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Insurgents 'Kill One to Terrorize a Thousand,' But Won't Succeed

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2003 – Insurgents targeting Iraqis are relying on the terrorist adage "Kill one, terrorize a thousand," but won't succeed in their efforts to derail freedom and stability, the deputy operations director for Combined Joint Task Force 7 said in a Baghdad news conference today.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark T. Kimmitt explained the increased number of attacks are meant to show the Iraqi people that former regime elements still can "reach out and touch" them.

"The purpose is quite simple," he said. "They are trying to convince the people of Iraq that they can't trust the coalition, that they can't depend on the coalition, (and that) they can't depend on their own security services. They are intentionally trying to create terror in the minds of the Iraqi civilians so that they have a better chance of attracting them to their cause, whatever that may be.

"They continue to do this, we continue to strike back, and they will not succeed."

Kimmitt said the past week has seen daily averages of 22 attacks against coalition forces, three against Iraqi security forces and slightly fewer than three against Iraqi civilians.

The Tall Afar police chief turned 18 senior Baath Party officials over to coalition forces Dec. 17, Kimmitt said. Two were later released, and the rest are in police custody, he added.

The general said coalition forces had conducted 1,620 patrols and 21 offensive operations in Iraq in the 24 hours leading up to the 9 a.m. EST news conference. They captured 107 anti-coalition suspects.

In the north, 179 patrols and two cordon-and-knock operations resulted in detention of 17 people. Two targeted suspects and two Yemeni students were captured in a cordon- and-knock operation in central Mosul.

Coalition forces in the north-central zone conducted 313 patrols and eight raids, capturing 38 anti-coalition suspects.

In the past two days, Task Force Ironhorse soldiers, as part of Operation Ivy Blizzard, conducted 19 raids in Samarra and captured 111 people, 15 of whom were "targeted as prominent anti-coalition activists," Kimmitt said.

The general added that the task force will work with "the legitimate Samarran authorities" to conduct civil military operations as Ivy Blizzard continues. He said those operations will include infrastructure repair and training of Iraqi police and Iraqi Civil Defense Corps members.

Kimmitt said the Coalition Provisional Authority has committed more than $2.5 million to training and equipping the police and ICDC, and more than $5 million for infrastructure repair.

Samarra requires "significant public utility and infrastructure improvement," Kimmitt said, because the Saddam Hussein regime allowed the city's utilities to crumble into disrepair.

Operation Iron Justice continues in Baghdad, the general said. Coalition soldiers seized 28 fuel trucks and nine propane trucks and detained 20 people illegally dispensing and selling black-market fuel in south Baghdad.

Since the Iron Justice began Dec. 1, Kimmitt said, 63 battalion-level operations in 9,364 patrols, 729 of which were joint patrols with Iraqi police, have been conducted. The task force has captured 21 people for auto theft, 10 for kidnapping, nine for counterfeiting and 40 for selling fuel on the black market. The unit also has seized weapons and ammunition, including 12 surface-to-air missiles. Soldiers have captured 402 people and killed 24 in the operation, Kimmitt said.

In the west, coalition forces conducted 174 patrols and two cordon-and-search operations, capturing 12 people. Ten of the suspects were found to have $150,000 in U.S. currency when they were captured in a cordon-and-search of two targeted areas in Fallujah.

Forces in the central-south zone conducted 135 patrols and detained 50 people, all of whom were deported to Iran because they lacked the proper documentation and credentials to enter Iraq, Kimmitt said.

In 270 patrols and two raids in the southeast, soldiers detained 13 people. Eight anti-coalition suspects were arrested in Basra. Three AK-47 assault rifles were seized.

In a news release from U.S. Central Command, officials reported that a Task Force Ironhorse soldier riding in a convoy was killed and two others were injured in a traffic accident north of Balad today. The injured soldiers were taken to the 21st Combat Support Hospital, where they were reported to be in stable condition. Names are being withheld until families are notified.

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