Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Perspective: In Baqubah, troops find al-Qaida dug deep

A Soldier with 1st Platoon, Company B, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, guards a street in the neighborhood of Tahrir in Baqubah on March 28

BAQUBAH, Iraq — Across the walls of the villas they seized in the name of their shadow government, black-masked al-Qaida militants spray-painted the words: “Property of the Islamic State of Iraq.”

They manned checkpoints and buried an elaborate network of bombs in the streets. They issued austere edicts ordering women not to work. They filmed themselves attacking Americans and slaughtered those who did not believe in their cause.

For months, al-Qaida turned a part of one Baqubah neighborhood into an insurgent fiefdom that American and Iraqi forces were too undermanned to tackle — a startling example of the terror group’s ability to thrive openly in some places outside Baghdad even as U.S.-led forces struggle to regain control in the capital.

Read the rest at Marine Corps Times