John on April 27, 2007 at 3:56 pm
Update 4/28 Noon: Thursday General Petraeus mentioned, in response to a reporter’s question, the detention of someone named Sheibani (see excerpt below). A little more digging reveals that “Sheibani” is likely Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, the Iranian backed insurgent who first introduced EFPs into Iraq back in 2005. Time magazine once described Sheibani as the US military’s “nemesis”:
The U.S. Military’s new nemesis in Iraq is named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, and he is not a Baathist or a member of al-Qaeda. He is working for Iran. According to a U.S. military-intelligence document obtained by TIME, al-Sheibani heads a network of insurgents created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express purpose of committing violence against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Over the past eight months, his group has introduced a new breed of roadside bomb more lethal than any seen before; based on a design from the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia Hizballah, the weapon employs “shaped” explosive charges that can punch through a battle tank’s armor like a fist through the wall. According to the document, the U.S. believes al-Sheibani’s team consists of 280 members, divided into 17 bombmaking teams and death squads. The U.S. believes they train in Lebanon, in Baghdad’s predominantly Shi’ite Sadr City district and “in another country” and have detonated at least 37 bombs against U.S. forces this year in Baghdad alone.
This offhand comment by Gen. Petraeus is the first indication that our “nemesis” Sheibani has been captured. This ought to be a big story given that Iranian made EFPs are responsible for killing as many as 170 US soldiers and wounding another 600.
Why hasn’t the MSM noticed?
Added: See-Dubya links from HotAir (thanks) and adds a bit I’d missed. Sheibani was on the Iraqi government’s most wanted list. He was #24 and had a $200K price on his head. A very big fish indeed. No wonder Gen. Petraeus says the extent of Iran’ s influence in Iraq has become a lot clearer of late.
Yesterday General Petraeus gave a briefing in Washington in which he indicated the seriousness of the Iran connection to insurgents in Iraq:
Gen. Petraeus: The Iranian involvement has really become much clearer to us and brought into much more focus during the interrogation of the members — the heads of the Qazali network and some of the key members of that network that have been in detention now for a month or more.
This is the head of the secret cell network, the extremist secret cells. They were provided substantial funding, training on Iranian soil, advanced explosive munitions and technologies as well as run of the mill arms and ammunition, in some cases advice and in some cases even a degree of direction.
When we captured these individuals — the initial capture, and then there have been a number of others since then — we discovered, for example, a 22-page memorandum on a computer that detailed the planning, preparation, approval process and conduct of the operation that resulted in five of our soldiers being killed in Karbala.
It also detailed — there are numerous documents which detailed a number of different attacks on coalition forces, and our sense is that these records were kept so that they could be handed in to whoever it is that is financing them. And there’s no question, again, that Iranian financing is taking place through the Quds force of the Iranian Republican Guards Corps.
As you know, there are seven Quds Force members in detention as well. This involvement, again, we learned more about with the detention of an individual named Sheibani, who is one of the heads of the Sheibani network, which brings explosively formed projectiles into Iraq from Iran. His brother is the Iranian connection. He is — was in Iraq. And that has been the conduit that then distributes these among the extremist elements again of these secret cells and so forth.
Only a day later, his words were given an exclamation point when a raid connected Iran to the supply of EFPs entering Iraq:
US forces on Friday detained four members of a gang suspected of smuggling armour-piercing bombs from Iran to Iraq and sending back militants for “terrorist training”, the military said. A statement from US command in Iraq said the suspects were picked up in an early morning raid on the east Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, a known stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia.
“The individuals targeted during the raid are suspected members of a secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq,” it said.
I’ll be adding these events, and a few more, to the timeline.
Category: Islamic Jihad |