Courting War with America – Fox News Story
by J. R. Nyquist, Global Analyst. July 7, 2004
Iranian Intel Officers Captured in Iraq
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
[Link on Fox News]
WASHINGTON – American and Iraqi joint patrols, along with U.S. Special Operations (search) teams, captured two men with explosives in Baghdad on Monday who identified themselves as Iranian (search) intelligence officers, FOX News has confirmed.
Senior officials said it was previously believed that Iran had officers inside Iraq stirring up violence, but this is the first time that self-proclaimed Iranian intelligence agents have been captured within the country.
The Defense officials also confirmed to FOX News that in recent days there has been significant success in tracking down "known bad guys" based on information from local citizens. While those captured aren't from the list of former regime members or from terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's (search) network, they are "active" bombers and organizers of recent violence.
The arrest of the two Iranians suspected of attempting to carry out a vehicle bombing has focused new attention on how Tehran is trying to protect its interests in the country it fought for eight years in a devastating war.
So far, Iran is believed to have used money, not guns, to influence Iraq - particularly by spreading wealth among Shiite political factions - while avoiding a direct confrontation with its longtime rival the United States.
Russia releases 7 that U.S. returned as terror suspects
Americans weren't given notice the men, once held by U.S., would be freed
By Kim Murphy
Los Angeles Times
Originally published June 29, 2004
[Link on Baltimore Sun]
MOSCOW – Seven Russians who were returned to their homeland for investigation and detention after being held by U.S. authorities in Guantanamo Bay prison have been released, Russian prosecutors confirmed yesterday.
In an action that apparently confounded U.S. officials, who were given no advance notice, the seven men accused of having been Taliban supporters in Afghanistan were released from a pretrial detention center in the North Caucasus region and allowed to return to their homes.
"The case against them has been closed," said Natalya Vishnyakova, spokeswoman for the prosecutor general's office. "In our decision, the general prosecutor's office was guided by the norms of national and international law, and also our agreement with the U.S. side. We haven't departed an iota from these provisions."
A U.S. official said Russian prosecutors gave no notice before freeing the detainees, and U.S. investigators learned of the release through media reports.
"In accordance with the Russian government's commitment to keep us informed of the results of its investigation, we have asked the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the general prosecutor for official information concerning these reports, and have not yet received a response," the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said late yesterday.
Mark Jacobson, who helped fashion U.S. policy on detainees for the Defense Department, said officials in Washington believed the seven prisoners constituted a continuing security threat when they were transferred to Russian custody.
"We did not simply release these folks, we transferred them to the Russians because we felt they were still a threat to the U.S., and a threat to Russia," said Jacobson, a visiting scholar at the Ohio State University.
"I would think the Russians would have been as concerned about these individuals as we were," he said, in part because of purported links between Chechen separatists mounting terrorist attacks in Russia.
The men, residents of Russia's Muslim-majority republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, the Caucasus Mountain region and western Siberia, were among hundreds of people captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in autumn 2001 and held at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba.
Russia sought their transfer and pledged to conduct full investigations and court proceedings - including, as Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov said a "trial."
At the time of the handover Feb. 28, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the agreement "included assurances that the individuals will be detained, investigated and prosecuted, as appropriate, under Russian law, and will be treated humanely."
The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.
© 2004 J. R. Nyquist