Friday, May 27, 2005

Iraq - Syrian intelligence officer captured

The Daily Star of Lebanon reports.

BEIRUT: A Syrian intelligence officer detained in Baghdad has admitted to launching the missile attack on the late premier Rafik Hariri's Future Television in June 2003, according to Al-Rai al-Aam Kuwaiti newspaper. In an article published on Wednesday, the newspaper said Hussein Ahmad Tah, 32, was arrested by Iraqi police when he was attempting to assassinate employees in an Iraqi public institution. Following his arrest, Tah decided to admit to his previous crimes, among which is the Future TV bombing.

Tah said he worked for Syrian intelligence services, adding that he worked for a long time in Lebanon where he perpetrated several attacks. He then moved to Iraq, where he committed several attacks against mosques and Iraqi civilians. Security sources in Iraq said that Tah recounted the details of the attack on Future TV. The television station, situated near Raouche in Beirut, was attacked on June 15, 2003, resulting in the destruction of one of the newsrooms. No casualties were reported. The attack was considered as a message to then-owner of the station, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Sources said the car used to perpetrate the crime was stolen in 1997 and hidden in a garage until the date of the attack. A previously unknown group called Jamaat Ansar Allah had held itself responsible for the attack in a statement issued the next day. However, Tah told Iraqi police that the group did not exist and that he had written and issued the statement.

And Captain's Quarters notes:

If this can be substantiated -- and that may be a tall order -- it would corroborate our intelligence that Syria has at least assisted in the insurgency that has gripped the Sunni Triangle in Iraq since the end of the war. Once substantiated, then we need to take some action against the Syrian dictator that will push him from power. In the meantime, I think we can afford to wait for further evidence to support or refute this claim.

Why? As Tigerhawk notes:

If Syria has, in fact, been able to arrest more than a thousand insurgents in just the last few weeks, why hasn't it been doing that for the last two years? Syria, in its braggodocio, has implicitly confessed that it has been able to stop insurgents from crossing the border all along, and effectively admitted the charges against it.

And there was plenty of evidence in Falluja that Syria was behind the terrorists there.

I'd say it's time to get tough with Syria, afterall they say they have stopped co-operating with us; if they ever were.

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