There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s. So why am I writing one? Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong. Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject. It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information. Or you may not benefit at [read more]
Top al Qaeda leaders have been killed in Southern and Western Iraq. Omar Faruq, expert bombmaker, was killed in Basra, and senior al Qaeda leader Khalid Mahal is reported to have been killed in al Anbar.
It has been a bonus week in Iraq. Al Qaeda operative and expert bombmaker Omar Faruq has been killed in Basra.
BAGHDAD: British troops in Iraq said yesterday they had killed one of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s top global lieutenants, who escaped from a US prison in Afghanistan last year.
Omar Faruq was shot dead while resisting arrest yesterday during a pre-dawn raid by about 200 British troops in Iraq’s second biggest city, Basra, British military spokesman Major Charlie Burbridge said.
US leaders have described Faruq as the top Al Qaeda operative in southeast Asia. He was caught in Indonesia in 2002 and held at a high-security detention centre at Bagram airbase north of the Afghan capital Kabul until his escape last year.
“The individual had been tracked across Iraq and was in hiding in Basra,” Burbridge said, calling him a “very, very significant man”.
In fact, the British and Iraqis attempted to arrest Faruq, but during the arrest fighting apparently ensued and he was killed. He would have been a gold mine of information had they been able to effect the arrest.
In other news, Bill Roggio is blogging on senior al Qaeda leaders in the al Anbar Province having been killed:
BAGHDAD, Sept 26 (KUNA) — A joint Iraqi-US force killed Tuesday Al-Qaeda leader in Anbar and one of his aides in the western Iraqi area of Tharthar, said Iraqi state television (Iraqiya).
The television said the joint force killed Al-Qaeda’s Amir in Anbar, Khalid Mahal, and one of his aides, identified as Nasif Al-Mawla.
Iraq security forces had earlier announced over the past few days arrest of Ansar Al-Sunna group leader in Diyala.
In Comments on the Death of Umar Faruq at the Counterterrorism Blog, Kenneth Conboy states that:
“It has long been suspected that Faruq, who was born of Iraqi parents, would attempt to join the insurgency in Iraq. This speculation was supported by reports in recent months that his Indonesian wife had been receiving frequent cell phone calls from unidentified persons in Iraq. It is not known if these calls played a role in tracing his whereabouts.”
I would add that he was born of Iraqi parents in Kuwait, not Iraq. This is interesting and I may be making too much of it, but it seems that southern Iraq is a dangerous place for al Qaeda. With the influence of Iran in southern Iraq and their Shia surrogates, and based on the knowledge the police had of the whereabouts of Faruq, it would seem that if there is violence to be done in the Shia territories, the Shia will do it. I would also add that it is obvious that Iraq is a magnet for this kind of terrorist, and so it continues to be true that the Iraq war is pivotal in the GWOT.
Bill Roggio says that “Task Force 145 … is conducting a full court press in Iraq.” The reports don’t say yet who conducted the operation to kill Mahal, but Bill may know more about this than has been published in the press. Either way, killing al Qaeda in al Anbar is a good thing and will help to pacify the troubled region (although like Faruq, I am sure that the coalition forces would have loved to have captured them for the intelligence value).
Finally, al Anbar will continue to be a dangerous place, and the Sunni insurgents will not give up the fight because al Qaeda continues to be targeted. Killing top al Qaeda in Iraq is a positive move, but the Sunni who will not reconcile to the government, still believing that the Sunni should be running the country, will be problematic even in the absence of al Qaeda leaders.