U.S. Soldiers Killed by English Speaking “Insurgents” Who Were Armed with American Made Weapons and Driving Black SUVs

January 27th, 2007

Oh, yeah, the man leading the attack had blond hair.

And what’s the story with the non sequitur about “the computer” mentioned about 2/3 of the way down?

But just wait, you haven’t heard the best part.

According to the story: This was the work of Iranian intelligence agents.

* pause *

The full text of the story follows.

Via: AP:

4 troops abducted, killed in Iraq attack

By STEVEN R. HURST and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writers 1 hour, 58 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq – In perhaps the boldest and most sophisticated attack in four years of warfare, gunmen speaking English, wearing U.S. military uniforms and carrying American weapons abducted four U.S. soldiers last week at the provincial headquarters in the Shiite holy city of Karbala and then shot them to death.

The U.S. military confirmed a report earlier Friday by The Associated Press that three of the soldiers were dead and one was mortally wounded with a gunshot to the head when they were found in a neighboring province, about 25 miles from the compound where they were captured. A fifth soldier was killed in the initial attack on the compound.

The new account contradicted a U.S. military statement on Jan. 20, the day of the raid on an Iraqi governor’s office, that five soldiers were killed “repelling” the attack.

The security breakdown and the dramatic kidnapping and murder of four soldiers leaked out just as
President Bush faces stiffening congressional opposition over his plan to flood Baghdad and surrounding regions with 21,500 more American troops. Two of Congress’s most vocal war critics, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) and Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), were in the Iraqi capital as the news broke.

In a statement issued late Friday, the military said two of the soldiers were handcuffed together in the back seat of an SUV near the southern Iraqi town of Mahawil. A third dead soldier was on the ground nearby. The fourth soldier died on the way to the hospital.

The brazen assault, 50 miles south of Baghdad, was conducted by nine to 12 gunmen posing as an American security team, the military confirmed. The attackers traveled in black GMC Suburban vehicles (the type used by U.S. government convoys), had American weapons, wore new U.S. military combat fatigues, and spoke English, according to two senior U.S. military officials as well as Iraqi officials.

None of the American or Iraqi officials would allow use of their names because of the sensitive nature of the information.

The confirmation came after nearly a week of inquiries. The U.S. military in Baghdad initially did not respond to repeated requests for comment on reports that began emerging from Iraqi government and military officials on the abduction and a major breakdown in security at the Karbala site.

Within hours of the AP report that four of the five dead soldiers had been abducted and found dead or dying about 25 miles east of Karbala, the military issued a long account of what took place.

“The precision of the attack, the equipment used and the possible use of explosives to destroy the military vehicles in the compound suggests that the attack was well rehearsed prior to execution,” said Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, spokesman for Multi-National Division-Baghdad.

“The attackers went straight to where Americans were located in the provincial government facility, bypassing the Iraqi police in the compound,” he said. “We are looking at all the evidence to determine who or what was responsible for the breakdown in security at the compound and the perpetration of the assault.”

The Karbala raid, as explained by the Iraqi and American officials, began after nightfall on Jan. 20, while American military officers were meeting with their Iraqi counterparts on the main floor of the Provisional Joint Coordination Center in Karbala.

Iraqi officials said the approaching convoy of black GMC Suburbans was waved through an Iraqi checkpoint at the edge of the city. The Iraqi soldiers believed it to be American because of the type of vehicles, the distinctive camouflage American uniforms and the fact that they spoke English. One Iraqi official said the leader of the assault team was blond, but no other official confirmed that.

A top Iraqi security official for Karbala province told the AP that the Iraqi guards at the checkpoint radioed ahead to the governor’s compound to alert their compatriots that the convoy was on its way.

Iraqi officials said the attackers’ convoy divided upon arrival, with some vehicles parking at the back of the main building where the meeting was taking place, and others parking in front.

The attackers threw a grenade and opened fire with automatic rifles as they grabbed two soldiers inside the compound. Then the guerrilla assault team jumped on top of an armored U.S. Humvee and captured two more soldiers, the U.S. military officials said.

In its statement, the U.S. military said one soldier was killed and three were wounded by a “hand grenade thrown into the center’s main office which contains the provincial police chief’s office on an upper floor.”

The attackers captured four soldiers and fled with them and the computer east toward Mahawil in Babil province, crossing the Euphrates River, the U.S. military officials said.

The Iraqi officials said the four were captured alive and shot just before the vehicles were abandoned.

Police, who became suspicious when the convoy of attackers and their American captives did not stop at a roadblock, chased the vehicles and found the bodies, the gear and the abandoned SUVs.

The military statement said: “Two soldiers were found handcuffed together in the back of one of the SUVs. Both had suffered gunshot wounds and were dead. A third soldier was found shot and dead on the ground. Nearby, the fourth soldier was still alive, despite a gunshot wound to the head.”

The wounded soldier was rushed to the hospital by Iraqi police but died on the way, the military said.

The military also said Iraqi police had found five SUVs, U.S. Army-type combat uniforms, boots, radios and a non-U.S. made rifle at the scene.

Three days after the killings, the U.S. military in Baghdad announced the arrest of four suspects in the attack and said they were detained on a tip from a Karbala resident. No further information was released about the suspects.

Friday’s military statement referred to the attackers as “insurgents,” which usually suggests Sunnis. Although Karbala province is predominantly Shiite, Babil province is heavily populated by Sunnis in the north, near Baghdad. Babil’s central and southern regions are largely Shiite.

A senior Iraqi military official said the sophistication of the attack led him to believe it was the work of Iranian intelligence agents in conjunction with Iraq’s Shiite Mahdi Army militia, which Iran funds, arms and trains.

The Defense Department has released the names of troops killed Jan. 20 but clearly identified only one as being killed because of the sneak attack.

Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, Calif., “died of wounds suffered when his meeting area came under attack by mortar and small arms fire.” Freeman was assigned to the 412th Civil Affairs Battalion, Whitehall, Ohio.

The only other troops killed that day in that region of Iraq were four Army soldiers said to have been “ambushed while conducting dismounted operations” in Karbala.

The four were identified as 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Neb.; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Prairieville, La.; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Homer, N.Y., and Pvt. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Ala. All were with the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, of Fort Richardson, Alaska.


In the wake of the story above, I decided to take a closer look at other recent U.S. military deaths in Iraq.

What I found was astonishing.

I didn’t know a helicopter could carry so much brass. Among the dead in this single incident were:

Two colonels – Including the top U.S. Army surgeon in Iraq
One lieutenant colonel
One major
One captain

What the hell is going on over there? Isn’t there some standard operating procedure that would prevent so many officers from flying in a single helicopter over a combat zone?

The full text of this AP story follows.

Via: Los Angeles Times/AP:

Iraq crash killed key U.S. officers
The copter went down last weekend. A missile strike is suspected.
From the Associated Press
January 26, 2007

BAGHDAD — Two colonels, a lieutenant colonel and two command sergeants major were among the 12 U.S. soldiers killed last weekend in the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter northeast of Baghdad, the Pentagon said.

It appeared to be the largest number of key officers and command sergeants killed in a single incident since the Iraq war started nearly four years ago.

The helicopter went down Saturday in Diyala province, one of the volatile regions in the Iraq conflict.

The Army has said the cause of the crash is under investigation. But a Pentagon official has said debris indicates the helicopter was hit by a surface-to-air missile.

Ten of the dead were members of the National Guard, making the crash the deadliest single combat incident for the Guard since at least the Korean War, said Mark Allen, a National Guard Bureau spokesman.

A Pentagon statement Wednesday said the victims included Col. Brian D. Allgood, 46, the top Army surgeon in Iraq, and Col. Paul M. Kelly, 45, assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Virginia Army National Guard in Blackstone, Va.

Also killed were Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn L. Gabbard, assigned to the Iowa National Guard, and Command Sgt. Maj. Roger W. Haller of the Maryland National Guard.

Command sergeant major is one of the Army’s highest enlisted ranks.

The other victims were Lt. Col. David C. Canegata of the Virgin Islands National Guard; Maj. Michael V. Taylor of the Arkansas National Guard; Capt. Sean E. Lyerly of the Texas National Guard; 1st Sgt. William T. Warren of the Arkansas National Guard; Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker of the Virginia National Guard; Sgt. 1st Class John Brown of the Arkansas National Guard; Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake of the Virgin Islands National Guard; and Cpl. Victor Langarica of the 86th Signal Battalion, Ft. Huachuca, Ariz.

Related: Two British SAS Soldiers Dressed as Arabs, Shoot at Iraqi Police

22 Responses to “U.S. Soldiers Killed by English Speaking “Insurgents” Who Were Armed with American Made Weapons and Driving Black SUVs”

  1. tsoldrin Says:

    Here’s the problem with discerning any truth from this information…

    BushCo has actually created and is still creating actual, real, honest to god terrorists. They’ve given them every reason to hate, fear, loath and think that they are cornered and their entire way of life is on the line with the only option left as fighting to the death. (which may very well be true!). Like it or not, there are indeed extremists out there (now) and thanks to the Bush Doctrine, their numbers have swelled many fold.

    Beyond that, there is a huge number of mercenaries in country who have allegiance to money and also have a rather vested interest in stretching out or expanding this conflict as much as possible (as do some others).

    Counting these, and other possibilities it’s difficult to tell what’s really going on. Sure, knowing the American government it’s easy to jump to THAT conclusion, however it really could just as easily be a real attack by the real bad guys (the other ones)… or something much more covert with intentions completely removed from what we’re seeing as the ‘outcome’.

  2. OG Says:

    That is so seek. Don’t even know who’s your ally anymore

  3. Mark Says:

    The leader of the assault was blond.

    Hmm… I’ve never seen a blonde Iranian…

  4. der herr mueller im netz » Die Iraner waren’s Says:

    […] das hier für irgendwen irgend eine Art von Sinn? Für mich nicht… […]

  5. impat Says:

    This is a very significant story. The “whodunnit” aspect will be (has been) spun as needed, however the idea that this was an Iranian attempt to grab some US soldiers to exchange for the four Iranian still in custody after the Irbil attack is not at all far-fetched, imho. (Accroding to Debka, one of the four Iranians being held is a very senior person. (“Iranian colonel Fars Hassami, No. 3 in the Revolutionary Guards al Quds Brigade’s hierarchy”. http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=1250 . As usual add salt…)

    The fact that the poor soldiers were murdered only after mission failure seemed likely, and the impression from the story that prisoners were taken *first* during the attack, suggests to me that the objective was to obtain hostages. Their monetary value would not warrant the mission’s sophistication, imho, so I will go with the theory that Iranian agents did this to gain the needed leverage to free their comrades. The fact that the US kept the whole thing secret until it leaked makes me suspect they knew it was a prisoner exchange right after it happened; a note at the scene perhaps?

    The attack *was* far more spohisticated than any previously known insurgent effort. That doesn’t rule out Iraqi perpetrators, and the use of vehicles and equipment normally used by high level coalition personel at list hints at a trusted Shia in the picture somewhere. But this sounds like a miliary operation by military-trained people. And that leaves a short list of suspects:

    -Iranians (blond hair is an easy disguise, and many speak english)
    -Rogue mercenaries such as Blackwater involved in a criminal enterprise (a significantly underreported story, btw.)
    -US Troops on a vendetta (unlikely)
    -US Intelligence operatives playing Agent Provacateur. Also unlikely, imho. It wasn’t initially publicized- it was concealed.

    The Iranians are getting ticked. I am fairly sure the RPG through the Greek Ambassador’s window a fortnight ago was the work of a Hezbollah cell, and meant as a warning to the US to respect Iranian diplomatic sites, or else. This Karbala raid is an escalation.

    The stakes are rising, the media is NOT covering it well, and the chances of miscalculation on both sides is now enormous. The Iranians may get more aggressive before the Stennis CBG arrives, but you’ll know the wheels have REALLY come off if the Nimitz is deployed, too. Two CBG may just be a really big stick. Three is war.

  6. the stranger Says:

    Tsoldrin, I agree with your take, generally – and I’m guessing Kevin would; generally. Each possibility is no less than horrible, with spooks being the worst possibility I can think of. The value of Kevin’s take, aside from being so accurate so often, is in not letting the spook possibility slip passed us as we take in a mountain of information daily.

    While watching the State of the Union speech I noticed a quick comment of about a half dozen or so thwarted terrorist attacks. I recognized at least half instantly as these really questionable news stories. You can stand in room full of people looking at the same TV and be the only one who can read between the lies; when armed with the proper mind set.

    The important point to walk way with on this story is this; from the information we are fed, the Iranian Intelligence pulls off a mission impossible stunt, but at least we were lucky enough to know it was them. I don’t buy it. And do I get to see the victims email? …unlikely.

  7. David Says:

    Here are three more puzzle pieces; they shoot clairvoyance instead of rounds:




  8. Anon Y Mouse Says:

    What about the computer? Maybe the soldiers, one of whom was a captain, had some sensitive information on it. Perhaps this was about interrogation, then termination for poking noses where they shouldn’t.

  9. Anon Y Mouse Says:

    What about the computer? Maybe the soldiers were poking around where they shouldn’t and gathering evidence, perhaps for blackmail purposes, or maybe to expose certain interests and individuals.

  10. Anon Y Mouse Says:

    Maybe the computer had something interesting on it.

  11. SurvivalAcres Says:

    Just how much money would you have to pay a mercenary to wag the dog? Apparently, it’s very affordable. Killing your fellow Americans so the monster in chief can have his fucking war. This makes me sick. There is no low too low for the neocon cabal that insist on perpetual warfare. It’s time for the military to throw down their arms and refuse to obey the liar in chief. This is the only hope they probably have.

  12. Uncle $cam Says:

    One word: Mossad.

  13. cryptogon.com » Archives » IRAQ CRASH KILLED KEY U.S. OFFICERS Says:

    […] the wake of U.S. Soldiers Killed by English Speaking “Insurgents” Who Were Armed with American Made Weapons …, I decided to take a closer look at other recent U.S. military deaths in […]

  14. tochigi Says:

    From the AP article:
    “A senior Iraqi military official said the sophistication of the attack led him to believe it was the work of Iranian intelligence agents in conjunction with Iraq’s Shiite Mahdi Army militia, which Iran funds, arms and trains.”

    This is complete bs.
    The Iranians are definitely NOT on good terms with Moqtada al Sadr and his Mehdi Army. The Iranians back the Badr Organization, which was trained in exile by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

    I can only conclude that the US media is pumping as much disinformation as possible prior to an attack on Iran.

  15. KL Says:

    Ha, one more creepy detail worth noting: “Babil province” is better known to us American God-Fearing idiots as “Babel.”

  16. fallout11 Says:

    As with Tsoldrin, I have my suspicions regarding this incident:
    1) It is the work of militant islamic Chechens (Caucasians), who like many residents of the F.S.U. (former Soviet Union) learned English. As with jihadists from across the world, they’ve been documented operating in Iraq recently. If so, their familiarity with the location, procedures, equipment, and ability to get vehicles, uniforms, and weapons is disturbing, much like the recent helicopter shoot down. Indicative that BushCO’s war effort is degrading, and the insurgents are getting better/smarter. Bad.
    2) It’s the work of hired ‘operators’ (newspeak for self-selecting armed thugs of negligible morality), who have either gone “rogue” (they’d kill their mothers for a dollar) or, more likely, are operating according to TPTB’s plan to instigate/fan the flames of war with Iraq. Very bad. As with SurvivalAcres, this is my pick. Wag the dog seems to be the modus operandi of this administration.
    3) It is the work of spooks, either ours (US), or someone else’s known to be operating in the region (Mossad, SAS, Iran’s version, etc), and was done for either agent provocateur or hostage exchange purposes. Also Very bad.

    “The computer” slip is, indeed, interesting. Something that was in the original article, but was removed (incompletely), perhaps?

  17. Wonkette Says:

    Maliki To Be Tragically Killed By ‘Insurgents’ Next Week…

    Speaking of Cheney, unloved Iraq puppet leader Nuri al-Maliki is expected to be “assassinated by Al Qaeda” in the very near future after saying he doesn’t want Washington starting a war with Iran in Iraq. This comes after the startlin…

  18. Jesse Smith Says:

    I have seen blond iraqis but not too often. This is bad, talk about escalation. I’m anti war so this could get really bad. Why is Iran picking a fight when OIF is so close to ending. Poor guys. Get them sons of bitches and stop the war. Bush is creating more terrorists and they’re never gonna give up trying to kill us know. Peace can work. Arm yourself. Tochigi let me know your email you know your shit. There was nothing on the computer. They just took it, it was there. The purpose was the soldiers. Let’s find where they got these vehicles and now for all the men and women over there now, just another thing that could go wrong. The worst thing since the mosul chow hall bombing. If you aint cav, you aint shit. God bless America.

  19. Fred Says:

    In 1939,the Germans staged a little bit of drama,in which they took prisoners from concentration camps and dressed them in Polish uniforms.As these men were being transported towards the order,German SS troops,speaking Polish,attacked German border posts and a radio station,for a short time broadcasting”tirades”against Hitler and the boys,of course in Polish.Somewhere between 10-20 Germans were killed by their own countrymen.The concentration camp inmates arrived on the scene,were shot,and their bodies scattered around the various attack points,along with Polish weapons,ID cards,etc.This became Hitler’s justification to invade Poland and begin WW II.Kinda makes a guy wonder…

  20. fallout11 Says:

    Fred is describing the incident at Gliewitz, August 31st, 1939. I could not help but wonder the same thing.
    The “Gulf of Tonkin incident” also comes to mind.

  21. Bob Says:

    What seems astonishing to me, and goes way beyond the “disguise” involved, was how completely succesful this operation was. They’d have gotten more resistance attacking a pizza shop in peoria.

  22. jos Says:

    Speculation is that Iran may have conducted this in retaliation for the earlier abduction, by the US, of 4 Iranian diplomats in Arbil.

    Yes, it could have been a blond Iranian, Bosnian, Iraqi (or even an American contractor).

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