February 24th, 2006

fashionable

Covering your Djibouti.

According to the website Hack Canada, a SGT Kris Lenning contacted a Canadian hacker, trying to get them to take down a website posted by a US Chaplain who violated OPSEC by releasing information on the operations of a US base in Djibouti called Camp Le Monier. GlobalSecurity.org reports that "the Central Intelligence Agency is . . . reportedly using Camp Lemonier as a staging ground for unmanned "Predator" drone aircraft used to track and attack al-Qaida terrorists."

As the soldier says in the correspondence:
"The Person that posted the page is an Army Chaplain, now we have a way of taking the site down but if we do that in means contacting a department that is higher up and will result in him getting in a lot of trouble over something he has done unintentional. Some of the information on the page that is not allowed includes talking about flight schedules, the runway the planes landed on and any information about the base itself in Manda Bay area. To the enemy that base does not officialy exist. So you can see that if this gets reported higher to be taken care of, He could be in real trouble and possibly loose his commission and be kicked out."

Words of advice... if you know something that violates OPSEC, maybe anonymous Canadian hackers aren't the best people to mention it to, eh?
fashionable

Iraqi weblogger reports on neighborhood streetfighting.

Zeyad over at Healing Iraq posted about street fighting near his house today, which is in a Sunni neighborhood. It sounds like the Iraqi government may be intentionally not reporting on attacks against these Sunni areas. The post is pretty powerful, so I'm just going to copy it here for you, verbatim.

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Friday, February 24, 2006
Fierce streetfighting at my doorstep for the last 3 hours. Rumor in the neighbourhood is that men in black are trying to enter the area. Some armed kids defending the local mosque three blocks away are splattering bullets at everything that moves, and someone in the street was shouting for people to prepare for defending themselves.

There's supposed to be a curfew, but it doesn't look like it. My net connection is erratic, so I'll try to update again if possible. The news from other areas in Baghdad are horrible. I don't think it's being reported anywhere.

My father and uncle are agitatedly walking back and forth in the hallway, asking me what we should do if the mob or Interior ministry forces try to attack us in our homes? I have no answer for them.

UPDATE: Apparently, the attackers were fended off in our neighbourhood. The fight ended about 2 hours ago, about the same time electric power returned to our area. Now we are only hearing sporadic gunshots here and there. To have an idea of what was going on, listen to these small audio files I recorded using a cell phone.

News are conflicting. Some say the local National Guard unit (its commander is from our own area) helped repel the assailants. Others say the neighbourhood watch teams clashed with an armed group in several unmarked vehicles.

The same situation occured in both Adhamiya and Al-Khadhraa'. In Adhamiya, armed groups in black crossed the river in boats from neighbouring Kadhimiya and took over the Nu'man hospital.

In Khadhraa', a combined force of Interior ministry forces and men dressed in black are surrounding 2 mosques with several families inside, threatening to burn them down on the occupants. Baghdad TV (the Islamic party's channel) is updating on the situation through telephone calls from inside the mosque. The families are crying for outside assistance.

Other bits from here and there:
An armed group in 10 vehicles with no number plates entered the Al-Iskan Al-Sha'bi district in Dora, and attempted to enter mosque, but was turned back by the residents. Eyewitnesses claim that as many as 40 bodies and 5 burnt vehicles are still in the area. 3 attackers were also killed in Dora when they attempted to enter the Al-Kubaisi mosque.

Another group dressed in black in one Daewoo and two Opel vehicles passed the Interior ministry forces' checkpoint at Abu Dshir square, south of Dora, with no resistance and entered the Yassin mosque with explosives in tin containers. The keeper was killed and the mosque blown up.

a Shi'ite armed group carried Sheikh Ghazi Al-Zoba'i in a pickup truck around Sadr city, shouting that they have a Wahhabi terrorist with them, before he was lynched on the streets by the angry mob.

Government officials and spokespersons are deliberately suppressing any news of these ongoing attacks on Sunni neighbourhoods and mosques. The official Al-Iraqiya channel is playing a historical movie, while other channels are playing Shi'ite mourning and Quran. The Interior ministry says it only has reports of 19 mosques attacked and one cleric killed. Go figure.

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All is not well.