apr 082015
 

The best war inquiry was into the Charge of the Light Brigade. It was conducted by the poet Alfred Tennyson in eight weeks, and reached a one-line conclusion, “Someone had blunder’d.” It has never been bettered. Everyone knows who blundered in Iraq. It was Tony Blair. Mild interest may still attach to the question, why? But no one is sitting in an agony of suspense. No great issue turns on the verdict. Even the Labour party, whose cringing submission to [lees verder]

apr 082015
 

Outcry at yet another postponement to findings of inquiry, which stopped taking evidence in 2011 The six-year-longBritish inquiry into the 2003 Iraq invasion and its aftermath will not be published before the general election, prompting an outcry from those demanding that the long overdue reckoning should be put before the voters. Sir John Chilcot, the chairman of the inquiry, will set out his reasons for the further postponement in an exchange of letters with David Cameron on Wednesday. The inquiry [lees verder]

jan 092015
 

A lot can change in five years. In December 2005 the Guardian opened its pages for me to respond to a leak – the Bush-Blair memo in which both leaders discussed the possibility of bombing Al-Jazeera’s Qatar HQ, where more than 1,000 people work. While those who leaked the memo were imprisoned, its detailed contents were never disclosed. Earlier this year I learned from a senior US official that the discussions had indeed taken place. I was not surprised. Our [lees verder]

jan 092015
 

Al-Jazeera quits Iraq as Americans accused over deaths The Arab satellite television channel al-Jazeera is to pull its reporters out of Iraq after one of them was killed during a US air raid on Baghdad. “I cannot guarantee anyone’s safety,” the news editor, Ibrahim Hillal, told reporters. “We still have four reporters in Baghdad, we will pull them out. We have one embedded with US forces in Nassiriya; we want to pull him out.” The move followed a day in [lees verder]

dec 152014
 

Some of the first questions asked of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed upon his capture and during the time during which he was waterboarded were about possible connections between al Qaeda and Iraq, according to a review of several reports on U.S. intelligence operations. The mastermind of the September 11 attacks was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003, and according to Office of Legal Counsel memos released last month, was waterboarded 183 times that same month. The substance of the [lees verder]

dec 152014
 

(CNN) — Finding a “smoking gun” linking Iraq and al Qaeda became the main purpose of the abusive interrogation program the Bush administration authorized in 2002, a former State Department official told CNN on Thursday. The allegation was included in an online broadside aimed at former Vice President Dick Cheney by Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for then-Secretary of State Colin Powell. In it, Wilkerson wrote that the interrogation program began in April and May of 2002, and then-Vice President [lees verder]

dec 152014
 

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist. Such information would’ve provided a foundation for one of former President George W. Bush’s main arguments for invading Iraq in 2003. In fact, no evidence has ever been found of operational ties between [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

Leading counterterrorism expert said despite group’s dramatic rise, it does not pose a direct threat of major attack on a US city US intelligence officials have concluded that Islamic State (Isis) militants do not currently pose a direct threat of a major attack on an American city and, despite the group’s dramatic rise to prominence in the Middle East, is not comparable to “al-Qaida pre-9/11”. Details of the current US intelligence community’s assessment of Isis were made public on Wednesday [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

The inability of the United States government to anticipate the ISIS offensive that has succeeded in taking control of a large part of Iraq is already being referred to as an “intelligence failure.” To be sure, Washington has unparalleled technical capabilities to track money movements and to obtain information from the airwaves. It is adept at employing surveillance drones and other highly classified intrusive electronic methods, but there is an inherent problem with that kind of information collection: knowing how [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

BAGHDAD: When American forces raided a home near Fallujah during the turbulent 2004 offensive against the Iraqi Sunni insurgency, they got the hard-core militants they had been looking for. They also picked up an apparent hanger-on, an Iraqi man in his early 30s whom they knew nothing about. The Americans duly registered his name as they processed him and the others at the Camp Bucca detention center: Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badry. That once-peripheral figure has become known to the world [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first appearance on video when he gave a sermon in Mosul in July Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), has been careful to reveal little about himself and his whereabouts. Before appearing in a video delivering a sermon in Mosul in July, there were only two authenticated photos of him. Even his own fighters reportedly do not speak about seeing him face to face. The ISIS [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi walked away from a U.S. detention camp in 2009, the future leader of ISIS issued some chilling final words to reservists from Long Island. The Islamist extremist some are now calling the most dangerous man in the world had a few parting words to his captors as he was released from the biggest U.S. detention camp in Iraq in 2009. “He said, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” recalls Army Col. Kenneth King, then the [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

The U.S. once had Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in custody at a detention facility in Iraq, it was revealed Friday Al Baghdadi was among the prisoners released in 2009 from the U.S.’s now-closed Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr in Iraq It is unclear why the U.S. let the merciless al Qaeda leader slip away Al Baghadadi and his troops took the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi earlier this year and conquered [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

The biggest threat to Middle East security is as much a mystery as a menace — a 42-year-old Iraqi who went from a U.S. detention camp to the top of the jihadist universe with a whisper of a backstory and a $10 million bounty on his head. He’s known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the ruthless Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, and he oversees thousands of fighters in his quest to create a Sunni Islamic caliphate straddling the [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

BEIRUT: The United States has begun reconnaissance flights over Syria and is sharing intelligence about jihadist deployments with Damascus through Iraqi and Russian channels, sources told AFP Tuesday. “The cooperation has already begun and the United States is giving Damascus information via Baghdad and Moscow,” one source close to the issue said on condition of anonymity. The comments came a day after Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said Syria was willing to work with the international community against the jihadist Islamic [lees verder]

sep 052014
 

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey says US looking for “more insights” into the activities of Islamic State in Syria. U.S. Starts Syria Surveillance Flights Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) — Scarlet Fu reports on today’s top news stories on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg) KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — The U.S. has begun surveillance flights over Syria after President Barack Obama gave the OK, U.S. officials said, a move that could pave the way for airstrikes against Islamic State militant targets there. While the White House [lees verder]

mei 152014
 

Court to conduct preliminary examination of around 60 alleged cases of unlawful killing and claims of mistreatment The ICC will examine separate allegations, mostly from former detainees held in British miltiary custody in Iraq. Photograph: Ian Waldie/Getty Images Allegations that British troops were responsible for a series of war crimes after the invasion of Iraq are to be examined by the international criminal court (ICC) at The Hague, the specialist tribunal has announced. The court is to conduct a preliminary [lees verder]

apr 302014
 

(Reuters) – The United States is quietly expanding the number of intelligence officers in Iraq and holding urgent meetings in Washington and Baghdad to find ways to counter growing violence by Islamic militants, U.S. government sources said. A high-level Pentagon team is now in Iraq to assess possible assistance for Iraqi forces in their fight against radical jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group reconstituted from an earlier incarnation of al Qaeda, said two [lees verder]

apr 302014
 

When U.S. Special Operations forces raided several houses in the Iraqi city of Ramadi in March 2006, two Army Rangers were killed when gunfire erupted on the ground floor of one home. A third member of the team was knocked unconscious and shredded by ball bearings when a teenage insurgent detonated a suicide vest. In a review of the nighttime strike for a relative of one of the dead Rangers, military officials sketched out the sequence of events using small [lees verder]

sep 062013
 

A former head of MI6 has threatened to expose the secrets of the ‘dodgy dossier’ if he disagrees with the long-awaited findings of the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s role in the Iraq War. Sir Richard Dearlove has threatened to expose secrets behind the Iraq ‘dodgy dossier’. Photo: JOHN TAYLOR Sir Richard Dearlove, 68, has spent the last year writing a detailed account of events leading up to the war, and had intended to only make his work available to [lees verder]