Updated: 5/16/2006; 10:56:13 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Friday, July 25, 2003


Intense security after 'terror' gunfight in Mecca: "The violence erupted on Saturday night with a shoot-out at a block of flats in the middle class al-Khalidiya district. The area is three miles from Mecca's main mosque which is the site of the annual Muslim pilgrimage known as the hajj.

Saudi television said police killed five suspected "terrorists" and arrested several others who were plotting an "imminent terrorist attack". It gave no details of the target. An interior ministry source was quoted as saying the apartment was rigged with explosives, and police found 72 homemade bombs, machine guns, ammunition, and chemical substances used for making explosives.

Five people were arrested - two Chad nationals, one Egyptian, one Saudi, and a fifth whose nationality was not known - in addition to several other suspects, the television said. "

  11:30:50 PM  permalink  

Internet Booms in Baghdad with Phone Lines a Mess: "The local phone system in Baghdad is a mess, with only half of the lines working and international calls impossible more than three months into the U.S.-led military occupation. But the Internet business is booming.   Since U.S.-led forces ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in April, dozens of Internet cafes have sprouted across Baghdad and more are on the way. Cafe owners connect via satellite in the absence of working land lines.

"This shop was a cafeteria supplying food -- sandwiches, pizza, fish and chips. That was before the war," Kattan said, pulling out a bright yellow menu with a picture of a hamburger on the cover. "After the war, nobody could stop us from opening an Internet cafe." "

  9:03:49 AM  permalink  

Uday's bodyguard speaks:  "In an exclusive interview with The Times of London, the bodyguard claimed that, far from fleeing Baghdad, the three men held out in the capital for at least a week after its fall.. Saddam and his sons had remained in the capital throughout the war, convinced they could hold the city.

When the first bombs fell on a house in a southern suburb, where the Americans believed Saddam and his sons were meeting, he and Uday were on the other side of the city .. [The] next “decapitation” strike came a lot closer, and Saddam survived only because several safe houses had come under attack and he suspected there was an informant within his camp.  Saddam asked the suspect, a captain, to prepare a safe house behind a restaurant in the Mansour district for a meeting. They arrived, and left again, almost immediately, by the back door. “Ten minutes after they went out of the door, it was bombed,” the bodyguard said.  Saddam had the captain summarily executed while the Pentagon was claiming that the strike had probably finished off Saddam and Uday. ..

Saddam and his sons appeared at Friday prayers at a mosque in Adhamiya, a few miles from where American troops were patrolling.  “There were crowds all around and an old woman came up to Saddam and asked, ‘What have you done to us?’,” the bodyguard recalled. “Saddam clapped his hand to his head and said, ‘What can I do? I trusted the commanders but they were traitors and they betrayed Iraq. But we hope that, before long, we will be back in power and everything will be fixed’.”  The men never appeared in public again..

The bodyguard said that Saddam and his sons had remained in Baghdad in the genuine belief that they could hold the city. Only later, when they believed they had been betrayed by their commanders, did they consider an alternative. “The resistance was not factored in before the war,” he said. “There was a closed meeting five or six days after the war, and that is when they began to discuss the resistance.”

  9:00:20 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 10:56:13 AM.