Sunday, February 18, 2007

Military: 'Rogue elements' of Shi'ite militias behind use of Iranian EFPs

In a private briefing to reporters last Sunday, U.S. military sources presented 'evidence' that Iran was supplying weapons to insurgents, including the deadly 'explosively formed projectile' (EFP), complete with infrared sensor, as shown above (click on image for larger version). The two primary Shi'ite militias are al-Sadr's Mahdi Army and al-Hakim's Badr Brigade. Sadr is allied with Prime Minister Maliki, and has a sizeable block in the National Assembly. Hakim is head of Shi'ites in the National Assembly.

Lethal Iranian bomb technology spotlighted by U.S. officials in Iraq last week is being used by rogue elements of Shi'ite militias that are not under any kind of central command, the U.S. military says.

The evidence presented at a briefing in Baghdad last week further confuses an enemy landscape in which death is as likely to come at the hands of government-allied Shi'ite militias as from disgruntled former Ba'athist extremists and their al Qaeda allies.

U.S. military officials think members of Shi'ite militias -- most of which have links with both Iran and Iraq's Shi'ite-led government -- are receiving and using the "explosively formed penetrators" (EFPs), or shaped bomb charges. Officials say the EFPs have killed about 170 coalition troops in the past two years -- many of those in recent months.

"Our intelligence has assessed that they are Shia rogue elements of illegal armed groups," Lt. Col. Christopher Garver told The Washington Times in an e-mail interview from Baghdad.

Read the rest at the Washington Times

Related Link:
Bush: Iran supplying roadside bombs

Related Link:
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Pace: No proof of Iranian government involvement in supplying weapons to insurgents

Sources: 'Highest levels' of Iran government funneling sophisticated explosives to extremist groups

Related Link:
Maliki: 'I assure you' Iran behind some attacks on U.S. forces, but tells both to ' solve your problems outside Iraq'

Related Link:
Analysis: the deadly impact of IEDs

Related Link:
Analysis: The evidence against Iran

Related Link:
U.S.: al-Sadr losing control of Mahdi Army (09/29/06)