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US Knows Of About 10 Leaders Of Iraq's Insurgency: Pentagon

Last century it was just one idiot with a gun, but now that the pin has been removed, the Iraqi hand grenade has exploded into 1000 hydra-headed snakes.

Washington (AFP) Jul 26, 2005
The Iraq insurgency has about ten leaders who meet occasionally both inside and outside Iraq, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, a US military spokesman said the US is holding between 12,000 and 17,000 Iraqis, insurgents, criminals and unlucky bystanders.

Lieutenant General James Conway, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed Tuesday reports quoting a former top army general as saying Iraq's insurrection was led by eight to ten figures who have held meetings both in Iraq and in neighboring countries.

"We know who they are," retired General Jack Keane said at a Washington think tank Monday. Keane is formerly US Army deputy chief of staff, and has conducted a number of Pentagon assessment missions to Iraq.

Keane said that US forces have known about the leaders for some time, but have less understanding of the middle and lower ranks of the insurgency.

The leaders "occasionally meet - we've recorded that - not just in Iraq, but in Jordan and Syria," Keane said.

"I think those statements are accurate," Conway confirmed, while noting that the information is mostly classified secret by the Pentagon.

"We have an index we think on who the leadership is. And we do know that they occasionally meet," he said.

That information does not support "other views that it is a very well commanded or controlled insurgency," Conway added.

"But we do know that they meet from time to time to talk organization and tactics.

Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita meanwhile said that the US holds in detention in Iraq some 12000-17,000 people, "without knowing the mix between bad guys, criminals, car thieves, people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"It's going to take time to sort all that out," DiRita said.

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Analysis: Blair's Iraq link problem
London (UPI) July 22, 2005
One of the noticeable differences between Thursday's failed terror attempts on the British capital and the bombings that claimed 56 lives exactly two weeks earlier was the relative absence of Prime Minister Tony Blair from the public airwaves.

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