Nov 19, 2003
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who
were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Capt. Nathan S. Dalley, 27, of Kaysville, Utah, died from a non-hostile gunshot
wound on Nov. 17 in Baghdad, Iraq. Dalley was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 1st
Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.
Staff Sgt. Dale A. Panchot, 26, of Northome, Minn., was killed on Nov. 17, south of
Balad, Iraq. Panchot was on patrol when he was fatally injured by enemy fire.
Panchot was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade
Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (Mech), Fort Carson, Colo.
Nov 19, 2003
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of three soldiers who were
supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. The soldiers were killed on Nov. 15 when two
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul,
Pfc. Richard W. Hafer, 21, of Cross Lanes, W.Va. Hafer was assigned
to the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault),
Fort Campbell, Ky.
Capt. Pierre E. Piche, 29, of Starksboro, Vt. Piche was assigned to the 626th
Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
Pfc. Joey D. Whitener, 19, of Nebo, N.C. Whitener was assigned to the 1st
Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort
The incident is under investigation.
Iraq War News
Experts: al-Qaida Stature Feeds on Fear
CAIRO, Egypt - A shadowy group linked to al-Qaida and an e-mail correspondent who says he works for Osama bin Laden each have claimed responsibility for Istanbul's synagogue bombings in e-mailed boasts filled with Muslim militant rhetoric. The claims feed fear, confusion and the terror network's reputation, analysts say.
Both claims came in language reminiscent of al-Qaida's Quranic, anti-Western style - one easy to mimic and popular among a variety of Muslim militant thinkers.
"It's extremely difficult to decipher the authenticity of claims," said Magnus Ranstorp, director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrews University in Scotland.
But enough people will believe - or want to believe - the claims to create "a mirage of great coordination," Ranstorp said. Some will be inspired to try to join al-Qaida or like-minded organizations, he said.
The London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi said Sunday it received an e-mail statement from a group calling itself the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades claiming to have bombed the synagogues because it believed Israeli intelligence agents were inside. The e-mail offered no details that might lend credence to the claim, and it would be difficult to determine who sent the statement.
The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades emerged as an Internet entity in recent months, with no track record of proven attacks or roster of militants. Its main link to al-Qaida is a tenuous one: It takes its name from the alias of Mohammed Atef, Osama bin Laden's top deputy who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan in November 2001.
E-mail statements and Internet postings purportedly signed by the group have claimed responsibility for several catastrophes, including the August bombing of a Jakarta hotel that killed 12 people and wounded 150 and the massive August power outage in the United States. Indonesian investigators believe local group Jemaah Islamiyah was responsible for the Jakarta bombings, and sabotage has been ruled out in the blackout that darkened eight states and parts of Canada.
U.S. counterterrorism officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said little is known about the Abu Hafs el-Masri Brigades and the extent of their organization. Their claims of responsibility for various bombings have not been validated.
Sunday's other claim was e-mailed to the London-based weekly Al-Majalla. The Arabic-language newspaper said the claim was signed by an al-Qaida operative identified as Abu Mohammed al-Ablaj. The same name has been the signoff on a series of e-mails to Al-Majalla - including previous, vague statements that could be read as warnings of attacks that later took place in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Majalla said Sunday's al-Ablaj e-mail claimed al-Qaida was responsible for both the synagogue attacks and a Nov. 12 car bomb outside Italian police headquarters in Nasiriyah, Iraq, that killed 19 Italians and more than a dozen Iraqis.
U.S. counterterrorism officials say al-Ablaj is suspected of being an al-Qaida member, but they know little about him so they cannot be certain. It is unknown whether his claims of responsibility are authentic, but officials say they have not been dismissed.
U.S. military officials say they face a variety of foes in Iraq - loyalists of ousted Saddam Hussein, other Iraqis who resent the U.S.-led occupation and foreign Muslim militants.
The military officials say the extent to which al-Qaida is organized and operating in Iraq is hard to determine.
President Bush asserted Sunday in an interview on PBS-BBC's "Breakfast with David Frost" that "there are some foreign fighters - mujahedeen types or al-Qaida, or al-Qaida affiliates involved" in Iraq.
In the past, al-Qaida was known for never claiming responsibility for attacks. At the most, it would offer praise in language that could be read as a boast, or simply as encouragement for others to keep striking its stated enemies: the West, Israel, and governments in the Muslim world seen as insufficiently Islamic.
The flurry of recent al-Qaida claims could be from sympathizers who want to offset the impression that the group has been weakened by the U.S.-led war on terror following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The claims also feature threats of more attacks meant to sow fear.
"We tell the criminal Bush and his Arab and non-Arab followers (especially Britain, Italy, Australia, and Japan) that cars of death will not stop at Baghdad, Riyadh, Istanbul, Jerba, Nasiriyah or Jakarta," said the Sunday statement attributed to the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades. It was referring to past attacks in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Indonesia.
The al-Ablaj e-mail pledged: "The attacks against Jews and America will follow. Let America and Israel cry for their dead from today and the destruction that they will suffer."
Turkish authorities, who have said an international group like al-Qaida could be behind Saturday's suicide bombings that killed 23 people, plus the two drivers, treated the claims with caution.
"We are taking into consideration all organizations and possibilities," Turkish Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said Monday during one of the victim's funerals in Ankara.
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