at a military headquarters in Baghdad, on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens. (Photo credit: The Associated Press)

By Barbara Surk

September 5, 2010

BAGHDAD — Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq’s ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens.

It was the first exchange of fire involving U.S. troops in Baghdad since the Aug. 31 deadline for formally ending the combat mission, and it showed that American troops remaining in the country are still being drawn into the fighting. …

The American troops who joined the fight and provided cover fire for Iraqi soldiers pursuing the attackers were based at the compound to train Iraqi forces, said U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Bloom. Iraqi forces also requested help from U.S. helicopters, drones and explosives experts, he said. No American troops were hurt, Bloom said.

Under an agreement between the two countries, Iraq can still call on American forces to assist in combat and U.S. troops can defend themselves if attacked.

In Sunday’s assault, six militants wearing explosives vests and matching track suits and armed with machine guns and hand grenades pulled up at a checkpoint with an explosives-laden car, said a senior Iraqi military intelligence official who was inside the building at the time.

The six assailants left the car and started shooting, killing a soldier at the checkpoint, he said. Guards at an observation tower returned fire, killing four militants, while two entered a building in the military compound.

Iraqi soldiers shot and killed a seventh attacker who was driving the vehicle, causing the car bomb to explode, the official said. The blast left behind a gaping crater in the ground.

The fighting came to an end after the two assailants who breached the compound ran out of bullets and detonated their explosives vests, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Two weeks earlier, an al-Qaida-linked suicide bomber waded into a crowd of hundreds of army recruits outside the building and detonated a blast that killed 61 people. That was the deadliest act of violence in Baghdad in months. …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Image: Body of militia member
A man kisses the body of a government-backed Sunni militia member laid on the ground of a hospital yard in the town of Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad, on Sunday, July 18, 2010 after the deadly blast. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Colossal Taxpayer Waste in Iraq (Aug. 29, 2010)

Wave of Bombings Across Iraq (Aug. 26, 2010)

Horrific Baghdad Bombing (Aug. 18, 2010)

Iraq War: ‘Ten More Years’ (Aug. 12, 2010)

Iraq Civilian Deaths at 2-Year High (Aug. 1, 2010)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — September 5, 2009

One Informant, Many Dead

Image: Mass grave in Afghanistan
Afghans bury some of the victims of an airstrike in a mass grave near Kunduz, Afghanistan, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. (Photo credit: Reuters)

One year ago today, I reported that a NATO fact-finding team estimated that about 125 people, many of them civilians, had been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan guided by a lone informant.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — September 5, 2008

On the Campaign Trail: Day 53

With two young supporters in Memorial Park, Forest Lake, Sept. 4, 2008.
With two young supporters, Michael (6) and Steven (10), at Lakeside Memorial Park, Forest Lake.

Two years ago today, on the 53rd day of my 2008 campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I reported on my campaign stops the previous day north of the St. Paul metro in the cities of Wyoming and Forest Lake in Washington County on my way to the final night of the Republican National Convention, where I observed the action outside the convention hall as an ininvited guest. I also featured information from the St. Paul Pioneer Press voter guide regarding my campaign platform and issue positions.

On the Sidelines of the Republican National Convention

John McCain and George W. Bush impersonators in Rice Park, St. Paul, outside the Xcel Energy Center, venue for the 2008 Republican National Convention, Sept. 4, 2008.

5 Responses to “$1,000 Bounty for Dead Americans”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Wholesale Slaughter in Iraq Says:

    […] A similar strike on an Iraqi recruitment center and army headquarters in central Baghdad on August 17, 2010 left 61 dead and 125 wounded in what was one of the deadliest attacks of the summer. Two weeks later, on Sept. 5, 2010, militants attacked the same building again, detonating a car bomb and trying to shoot their way in, killing eight and wounding 29. […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq: Many Dead in Tikrit Says:

    […] Baghdad Military Headquarters Attack (Sept. 5, 2010) […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Spate of Bombings in Baghdad Says:

    […] Baghdad Military Headquarters Attack (Sept. 5, 2010) […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Biggest One-Day Loss of Life in Iraq for U.S. Military in 2 Years Says:

    […] Baghdad Military Headquarters Attack (Sept. 5, 2010) […]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » September 5, 2011 Says:

    […] $1,000 Bounty for Dead Americans […]

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