Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Report: Sadr City sealed off for second night in search for Britons; Petraeus says Mahdi Army 'will be profoundly sorry' if involved

Above: Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint on a major Sadr City thoroughfare today. Although insurgents have raided government buildings and carried out kidnappings before-- including a mass kidnapping of dozens at the Ministry of Education in another well-coordinated incident in November -- this incident featuring a 'consultant' from BearingPoint (headquartered in McLean, Va., as is the CIA) has aroused a singularly intense interest from the U.S. military.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Dozens of U.S. Humvees and Bradley fighting vehicles took up positions around Sadr City at nightfall Wednesday, as American forces pressed the search for five Britons kidnapped in a mock police raid that Iraqi officials said was carried out by the Mahdi Army Shiite militia.

A secret incident report about the abductions - written by Najwa Fatih-Allah, director general of the Finance Ministry's data processing center, where the Britons were seized - quotes Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq , as saying the Mahdi Army "will be profoundly sorry" if it carried out the assault....

The report said four men in civilian clothing appeared at the center about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday - 15 minutes before the kidnapping.

The account said the men claimed they were from the government anti-fraud commission and looked through each room in the center, then quickly left the building.

At about 11 a.m. dozens of men in army and police uniforms, the report said, burst into the building, disarmed guards and went directly into the room where the five Britons were working. The five were seized and rushed out of the building to 19 waiting four-wheel-drive vehicles. The convoy then drove away to the east.

Read the rest at AOL News

Related Link:
U.S. launches large-scale night raids in search for kidnapped Britons; Armored vehicles reported to repeatedly breach walls of houses

Related Link:
Companies identify British abducted from Finance Ministry in Baghdad as economic consultant and 4 bodyguards

Related Link:
Five Britons kidnapped in Baghdad, UK says; Declines to comment on reports abductees are security 'contractors'